Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Dalai Lama Intends To Be The Last Tibetan Spiritual Leader

Dalai Lama

(Photo : Reuters/Yuriko Nakao) Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, pictured as he arrived at the upper house members' office building in Tokyo.

The Dalai Lama told a German newspaper on Sunday that he intends to be the last Tibetan spiritual leader, ending a centuries-old tradition observed in his homeland.

The Dalai Lama was in Hamburg, Germany in late August to give lectures and meet scholars at the Tibetan Center for his 38th visit to the country when he made that statement published this weekend. 

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"We had a Dalai Lama for almost five centuries," he said. "The 14th Dalai Lama now is very popular. Let us then finish with a popular Dalai Lama."

The Dalai Lama said a weak successor would disgrace the institution.

Tibetan Buddhism should not be dependent on only one person as it already possesses an excellent organizational structure with sufficiently trained scholars and monks, according to the Dalai Lama.

The German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, said the 79-year-old Dalai Lama intends to carry his advocacies well into old age. He believes he would live to be 113 years old.

The Tibetan spiritual leader told Welt am Sonntag that he hoped to return to this world with the same soul and spirit to ease ''sentient beings'' suffering.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner fled across the Himalayas into India after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959. He went on to become the prime minister of the exiled Tibetan community following his retirement from his political duties, reported the Economic Times.

In exile, the Dalai Lama continues his advocacies and remains as the rallying point for all Tibetans and the universally recognized force behind movement.

He expressed optimism for his eventual homecoming, saying that China "can no longer isolate itself," and that it will eventually be forced to follow the global trend towards a democratic society.

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