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Taranatha (तारानाथ) (1575–1634) was a historian and Lama of the Jonang school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is widely considered its most remarkable scholar and exponent.



Taranatha was a prolific writer and a renowned scholar. His best known work is the 143-folio History of Buddhism in India (dpal dus kyi 'khor lo'i chos bskor gyi byung khungs nyer mkho) of 1608,[1][2][3] which has been published in English.

Other works are The Golden Rosary, Origins of the Tantra of the Bodhisattva Tara of 1604 which has also been translated into English. He was an advocate of the Shentong view of emptiness and wrote many texts and commentaries on this subject. English-language translation publications of his works on Shentong are The Essence of Other-Emptiness[4] (which includes a translation of his Twenty One Profound Meanings (Zab don gсer gcig pa)) and his Commentary on the Heart Sutra.[5] In 1614 Taranatha founded the important Jonangpa monastery Takten Dhamchöling, in the Tsangpo Valley about 200 miles west of Lhasa. After the forceful take-over by the Gelug in 1642, it became known as Ganden Puntsokling.

External links


  1. Synopsis by Nalinaksha Dutt, Chap. I-XIII Archived March 4, 2009,
  2. Chap. XIV-XXVI Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dharmakirti, Shantideva and Shri Harsha Archived March 4, 2009,
  3. Chap. XXVII-XLIV Accounts of Pala, Sena kings, Vikramshila, Turushkas and status of Buddhism in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia Archived May 28, 2008,
  4. The Essence of Other-Emptiness by Taranatha, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins (Snow Lion, 2007) ISBN 1559392738
  5. Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra by Adele Tomlin (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2017) ISBN 938702301X