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Ashvaghosha (Skt. Aśvaghoṣa; Tib. རྟ་དབྱངས་, Tayang; Wyl. rta dbyangs) (b. ca. first century) — originally a Hindu master, known as Durdharṣakāla, Bhavideva (bha bi lha), or Mātṛceta [1], he became a Buddhist after being defeated in debate by Aryadeva[2] at Nalanda University. He went on to compose many texts in beautiful Sanskrit verse, including the Buddhacharita, the most famous work on the life of Buddha. He authored the important Fifty Verses on the Lama.


  1. Some sources state that Mātṛceta was in fact a disciple of Ashvagosha.
  2. This is according to Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India. According to other sources, he was defeated by Pārśva.

Further Reading

  • Lobsang N. Tsonawa, Indian Buddhist Pandits from The Jewel Garland of Buddhist History (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1985).
  • Lama Chimpa, Alaka Chattopadhyaya and Debiprasad Chatterji, Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India (Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass, 1990), pages 124-126 & 131-136.

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