Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Six Ornaments of the Southern Continent Main Page

Indian Scholar

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Identification Key
- Outline Page
- Figures List
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- Seventeen Scholars of Nalanda
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- Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones
- Monastics: Three Visual Types
- Patchwork Robes: Part 1
- Patchwork Robes: Part 2

The Six Ornaments: Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandu, Dignaga and Dharmakirti. The Two Excellent Ones: Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha.

The Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones of the Southern Continent is the name given to the group of the most important Indian Buddhist scholars of the Mahayana Tradition - according to a Tibetan Buddhist assessment. The two foremost are Nagarjuna, founder of the Madyamaka Tradition, and Asanga, founder of the Yogachara tradition. Their two principal students were Aryadeva and Vasubhandu respectively, followed by the two, Dharmakirti and Dignaga. These six constitute the 'six ornaments.' The 'two excellent ones' are Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha. The 'southern continent' refers to India, or the human continent of Jambudvipa in the Buddhist cosmological system where there are four continents that surround the central mountain (Sumeru) of a small world system. The Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones are also found in the various lists of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas.

Jeff Watt 5-2003 [updated 5-2017, 6-2020]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).