There are two mainstream Mulamadhyamakakarikas (hereafter MMK). There might be one in manuscript form recently dicovered that I am unaware of, but there are two that I am aware of, and they are the Sanskrit reconstructed from Venerable Candrakirti's commentary (which might actually be from Tibetan), and the Chinese version with the nested commentary by ...
In my understanding, everything Nagarjuna talks about endlessly revolves around one theme - that is of imputation and reification of abstractions, which leads to confusion of the phenomenological with the ontological, which leads to conflicts, and suffering. As was customary in the ancient times he goes over endless examples of the same kind of argument over ...
I can tell you why the Theravada school does not pay attention to Nagarjuna's works:
Parable of the Poisoned Arrow
Parable of the Simsapa Leaves
The Discourse on the Unconjecturables
The statement by the Buddha that he did not hide anything in a closed fist.
Discourse on The All
Basically, this means that from the perspective of the Theravada school, ...
For all I know, the simile may come from generic Indian religious tradition and not specifically from Buddhism. For example, here are some quotes from Upanidhads:
Nirvana Upanishad (~ 100 BCE - 100 CE) :
The phenomenal world is impermanent as it is produced [from Brahman
which alone is real]; it is similar to a world seen in a dream and an
Here are some URLs for some good info on Nagarjuna and his teachings. Some great sites below, too. Dr. Berzin (Fulbright Scholar, etc.) was a translator for HH the Dalai Lama for a while and the late Ven. Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, a teacher of HH the Dalai Lama.
I. "Biography of Nagarjuna", [http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/...
I took a university course in Asian Philosophy and my professor explained emptiness this way:
Nagarjuna makes the claim that an essence (a list of essential qualities that make a thing what it is) can only be stated in reference to other things. This is a way of saying that all things are defined in relation to other things, including samsara and nirvana.
No, this is not an OK-ish understanding, since it does not approach traditional interpretations (whether that of Tsongkhapa or his opponents belonging to the Jonang school or the Nyingma tradition).
First, from the Madhyamika-Prasangika viewpoint (Buddhapalita, Candrakirti, Shantideva, Tsongkhapa, etc) there are thee types of dependent-arising:
One of Nāgārjuna's main contributions to Buddhist though was the development of the doctrine of sunyata or emptiness. This was a reaction to the development in the doctrines of the Abhidharma by some of the early Buddhist schools (for instance the Sarvastivada). In those schools there developed the concept of things (dharmas) that had some form of ...
Bodhicitta Vivarana "A Commentary on the Awakening Mind" is both complete and accessible.
Sanskrit title: Bodhicittavivarana
Tibetan title: byang chub sems kyi 'grel pa
Homage to glorious Vajrasattva!
It has been stated:
Devoid of all real entities;
Utterly discarding all objects and subjects,
Such as aggregates, elements and sense-fields;
Due to sameness ...
The Pitāpūtrasamāgama-sūtra is most likely based on some earlier Abhidharmic writings from one or two centuries after the Buddha’s death. Multiple versions of this sutra have been recovered, perhaps the most famous one from the Ratnakuta collection. The dating of this collection is uncertain, but the collection is mentioned in the Nikāyasaṅgraha, a ...
Arya Nagarjuna as a scholar, only dispelled the arguments of the reificationists or the annihilationalists. In doing so, he conceptualized sunyata- sunyata is itself sunya (sunyatasunyata). It is merely an analytical tool (certainly of the gretest importance and very profound) to go beyond the obstructs of conceptual thinking- go beyond thinking to the ...
Here is the translation that by Jay L. Garfield of that same verse:
2.25 One that both is and is not a goer does not go in any of the three ways. Therefore, going, goer and that which is to be gone over are non-existent.
This is from the second chapter of Nagarjuna's Fundamental Treatise where Nagarjuna refutes the inherent existence of motion: going ...
Well, a great beginner level text attributed to Nagarjuna is Letter to a Friend. It's short and a really great read. But I wouldn't really say it offers insight to Nagarjuna's philosophy. It's more like a basic practical buddhism introduction.
However, like others have said, the MMK is his piece de resistance you could say. This is a rigorous and thorough ...
