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The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika Hardcover – November 9, 1995
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Will be...enormously beneficial."--Guy Newland, Central Michigan University
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a marvelous book, the likes of which I never thought I would find. You will understand something of my despair, and hopefully likewise appreciate the many fine qualities this book embodies if you have also spent years as a Buddhist practitioner trying to understand the profundities of Eastern and Buddhist philosophies by reading the currently extant English translations and commentaries to the great scriptures. Most such books suffer from one or more of a number of serious flaws, such as writing and thinking that is sloppy, imprecise, or hopelessly fuzzy and full of vaguely defined mystical jargon that clouds understanding, or interpretations and conclusions that are idiosyncratic and out of sync with other major scriptural sources. None of that here! Mr.Read more ›
The MMK consists of 27 chapters which are examinations of fundamental theoretical elements in Buddhist ontology like Dependent origination, Impermanence, Perception, Aggregates (skandhas), Self, and relations between Substance and Attribute. The book is divided into two sections: 1. The translation of the 27 chapters, 2. The translation + commentaries.
It's noteworthy to mention that this book is based on the Tibetan dBu-ma rtsa-ba shes-rab, the Tibetan translation of the original Sanskrit work of MMK.
Garfield asserts in this book that Nagarjuna's goal was to refute the view of extremism of the Sarvastidas (All exists) and the other side of Nihilism (Nothing exists), proposing a Middle Way position. Pointing out the Two Truths of reality; Absolute Truth and Conventional Truth, Nagarjuna uses the Emptiness (shunyata) doctrine to show the reader upon examination that phenomena (both mental and physical) are empty of inherent-exitestence, but also that they are NOT non-existent (they exist within the Absolute Truth). Through these Examination one will obtain insight into the relativity of concepts and phenomena.
As a side note: Nagarjuna's goal is not to bring about a philosophical debate on metaphysical elements. Garfield points this out perfectly in the Introduction to the Commentary section of this book.
I have not read other renditions in English on the MMK, but so far this one is a very bright shining jewel in my extensive collection on Buddhism.
For further reading I would suggest Candrakirti's Prasannapada (Lucid Exposition of the Middle Way), which is a commentary on the MMK and it's best companion in my opinion.
A more poetically compelling translation of the Mulamadhyamikakarika, along with a very thought-provoking introduction, is to be found in Stephen Batchelor's "Verses from the Center."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful sourcebook which feels true to the original sprit of the man's ancient words.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazon requested a review. It seems beyond absurd to "rate" an ancient classic text. This is a classic ancient Buddhist text, accompanied by a scholarly and deeply... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Reader
This is very technical and hard to read, but it's mostly a limitation on my end. It is customary to write philosophical arguments in poetry and leave out parts of the "common... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rebecca Nie