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Candrakīrti (600–c. 650), (Devanagari: चन्द्रकीर्ति, Tib. Dawa Drakpa) was a khenpo of Nālandā Mahāvihāra and a disciple of Nāgārjuna and a commentator on his works and those of his main disciple, Āryadeva. Candrakīrti 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.

Chandrakirti [zla ba grags pa] (Wylie transliterized) Candrakīrti (Sanskrit) This 7th century Indian scholar of the Madhyamaka school of thought defended Buddhapālita against Bhāvaviveka, criticizing the latter’s acceptance of autonomous syllogism. As a result of Candrakīrti's interpretation of Nāgārjuna's view, a new school of Madhyamaka known as Prasangika (‘Consequentialist’). Chandrakirti’s works include the Prasannapadā - a Sanskrit term, meaning Clear Words' - the highly acclaimed commentary on Nagarjuna’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.

Fenner (1983: p. 251) states that:

In the seventh-century Buddhist tract Madhyamakāvatāra (Introduction to the Middle Way...) Candrakīrti establishes the Mādhyamika system of thought by refuting the tenets of various Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophies. In the course of these refutations he criticizes the Vijñānavāda or Idealist school of Buddhism.[1]


Chandrakirti the latter

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 Candrakīrti, who assisted in Tibetan translation in the Later Transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.

Major works


If, by trying to understand the truth, you dispel the misunderstandings of some people and thereby some philosophies are damaged - that cannot be taken as criticizing the views of others.


See also


  1. ^ Fenner, Peter G. (1983). "Candrakīrti'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)
  2. ^ 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



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