See "Mula-madhyamaka-karika" by Nagarjuna:
Neither from itself nor from another,
Nor from both,
Nor without a cause,
Does anything whatever, anywhere arise.
Later Chandrakirti wrote detailed explanations of these ideas.
The purpose was to demonstrate the middle way between extremes of eternalism and nihilism regarding causes.
Androsov has translated and commented it. I'm not sure if his translation is very good - he might have some strange terminology sometimes - but he is one of the leading Russian scholars in that field. See "Nagarjuna's teaching on Middle Way" - Андросов В.П. Учение Нагарджуны о Срединности... М., 2006
Another interesting text on the topic might be ...
Ocean of Reasoning: A Great Commentary on Nāgārjuna’s
rJe Tsong Khapa
Translated from Tibetan into English by
Geshe Ngawang Samten
& Jay L. Garfield
25.19 Cyclic existence is not the slightest bit
Different from nirvana.
Nirvana is not the slightest bit
Different from cyclic ...
Quoted below is Candrakīrti's Lucid Words - A Commentary on Nāgārjuna’s Wisdom.
Perhaps Mr. Rovelli is misrepresenting Nāgārjuna’s teaching.
True dharma is the middle way. Those who see existence or non-existence don't see peace.
5 Analysis of the Elements (dhātus)
5.1. The space-element does not at all exist prior to its defining characteristic; if it ...
He says reality doesn’t exist
Does he, or is that a paraphrase by the reviewer? And if he does, is he simplifying for the reader? Or trolling a bit, maybe trying to challenge the reader by saying something edgy?
The reason physicists have been led astray by bonkers theories in the 100 years since Helgoland is because they can’t bear the thought of not being ...
I don't have the scholarship to give you a survey of several schools -- perhaps someone else will.
The way I see it is that schools will have a "canon". I think that's a bit a analogous to the "curriculum" of a school -- and different schools have different curricula ... almost by definition -- and therefore (i.e. to that extent) your question and/or my ...
Of course traditionally Theravada Buddhism has regarded Nagarjuna as not one of its own. He has too long been claimed by Mahayana to expect otherwise. But some relatively recent scholarship regards him as a transitional figure, with close affinities -- as you suspect -- to Early Buddhism. In fact, a very strong case can be made that he regarded himself ...
In his Fundamental Verses Nagarjuna demonstrates the absurdity of
positive or extreme metaphysical positions.
Do Theravadans accept this proof as valid and sound?
Personally, I am not familiar with Nagarjuna's works regarding the absurdity of positive or extreme metaphysical positions.
Theravadans generally accept the absurdity of extreme ...
Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda, a Theravādin monk, did mention him from time to time. From Questions & Answers On Dhamma :
“The five ascetics were given a teaching based on the ethical middle
path, avoiding the two extremes of kāmasukhal- likānuyoga and
attakilamathānuyoga. But the middle path of right view is found in the
Kaccānagotta Sutta, beautifully ...
I'm not sure there's a meaningful difference (between "theory" and "doctrine"), or perhaps not one which every agrees on.
Per Google these seem to be used with the same frequency/popularity:
doctrine of emptiness (19,900 results)
theory of emptiness (19,000 results).
It's never called a "theory of two truths" though.
If you use the Ngram viewer (which I ...
The Enlightened One taught that there is no cause or "creator" that was eternal or has immortality, such as; a soul or supreme being that was empirically knowable. The Buddha taught that there was causal conditions that are observable in the material world of form and in the conscious dispositionally conditioned state (samskrta). Simply put, the Buddha did ...
I suppose it depends on which lineage you draw your water from. Ocean of Reasoning is a Gelug text, as is Ornament of Reason (I think?), while in Kagyu they study Madhyamakavatara, a relatively early commentary by Candrakirti, with subcommentary by Jamgon Mipham.
Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika is in response to the misguided interpretations of certain groups that attached teachings not originally expounded by the Gotama Buddha. Prof. Kalupahana's work in this area, in fact, his life's work was to bring to the fore that original teaching of the Buddha without the unnecessary metaphysics. So, it depends upon what ...