Chandrakīrti () (1) ［月称］ (c. 600–650) ( Gesshō): A scholar of the Mādhyamika school in India. In the early sixth century, Buddhapālita and Bhāvaviveka wrote commentaries on Nāgārjuna’s Verses on the Middle Way ( Madhyamaka-kārikā). The differences in their approach and explanation of the truth of non-substantiality resulted in the division of the Mādhyamika school into the Prāsangika school led by Buddhapālita and the Svātantrika school led by Bhāvaviveka. Chandrakīrti inherited the doctrine of Buddhapālita and criticized the doctrine of Bhāvaviveka, thus completing the doctrine of the Prāsangika school. For this reason, he is regarded as the effective founder of the Prāsangika school. He asserted that the truth of non-substantiality is beyond the reach of logical demonstration and is attainable only by practice. The most important of his works is the Prasannapadā (“The Clear Worded”), which is the only extant Sanskrit commentary on Verses on the Middle Way. Knowledge of the original Sanskrit text of Madhyamaka-kārikā is available only through the Prasannapadā, the translation and study of which have therefore been carried out with great care and interest. Chandrakīrti also wrote commentaries on Nāgārjuna’s other works and on Āryadeva’s Four-Hundred-Verse Treatise. His original work is Entering the Middle Way (Madhyamakāvatāra). These works are extant in their Tibetan translations.
(2) ［月称大臣］ ( Gasshō-daijin): Also known as Chandrayashas. A minister who served Ajātashatru, the king of Magadha in India. He is mentioned in the Nirvana Sutra. The king was suffering from virulent sores all over his body because of his offense of killing his father, Bimbisāra, a patron of Shakyamuni Buddha. His six ministers appeared in succession before him, each exhorting him to consult a different one of the six non-Buddhist teachers for a remedy. Chandrakīrti was the first of these ministers to address the king. He urged Ajātashatru to see Pūrana, the non-Buddhist teacher known for his denial that there is a causal relationship between one’s deeds and what one experiences as a result. See also six ministers.