The Last Pandita: The Travels and Career of the Fifteenth-Century Indian Monk Vanaratna


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies


In the early years of the fifteenth century, the young Buddhist monk Vanaratna (1384-1468) set out from his home monastery on the far-eastern periphery of South Asia and embarked on a period of travel and study that would span the Indian subcontinent and make him one of the most esteemed Buddhist figures in South Asia and Tibet. Active at a time when many scholars consider Buddhism to have been long-eclipsed in India, Vanaratna’s life and works provide us not only with an intimate view of an influential Buddhist pandita of great historical significance, but also with a surprisingly extensive and detailed record of an obscure yet vibrant period in the history of South Asian and Himalayan Buddhism.