Born in Saurashtra (on the west coast of India) in 685, the younger son of a minor king, Śantivarman went on to ordain and study at the famed Nalanda University in Magadha (then part of the Pala Empire). According to legend, he was a particularly lazy and unpopular monk, only revealing his writing when dared into delivering a lecture to the entire university. He nonchalantly agreed to read for them some poetry he had been working on and the rest, as they say, is history.