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Buddhist monk.poet, scholar, and adherent of the Prāsaṇgika branch of the Madhyamaka school. Little is know with certainty about his life, although there are many legendary accounts. According to these he was born a prince but (like the Buddha) renounced his social position to follow the religious life. He was particularly devoted to Mañjuśrī.the Bodhisattva of wisdom, who instructed Śāntideva through dreams and visions. He became adviser to a king and subsequently a Buddhist monk. In later life he was based at Nālandā university where he wrote on and taught basic Mahāyāna doctrines from a Madhyamaka viewpoint. As a monk he was revered for his modesty although possessing great learning and magic powers. Nothing is recorded about his death and many Buddhists believe he remains active in the world doing good in the manner of a true Bodhisattva. Two of his works survive in Sanskrit.the Compendium of Discipline (Skt., Śīkṣā-samuccaya) and Entering the Path of Enlightenment (Skt., Bodhicaryāvatāra).

Subjects: Buddhism.

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