The Dalai Lama, Tibet's Buddhist spiritual leader, believes his centuries-old religious role should end with his death instead of another "stupid" leader taking his place, the BBC reported.

Speaking with the BBC, the exiled spiritual leader contended his role does not carry the weight it used to, including political responsibilities, which in 2011 he handed over to an elected Tibetan leader who is also exiled.

"The Dalai Lama institution will cease one day. These man-made institutions will cease," the 79-year-old Dalai Lama told the BBC.

"There is no guarantee that some stupid Dalai Lama won't come next, who will disgrace himself or herself. That would be very sad. So, much better that a centuries-old tradition should cease at the time of a quite popular Dalai Lama."

The role of the Dalai Lama dates back to the 15th century, according to Reuters. Upon the leader's death, it is believed the soul is reincarnated in the body of a child.

China, which rules Tibet, vows it will choose the next spiritual leader.

But the decision to continue the role and who the next leader should be is "up to the Tibetan people," the Dalai Lama told the BBC. He fled to India from Tibet in 1959 after Chinese forces quelled a rebellion.

China has since labeled the Nobel Peace Prize winner a violent rebel trying to bring about independence for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama refutes the charges and says he only wants autonomy for Tibet and not full independence, an act that depends on Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The spiritual leader told France24 Television there were signs the president was open to granting autonomy, but he is being stalled by major "hardliner thinking" among his Communist Party.