Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

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Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:20 am

Someone at work who has a budding interesting in Buddhism asked me for a link to learn a bit more about Nagarjuna's theory of emptiness. I realised I don't really have any introductory sources for that, given that I started with that further in.

Does anyone have some good links to a good intelligible introduction to Nagarjuna's madhyamika?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby Derek » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:54 pm

When in doubt, consult Wikipedia! :smile:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarjuna#Sunyata
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby Ayu » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:16 pm

How about this: "Nagarjuna - Letter To A Friend" ?

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav ... 21541.html
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby Matt J » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:12 pm

My personal introduction was "Introduction to Emptiness" by Guy Newland. It is a short and contemporary.

I also have the "Sun of Wisdom" by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, which many have also found helpful.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:22 pm

or you can go straight to the fundamental wisdom of the middle way by JL Garfield. its the translation of mulamadhyamakakarika. on a note letter to a friend is mahayana shastra from what i know and does not really deal with emptiness, more concerned with morality and ethics.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:35 pm

"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:12 pm

I remember Prof. Richard Hayes saying that the introduction in Stephen Batchelor's "Verses from the Center" is the best into he's seen (he's not as keen on Batchelor's translation though)
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: Introduction to Nagarjuna for newbies?

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:21 pm

BTW, I am currently reading Siderit's & Katsura's new translation of MMK "Nagarjuna's Middle Way", and using Westerhoff's "Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka" in conjunction with it. Having read in Nagarjuna for 20 years, going back to dinosaurs like Kalapuana and Murti, I can say that the possibility of engaging Nagarjuna on something approaching his own terms without being a Sanskrit scholar has come a long way. Especially if you want to engage with Indian Madhyamaka, and not Tibetan-Interpretations-of-Indian-Madhyamaka (not that there's anything wrong with them, but reading them is an interpretation of an interpretation, if you know what I mean).

The Siderit and Katsura translation gives a brief commentary on each verse, which usually consists of simply telling you how the four Indian commentaries interpreted it. It doesn't get any better than that.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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