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Books on Madhyamika

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  • Images and books commentaries are a courtesy of Namse Bangdzo Bookstore,
    Snow Lion Publications and Amazon France.

    * Livres en Français sur le Bouddhisme Tibétain par Thèmes *



    BouddhaDharmaSangha


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    DOSE OF EMPTINESS DOSE OF EMPTINESS
    by Jose Ignacio Cabezon

    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. Used as a supplement to the scholastic debating manuals in some of the greatest monasteries of Tibet, the sTong thun chen mo is a veritable encyclopedia of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, dealing with such topics as hermeneutics, the theory of non-duality, the linguistic interpretation of emptiness, the typology of ignorance, logic, the nature of time, and the perception of matter across world spheres. This book is an indispensable source for understanding the Tibetan dGe lugs pa school's synthesis of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) and Epistemological (Pramanika) traditions of Indian Buddhism. In addition, it is an unprecedented source for the philosophical polemics of fifteenth century Tibet.

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  • MIDDLE BEYOND EXTREMES: Maitreya's Madhyantavibhanga with Commentaries MIDDLE BEYOND EXTREMES: Maitreya's Madhyantavibhanga with Commentaries
    by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham

    Middle Beyond Extremes contains a translation of the Buddhist masterpiece Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes. This famed text, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Madhyantavibhaga, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings. Maitreya, the Buddha's regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asanga in the heavenly realm of Tushita.

    Unraveling the subtle processes that condition our thinking and experience, Maitreya's teaching reveals a powerful path of compassionate vision and spiritual transformation. This classic of Indian Buddhism is here presented alongside commentaries by two outstanding masters of Tibet's non-sectarian Rimé movement, Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham.

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  • FREEDOM FROM EXTREMES: Gorampa's FREEDOM FROM EXTREMES: Gorampa's "Distinguishing the Views" and the Polemics of Emptiness
    by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham

    Middle Beyond Extremes contains a translation of the Buddhist masterpiece Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes. This famed text, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Madhyantavibhaga, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings. Maitreya, the Buddha's regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asanga in the heavenly realm of Tushita.

    Unraveling the subtle processes that condition our thinking and experience, Maitreya's teaching reveals a powerful path of compassionate vision and spiritual transformation. This classic of Indian Buddhism is here presented alongside commentaries by two outstanding masters of Tibet's non-sectarian Rimé movement, Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham.

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  • THE TWO TRUTHS DEBATE: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way THE TWO TRUTHS DEBATE: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way
    by Sonam Thakchoe

    The idea of the Middle Way is upheld by all Buddhists, yet its meaning can be unclear. In Tibetan Buddhism, the interpretation of what are called the two truths--the deceptive truth of conventional appearances and the ultimate truth of emptiness--is especially divisive. This comparative analysis examines the differing approaches taken by two Buddhist scholars, Tsongkhapa and Gorampa, towards the Middle Way. It demonstrates how philosophical positions have dramatic implications for how one approaches Buddhist practice and even how one understands enlightenment itself.

    Here, these two ancient Buddhist scholar/teachers are put head-to-head in a debate on the key Buddhist concept of emptiness.

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  • IN PRAISE OF DHARMADHATU IN PRAISE OF DHARMADHATU
    by Nagarjuna, commentary by the Third Karmapa, translated and introduced by Karl Brunnhölzl

    Nagarjuna is famous in the West for his works on Madhyamaka, but his poetic «collection of praises»--headed by «In Praise of Dharmadhatu»--is largely unknown. This book explores the scope, contents, and significance of Nagarjuna's scriptural legacy in India and Tibet, primarily focusing on the title work. The translation of Nagarjuna's hymn to buddha nature--here called dharmadhatu--shows how buddha nature is temporarily obscured by adventitious stains in ordinary sentient beings, gradually uncovered through the path of bodhisattvas, and finally revealed in full bloom as buddhahood. These themes are explored at a deeper level through a Buddhist «history» of mind's luminous nature and a translation of the text's earliest and most extensive commentary by the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), supplemented by relevant excerpts from all other available commentaries.

    The book also provides an overview of the Third Karmapa's basic outlook, based on seven of his major texts. He is widely renowned as one of the major proponents of the shentong («other-empty») view. However, as this book demonstrates, this often problematic and misunderstood label needs to be replaced by a more nuanced approach which acknowledges the Karmapa's very finely-tuned synthesis of the two great traditions of Indian mahayana Buddhism, Madhyamaka and Yogacara. Based on these two, his distinct positions on buddha nature and the transformation of consciousness into enlightened wisdom also serve as the fundamental view for the entire vajrayana as it is understood and practiced in the Kagyu tradition to the present day.

