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Shantideva was an 8th-century Indian Buddhist scholar at Nalanda University and an adherent of the Prasangika Madhyamaka philosophy.

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.

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 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" 2002. His commentary is titled "Meaningful to Behold -The Bodhisattva's Way of Life "