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")

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Shambhala Publications, Incorporated, 2004 - Philosophy - 406 pages
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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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Analysis of Texts and Arguments

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About the author (2004)

James Blumenthal is currently Assistant Professor in the Philosophy, Department at Oregon State University.

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