The Tibetan spiritual leader spoke of the dilemma he faces in an interview published on Monday in The Hindu newspaper.
The Dalai Lama says if he says anything negative, it would hurt the family members of those who sacrificed their lives. Yet if he says anything in support of people killing themselves, the Chinese government will blame him.
More than three dozen Buddhist monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire over the past year in ethnic areas of China.
China has blamed the Dalai Lama for the self-immolations, which have touched Tibetans emotionally and created an image problem for Beijing.