This chapter discusses the issue of authorship of The Adornment. Although the estimation of the Adornment's fame may be somewhat overstated, the question of its authorship remains an active topic of discussion and debate. It is a question that is central to Gendun Chopel's legacy amid the fraught sectarian politics that have persisted in Tibetan Buddhism since the Chinese invasion of 1950. Among the various evidences to be taken into account regarding the authorship of the Adornment, the first is to be found in the colophon to the Adornment itself. Composed by Chopel's Rnying ma pa disciple, Zla ba bzang po (1916–58), this colophon is in many ways quite traditional; in other ways, it raises a number of interesting questions concerning the authorship of the Adornment. The colophon intends (among more traditional purposes) to establish that Chopel is the author of the Adornment—and that Zla ba bzang po is not. The circumstances surrounding the compilation of the text are detailed, in which the notes are assembled at the instruction of Gendun Chopel, who then reviews and presumably approves them as an accurate record of his teaching.
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