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Candrakīrti(c. 570 - c. 640)

An important Madhyamaka master and commentator on the works of Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva, associated especially with what would later be known as the Prāsaṅgika branch of Madhyamaka. Very little is known about his life; according to Tibetan sources, he was from south India and a student of Kamalabuddhi. He may have been a monk of Nālandā. He wrote commentaries on Nāgārjuna’s Yuktiṣaṣṭikā and Śūnyatāsaptati as well as Āryadeva's Catuḥśataka. His two most famous and influential works, however, are his Prasannapadā (Clear Words), which is a commentary on Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, and his Madhyamakāvatāra (Entrance to the Middle Way). (Source: "Candrakīrti." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 165. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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"Buddha nature was taught merely as a means of temporarily easing ordinary persons of their fear of selflessness and of attracting non-Buddhists." Kano, K. Buddha-Nature and Emptiness, p. 9.

Affiliations & relations

  • Nalanda · religious affiliation
  • Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka · religious affiliation
  • Nāgārjuna · teacher
  • Āryadeva · teacher