Dignaga

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Acharya Dignāga

Dignaga (Skt. Dignāga; Tib. Chokyi Langpo; Wyl. phyogs kyi glang po) (circa 6th century AD) was one of the six great commentators (the ‘Six Ornaments’) on the Buddha’s teachings.

He was one of the four great disciples of Vasubandhu who excelled their teacher each in a particular field. He excelled him in pramāṇa.

His early (extant) works were:

  • The Abhidharmakoša-marma-pradīpa - a condensed summary of Vasubandhu's seminal work
  • A brief summary of the Aṣṭa-sāhasrika-prajñā-pāramitā-sūtra

His remaining works were all pertaining to logic:

  • Ālambana-parīkṣā
  • Trikāla-parikṣa
  • Hetu-cakra-samarthana
  • Nyāyamukha
  • Pramāṇa-samuccaya, which was a condensation of all these works

His reputation as unequalled in debate was cemented through his celebrated victory over the bramhin named Sudurjaya at Nālandā monastery.

Among his disciples was Išvarasena, who later became the teacher of Dharmakīrti.