Atisha Dipankara (980/90-1055) was a Pali emipre (current day Bengal) Buddhist scholar at the monastic university Vikramashila, who was invited to Tibet and spent the last 12 years of his life there. He is recognised as one of the greatest figures of medieval Buddhism. Atiśa’s main disciple, Dromtön founded the Kadam school. The Root Text of the Seven Points of Training the Mind is based on his teachings. Similar to Gautama Buddha, Atiśa was born into royalty. His father was a king known as Kalyanachandra and his mother was Shri Prabhavati. Raja Srichandra of Chandra Dynasty was his grandfather. One of three royal brothers, Atiśa went by the name of Candragarbha during the first part of his life.
According to Tibetan sources, Atiśa was ordained into the Mahāsāṃghika lineage at the age of twenty-eight by the Abbot Śīlarakṣita and studied almost all Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools of his time, including teachings from Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Tantric Hinduism and other practices. He also studied the sixty-four kinds of art, the art of music and the art of logic and accomplished these studies until the age of twenty-two. Among the many Buddhist lineages he studied, practiced and transmitted the three main lineages were the Lineage of the Profound Action transmitted by Asaṅga and Vasubandhu, the Lineage of Profound View transmitted by Nagarjuna and Candrakīrti, and the Lineage of Profound Experience transmitted by Tilopa and Naropa.