Which Nalanda pandit?

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avatamsaka3
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Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am

Which Nalanda pandit should I read first? Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Chandrakirti, or Shantarakshita? I'd like to read one of their writings, rather than start with a commentary or guide. I'm working intently on finding a traditional teacher to guide my study, but for now I haven't found someone just yet and would like to do some studying. If you have an opinion about which one should be read first, please specify a particular translation/edition. I'm looking for a starting point that is relatively accessible. (I'm aware the subject matter is challenging.) Of these, which did you understand most easily?

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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:37 am

dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am
Which Nalanda pandit should I read first? Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Chandrakirti, or Shantarakshita? I'd like to read one of their writings, rather than start with a commentary or guide. I'm working intently on finding a traditional teacher to guide my study, but for now I haven't found someone just yet and would like to do some studying. If you have an opinion about which one should be read first, please specify a particular translation/edition. I'm looking for a starting point that is relatively accessible. (I'm aware the subject matter is challenging.) Of these, which did you understand most easily?
i'm afraid that for sort of 'undergraduate' one must learn tibetan and travel to nepal/india.

imo, what to study depends on what kind of merit you have accumulated in the past.

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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:51 am

dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am
Which Nalanda pandit should I read first? Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Chandrakirti, or Shantarakshita? I'd like to read one of their writings, rather than start with a commentary or guide. I'm working intently on finding a traditional teacher to guide my study, but for now I haven't found someone just yet and would like to do some studying. If you have an opinion about which one should be read first, please specify a particular translation/edition. I'm looking for a starting point that is relatively accessible. (I'm aware the subject matter is challenging.) Of these, which did you understand most easily?
Here you go, you can start with this: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/nagarjuna.pdf

It's free and everything.

Really though this is one of those things that is best taken on "holistically", the more you've broadly studied the Mahayana, the more you can contextualize this kind of thing. For me personally, I prefer commentary etc. It is simply to easy to get lost otherwise when you are not the scholarly type.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

avatamsaka3
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:56 am

Many thanks, looks interesting.

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Astus
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:19 am

dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am
I'm looking for a starting point that is relatively accessible.
Nāgārjuna's Suhṛllekha (Letter to/from a Friend) is a good start, and translations are available from both Chinese and Tibetan. Next you may look into his longer work Ratnāvalī (Precious Garland / Strand of Dharma Jewels). Aryadeva's 400 verses, Chandrakirti's commentary on it (Four Illusions), and Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara are also quite readable and nice introductory materials.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Manjushri
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by Manjushri » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:21 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:19 am
dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am
I'm looking for a starting point that is relatively accessible.
Nāgārjuna's Suhṛllekha (Letter to/from a Friend) is a good start, and translations are available from both Chinese and Tibetan.
If I may ask, is this work comprised of advice and counseling to a King? Or is it an altogether different work?

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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by SteRo » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:45 pm

dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am
I'd like to read one of their writings, rather than start with a commentary or guide.
That only works if you know sanskrit and the sanskrit original is available. Every translation is already a commentary because when selecting the words that appear appropriate to the translator she/he makes already a choice which is based on her/his own view.

Also the writings often are very terse verses that are very difficult to understand without a conventional commentary.

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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:10 pm

dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:18 am
Which Nalanda pandit should I read first? Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Chandrakirti, or Shantarakshita? I'd like to read one of their writings, rather than start with a commentary or guide.
Nāgārjuna and Aryadeva could not possibly have been Nalanda paṇḍitas because Nalanda, as a university, did not exist in the 2nd and 3rd century, CE. hat said, of course there was a strong school of Madhyamaka located at Nalanda after its founding.

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Astus
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:41 pm

Manjushri wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:21 pm
If I may ask, is this work comprised of advice and counseling to a King? Or is it an altogether different work?
Yes, it is addressed to Gautamīputra Śatakarṇī.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

avatamsaka3
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:51 pm

That only works if you know sanskrit and the sanskrit original is available. Every translation is already a commentary because when selecting the words that appear appropriate to the translator she/he makes already a choice which is based on her/his own view.
This is a good point. My intention is to study ideas that are as close to the originals as possible. For now, that means studying translations with some commentary, yes.

avatamsaka3
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:10 pm

Nāgārjuna's Suhṛllekha (Letter to/from a Friend) is a good start, and translations are available from both Chinese and Tibetan. Next you may look into his longer work Ratnāvalī (Precious Garland / Strand of Dharma Jewels). Aryadeva's 400 verses, Chandrakirti's commentary on it (Four Illusions), and Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara are also quite readable and nice introductory materials.
Will look into those, thanks.

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Manjushri
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by Manjushri » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:24 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:41 pm
Manjushri wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:21 pm
If I may ask, is this work comprised of advice and counseling to a King? Or is it an altogether different work?
Yes, it is addressed to Gautamīputra Śatakarṇī.
My doubts were due to the fact that I had acquired some time ago a work by Nagarjuna in French called "Conseils au roi" (Advice for the king), which seemed similar to that. Thanks for the clarification.

zerwe
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by zerwe » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:26 pm

I am sure everyone is different, but my teacher had me study the Four (or Five) great Madhyamaka reasonings
and then had me look at where these were utilized in the debate contained within the 6th Chapter of Candrakirti's Madhyamakavatara.
When I came back with questions about the finer details of the stanzas in question he directed me toward an in depth study of Tenets
based off of Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen's text (FPMT Basic Program--Tenets). Then he said I could maybe look at Nagarjuna.LOL!

Shaun :namaste:

avatamsaka3
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:40 pm

I am sure everyone is different, but my teacher had me study the Four (or Five) great Madhyamaka reasonings
and then had me look at where these were utilized in the debate contained within the 6th Chapter of Candrakirti's Madhyamakavatara.
Interesting, I could try that as well.

Are we talking about these?

https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... -emptiness

zerwe
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Re: Which Nalanda pandit?

Post by zerwe » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:09 am

dolphin_color wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:40 pm
I am sure everyone is different, but my teacher had me study the Four (or Five) great Madhyamaka reasonings
and then had me look at where these were utilized in the debate contained within the 6th Chapter of Candrakirti's Madhyamakavatara.
Interesting, I could try that as well.

Are we talking about these?

https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... -emptiness
Yes.
Shaun :namaste:

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