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Mahasiddha Chandragomin, Black Schist, Bangladesh, 12th century
An 11th-century Shisyalekha manuscript, believed to be based on text authored in 5th-century CE by Chandragomin. It is a Buddhist Sanskrit text in the Devanagari script discovered in Nepal.

Chandragomin (Skt. Candragomin; Tib ཙནྡྲ་གོ་མིན་) was an Indian Buddhist lay practitioner (upasaka), scholar and poet.

According to the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Chandragomin lived in the 5th century and made substantial contributions to Sanskrit grammar, founding what was known as the Cāndra school.[1] The Princeton Dictionary also states that he was one of the greatest poets of Indian Buddhism, and the author of the play Lokānanda (about the bodhisattva king Maṇicūḍa).[1]

Tibetan sources identify Chandragomin as a scholar-poet who lived in the 7th century and engaged in a famous debate with the Nalanda scholar Chandrakirti.[2] According to contemporary scholar Mark Tatz, "the philosopher–poet Candragomin, who flourished in the latter three quarters of the seventh century, is several centuries later than the grammarian Cāndra. Chandragomin may, as have other poets, done a study of grammar, but this is not the sūtra that has survived as the basis of Cāndra grammar."[3] Tatz suggests that this later Chandragomin came from Eastern Bengal.[3]

According to the Tibetan tradition, Chandragomin and Chandrakirti engaged in a famous debate at Nalanda university that lasted for many years. In this debate, Chandragomin advocated the Vijñānavāda view, and Chandrakirti advocated the Madhyamaka view.[4]

Works attributed to Chandragomin include:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Candragomin.
  2. Nearly all Tibetan sources place Chandragomin in the 7th century. See for example:
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tatz, Mark (1982). "The Life of Candragomin in Tibetan Historical Tradition". The Tibet Journal. 7: 3–22. 
  4. For a traditional description of the debate, see:
  5. See Chandragomin: Praise in Confession

Further reading

External links