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Buddhist Scholars

09-JUL-2014 17:57

    The objectives of the Buddhist teaching were to secure the salvation of individual or nirvana. Buddhism made an important impact on the society by keeping its doors open to women and Shudras. Buddhism taught people not to take things for granted but to argue and judge them on merits. Buddhism promoted rationalism among peoples. The Buddhists created a new language Hybrid Sanskrit by mixing Pali with Sanskrit.

    The prominent Buddhist scholars are as following:

    Asanga and Vasubandhu:

    Asanga and Vasubandhu were half-brothers and they were from Peshawar in Pakistan. They were the proponents of Yogachara and Abhidhamma teachings. The most important work of Vasubandhu was Abhidharmamoksha.

    Asvaghosa:

    Prior to Kalidasa, Asvaghosa was considered the greatest Indian poet. In fact, he was the first Sanskrit dramatist. He was in the court of Kushana king Kanishka as a court writer and religious adviser.  His main works included Mahalankara (Book of Glory), Saundaranandakavya (describes life of Nanda) and Buddhacharita.

    Buddhaghosa:

    Buddhaghosa’s name means voice of Buddha. He lived around 5th century AD and was one of the greatest Pali scholar. He was considered one of the most important commentator of the Theravada and his life has been described in Mahavamsa and Buddhaghosuppatti. He had visited Sri Lanka from Magadha kingdom and had settled there. The most important work is Visuddhimagga.

    Chandrakirti:

    He was a scholar at the Nalanda University and was a disciple of Nagarjuna. His main work was Prasannapada.

    Dharmakirti:

    He lived around 7th century AD and theorist of Buddhist Sankya. He was a poet as well as a teacher at the Nalanda University. Seven Treatises was written on Valid Cognition by Dharmakirti.

    Dinnaga:

    He is known as the founder of Buddhist logic.

    Nagarjuna:

    Nagarjuna was contemporary of Satavahana King Gautmiputra. He was the founder of Madhyamika school of Mahayan Buddhism. His most important work is Mulamadhyamakakarika. It means Fundamental verses on the Middle way. He propagated a theory known as Shunyawad or Emptiness.

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