Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla: Life and Teaching

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Abstract


The article details the biography and teachings of Śāntarakṣita (8th century), a famous Buddhist scholar and enlightener, a leading figure in the spread of Buddhism in Tibet and his closest student Kamalaśīla (also 8th century). Śāntarakṣita is the author of several treatises, including “Compendium of Entities” - “Tattvasaṃgraha”, a monumental work that can rightfully be called the “Buddhist Philosophical Encyclopedia”, consisting of 26 sections (the Tibetan translation contains 31 sections), in which all key philosophical schools of India, namely: Mīmāṃsa, Vedānta, Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Lokāyata, Jainism and Buddhism of other sects) are analyzed and subsequently refuted. Kamalaśīla is a direct student of Śāntarakṣita, the author of a “word-to-word” commentary on the teacher's “Tattvasaṃgraha”. The article also dwells on the history of the discovery and study of the “Tattvasaṃgraha”. The novelty of the study lies in a full-length encyclopedic presentation of the philosophy of Śāntarakṣita and his immediate student Kamalaśīla. A special contribution of the author to the study of the topic is the demonstration that Śāntarakṣita, as a representative of the Yogācāra-Madhyamaka school, worked in the genre of synthesis of the teachings of Yogācāra (Vijñānavāda) and Madhyamaka (Śūnyavāda), and in the field of epistemology he continued the theories of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti.


About the authors

Lev I. Titlin

RAS Institute of Philosophy

Author for correspondence.
Email: titlus@gmail.com
12 build 1, Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation

PhD (philosophy), Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Oriental Studies

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