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Pudgalavādins (Skt., pudgala; Pāli, puggala). ‘Personalists’, a school of Buddhist philosophy which began 3rd cent. CE, and which posited the existence of a self or soul over and above the five aggregates (skandhas). This school, also known as the Vātsiputrīya, regarded the pudgala or ‘person’ as an entity which continued through each life in the cycle of rebirths, carried along in some manner by the skandhas, but which disappeared when liberation was gained. It was thus a kind of impermanent or temporary soul, unlike the Hindu ātman which was thought of as eternal.

The doctrine of the pudgala was accepted by no other school and was actively criticized, with the result that it died out in the medieval period. See also ANĀTMAN.

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