This volume collects Jay Garfield's essays on Madhyamaka, Yog-ac-ara, Buddhist ethics and cross-cultural hermeneutics. The first part addresses Madhyamaka, supplementing Garfield's translation of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (OUP, 1995), a foundational philosophical text by the Buddhist saint Nagarjuna. Garfield then considers the work of philosophical rivals, and sheds important light on the relation of Nagarjuna's views to other Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical positions.
'Skilful Means' is the key principle of Mahayana, one of the great Buddhist traditions. First described in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in myths of the Buddha's compassionate plans for raising life from the ceaseless round of birth and death. His strategies or interventions are 'skilful means' - morally wholesome tricks devised for the purpose of enabling nirvana or enlightenment.
Shantarakshita's The Ornament of the Middle Way is among the most important Mahayana Buddhist philosophical treatises to emerge on the Indian subcontinent. In many respects, it represents the culmination of more than 1300 years of philosophical dialogue and inquiry since the time of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. Shantarakshita set forth the foundation of a syncretic approach to contemporary ideas by synthesizing the three major trends in Indian Buddhist thought at the time (the Madhyamaka thought of Nagarjuna, the Yogachara thought of Asanga, and the logical and epistemological thought of Dharmakirti) into one consistent and coherent system. Shantarakshitas's text is considered to be the quintessential exposition or root text of the school of Buddhist philosophical thought known in Tibet as Yogachara-Svatantrika-Madhyamaka.
Emptiness means that all entities are empty of, or lack, inherent existence - entities have a merely conceptual, constructed existence. Though Nagarjuna advocates the Middle Way, his philosophy of emptiness nevertheless entails nihilism, and his critiques of the Nyaya theory of knowledge are shown to be unconvincing.
In his Sataka commentary, the Yogacara philosopher Dharmapala levels the earliest explicit critique of Madhyuamika notions of emptiness, arguing that his Yogacara interpretation is preferable because it avoids and affirms the other-dependent validity of language. He specifically takes aim at the Madhyamika philosopher Bhavaiveka, refuting his previous criticisms of the Yogacara thinkers.
Anyone who is serious about Pure Land studies must have this title. Not only is this book one of the foundation texts used in China to begin and resurgence of Pure Land Buddhism from India, it is incredibly detailed for visual meditations to actually view the Pure Lands, Buddha's, and Bodhisattvas. Another key teaching point that expands this above the two normal Pure Land Shoter and Longer Sukhavativyuha Sutras is the basis of moral teachings to set up guidelines for sangha practice and foundations, almost like the Theravada Vinaya.
This is a treatise on the meaning of "The Sutra on Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha." It was written by the famous early Indian shastra master and bodhisattva, Shramana Vasubandhu (ca 300 ce). In this text, Vasubandhu discourses on the causality behind the origination of the bodhisattva vow (bodhicitta) and on each of the six perfections through which that vow reaches its fruition in buddhahood.
In this volume, Bhikshu Dharmamitra presents translations of three classic works on the bodhisattva vow (bodhicitta) authored by: The early Indian monastic eminence, Arya Nagarjuna (2nd c.); The Dhyana Master and Pureland Patriarch, Sheng'an Shixian (1686-1734); The Tang Dynasty literatus and prime minister, the Honorable Peixiu (797-870).
This volume consists of 130 stories and short Dharma anecdotes selected from Nagarjuna's immense commentary on The Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Mahaprajnaparamita-upadesa). Each story is "framed" by the inclusion of Nagarjuna's introductory and summarizing Dharma discussions which place the stories in the context of the Bodhisattva Path to buddhahood. The translation and story selection are by the American monk, Bhikshu Dharmamitra.
In this volume, Bhikshu Dharmamitra presents his translations of the three earliest editions of Arya Nagarjuna's "Letter from a Friend" (Suhrllekha), a work on the layman's practice of the Buddhist path. This text was written by Nagarjuna in the form of a letter of spiritual counsel to the early Indian monarch, King Satakarni.
This is Tripitaka Master Paramartha's earliest (ca 550 ce) complete edition of The Ratnavali, one of Arya Nagarjuna's most important works. In its five 100-verse chapters, Nagarjuna presents both abstruse teachings and practical advice to lay and monastic practitioners while also describing in considerable detail the short-term and long-term terrains of the Bodhisattva Path.
This text is a translation of chapters 17-30 of Arya Nagarjuna's immense "Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra" (Mahaprajnaparamita-upadesa). It is a free-standing section of that commentary exclusively devoted to analyzing and explaining the various levels of practice of the bodhisattva's six perfections.
This is a very detailed commentary on the meaning of each stanza comprising Arya Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara Shastra ("Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment") wherein Nagarjuna explains the essential prerequisites for achieving the enlightenment of a buddha and explains as well the most important practices to be undertaken by bodhisattvas.
This is The Bodhisambhara Shastra ("Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment"), written by Arya Nagarjuna, the early Indian monk (ca 2nd c.) who is one of the most famous figures in the history of Indian Mahayana Buddhism. This work describes the essential prerequisites for achieving the complete enlightenment of a buddha while also describing the most important practices to be undertaken by bodhisattvas.
"The Six Gates to the Sublime" is a classic Buddhist meditation instruction manual explaining the six practices crucial to success in traditional Indian Buddhist breath-focused (anapana) meditation and calming-and-insight (samatha-vipasyana) meditation.
"The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation" is a classic Buddhist meditation instruction manual deeply rooted in the Indian Buddhist "calming-and-insight" meditation tradition.
For those who seek to follow the early teachings of the Buddha in the earliest of the suttas and those who follow the modern commentary of John Peacock and Stephen Batchelor, it is only fitting to research their shared resource, K. R. Norman. Mr. Norman, a former foremost distinguished professor of Middle Indo-Aryan or Prakrit at Cambridge, authors a most scholarly approach and commentary to the translation of the early Pali texts. With this as a starting point it becomes more apparent when later revisions or commentary by subsequent writers are added to the cannon.
Nagao, Gadjin. The Foundational Standpoint of Mādhyamika Philosophy. Tans. John P. Keenan. Delhi: Sri Satguru, 1990.
Hanson, Elena France. Early Yogacara and its Relation to Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka. Dissertation, Harvard University, 1998.