Dignaga

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Acharya Dignāga

Dignaga (Skt. Dignāga; Tib. ཕྱོགས་ཀྱི་གླང་པོ་, Wyl. phyogs kyi glang po; Tib. chok kyi langpo) (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 each surpassed their teacher in a particular field. Dignaga was more learned than Vasubandhu in pramāṇa. His reputation as unequalled in debate was cemented through his celebrated victory over the brahmin named Sudurjaya at Nālandā monastery.

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

Writings

His early (extant) works were:

  • The Abhidharmakośa-marma-pradīpa - a condensed summary of Vasubandhu's seminal work
  • A brief summary of the Aṣṭasāhasrika-prajñāpāramitā sūtra

His remaining works were all pertaining to logic:

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

Further Reading

  • Hattori, Masaaki. Dignāga, On Perception. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1968.
  • Hayes, Richard P. Dignāga on the Interpretation of Signs. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer, 1988.