Thursday, October 23, 2008
Nagarjuna in Context: Mahayana Buddhism and Early Indian Culture
This book is a study of Nágárjuna, a Buddhist philosopher of the second century and a key figure in the development of Maháyána Buddhism in ancient India. Few figures in the history of Buddhism stand out more prominently than Nágárjuna. In Maháyána hagiographies, Nágárjuna is among the earliest of the great saints mentioned. Nágárjuna is prominently represented in the transmission lineages for both the Zen tradition and the various Tantric traditions. He has been cited as a source of authority by personages as diverse as Tsongkhapa in Tibet and Dogen and Shinran in Japan. As a measure of his authority, in the eighth century the Tibetan king Khri Srong lDe brTsan declared, “Everyone should follow the teachings of Nágárjuna and engage assiduously in the practice of morality and the perfections.