Given that Vasubandhu and Asanga came after Nagarjunacharya, who was a proponent of a major Buddhist school with a different philosophy. Did they or thier students like Dignaga say anything about Nagarjunacharya?

1 Answer 1


If you are looking for personal remarks, I would not be able to help out much. You can of course find salutations made to Nagarjuna.

As a slight correction, there are differences between presentation of (say as example) Nagarjuna [NA], Vasubandhu [VB] and Asanga [AA], there are also similarities. Just based on the fact that there are differences we can't say they have different philosophies. For then based on similarities, we would have to say they are same philosophies also. Which would mean, we would be saying there are differences and similarities. That would be a better way to present, in my opinion.

All three (NA, VB, AA) of them belong to Mahayana Philosophy. All refer to Buddha as the reliable guide (amongst many other things). All their students, Dharmakirti, Santideva, Candrakirti, Atisha, Tsong Khapa (etc.) speak about or refer to Nagarjuna. They respond to different philosophical points, agree on some and differ on others.

As example one, Vasubandhu in Abhidharmakosabhasyam [AKB] speaks of Nagarjuna's Middle Philosophy of Mulamadhyamakakarika [MMK] as Nihilist. In doing so, he falls for the nihilist interpretation of MMK and thus misunderstands Nagarjuna.

As example two, Candrakirti in Madhyamakavatara [MMA] presents Nagarjuna's views in MMK in a different light and demonstrates it to be in line with Buddha's teaching, and not as nihilism.

If you could specifically ask about 1 person, say, what does 'XYZ' student of Vasubandhu or Asanga say about Nagarjuna {in Nagarjuna's 'ABC' text}, it may make it easier to provide references.

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