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Candrakīrti (Sanskrit: चन्द्रकीर्ति; traditional Chinese: 月称; pinyin: Yuèchēng; Japanese: Gesshō; Tibetan: ཟླ་བ་གྲགས་པ་Wylie: zla ba grags pa; 600 – c. 650) was an Indian scholar at Nalanda. 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, South India.[1]

Teachings and works[edit]

Candrakīrti was the most famous member of what the Tibetans came to call the Uma Thelgyur (Wylie: dbu ma thal 'gyur) school, an approach to the interpretation of Madhyamaka philosophy typically back-translated into Sanskrit as Prāsaṅgika or rendered in English as the "Consequentialist" or "Dialecticist" school.[2]

In his writings Candrakīrti defended Buddhapālita against Bhāviveka, 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]

Candrakīrti'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 śūnyatā "emptiness" 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 lotsawa "translator" was Candrakīrti. This is a later Candrakīrti, 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, Kelsang. 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]