Kamalashila

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Kamalashila

Kamalashila (Skt. Kamalaśīla; Tib. པདྨའི་ངང་ཚུལ་, Pemé Ngang Tsul; Wyl. pad+ma'i ngang tshul) (c. 740-795) — this master was the main disciple of the great abbot Shantarakshita. He famously defeated a Chinese master of the Hashang school (whose personal name is sometimes given as Mahayana Hashang) in the great debate at Samyé, which took place around 792 AD, thereby ensuring that the Tibetans followed the Indian tradition of Madhyamika which had flourished at the great Nalanda Monastery. He died in Tibet in around 795.[1]

Principal Writings

His most famous compositions are the three texts entitled Stages of Meditation (Skt. Bhāvanākrama), on which H.H. the Dalai Lama has taught several times.

His other works include:

  • Commentary on the Difficult Points of the Compendium of Reality (Tattvasaṃgraha-pañjikā)
  • Commentary on the Difficult Points of the Ornament of the Middle Way (Skt. Madhyamakālaṅkārapañjikā; Tib. དབུ་མའི་རྒྱན་གྱི་དཀའ་འགྲེལ་, Wyl. dbu ma'i rgyan gyi dka' 'grel)
  • Light of the Middle Way (Skt. Madhyamakāloka; Tib. དབུ་མ་གསང་བ་, Wyl. dbu ma snang ba)

Notes

  1. Seyfort Ruegg, Literature, p. 94

Further Reading

  • Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Essential Practice, translated by Jules B. Levinson (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002)
  • David Seyfort Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1981), pages 93-99