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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Tharpa Publications?

A: Tharpa Publications is a non-profit Buddhist publisher that is part of the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU). It was established in 1983 with the main purpose of publishing books by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The word 'Tharpa' (pronounced 'Tar-pa') means 'Liberation' and was suggested by Geshe Kelsang. Click here for more information.


Q: I know nothing about Buddhism, which books do you recommend for a beginner?

A: We produce a range of books for beginners, which are headlined in our section of the website, all of which require no previous knowledge of Buddhism:

  • Introduction to Buddhism is a clear and inspiring explanation of key Buddhist principles.
  • Modern Buddhism is a special presentation of Buddha's teachings on compassion and wisdom that communicates their essence in a way that is easy to understand and put into practice.
  • The New Meditation Handbook is an explanation of twenty-one essential Buddhist meditations that guide us step-by-step towards enlightenment.
  • How to Transform Your Life includes practical advice for transforming our mind, our relationships and our life.
  • How to Solve our Human Problems explains how Buddha's teachings can help us to solve basic human problems such as anger.
  • Mahamudra Tantra is a clear and simple introduction to the very essence of Buddhist Tantric meditation.
Click here for more information about where to begin.


Q: I want to learn to meditate, which books or CDs do you recommend?

A: The New Meditation Handbook is an explanation of twenty-one essential Buddhist meditations that guide us step-by-step towards enlightenment, and also includes practical information on how to begin and sustain a daily meditation practice. Our series includes a popular range of guided meditation CDs, which are a perfect way to learn to meditate. They include explanatory booklets with techniques on how to improve our meditation practice. The Meditation section of our website includes some basic information about what is meditation, meditation for beginners and a simple breathing meditation .


Q: I'm placing an order for an NKT Buddhist Centre. What should I enter in the 'Purchase Order' field at checkout?

A: You can enter whatever you like here. The information you enter as a purchase order number is entirely for your own use. It will appear on your order confirmation and invoice. Your Administrative Director or Treasurer may like to provide you with a purchase order number so they can match up the Tharpa invoice with their own record of the purchase.


Q: When will I receive my order?

A: We will endeavour to dispatch goods within 1 week of receipt of your order.
Delivery times, however, cannot be guaranteed, especially in the case of severe weather conditions or other circumstances which delay deliveries by the mail services. If you have not received your order within 7 working days, and have received no notification from us giving reasons for delay, please contact us by telephone or email. (For deliveries outside South Africa, please allow 14 to 21 working days.)


Q: How much will postage cost?

A: All orders are via PostNet within South Africa and a minimum order R115 applies. For parcels less than or equal to 5 kg, the cost is R120 plus R20 per kg thereafter. If you want to calculate the cost of postage, add your chosen items to your cart and use the ”Shipping Estimate” feature to calculate the cost. Collection is from your nearest PostNet.


Q: How do I return an item?

A: We want you to be delighted every time you shop with us. However, occasionally we know that you may want to return items. Provided that goods are returned to us in accordance with the conditions explained under our Terms and conditions , and within 30 days of receipt of your written notice of cancellation, we will refund any monies paid to us in respect of the cancelled order.


Q: I'm having problems placing my order over the Internet. What should I do?

A: If you are having problems ordering online you can send us an email. Our email address is Alternatively you can telephone us during working hours on +27(0)31 266 0096.


Q: Can you recommend any meditation groups to learn to meditate?

A: The New Kadampa Tradition has over 1,000 meditation groups in many major cities throughout the World. To find your nearest group please click here


Q: I'm having problems with my download. What should I do?

A: If you have purchased a downloadable product but cannot access the downloads please ensure that you have enabled your account.

New accounts need to be 'enabled' by clicking on the link in the confirmation email sent when you set up your account. Occasionally these emails are filtered into the spam folder so please check in there if you cannot find it in your email inbox.

Once you have enabled your account by clicking on the link in the email you should be able to access your downloads by logging in to and going to 'My downloadable products'.

Click here if you need more detailed instructions on how to access your download.

If you have followed these steps but still cannot access your download please  contact us .


Q: Why does Tharpa only sell books written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso?

A: There are many traditions of Buddhism and all are equally precious. The presentation of Buddha's teachings may change, but it is important that the lineage of these teachings remains pure and unbroken. The main purpose in establishing Tharpa Publications was to spread the Kadampa Buddhist teachings of the lineage of Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa as specially presented for the modern world by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.


Q: What happens to the profits from the sale of Tharpa products?

A: All profits received by Tharpa Publications are donated to the NKT-International Temples Project, which is part of the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union, a non-profit charity registered in England and established for public benefit.