Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

the way of great Compassion
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Nicholas
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Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

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A major Mahayana bodhisattva whose "Friendly Letter" was used over hundreds of years as an introduction to Buddhism.
Here is one version with a commentary by a recent Tibetan teacher; also in print:

http://promienie.net/images/dharma/book ... friend.pdf
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

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An excerpt from the 123 verses:
4 Six things there are the Buddhas have explained,
And all their virtues you must keep in mind:
The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, bounteous acts,
And moral laws and gods—each one recall.

5 With body, speech, and mind always rely
On wholesome deeds, the tenfold virtuous path.
Avoiding liquor at all costs, thus find
True joy to lead a life of virtuous deeds.

6 Possessions are ephemeral and essenceless—
Know this and give them generously to monks,
To brahmins, to the poor, and to your friends:
Beyond there is no greater friend than gift.

7 Keep your vows unbroken, undegraded,
Uncorrupted, and quite free of stain.
Just as the earth’s the base for all that’s still or moves,
On discipline, it’s said, is founded all that’s good.

8 Generosity and discipline, patience, diligence,
Concentration, and the wisdom that knows thusness—
Those measureless perfections, make them grow,
And be a Mighty Conqueror who’s crossed samsara’s sea.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Re: Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

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Commentary on verse 4 from page 85:
A. Faith as a support on the path to the higher realms and lasting happiness

1. Brief account of six things one should keep in mind, the Buddha and so forth, which are the basis of faith

Six things there are the Buddhas have explained,
And all their virtues you must keep in mind:
The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, bounteous acts,
And moral laws and gods—each one recall. (4)

The Victorious Ones have perfectly explained six things to be kept in
mind. Keep in mind the Buddha, the Buddha Bhagavan who is Thus Gone
and so forth. Keep in mind the Dharma, the Bhagavan’s teaching that is
excellently spoken and so forth. Keep in mind the Sangha, the Bhagavan’s
Sangha of Shravakas who abide excellently and so forth. Keep in mind
bounteousness, untainted by miserliness and so forth. Keep in mind discipline,
unspoiled, free of faults, unadulterated, unobscured, the discipline
that accomplishes the concentration praised by the wise. And keep in mind
celestial beings, the gods of the realm of the Four Great Kings, and those
from the Heaven of the Thirty-Three up to “Mastery over Others’ Creations,”
and so on, who constitute the particular result of practicing the
teachings for attaining the higher realms. Keep in mind the many virtues
of each of these
, as they have been described in the sutras.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

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The link in the OP to the Friendly Letter does not work, so here is the root text, with no commentary:

https://cdn.atishacentre.org.au/audio/l ... arjuna.pdf
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

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Among the corpus of Nagarjuna's works this 27 chapter one is perhaps his most detailed one on emptiness. It can be rendered as the Root Text of Middle Way. Many commentaries on it exist. This recently translated one by Buddhapalita (470-540) was & is relied on as probably clarifying the Root Text best. Here is how the structure is outlined:
The common topic of all twenty-seven chapters is dependent
origination, while the specific topic of each chapter is drawn from the
Abhidharma piṭaka. Further, the way each chapter delineates its individual
topic takes the form of a dialogue between a Mādhyamika proponent and an Abhidharmika opponent.

The first twenty-six chapters teach how dependent origination is empty
of intrinsic reality, and the twenty-seventh chapter teaches how erroneous views are abandoned.

Chapters 1–2 teach the two types of selflessness in brief.
Chapters 3–23 teach selflessness in detail.
Chapters 3–8 teach selflessness of phenomena.
Chapters 9–12 explain the selflessness of person.
Chapters 13–17 teach the emptiness of phenomena.
Chapter 18 (Critique of Self and Phenomena) teaches the need to first
gain certainty that the objects of the ignorance that grasps “I” and “mine” do not exist.
Chapters 19–21 teach the emptiness of time.
Chapters 22–23 teach the emptiness of the continuum of existence.
Chapters 24–25 respond to rebuttals.
Chapter 26, Critique of the Twelve Links of Existence, teaches the need
to stop ignorance, for one enters samsara by the power of ignorance and one
exists samsara through stopping ignorance.
Chapter 27, Critique of View, teaches that if one sees dependent
origination, one will not depend on erroneous views.
This is condensed from the Introduction in Ian Coghlan's translation titled Buddhapālita’s Commentary on Nāgārjuna’s Middle Way. Hardback from Wisdom Publications is $70, the e-book version I quoted from was $36.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

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There have been several translations of the root text into English. This 2013 version is considered a good one. It and the notes are based on traditional commentaries. It is titled Nagarjuna's Middle Way translated by Siderits & Katsura.
Here is the first paragraph from their Introduction:
The Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (MMK) by Nāgārjuna (ca. 150 C.E.) is the foundational text of the Madhyamaka school of Indian Buddhist philosophy. It consists of verses constituting twenty-seven chapters. In it, Nāgārjuna seeks to establish the chief tenet of Madhyamaka, that all things are empty (śūnya) or devoid of intrinsic nature (svabhāva). The claim that all things are empty first appears in the Buddhist tradition in the early Mahāyāna sūtras known collectively as Prajñāparamitā, beginning roughly in the first century B.C.E. Earlier Buddhist thought was built around the more specific claim that the person is empty: that there is no separately existing, enduring self, and that the person is a conceptual construction. Realization of the emptiness of the person was thought to be crucial to liberation from saṃsāra. The earliest Mahāyāna texts go considerably beyond this claim, asserting that not just the person (and other aggregate entities like the chariot) but everything is devoid of intrinsic nature. While they assert that all things are empty, however, they do not defend the assertion. Nāgārjuna’s task in MMK is to supply its philosophical defense.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: Nagarjuna (150?-250?)

Post by Nicholas »

Among Nagarjuna's works this one is perhaps his most detailed one on emptiness. It can be rendered as the Root Text of Middle Way. Many commentaries on it exist. This recently translated one by Buddhapalita (470-540) was and is relied on by many as clarifying it best.
Buddhapālita describes Nāgārjuna’s treatise as “Great Vehicle Abhidharma, that perfectly elucidates ultimate reality, and clarifies the system of the Perfection of Wisdom.” In Tibet, Abhidharma was classified in two: (1) Upper Abhidharma, which referred to Great Vehicle Abhidharma of the Cittamātra and Madhyamaka schools as presented in Asaṅga’s Abhidharmasamuccaya and the Extremely Extensive Sūtra; and (2) Lower Abhidharma, which referred to the Abhidharma of the Vaibhāṣhika and Sautrāntika schools as presented by Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośa. Nāgārjuna’s treatise presents a series of debates between exponents of Upper Abhidharma as set forth in the second and third turnings of the wheel of Dharma and exponents of Lower Abhidharma as set out in the first turning of the wheel. In this translation the term “Abhidharmikas” refers to the proponents of lower Abhidharma.
This is condensed from the Introduction in Ian Coghlan's translation titled Buddhapālita’s Commentary on Nāgārjuna’s Middle Way.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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