, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 129–134 | Cite as

Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyakamakārikā

  • Graham PriestEmail author

This is a difficult, challenging, and profound book.1 According to many philosophical traditions and schools of thought, reality has a fundamental ground or grounds. Other things depend on the ground(s) in some way for whatever form of being they have. Nāgārjuna attacks this view and explores the consequences of its rejection, notably with respect to Buddhist soteriology.

Readers will find this book hard for several reasons. First, it is written in verse form. The tradition from which Nāgārjuna comes is largely an oral tradition. In this tradition, things are often written in poetry, so that the rhythm and verse make it easier for students to memorize. When teaching, recitations of the verses (kārikā = verse) are accompanied by a philosophical commentary by the teacher, explaining the points being made in detail. In some texts of this kind, the author’s commentary is available. In the case of the Mūlamadhyakamakārikā(hereafter, MMK) it is not. This is a great pity. It would surely...


Verse Western Philosophy Ultimate Reality Ultimate Truth Buddhist Tradition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of PhilosophyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK
  3. 3.Graduate CenterCUNYNew YorkUSA

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