Atiśa Dīpankara was a Bengali Buddhist religious leader and master from the Bengal region of the subcontinent. He was one of the major figures in the spread of 11th century Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in Asia and inspired Buddhist thought from Tibet to Sumatra. He is recognised as one of the greatest figures of classical Buddhism. Atiśa’s chief disciple, Dromtön, was the founder of the Kadam school, one of the New Translation schools of Tibetan Buddhism, later supplanted by the Gelug tradition in the 14th century, adopting its teachings and absorbing its monasteries.
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