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Aryadeva (Skt. Āryadeva; Tib. འཕགས་པ་ལྷ་, Pakpa Lha, Wyl. ‘phags pa lha) (second/third century) — one of the six great commentators (the ‘Six Ornaments’) on the Buddha's teachings. He was a disciple of Nagarjuna and devoted his life to continuing his master’s work, consolidating the Madhyamika tradition. He is also counted among the eighty-four mahasiddhas.


  • Four Hundred Verses
  • Lamp that Integrates the Practices (Skt. Caryāmelāpaka-pradīpa; Tib. སྤྱོད་པ་བསྡུས་པའི་སྒྲོན་མ་, Wyl. spyod pa bsdus pa'i sgron ma), a treatise on the Guhyasamaja Tantra.
སྤྱོད་པ་བསྡུས་པའི་སྒྲོན་མ་, spyod pa bsdus pa'i sgron ma
  • Shatashastra, which only remains in its Chinese translation by Kumārajīva.

Quotations from Four Hundred Verses

བསོད་ནམས་ཆུང་ངུ་ཆོས་འདི་ལ། །

ཐེ་ཚོམ་ཟ་བར་ཡང་མི་འགྱུར། །
ཐེ་ཚོམ་ཟ་བར་ཙམ་ཞིག་གིས། །

སྲིད་པ་ཧྲུལ་པོར་བྱས་པར་འགྱུར། །

Those with little merit will not
Even wonder about these things.
But merely to entertain doubts
About samsara will make it fall apart.

Aryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, VIII, 5

བསོད་ནམས་མིན་པ་དང་པོར་བཟློག །

བར་དུ་བདག་ནི་བཟློག་པ་དང༌། །
ཕྱི་ནས་ལྟ་བ་ཀུན་བཟློག་པ། །

གང་གིས་ཤེས་དེ་མཁས་པ་ཡིན། །

At first, turn away from non-virtue,
In the middle, dispel misconceptions of self,
Finally, go beyond all philosophical views—
One who understands this is wise indeed.

Āryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, VIII, 15

དངོས་པོ་གཅིག་གི་ལྟ་པོ་གང༌། །

དེ་ནི་ཀུན་གྱི་ལྟ་པོར་བཤད། །
གཅིག་གི་སྟོང་ཉིད་གང་ཡིན་པ། །

དེ་ནི་ཀུན་གྱི་སྟོང་པ་ཉིད། །

Whoever sees the nature of one thing
Is said to see the nature of everything.
For the emptiness of one thing
Is the emptiness of everything.

Aryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, VIII, 16

Further Reading

  • David Seyfort Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1981
  • Lobsang N. Tsonawa, Indian Buddhist Pandits from The Jewel Garland of Buddhist History, Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1985.
  • Christian Wedemeyer, Vajrayāna & Its Doubles: A Critical Historiography, Exposition, and Translation of the Tantric Works of Āryadeva, PhD dissertation, Columbia University (New York 1999).

External Links