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Chandrakīrti (600–c. 650), (Devanagari: चन्द्रकीर्ति; Chinese: 月称 Yuèchēng; Japanese: 月称 Gesshō; Tibetan: ཟླ་བ་གྲགས་པ) was an Indian scholar at Nālandā Mahāvihāra. He was a disciple of Nāgārjuna and a commentator on his works and those of his main disciple, Āryadeva. He was born into a Brahmin family in Samanta, in South India.[1]

Teachings and works[edit]

Chandrakīrti was the most famous member of what the Tibetans came to call the dbU-ma thal-'gyur, an approach to the interpretation of Madhyamaka philosophy sometimes back-translated into Sanskrit as Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka or rendered in English as the "Consequentialist" or "Dialecticist" school.[2]

In his writings Chandrakīrti defended Buddhapālita against Bhāvaviveka, criticizing the latter's acceptance of autonomous syllogism. He also offered refutations of a number of earlier Buddhist views such as the Vijñānavāda or Idealist school.[3]

Chandrakīrti's works include the Prasannapadā—Sanskrit for "clear words"—a commentary on Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā and the Madhyamakāvatāra (his supplement to Nāgārjuna's text) and its auto-commentary. The Madhyamakāvatāra is used as the main sourcebook by most of the Tibetan monastic colleges in their studies of 'emptiness' (Sanskrit: śūnyatā) and the philosophy of the Madhyamaka school.

Chandrakīrti the latter[edit]

The Tibetan translation of Caryāpada provided the name of its compiler as Munidatta, that its Sanskrit commentary is Caryāgītikośavṛtti, and that its Tibetan 'translator' (Tibetan: Lotsawa) was Chandrakīrti. This is a later Chandrakīrti, who assisted in Tibetan translation in the Later Transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.

Major works[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ P. 298 Global History of Philosophy: The Patristic-Sutra Period, Volume 3, By John C. Plott
  2. ^ Candrakirti - Budda World. Accessed January 29, 2012.
  3. ^ Fenner, Peter G. (1983). "Chandrakīrti's refutation of Buddhist idealism." Philosophy East and West Volume 33, no.3 (July 1983) University of Hawaii Press. P.251. Source: [1] (accessed: January 21, 2008)
  4. ^ Ocean of Nectar: The True Nature of All Things, Tharpa Publications (1995) ISBN 978-0-948006-23-4


  • Dan Arnold, Buddhists, Brahmins and Belief: Epistemology in South Asian Philosophy of Religion
  • C.W. Huntington, The Emptiness of Emptiness: An Introduction to Early Indian Madhyamaka
  • Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Ocean of Nectar: The True Nature of All Things, a verse by verse commentary to Chandrakirti's Guide to the Middle Way, Tharpa Publications (1995) ISBN 978-0-948006-23-4

External links[edit]

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