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  • ARYADEVA'S FOUR HUNDRED STANZAS ON THE MIDDLE WAY: With Commentary by Gyel-tsap ARYADEVA'S FOUR HUNDRED STANZAS ON THE MIDDLE WAY: With Commentary by Gyel-tsap
    by Aryadeva and Gyel-tsap, trans. by Ruth Sonam; additional commentary by Geshe Sonam Rinchen

    Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas is a foundational work of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, and Gyel-tsap's commentary is arguably one of the most important written about it. There are no other English translations of the Four Hundred Stanzas with this commentary in print. Mahayana practitioners, Aryadeva says, must eliminate both obstructions to liberation and obstructions to the perfect knowledge of all phenomena. This requires a powerful understanding of selflessness, and an accumulation of merit resulting from the kind of love, compassion, and altruistic intention cultivated by bodhisattvas. The first half of Aryadeva's work focuses on developing merit, and the second explains that all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence. Gyel-tsap's commentary on Aryadeva's text takes the form of a lively dialogue. Geshe Sonam Rinchen provides additional commentary.

    Geshe Sonam Rinchen studied at Sera Je Monastery and in 1980 received the Lharampa Geshe degree. He is currently resident scholar at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India. Ruth Sonam began studying with Geshe Sonam Rinchen in 1978 and has worked as his interpreter since 1983.

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  • THE KARMAPA'S MIDDLE WAY: Feast for the Fortunate THE KARMAPA'S MIDDLE WAY: Feast for the Fortunate
    by the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, trans. by Tyler Dewar

    Marked by eloquent poetry, vigorous and extensive analysis, and heart instructions on breaking through the veils of confusion to independently experience the true nature of things, The Karmapa's Middle Way contains the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje's comprehensive commentary on the Indian master Chandrakirti's seminal text, the Entrance to the Middle Way.

    This commentary, Feast for the Fortunate, is the Ninth Karmapa's abridgement of the Eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje's masterpiece, the Chariot of the Takpo Kagyu Siddhas. In it readers will find previously unavailable material on the Karmapa's Middle Way view and a rare window into a philosophically charged era of Middle Way exposition in Tibetan Buddhism. In this book, Chandrakirti and the Karmapa present in precise detail the vital Buddhist concept of emptiness, through which the Mahayana path of compassionate altruism becomes complete.

    The Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje (1556-1603), was a prolific author on a wide range of sutra and tantra topics and is most renowned in the Kagyu tradition for his instructions on Mahamudra.

    "Of all the philosophical traditions that claim to be the Middle Way, it is only the view of Nagarjuna, the Middle Way tradition's progenitor, that is universally accepted as the Middle Way. Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara, moreover, is renowned in all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism as the supreme commentary on Nagarjuna's approach to emptiness and is considered mandatory reading in all Tibetan Buddhist colleges. The Karmapa's Middle Way is a presentation of the full text of the Madhyamakavatara along with an illuminating and at times controversial commentary by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje of Tibet's Karma Kagyü lineage. By elucidating the intention of the Eighth Karmapa Mikyö Dorje's Chariot of the Takpo Kagyü Siddhas, this book will provide a great contribution to the field of Middle Way studies and enlighten English language readers as to a unique and relatively unexplored presentation of the vital concept of emptiness."--Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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  • TSONG-KHA-PA'S FINAL EXPOSITION OF WISDOM TSONG-KHA-PA'S FINAL EXPOSITION OF WISDOM
    by Jeffrey Hopkins

    This is the final and clearest summary explanation of Buddhism's most perplexing issue by one of the luminaries of the tradition, presented and translated by America's leading Tibetan Buddhist scholar and interpreter for the Dalai Lama.

    Tsong-kha-pa (1357-1419), the great Tibetan Buddhist master, directly and systematically addresses a host of essential questions in order to get at the nature of liberation. This volume presents the explanations found in Tsong-kha-pa's Medium-Length Exposition of the Stages of the Path and in a commentary Tsong-kha-pa supplied for Chandrakirti's supplement to Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Middle, contrasting them with views of his predecessor Dol-bo-ba Shay-rab Gyel-tsen (1292-1391), as found in Dol-bo-ba's Mountain Doctrine. By analyzing Tsong-kha-pa's reactions to Dol-ba-ba's views--Tsong-kha-pa's doctrine of self-emptiness and Dol-bo-ba's doctrine of other-emptiness--and contrasting the two systems, both sides emerge more clearly, contributing to fuller picture of reality as viewed in Tibetan Buddhism.

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