Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby Jnana » Wed May 15, 2013 12:16 am

Will wrote:Another excellent, simpler (but not simple) commentary, much earlier than Je Rinpoche's 'Ocean', is the Ornament of Reason by Mabja Bodhisattva. Snow Lion published it some time back.

http://www.shambhala.com/the-ornament-of-reason.html

Yes, the Ornament of Reason is the best early Tibetan commentary.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby Jnana » Wed May 15, 2013 12:22 am

The earliest commentaries on the MMK by Indian authors (besides the Akutobhayā) are the following:

An Annotated Translation of the Chung-Lun With Nāgārjuna's Middle Stanzas Vol.1 by Brian Bocking.
An Annotated Translation of the Chung-Lun With Nāgārjuna's Middle Stanzas Vol.2 by Brian Bocking.
A Study of the Buddhapālita-Mūlamadhyamaka-vṛtti by Akira Saito.

:buddha1:
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed May 15, 2013 2:48 am

I was just looking at an article by William L. Ames, and in one of the footnotes he says that the clearest introduction to Madhyamaka that he knows of is the translators’ introduction to this:
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Middle-Way-Chandrakirtis-Madhyamakavatara/dp/1590300092
and that another excellent introduction to the basic ideas of Madhyamaka,
with an emphasis on their significance for the Buddhist path is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Wisdom-Teachings-Nagarjunas-Fundamental/dp/1570629994.
I haven't read either, but I thought I would pass that along, since he seems to be a pretty good scholar, whose thesis, btw, is here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/120037318/Bhavaviveka-s-Prajnapradipa-Six-Chapters-3-4-5-17-23-26.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby rachmiel » Wed May 15, 2013 4:06 am

From the Acknowledgments to Ames's thesis:

"This dissertation has no intrinsic nature of its own ..."

! ;-)
No one really knows anything. (I think.)
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby jeeprs » Wed May 15, 2013 4:46 am

that's right! It is one of the implications of the 'emptiness of emptiness'. Nagarjuna says he has no thesis to defend. All he does is show how everyone else's theses basically contradict themselves. Whatever view you have is bound to be self-defeating in some respect.

Madhyamaka is an essentially skeptical philosophy. There are historical links between the ancient Greek Pyrrhonism - the original form of skepticism - and Madhyamaka - see for instance Flintof's Pyrrho and India, Adrian Kuzminski Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism and Jay Garfield's Epoche and Sunyata
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed May 15, 2013 5:16 am

Also, "The Shape of Ancient Thought" by McEvilley.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby Jnana » Wed May 15, 2013 6:52 am

jeeprs wrote:Madhyamaka is an essentially skeptical philosophy. There are historical links between the ancient Greek Pyrrhonism - the original form of skepticism - and Madhyamaka - see for instance Flintof's Pyrrho and India, Adrian Kuzminski Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism and Jay Garfield's Epoche and Sunyata

There are differences. Pyrrhonian skeptics likely wouldn't accept karma and rebirth. Whereas mādhyamikas do.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby jeeprs » Wed May 15, 2013 7:25 am

Of course, I quite agree. One ought not to over-state the resemblances. But I always find it interesting to consider the meaning of 'skepticism' in regards to both the ancient Greek and Indian schools. Nowadays we think of 'skeptics' as being kind of anti-spiritual or at least basically 'naturalist' in their outlook. But a really deep skepticism is actually a sadhana. The same for the original 'cynics'. They too were basically like renunciates. But the meaning of 'cynic' has also changed over time.

Anyway, I know that it is tangential to the main thread. Take it as a footnote. :smile:
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed May 15, 2013 6:17 pm

ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby oushi » Wed May 15, 2013 6:40 pm

Relative truth is an illusion, ultimate is free from any elaboration, thus there is no true existence in appearances.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed May 15, 2013 8:00 pm

jeeprs wrote:But a really deep skepticism is actually a sadhana. The same for the original 'cynics'. They too were basically like renunciates. But the meaning of 'cynic' has also changed over time.

I know Trungpa is controversial, but maybe you will find this interesting:
http://chronicleproject.com/CTRlibrary/Cynicism_and_Warmth.html
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby Jikan » Wed May 15, 2013 9:11 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
jeeprs wrote:But a really deep skepticism is actually a sadhana. The same for the original 'cynics'. They too were basically like renunciates. But the meaning of 'cynic' has also changed over time.

I know Trungpa is controversial, but maybe you will find this interesting:
http://chronicleproject.com/CTRlibrary/Cynicism_and_Warmth.html


:good:

Trungpa wrote:The whole approach here is that you have extremely adequate resources within yourself, whether you regard yourself as insane or sane. You have tremendous resources in any case. Whether you take advantage of your insanity or sanity is up to you.
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Re: Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: Questions and Comments

Postby zerwe » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:54 am

Tom wrote:This should be extremely good...

http://www.amazon.com/Nagarjunas-Middle ... =nagarjuna

Just cracking this one open. Ordered Fri. and surprisingly received it earlier today, considering the pub. date is tomorrow!
Yep, It is beginning to look invaluable.
Shaun :namaste:
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