Mahayanavimsaka of Nagarjuna

of Nagarjuna



I make my obeisance to the Buddha who is wise, free from
all attachment, and whose powers are beyond conception, and who has kindly
taught the truth which cannot be expressed by words.


In the transcendental truth there is no origination (utpada),
and in fact, there is no destruction (nirodha). The Buddha is like the
sky (which has neither origination nor cessation), and the beings are like
him, and therefore they are of the same nature.


There is no birth either on this or the other side (of
the world). A compound thing (samskrta) originates from its conditions.
Therefore it is sunya by its nature. This fact comes into the range of
knowledge of an omniscient one.


All things by nature are regarded as reflections. They
are pure and naturally quiescent, devoid of any duality, equal, and remain
always and in all circumstances in the same way (tathata).


In fact, worldings attribute atman to what is not atman,
and in the same way they imagine happiness, misery, indifference, passions
and liberation.

6 – 7

Birth in the six realms of existence in the world, highest
happiness in the heaven, great pain in the hell,—these do not come within
the perview of truth (i.e. cannot be accepted as true); nor do the notions
that unmeritorious actions lead to the extreme misery, old age, disease,
and death, and meritorious actions surely bring about good results.

    It is owing to false notions that beings are consumed by fire of passions
    even as a forest is burnt by forest conflagration and fall into the hells,
    As illusion prevails so do beings make their appearance. The world is illusory
    and it exists only on account of its cause and conditions.


As a painter is frightened by the terrible figure of a
Yaksa which he himself has drawn, so is a fool frightened in the world
(by his own false notions).


Even as a fool going himself to a quagmire is drowned
therein, so are beings drowned in the quagmire of false notions and are
unable to come out thereof.


The feeling of misery is experienced by imagining a thing
where in fact it has no existence. Beings are tortured by the poison of
false notions regarding the object and its knowledge.


Seeing these helpless beings with a compassionate heart
one should perform thc practices of the highest knowledge (bodhicarya)
for the benefit of them.


Having acquired requisites thereby and getting unsurpassable
bodhi one should become a Buddha, the friend of the world, being freed
fron the bondage of false notions.


He who realizes the transcendental truth knowing the pratityasamutpada
(or the manifestation of entities depending on their causes and conditions),
knows the world to be sunya and devoid of beginning, middle or end.


The samsara and nirvana are mere appearances; the truth
is stainless, changeless, and quiescent from the beginning and illumined.


The object of knowledge in dream is not seen when one
awakes. Similarly the world disappears to him who is awakened from the
darkness of ignorance.

    The creation of illusion is nothing but illusion. When everything is
    compoond there is nothing which can be regarded as a real thing. Such is
    the nature of all things.


One having origination (jati) does not originate himself.
Origination is a false conception of the people. Such conceptions and (conceived)
beings, these two are not reasonable.


All this is nothing but mind (citta) and exists just like
an illusion. Hence originate good and evil actions and from them good and
evil birth.


When the wheel of the mind is suppressed, all things are
suppressed. Therefore all things are devoid of atman (independent nature),
and consequently they are pure.


It is due to thinking the things which have no independent
nature as eternal, atman, and pleasant that this ocean of existence (bhava)
appears to one who is enveloped by the darkness of attachment and ignorance.


Who can reach the other side of thc great ocean of samsara
which is full of water of false notions without getting into the great
vehicle (i.e., Mahayana) ?

    How can these false notions arise in a man who thoroughly knows this
    world which has originated from ignorance?

Here ends the Mahayanavimsaka of Acarya Nagarjuna.

Edited by Vidhusekhara Bhattacharya
©1931 Visvabharati Bookshop, Calcutta

Nagarjuna links


in Buddhism:
Nagarjuna’s Middle Way

Sampling of
Nagarjuna’s “Seventy Stanzas”
A Buddhist Psychology of Emptiness


A Study of Nagarjuna’s Twenty Verses
on the Great Vehicle (Mahayanavimsika)
and His Verses on the Heart of Dependent Origination
(Toronto Studies in r . . . )
by R. C. Jamieson, Nagarjuna Mahayanavimsaka, Nagarjuna
To be Published in 1999
information and order from:
| * | barnes
and noble

Nagarjuna and the Philosophy of Openness
by Nancy McCagney, Ninian Smart
information and order from:
| * | barnes
and noble

Nagarjuna’s Letter to King Gautamiputra
Translated by Venerable Lozang Jamspal, Venerable Ngawang Samten Chophel
and Peter Della Santina.
With Explanatory Notes based on Tibetan Commentaries and a Preface by His
Holiness Sakya Trizin

Nagarjuna’s Philosophy
(As Presented in the Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra)
by K. Venkata Ramanan

Nagarjuna by K. Satchidananda Murty

The Vedantic and the Buddhist Concept of Reality
as Interpreted by Samkara and Nagarjuna
by Ram Chandra Jha, Ph.D.


The Unique
Sixth Stage Foreshadowings
of the Only-By-Me Revealed Seventh Stage of Life
Sri Adi Da Samraj

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