Dharmapāla (traditional Chinese: 護法, pinyin: Hùfǎ) (530-561 CE). A Brahmin Buddhist scholar, he was one of the main teachers of the Yogacara school in India. He was a contemporary of Bhavaviveka (清辯, c. 490-570 CE.), with whom he debated.
Xuanzang, the famous Chinese pilgrim, tells that Dharmapāla was born in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. He was a son of a high official, and betrothed to a daughter of the king, but escaped on the eve of the wedding feast, entered the order, studied all views, from Hinayana as well as Mahayana, and attained to reverence and distinction. He studied in Nalanda as a student of Dignāga. Later he succeeded him as abbot of the University. He spent his last years near the Bodhi tree, where he died.
Dharmapāla developed the theory that the external things do not exist and consciousness only exists. He explains the manifestation of the phenomenal world as arising from the eight consciousness.
Through the teachings of his disciple Silabhadra to Xuanzang, Dharmapāla’s tenets expanded greatly in China. His works survive in Chinese translations.