Tharpa Publications is the publishing arm of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and only sells books or translations by Ven. Geshe Kelsang. There is nothing unusual or wrong with this because, for Kadampa practitioners, these 23 books form the basis of all the three NKT study programs.

Each book contains commentary to a root text by Buddha Shakyamuni, Je Tsongkhapa, or another greatly realized Buddhist master. For example, Ocean of Nectar contains the translation of Chandrakirti’s entire root text Guide to the Middle WayUniversal Compassion is a commentary to Geshe Chekhawa’s Training the Mind in Seven Points, and The New Eight Steps to Happiness is a commentary to Geshe Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind.

Many of the books are structured like Dharma scriptures because they are based on the outlines that come from Je Tsongkhapa’s texts and they contain a huge number of quotations from Buddhist scriptures and references to other Buddhist texts. In short, they are authentic and authoritative teachings of the Buddha and many other respected Buddhist Masters; they are neither a new creation nor the exclusive work of Geshe Kelsang.

Tharpa Publications

By selling only Geshe Kelsang’s books, Tharpa Publications is not suggesting that these are the only valid Buddhist texts or that Geshe Kelsang is the only valid Buddhist teacher. There are many Dharma books in this world and many wonderful teachers. If an NKT student or anyone else wants to read books by other teachers, they can and do easily obtain them from any good bookstore.

For all the criticism of the NKT and Geshe Kelsang, there is rarely any criticism of Geshe Kelsang’s books, which are highly praised throughout the Buddhist world as being authoritative and authentic. These books are the Dharma at the heart of the study programs, and the study programs are at the heart of the NKT, which indicates that the NKT is an authentic and respectable Mahayana Buddhist tradition.

See also The books of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and Are New Kadampa Tradition students allowed to read other books.