Patsab Nyima Drak

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Patsab Nyima Drak (Tib. པ་ཚབ་ཉི་མ་གྲགས་པ་, Wyl. pa tshab nyi ma grags pa) (1055-1145?) — an important scholar and translator of the New Translation period, who is best known for the key role he played in establishing the Madhyamika Prasangika teachings in Tibet. He translated the most important texts of this tradition, including Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamaka-karika, Aryadeva's Four Hundred Verses, and Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara.


The so-called ‘Four Sons of Patsab’ are referred to in a verse of Taktsang Lotsawa:

As regards the Great Middle Way, the supreme tradition of Nagarjuna,
The excellent clarifications made by Chandra[kirti], translated by Nyima [Drak],
Came down to the four sons...

There are different ways of listing them. According to one, they were:

  1. Gangpa She’u, who was learned in the words,
  2. Tsangpa Dregur (gtsang pa ‘bre sgur/skur), who was learned in the meaning,
  3. Mabja Changchub Tsöndrü, who was learned in both words and meaning, and
  4. Shangthang Sakpa Yeshe Jungne, who was learned in neither words nor meaning.

Shakya Chokden names Tsangpa Sarbö (Wyl. gtsang pa sar sbos) as the son who was learned in the words and Daryulwa Rinchen Drak as the son learned in the meaning.

Further Reading

  • Tashi Tsering, Madhyamakavatara of Acarya Candrakirti, Sarnath: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 2005, p. 48
  • Shakya Chokden, Three Texts on Madhyamaka, trans. Komarovski Iaroslav, Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2002. p. 23.
  • Karen Lang, 'Spa-tshab Nyi-ma-grags and the Introduction of Prâsangika Madhyamaka into Tibet' in Epstein, Reflections on Tibetan Culture: Essays in Memory of Turrell V. Wylie (1989) pp. 127-141.
  • Leonard van der Kuijp, 'Notes on the Transmission of Nagarjuna's Ratnavali in Tibet', in The Tibet Journal, Summer 1985, vol. X, No.2,4

External Links