The Foundational Standpoint of Madhyamika Philosophy

Nagao Gadjin

Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1989.

Available from Amazon

Madhyamika is the central focus of Mahayana Buddhist thought, lying barely concealed behind iconoclastic Zen aphorisms and permeating doctrinal thinking in Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan. The Madhyamika philosophy of Nagarjuna articulates basic Buddhist insights on two themes: the identity of emptiness and dependent co-arising, and the two truths of ultimate meaning and worldly convention. In this book Nagao offers an in-depth interpretation of this foundational philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism, reclaiming Nagarjuna’s profound system for the present-day reader by delving into the historical context and relating Nagarjuna’s thought to our modern discourse. Gathering his materials from original Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Western sources, Nagao demonstrates a skill that few can match.

A masterful treatment of the subject in all aspects…. I will be the first instructor to use it as a major text for my graduate seminars and undergraduate courses in Mahayana Buddhism.

Charles Wei-hsun Fu

The book should now be the point of first reference for English-speaking readers who want to understand what Madhyamaka Buddhism is all about..

Paul Griffiths