Shantideva (sometimes Śāntideva; Tib: ཞི་བ་ལྷ། (Shyiwa Lha, Wylie: zhi ba lha); Zh: 寂天) was an 8th-century Indian Buddhist scholar at Nalanda University and an adherent of the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna.

The Chan Ssu Lun of the Chinese Madhyamika school identifies two different individuals given the name "Shantideva": the founder of the Avaivartika Sangha in the 6th century, and a later Shantideva who studied at Nalanda in the 8th century who appears to be the source of the Tibetan biographies. Archaeological discoveries support this thesis.[1][2]

Shantideva was born as a Brahmin.[3]



The Śikṣāsamuccaya (“Training Anthology”) is a prose work in nineteen chapters. It is organized as a commentary on twenty-seven short mnemonic verses known as the Śikṣāsamuccaya Kārikā. It consists primarily of quotations (of varying length) from sūtras, authoritative texts considered to be the word of the Buddha — generally those sūtras associated with Mahāyāna tradition, including the Samadhiraja Sutra.[4]


Shantideva is particularly renowned as the author of the Bodhicaryavatara (sometimes also called the Bodhisattvacaryavatara). An English translation of the Sanskrit version of the Bodhicaryavatara is available online, as well as in print in a variety of translations, sometimes glossed as A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way Of Life or Entering the Path of Enlightenment. It is a long poem describing the process of enlightenment from the first thought to full buddhahood and is still studied by Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists today. A commentary by Pema Chodron was published in 2005 as "No Time To Lose". An introduction to and commentary on the Bodhicaryavatara by the 14th Dalai Lama called "A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night" was printed in 1994. A commentary on the Patience chapter was provided by the Dalai Lama in "Healing Anger" 1997, and his commentaries on the Wisdom chapter can be found in "Practicing Wisdom" 2004. Also Geshe Kelsang Gyatso published a translation titled "Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life" in 2002.[5] His line by line commentary to the entire root text is entitled "Meaningful to Behold - The Bodhisattva's Way of Life " 1980.[6] His extensive commentary to the patience chapter is called "How to Solve our Human Problems", 2005.[7]


  1. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh
  2. Bodhicaryavatara Historical Project
  3. P. xl The Bodhicaryāvatāra By Śāntideva, Kate Crosby, Andrew Skilton
  4. Amod Lele, "Śāntideva," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  5. Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life: How to Enjoy a Life of Great Meaning and Altruism, a translation of Shantideva's Bodhisattvacharyavatara with Neil Elliott, Tharpa Publications (2002) ISBN 978-0-948006-88-3
  6. Meaningful to Behold: The Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Tharpa Publications (5th. ed., 2008) ISBN 978-1-9066651-1-1
  7. How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths, Tharpa Publications (2005, US ed., 2007) ISBN 978-09789067-1-9


  • Shantideva. The Way of the Bodhisattva. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. Boston: Shambala, 1997. ISBN 1-57062-253-1.
  • Shantideva. Guide to the Bodhisattva's way of life : how to enjoy a life of great meaning and altruism. Translation from Tibetan into English by Neil Elliot. Ulverston (UK) ; Glen Spey, N.Y. : Tharpa, 2002. ISBN 9780948006890
  • Chödrön, Pema. No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva. (Commentary on Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life). Boston: Shambhala 2005. ISBN 1 590 30135 8
  • Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama). A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night: A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. (Commentary on Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life). Boston : Shambhala, 1994. ISBN 0877739714
  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. "Meaningful to Behold -The Bodhisattva's Way of Life" Ulverston (UK) ; Glen Spey, N.Y. : Tharpa, 1980. ISBN 0948006358
  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. How to Solve Our Human Problems, Tharpa Publications (2005, US ed., 2007) ISBN 978-09789067-1-9
  • Crosby, K. & Skilton,A. The Bodhicaryāvatāra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1996. ISBN 0-19-282979-3.
  • Batchelor.S. A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. 1979.

External links


id:Shantidevahu:Sántidévaru:Шантидэва sr:Шантидева th:ศานติเทวะ vi:Tịch Thiên zh:寂天