The 'invention of reincarnation'? The life and writings of Karma Pakshi

A colourful painted image of a man in colourful robes sitting in lotus position surrounded by yellow and white emblems

The ‘Invention of Reincarnation’?
The life and writings of Karma Pakshi

flourish horizontal

 Wednesday 25 January 2023


 Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

  Free and all welcome, booking required

Booking for this event is now closed.

About the event

This talk explores the life of Karma Pakshi (1204-1283 CE), a Tibetan Buddhist priest to two Mongol emperors (Mӧngke and Kubilai) who is recognized as one of the earliest self-proclaimed reincarnate lamas in Tibetan history. He was influential in the development of the reincarnate lama tradition, a system that led to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas and the succession-by-reincarnation governance of Tibet for 300 years (1642–1959). During his travels in Mongolia and China, Karma Pakshi influenced Mӧngke Qan’s social policies and was tortured and imprisoned by Kubilai Qan. In ‘internal exile’ near Xanadu, Karma Pakshi composed several of his philosophical works.


Charles Manson is the subject consultant for the Tibetan Collections at the Bodleian Libraries. His research draws on Tibetan printed and manuscript texts held in the collections. He is the author of The Second Karmapa Karma Pakshi: Tibetan Mahāsiddha (2022).

Booking information

The event is free and open to all but booking is required. When you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.

Friends of the Bodleian

This talk is supported by the Friends of the Bodleian. To enjoy closer access to the Bodleian, including exclusive events and priority access to online content, join the Friends today.

For more information email


Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair-accessible.

Other events you might be interested in

flourish horizontal