Chapter

The Commentary

in The Madman's Middle Way

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226493169
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226493220 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226493220.003.0003
The Commentary

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This chapter discusses the Adornment for Nagarjuna's Thought and the philosophy of Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna was an iconic figure in the history of Buddhism. In several sutras and tantras, the Buddha prophesies his advent, specifying in one text that he will appear four hundred years after the Buddha passes into nirvana. According to traditional Tibetan biographies, he lived for six hundred years; modern scholars tend to place him in the second century ce. A large number of works—philosophical, devotional, tantric—are attributed to him, the most famous being the Mulamadhyamakakarika or Madhyamakasastra, the Treatise on the Middle Way, the most important text of what is known in Tibet as his “logical corpus” (rigs tshogs). A number of hymns of praise are also ascribed to Nagarjuna, and are known in Tibet as the “devotional corpus” (bstod tshogs); some of these seem to present what might be termed a more “substantialist” view than the famous philosophical works.

Keywords: Nagarjuna; Buddhism; sutra; tantra; nirvana; biographies

Chapter.  46995 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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