nagarjuna basics?

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nichiren-123
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nagarjuna basics?

Post by nichiren-123 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 pm

So I'm a nichiren buddhist (hence username) but am interested in the historical lineage which nichiren is a part of.
I've read about tiantai but I know nothing about nagarjuna.
I tried reading commentaries on 'the fundamental wisdom of the middle way' but found them way too difficult to understand.

So I was hoping for a quick and dirty description of what nagarjuna taught?

Thanks,
N-123

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:13 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 pm
So I'm a nichiren buddhist (hence username) but am interested in the historical lineage which nichiren is a part of.
I've read about tiantai but I know nothing about nagarjuna.
I tried reading commentaries on 'the fundamental wisdom of the middle way' but found them way too difficult to understand.

So I was hoping for a quick and dirty description of what nagarjuna taught?

Thanks,
N-123
I recommed reading and listening to Alex's lectures in Madhyamaka and Buddhist/Indian logic and phenomenology before even considering reading a text like Mulamadhyamakakarika.https://madhyamaka.com/
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PuerAzaelis
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:46 pm

At the moment i am enjoying the Dharmachakra Translation Committee translation of MMK with commentary by Mabja Jangchub Tsöndrü. It's clarifying a lot of questions I had.
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ItsRaining
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by ItsRaining » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:56 pm

Nagarjuna's Twelve Gate's Treatise was the best concise semi-introductory text I read on the Madhyamaka, it's hailed for its concise nature as one of the three fundamental texts of the East Asian Madhyamaka (San Lun Three Treatises) School that influenced Tian Tai thought.

http://www.fodian.net/world/1568.html

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Rick
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Rick » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:40 pm

Very quick and dirty:

"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise." — Buddha

I second the Alex Trisoglio recommendation. The 8 lessons (videos and written transcripts) are an excellent introduction to the view of the Middle Way.
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Queequeg » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:14 pm

We assert that whatever arises dependently is as such empty. This manner of designating things is exactly the middle path.
Mulamadhyamikakarika, Ch. 24, Verse 18
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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Malcolm
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:52 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 pm
So I was hoping for a quick and dirty description of what nagarjuna taught?
Nāgārjuna is the first Mahāyāna author. It is recorded that he recovered the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras from the Nāgā realm, where they had been stashed until time was ripe for their promulgation in India.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

SunWuKong
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:24 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:52 pm
nichiren-123 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 pm
So I was hoping for a quick and dirty description of what nagarjuna taught?
Nāgārjuna is the first Mahāyāna author. It is recorded that he recovered the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras from the Nāgā realm, where they had been stashed until time was ripe for their promulgation in India.
Yes for 500 years just like SunWuKong, the Monkey King
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SunWuKong
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:27 am

Scholars aren't even agreeing that there was one Nagarjuna, certainly seems like a lot of work for one man, but not impossible. Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra are condensed from the Prajnaparamita, those are a good place to start IMHO
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Malcolm
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:33 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:27 am
Scholars aren't even agreeing that there was one Nagarjuna, certainly seems like a lot of work for one man, but not impossible. Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra are condensed from the Prajnaparamita, those are a good place to start IMHO
We are speaking of the Nāgārjuna of the MMK, the Ratnavali, Yutisatika, etc.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:15 am

This PDF (also in book form) gives several of N. works. I suggest starting with his "Good-hearted Letter" - the Intro & notes by the late compiler are good.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/nagarjuna.pdf
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amanitamusc
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by amanitamusc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:33 am

Any other English translations of Nagarjuna that stand out?

thomaslaw
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by thomaslaw » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:04 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:33 am
Any other English translations of Nagarjuna that stand out?
Nagarjuna teaches about the middle way of emptiness, and considers to promote the essential philosophy of the Buddha. Cf. The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism by Choong Mun-keat.

Thomas

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:58 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:33 am
Any other English translations of Nagarjuna that stand out?
Several good ones from Kalavinka Press; his Letter from a Friend, for example has three versions, one as early as the 4th century:

http://kalavinka.org/kp_book_pages/letter_book_page.htm
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Manjushri-namasamgiti

markatex
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by markatex » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Is Nagarjuna in China the only English translation of Kumarajiva's translation of the Middle Way Treatise? I've seen it available online, but it's very expensive. Are Kumarajiva's translations of Nagarjuna's other works available in English?

Nirveda
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Nirveda » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:40 am

I believe that Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso's Sun of Wisdom is by far the most approachable and understandable introduction to Nagarjuna. After reading that, you can make more sense out of other translations of the MMK. I like Garfield's the best.

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Huseng
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Huseng » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:19 pm

I recommend that you read the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya before Nāgārjuna, for the simple reason that the categories and concepts that Nāgārjuna addresses in his work are based on an earlier Buddhist framework that is quite elegantly and thoroughly explained in the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya.

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Malcolm
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:07 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:19 pm
I recommend that you read the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya before Nāgārjuna, for the simple reason that the categories and concepts that Nāgārjuna addresses in his work are based on an earlier Buddhist framework that is quite elegantly and thoroughly explained in the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya.
Seconded.

Also, Aryadeva's 400 is also more approachable than MMK.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Kunzang
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Kunzang » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:52 pm
nichiren-123 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 pm
So I was hoping for a quick and dirty description of what nagarjuna taught?
Nāgārjuna is the first Mahāyāna author. It is recorded that he recovered the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras from the Nāgā realm, where they had been stashed until time was ripe for their promulgation in India.
Where is this history recorded?
Critics slap labels on you and then expect you to talk inside their terms. - Doris Lessing

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Malcolm
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Re: nagarjuna basics?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:44 pm

Kunzang wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:43 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:52 pm
nichiren-123 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:02 pm
So I was hoping for a quick and dirty description of what nagarjuna taught?
Nāgārjuna is the first Mahāyāna author. It is recorded that he recovered the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras from the Nāgā realm, where they had been stashed until time was ripe for their promulgation in India.
Where is this history recorded?
You can look at Buton's history of Dharma, pretty sure it is there. It is one of the more widespread legends of Nāgārjuna.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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