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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. Nagarjuna describes the cause and effect sequences for the development of happiness within ordinary life, as well as the practices of wisdom, realizing emptiness, and compassion that lead to enlightenment. He describes a Buddha's qualities and offers encouraging advice on the effectiveness of practices that reveal the vast attributes of Buddhahood. In his advice on social and governmental policy, Nagarjuna emphasizes education and compassionate care for all living beings. He also objects to the death penalty. Calling for the appointment of government figures who are not seeking profit or fame, he advises that a selfish motivation will lead to misfortune. The book includes a detailed analysis of attachment to sensual objects as a preparation for realization of the profound truth that, when realized, makes attachment impossible.
In this introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates on the ideas and practices which constitute the common heritage of the different traditions of Buddhism (Thervada, Tibetan and Eastern) which exist in the world today.
Nagarjuna's Letter to King Gautamiputra is a concise and comprehensive explanation of the fundamentals of the Buddha's teaching and of the Buddhist path to liberation. Written by the renowned sage Nagarjuna for his friend and patron Gautamiputra the then King of Andhra in the South of India, the work which contains one hundred and twenty three verses achieved great popularity first in India and then in Tibet. Though the Sanskrit original of the work is lost, the present English translation has been made from the Tibetan collection. Explanatory notes based on three authoritative Tibetan commentaries have been added to the text. The Tibetan text of the verses of Nagarjuna's letter is also included to assist students and scholars who wish to consult the Tibetan version.
The Buddhist saint N=ag=arjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the second century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mah=ay=ana 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 M?lamadhyamikak=arik=a--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. Now, in The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way, Jay L. Garfield provides a clear and eminently readable translation of N=ag=arjuna's seminal work, offering those with little or no prior knowledge of Buddhist philosophy a view into the profound logic of the M?lamadhyamikak=arik=a. Garfield presents a superb translation of the Tibetan text of M?lamadhyamikak=arik=a in its entirety, and a commentary reflecting the Tibetan tradition through which N=ag=arjuna's philosophical influence has largely been transmitted. Illuminating the systematic character of N=ag=arjuna's reasoning, Garfield shows how N=ag=arjuna develops his doctrine that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, that is, than nothing exists substantially or independently. Despite lacking any essence, he argues, phenomena nonetheless exist conventionally, and that indeed conventional existence and ultimate emptiness are in fact the same thing. This represents the radical understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of the two truths, or two levels of reality. He offers a verse-by-verse commentary that explains N=ag=arjuna's positions and arguments in the language of Western metaphysics and epistemology, and connects N=ag=arjuna's concerns to those of Western philosophers such as Sextus, Hume, and Wittgenstein. An accessible translation of the foundational text for all Mah=ay=ana Buddhism, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way offers insight to all those interested in the nature of reality.
"Jay Garfield is an expert both in analytic logic as well as on Buddhism, and this book represents an important demonstration for Western philosophers of the value of engaging with another tradition -- in this case, Buddhist philosophy -- over a wide range of topics, and the value of that engagement for contemporary philosophical practice. Garfield encourages Western philosophers to read Buddhist texts, include them in the curriculum, and to take Buddhist positions seriously, alongside other non-western traditions. The chapters here introduce important Buddhist ideas systematically, and then apply them to a topic of interest in the West; others begin with a problem and then introduce a Buddhist approach; while other chapters take more hybrid approaches. He ranges over key philosophical questions about metaphysics, consciousness, the self, epistemology, ethics, and others -- and his approach is idiosyncratic, accessible, and informal, focusing on often difficult concepts from Indian and Tibetan texts and making them graspable"--
This comprehensive and detailed survey of the first six centuries of Indian Buddhism sums up the results of a lifetime of research and reflection by one of Japan's most renowned scholars of Buddhism.
This is completely new translation of Nagarjuna's major work, accompanied by a detailed annotation of each of the verses. The annotations identify the metaphysical theories of the scholastics criticized by Nagarjuna, and trace the source material and arguments utilized in his refutation back to the early discourses of the Buddha.

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