They are based in New York.
These include basic Buddhist meditation books such as The New Meditation Handbook, books on the Buddhist way of life such as Universal Compassion, books on Buddhist philosophy and psychology such as Heart of Wisdom, and books on Buddhist Tantra.
According to its website, "Tharpa publishes the works of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a contemporary Buddhist master who presents the essential practices of Buddhism in a way that is easy to understand and practise in modern everyday life."
- A Tibetan Buddhist monk and scholar; Geshe Kelsang has written twenty books that aim to provide Western Dharma practitioners with essential Buddhist texts; some are books for beginners such as Transform Your Life and How to Solve Our Human Problems, books about the Mahayana path like Universal Compassion (Lojong), and books on Vajrayana (Tantra) like Mahamudra Tantra; (born 1931, in Tibet).
A number of Kelsang Gyatso's textbooks have received favourable reviews.
Bluck writes that "The three most popular works—Introduction to Buddhism, The New Meditation Handbook and Transform Your Life—have sold 165,000 copies between them, showing their appeal far beyond the movement itself."
- It is remarkable that the author has managed to give us so much information in only a few hundred pages.
The Dalai Lama contributed a foreword to Buddhism in the Tibetan Tradition, while Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche (who each held the position of Ganden Tripa) also provided forewords for his books Meaningful to Behold (which was dedicated to the long life of the Dalai Lama) and Clear Light of Bliss (which was dedicated to the late Trijang Rinpoche), respectively.
Kyabje Ling Rinpoche refers to Kelsang Gyatso as "this most precious Spiritual Guide," while Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche refers to him as "The excellent expounder, the great Spiritual Master Kelsang Gyatso."
Tsem Tulku praised Kelsang Gyatso and his publications: "The great master, the Kadampa Geshe, Kelsang Gyatso, you can see very clearly his works, his centers, his books, his pure vows, and how many thousands of people he affects."
Tharpa Publications is part of the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union, which is an international Buddhist charity set up for building Buddhist temples for world peace in every major city of the world.
Preserving the Gelugpa tradition
Waterhouse notes that "All pictorial material produced by the NKT is carefully controlled to maintain the accuracy in the smallest detail":
- A Bath printer responsible for the production of some of the NKT's most recent publications, told me that the movement's representatives had been so particular about the reproduction of some of the illustrations in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's Guide to Dakini Land, that the whole print run had to be repeated because a moon symbol had been omitted from one of the diagrams.
Fourteen of Tharpa Publications classic textbooks are used as the basis of the New Kadampa Tradition's Foundation Program and Teacher Training Program, which have tens of thousands of Buddhist students worldwide.
The New Kadampa Tradition's Teacher Training Program is a rigorous "multilayered educational" study program of Buddha's teachings of Sutra and Tantra presented in accordance with the tradition of the Tibetan master Je Tsongkhapa (AD 1357-1419), designed for those training as Buddhist teachers.
Losing money each year from 1985 onwards, Tharpa Publications "broke even" for the first time in 1996. Tharpa Publications claims that, since that time, the author has donated all royalties from Tharpa's books to non-profit organizations that promote Buddhism. Firstly he gave these to Manjushri Institute:
Each book also contains the information: "Profits received by Tharpa Publications from the sale of this book will be donated to the NKT-International Temples Project" which is "a Buddhist Charity, Building for World Peace."
- Meaningful to Behold: The Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Tharpa Publications (5th. ed., 2008) ISBN 978-1-906665-11-1
- Clear Light of Bliss: Tantric Meditation Manual, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1992) ISBN 978-0-948006-21-0
- Heart of Wisdom: An Explanation of the Heart Sutra, Tharpa Publications (4th. ed., 2001) ISBN 978-0-948006-77-7
- Universal Compassion: Inspiring Solutions for Difficult Times, Tharpa Publications (4th. ed., 2002) ISBN 978-0-948006-72-2
- The New Meditation Handbook: Meditations to Make Our Life Happy and Meaningful, Tharpa Publications (2003) ISBN 978-0-9817277-1-4
- Joyful Path of Good Fortune: The Complete Buddhist Path to Enlightenment, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1995) ISBN 978-0-948006-46-3
- Guide to Dakini Land: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Buddha Vajrayogini, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1996) ISBN 978-0-948006-39-5
- The Bodhisattva Vow: A Practical Guide to Helping Others, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1995) ISBN 978-0-948006-50-0
- Heart Jewel: The Essential Practices of Kadampa Buddhism, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1997) ISBN 978-0-948006-56-2
- Great Treasury of Merit: How to Rely Upon a Spiritual Guide, Tharpa Publications (1992) ISBN 978-0-948006-22-7
- Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 2001, US ed. 2008) ISBN 978-0-9789067-7-1
- Understanding the Mind: The Nature and Power of the Mind, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1997) ISBN 978-0-948006-78-4
- Tantric Grounds and Paths: How to Enter, Progress on, and Complete the Vajrayana Path, Tharpa Publications (1994) ISBN 978-0-948006-33-3
- Ocean of Nectar: The True Nature of All Things, Tharpa Publications (1995) ISBN 978-0-948006-23-4
- Essence of Vajrayana: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Heruka Body Mandala, Tharpa Publications (1997) ISBN 978-0-948006-48-7
- Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully: The Profound Practice of Transference of Consciousness, Tharpa Publications (1999) ISBN 978-0-948006-63-0
- Eight Steps to Happiness: The Buddhist Way of Loving Kindness, Tharpa Publications (2000) ISBN 978-0-9817277-8-3
- Transform Your Life: A Blissful Journey, Tharpa Publications (2001, US ed. 2007) ISBN 978-0-9789067-4-0
- How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths, Tharpa Publications (2005, US ed., 2007) ISBN 978-0-9789067-1-9
- Mahamudra Tantra: The Supreme Heart Jewel Nectar, Tharpa Publications (2005) ISBN 978-0-948006-93-7
- Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life: How to Enjoy a Life of Great Meaning and Altruism, a translation of Shantideva's Bodhisattvacharyavatara with Neil Elliott, Tharpa Publications (2002) ISBN 978-0-948006-88-3
The 'half-drop' repeat patterns used in some NKT-IKBU artwork as well as sadhana covers, such as the peony-style flower and emblem of Manjushri (a sword and book upon a lotus) were designed by Robert Beer.