Skip to main content

Atiśa

Atiśa (also Atīśa and Dīpaṅkaraśrījñāna; c.982–1054). Indian teacher who strongly influenced the development of Buddhism during its ‘second diffusion’ in Tibet. As one of the most revered teachers in India, Atiśa left to enter Tibet in 1042 at the invitation of King Byang.chub.ʾod, and stayed until his death.

On arrival in Tibet, Atiśa found that Buddhism was only beginning to reassert itself there following the earlier persecution by King Langdarma, and that the monks lacked guidance on interpretation of the ‘old’ tantras such as Atiśa found at Samye, and the ‘new’ tantras being freshly introduced by the great traveller-translators such as Rinchen Zangpo. Atiśa's main task was to correct their superficial interpretations. Atiśa accomplished this essentially by emphasizing monastic discipline, the grounding of Tantrism in the philosophy and ethics of the sūtras, and the need for a pupil to devote himself to a single teacher. Atiśa is credited with the introduction into Tibet of the worship of Tārā, and of the popular system of meditation and philosophy known as Lojong (blo.sbyong, ‘mind training’), which involves such meditations as the consideration of all beings as having been one's mother in a previous existence. Of more than 200 works ascribed to Atiśa, his most famous is Bodhipathapradīpa (A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment), elucidating the correct development of the bodhisattva.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Atiśa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Atiśa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atisa

"Atiśa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atisa

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.