Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend

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Ithaca, NY, U.S.A. 2006 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good jacket Light water damage to pages. Staining to bottom edges. Minor writing at beginning and ending of book. Minor wear ... to spine and edges. Binding still fairly tight. Read more Show Less

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ITHACA, NY 2005 HARDCOVER FIRST EDITION FINE/FINE 9781559392273.

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Overview

Nagarjuna's poetic presentation of the fundamental teachings of the Great Vehicle, or Mahayana—whose followers, driven by compassion, strive to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings—is remarkable for its concise style and memorable imagery, making it one of the most widely quoted sources in other commentaries on the Mahayana path. This work will appeal to readers with a general interest in Mahayana Buddhism, to those who wish to familiarize themselves with one of the great classics of Indian Buddhist literature, and to students who come across passages quoted in other Buddhist works and who wish to explore further. The great Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna (first–second century A.D.) wrote his celebrated poem "Letter to a Friend" as a gift of advice to a South Indian king, and it has since become a monument in the Indian shastra tradition.

Despite its short length (only 123 verses), it covers the whole Mahayana path, combining a practical approach to daily conduct with a theoretical exposition of the different stages leading to enlightenment. It has thus been an ideal source for many of Tibet 's great scholars seeking a scriptural authority to enhance their own descriptions of the Buddhist path. Any difficulties in understanding the poem are overcome by Kangyur Rinpoche's commentary, which turns Nagarjuna's sometimes cryptic poem into straightforward prose, expanding on each topic and ordering the different subjects in such a way that on returning to the original poem, the reader can easily make sense of the advice it contains.

It includes headings to explain Nagarjuna's frequent changes in subject and full explanations of the ideas introduced in each verse. In addition to the commentary, this book presents the original poem in the Tibetan and in a new English translation that attempts to emulate Nagarjuna's lines of metric verse. Also included are Kangyur Rinpoche's structural outline (sa bchad), a Tibetan line index to enable students to locate quotations used in other Tibetan works, full notes, and a glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This text is one of the most cherished works amongst practitioners of all levels of understanding and practice."—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, author of It's Up to You 

"The combination of the colorful root text and Rinpoche's helpful commentary make the book a valuable resource suitable for repeated readings and contemplation."—Thar Lam

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559392273
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Nagarjuna, the South Indian Buddhist master who lived six hundred years after the Buddha, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mahayana Buddhist philosopher.

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