The Ornament of the Middle Way: A Study of the Madhyamaka Thought of Śāntarakṣita : Including Translations of Śāntarakṣita's Mādhyamakālaṃkāra (The Ornament of the Middle Way) and Gyel-tsab's DbU Ma Rgyan Gyi Brjed Byang (Remembering "The Ornament of the Middle Way")
Santaraksita's The Ornament of the Middle Way is among the most important Mahayana Buddhist philosophical treatises to emerge on the Indian subcontinent. In many respects, it represents the culmination of more than 1,300 years of philosophical dialogue and inquiry since the time of the history Buddha, Sakyamuni, Santaraksita set forth the foundation of a syncretic approach to contemporary ideas by synthesizing the three major trends in Indian Buddhist thought at the time (the Madhyamaka thought of Nagarjuna, the Yogacara thought of Asanga, and the logical and epistemological thought of Dharmakirti) into one consistent and coherent system.
Santaraksita's text is considered to be the quintessential exposition, or root text, of the school of Buddhist philosophical thought known in Tibet as Yogacara-Svatantrika-Madhyamaka. In addition to examining his ideas in their Indian context, this study looks at the way in which Santaraksita's ideas have been understood by, and have been an influence on, Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Specifically, Blumenthal examines the way scholars from the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism have interpreted, represented, and incorporated Santaraksita's ideas into their own philosophical project.
This is the first book-length study of Santaraksita's Madhyamaka thought in any Western language. It includes a new translation of Santaraksita's treaties and extensive extracts from his autocommentary. Also included is the first complete English translation of the primary Geluk commentary on Santaraksita's treatise Gyel-tsab Je's Remembering "The Ornament of the Middle Way".
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List of Abbreviations
Analysis of Texts and Arguments
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absurdum accept analysis appear apprehending argues arhats arise asserted autocommentary autonomous inferences bdag Bhavaviveka bodhisattvas Buddhist byung ba Candrakirti cause chos claim commentary conventional truths conventionally criticism critique dang Dharmakirti Dignaga dngos emptiness entities established external objects four lines gcig Geluk Geluk presentation Gelukpas gross objects grub Gyel-tsab gyur gzhan Hinayana images Indian inherent existence inherent nature issues Itar Kamalasila knowledge obstacles kyang logical Madhyamaka Madhyamaka thought Mahayana manifold nature mind neither-one-nor-many argument non-Buddhist nyid opponent partless particles pertain pervasion phenomena philosophical phyir position Prakrti Prasangika Proponents rang bzhin reasoning refutation regard rejection rjes rnam root text beginning Samkhya Santaraksita Sarnath Sautrantika schools sciousness self-cognizing cognition selflessness singular consciousness sogs specific sravakas stanza Svatantrika taraksita tenet system thams cad Tibet Tibetan Tibetan Buddhism topic true existence truly single truly singular Tsong Khapa ultimate truth uncompounded unitary Vaibhasikas Vaisesikas yamaka Yogacara Yogacara-Svatantrika-Madhyamaka zhes