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On the Dates of Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso

Or: The Radiant Sun that Banishes the Darkness of Uncertainty Concerning the Dates of the Great Master Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso

This is merely a brief note, a sort of expanded footnote, on the dates of Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso, who is best known for his guide to the pilgrimage places of Central Tibet.

Several publications in recent years have treated his dates, and that of his death in particular, as uncertain, or else they have diverged from what was once the standard chronology. This is curious, because earlier publications were unambiguous in stating that he was born in 1880 and died in 1925.

These 1880–1925 dates accord with the main biography of Katok Situ, written by Jamyang Lodrö Gyatso.[1] They appeared in E. Gene Smith’s 1969 preface (p. 17 n. 65) to the autobiography of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (1879–1941); and they are also given in the Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo, published in 1985.

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