There is no truth whatsoever to the criticism that Geshe Kelsang Gyatso made millions of pounds from his disciples. On the contrary, Geshe Kelsang always gave away anything he received.
When Geshe Kelsang was interviewed about this in November 1996, he replied:
Tharpa Publications publishes my books. They are financially independent from me and from all my Dharma Centers around the world. From the very beginning I have given Manjushri Buddhist Centre the royalties to which I am entitled as author. I have never used even one penny from this money.
Manjushri Buddhist Centre sponsors me. I receive free accommodation and food, and a small allowance. In the beginning it was £50 a month, but gradually it increased and now it is £250. The Directors and managers of Manjushri Buddhist Centre have these records.
I have never collected money for myself. Everyone knows this, but of course some students give me presents, such as statues, money, and many other things, but I always dedicate this for the development of Dharma Centers.
Donations for Dharma Centers are received directly by the Dharma Centers themselves and do not come through me. NKT Dharma Centers have very clear financial organization: each NKT Center is financially independent and most of them are already registered charities, or non-profit organizations, in their own right. I have no authority to use any of the Centers’ monies, not even one penny! Maybe they are dreaming if they say I have received millions of pounds!
The Internal Rules of the New Kadampa Tradition, which are legally binding, show clearly that the General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition may not profit personally from NKT funds. This applies equally to the other directors, managers, teachers, and students.