you say Nagarjuna....

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you say Nagarjuna....

Postby dumb bonbu » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:59 am

...i say 'Nagarjuna'?

hi folks, this topic is probably old-hat to most of you so it'd be good to get some thoughts on the matter and be pointed to any further sources. i've recently finished reading William's Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations and been introduced to the theory (liklihood?) that there may have been not only more than one Nagarjuna but also more than one Vasubandhu. to start with the former -

modern scholars sometimes incline towards the theory that there were at least two Nagarjunas, distinguishing between a philosopher Nagarjuna, who may well have been from the southern or Andrha region, and lived probably in the second to third centuries CE, and a later Nagarjuna who was a tantric alchemist and yogin. For that matter there may have been many Buddhists with the same name, that of Nagarjuna. On the other hand it is possible that works have been attributed by the Buddhist tradition to Nagarjuna simply because of his doctrinal importance.
- p.64


and the latter -

The relevant work attributed to Vasubandhu is known, again in Sanskrit reconstruction from the Chinese, as the sukhavativyuhopadesa. Once more, this text may be by Vasubandhu or it may not. It is even possible that it was written in China itself, for it is not known as a work of Vasubandhu in any Indian or Tibetan source. According to the Pure Land Masters, both Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu turned to the Pure Land teachings in old age, although there is no independent evidence for this.
- p.246


so, what are folks thoughts on the matter? without knowing too much about the writings of each (other than the Pure Land texts...i have a copy of the Mulamadhyamakakarika sat on my shelf but i'm a bit too scared to open it at this time lol) my own view is that sure, it would be nice to think that the Discourse on the Ten Stages and the Twelve Adorations were written by 'the' Nagarjuna and that the Discourse on the Pure Land came from the hand of 'the' Vasubandhu.....but beyond questions of authenticity and attribution, i have found these works greatly inspiring and encouraging and they have been a great source of help to me regardless of their authorship. ultimately, that is what matters to me and i am deeply grateful to whoever wrote them.

namu amida butsu
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: you say Nagarjuna....

Postby Dazzle » Sat May 02, 2009 2:53 pm

Hi dumb bonbu,

When reading your post, I was reminded of this article I had seen in the past about Nagarjuna :


http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nag ... arjuna.htm

I too have enjoyed reading the Mulamadhyamakakarika - and especially the commentaries on it by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamptso Rinpoche.


Kind wishes,

Dazzle
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Re: you say Nagarjuna....

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 05, 2009 10:22 am

Greetings,

On a slightly related note, Stephen Batchelor has done two translations of MMK.

One is the commercial, more poetic version.

Then there's the free, but far more literal translation.

http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/nagarju ... entre.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
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Re: you say Nagarjuna....

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue May 05, 2009 4:15 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

On a slightly related note, Stephen Batchelor has done two translations of MMK.

One is the commercial, more poetic version.

Then there's the free, but far more literal translation.

http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/nagarju ... entre.html

Metta,
Retro. :)


:thanks:
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Re: you say Nagarjuna....

Postby dumb bonbu » Tue May 05, 2009 5:59 pm

thanks for the links peeps! i must admit though, i don't feel quite ready to tackle MMK just yet. i have the Garfield translation sat on my shelf and i'm sure i'll find his commentary helpful....but it feels a bit like i'm an ant at the foot of huge mountain at this moment in time - daunting!
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
User avatar
dumb bonbu
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:29 pm
Location: East Yorkshire, UK


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