Madhyamaka

  1. Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness

    In this teaching Rinpoche presents the main schools of Buddhist philosophy with their progressively more subtle and refined views of reality. However it is not just a teaching on the view, but a presentation providing the student the means to realize it through meditation practice The idea of a series of meditation practices on a particular aspect of the Buddha’s teachings is that by beginning with one’s first rather coarse commonsense understanding, one progresses through increasingly subtle and more refined stages until one arrives at complete and perfect understanding.

  2. Vasubandhu's Treatise on the Bodhisattva Vow

    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. This volume includes facing-page source text in both traditional and simplified scripts, variant-readings from other editions, and translator's notes.

  3. On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha

    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). Given that the bodhisattva vow constitutes the very essence of the path to buddhahood, this text can be said to be dedicated to the most important topic in all of Mahayana Buddhism. The translation and notes are by the American monk, Bhikshu Dharmamitra.

  4. Marvelous Stories from the Perfection of Wisdom

    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. This volume includes facing-page source text in both traditional and simplified scripts.

  5. Letter from a Friend

    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. These three editions were produced in the middle part of the first millennium by Tripitaka Masters Gunavarman, Sanghavarman, and Yijing. English translations and notes by Bhikshu Dharmamitra.

  6. A Strand of Dharma Jewels

    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 very early edition is particularly useful in shedding light on difficult passages in the much-later Tibetan "revised translation" edition, the only other complete edition of this work.

  7. Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections

    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.

  8. The Bodhisambhara Treatise Commentary

    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 only extant commentary on one of the most important works of Arya Nagarjuna, the 2nd century Indian monk who figured most importantly in articulating the terrains of the Bodhisattva Path.

  9. Nagarjuna's Guide to the Bodhisattva Path

    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.

  10. The Union of Bliss and Emptiness

    Guru Yoga is an important aspect of the tantric practice of Mahayana Buddhism and the foundation on which the whole tantric structure is built; it is also the force that gives vitality to a practitioner's meditation. Unlike other systems, tantric meditation depends largely upon inspiration transmitted in an unbroken lineage through a living person, the teacher. Who better than the Dalai Lama can pre a proper understanding of this practice for Tibetan Buddhists.

  11. Beyond the Self

    One of the Buddha's most central ideas is the importance of transcending “either/or” thinking to avoid the trap of extremist views. In Beyond the Self Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we can find tranquility by embracing all aspects of life, instead of focusing on what we like and dislike. The book contains Nhat Hanh's original translation of the Sutra on the Middle Way, as well as his commentary on how we can use this teaching to better understand how to navigate our difficulties and find peace of mind. By changing how we see the world, Beyond the Self helps us transform ourselves.

  12. The Dispeller of Disputes

    Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani is an essential work of Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophical literature. Written in an accessible question-and-answer style, it contains Nagarjuna's replies to criticisms of his philosophy of the "Middle Way." The Vigrahavyavartani has been widely cited both in canonical literature and in recent scholarship; it has remained a central text in India, Tibet, China, and Japan, and has attracted the interest of greater and greater numbers of Western readers.

  13. Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka

    The Indian philosopher Acharya Nagarjuna (c. 150-250 CE) was the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism and arguably the most influential Buddhist thinker after Buddha himself. Indeed, in the Tibetan and East Asian traditions, Nagarjuna is often referred to as the 'second Buddha.' His primary contribution to Buddhist thought lies is in the further development of the concept of sunyata or 'emptiness.' For Nagarjuna, all phenomena are without any svabhaba, literally 'own-nature' or 'self-nature', and thus without any underlying essence. In this book, Jan Westerhoff offers a systematic account of Nagarjuna's philosophical position. He reads Nagarjuna in his own philosophical context, but he does not hesitate to show that the issues of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy have at least family resemblances to issues in European philosophy.

  14. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines & its Verse Summary

    "After the Thora, the Koran and the Gospels the Indian literature on ‘The Perfection of Wisdom’ has had the greatest impact on the religious consciousness of mankind. Its composition extended for over seven hundred years, and here we offer the reader the first two works which were composed in South India between 100 B.C. And A.D. 100." (from the back cover).

  15. Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra

    Western scholars have traditionally considered the earliest sūtra in the Prajñāpāramitā class to be the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra or "Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines", which was probably put in writing in the 1st century BCE. This chronology is based on the views of Edward Conze, who largely considered dates of translation into other languages. The first translation of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā into Chinese occurred in the 2nd century CE.

  16. Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning

    The Reason Sixty is the most concise philosophical work by the second-century Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna. This translation was prepared on the basis of a careful reading of both the Sanskrit original and its Tibetan translation and by consulting Candrakirti’s commentary (Tengyur, Dergé, dbu ma Ya, p.1a – 30b) as well as Je Tsongkhapa’s Notes on the “Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning” (rigs pa drug cu pa’i zin bris, The Collectected Works of Je Tsongkhapa, vol.ba).

  17. The Fundamentals of the Middle Way (Mulamadhyamaka-Karika)

    Nagarjuna is the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. The Mulamadhyamaka-Karika ("Fundamentals of the Middle Way") is his major work. It was originally composed in Sanskrit, and Sanskrit as well as early Tibetan versions of the work have survived, as have later Chinese translations.

  18. Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nagarjuna

    This is a completely new translation of Nagarjuna`s major work the Mulamadhyamakakarika, accompanied by a detailed annotation of each of the verses. The annotation identifies the metaphysical theories of the scholastics criticized by Nagarjuna, and traces the source material and the arguments utilized in his refutation back to the early discourses of the Buddha. The book shows that Nagarjuna`s ideas are neither original nor are they an advancement from the early Buddhist period. Nagarjuna is not a Mahayanist.

  19. Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka

    The Indian philosopher Acharya Nagarjuna (c. 150-250 CE) was the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism and arguably the most influential Buddhist thinker after Buddha himself. Indeed, in the Tibetan and East Asian traditions, Nagarjuna is often referred to as the 'second Buddha.' His primary contribution to Buddhist thought lies is in the further development of the concept of sunyata or 'emptiness.' For Nagarjuna, all phenomena are without any svabhaba, literally 'own-nature' or 'self-nature', and thus without any underlying essence.

  20. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way

    The Buddhist saint Nagarjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the second century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mahayana Buddhist philosopher. His many works include texts addressed to lay audiences, letters of advice to kings, and a set of penetrating metaphysical and epistemological treatises. His greatest philosophical work, the Mulamadhyamikakarika—read and studied by philosophers in all major Buddhist schools of Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea—is one of the most influential works in the history of Indian philosophy.

  21. A Dose of Emptiness

    This book is an annotated translation of one of the great Tibetan classics of Mahayana Buddhist thought, mKhas grub rje's sTong thun chen mo. The text is a detailed critical exposition of the theory and practice of emptiness as expounded in the three major schools of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy: the Yogacara, Svatantrika, and Prasangika.

  22. Nagarjuna's Precious Garland

    Nagarjuna is renowned for his penetrating analysis of reality. In the Precious Garland, he offers intimate counsel on how to conduct one's life and how to construct social policies that reflect Buddhist ideals. The advice for personal happiness is concerned first with improving one's condition over the course of lifetimes and then with release from all kinds of suffering, culminating in Buddhahood.