Paṇḍita (Sanskrit; Tibetan: khepa; Wyl: mkhas pa) was a title awarded to scholars who have mastered the five sciences (Sanskrit: pañcavidyāsthāna; Tib. rigné chenpo nga; Wyl. rig gnas chen po lnga). It is used especially for the master scholars of ancient India. An exceptionally great scholar is given the title of mahapandita.
The five sciences are:
- science of language (śabdavidyā),
- science of logic (hetuvidyā),
- science of medicine (cikitsāvidyā),
- science of fine arts and crafts (śilakarmasthānavidyā), and
- science of spirituality (adhyātmavidyā).
The stipulation can be traced to (but may well predate) the Mahāyāna-sūtrālamkāra-kārikā, which states: "Without becoming a scholar in the five sciences, not even the supreme sage can become omniscient. For the sake of refuting and supporting others, and for the sake of knowing everything himself, he makes an effort in these [five sciences]."
In Tibet, the Sakya Pandita was a well-known teacher who carried this title.
|This article includes content from Pandita on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0.|