Who is Nagarjuna?June 26, 2021
Nagarjuna, M.S. Famous Buddhist thinker who lived in the 2nd century and became famous for the logic of negation.
Nagarjuna, who argues that attempts to understand the world, interpret it and unravel the mystery of existence will necessarily meet with limits, and that things are empty, Nagarjuna argues that only the wise person will say “what is or what is not”, look down on everything, without worrying about existence or not. He argued that he would remain silent without discussion.
According to the sources of Mahayana Buddhism, Nagarjuna is one of the important personalities of history. The basis of Nagarjuna philosophy is the “Middle Way” (Madhyamika) teaching, and Buddhist philosophers have left many works on this subject. Nagarjuna’s main idea is a kind of reintroduction of Buddha’s teachings. This scholastic idea was once dangerous in the Hinayana school and soon disappeared. The purpose of this method, which changed all perspectives that had existed until now, was to make Buddhist teachings understandable as a logical way. This path made certain acts such as eternity and annihilation intelligible, and they were eventually abandoned. The purpose of these ideas was to preserve and perpetuate the widespread idea of education. The definition of emptiness is written in detail together with the concept of existence. Nagarjuna also took this as the duality of truth. Everything that exists in the traditions of Vajrayana and Zen Buddhism has influenced Indian Buddhist thinkers.
Existing information about Nagarjuna is contained in the Chinese and Tibetan language in the form of powerful legends in works written by Paramārtha (499–569) and Xuanzang (603–664). The information is not reliable because the authenticity of the information is not provable. These legends have been passed down from generation to generation. For example, in a work by the translator Kumārajīva (344–413), Nagarjuna is treated as a sorcerer who can become invisible. In the work, the king’s concubine is with her boyfriend and deceives the king. Nagarjuna and his two friends sneak into the palace and execute their plan. On the way back, Nagarjuna disappears when these two friends are forgiven by magic words. But this beloved couple is executed. This bad event caused Nagarjuna to face pain and after that Nagarjuna devoted himself to the way of Buddha.
According to another legend, Nagarjuna is said to be a dragon snake. People communicate by calling it from the depths of the sea. Nagarjuna’s name means “White Serpent”. In Indian mythology, white symbolizes purity and the snake symbolizes wisdom. In another legend, it is said that Nagarjuna fell ill with an incurable disease in childhood and therefore closed himself in a monastery. According to legend, he overcame his illness and attained immortality by reading Buddhist scriptures in this monastery. Also, many legends tell that Nagarjuna once killed an insect, which later revived and became Nagarjuna’s enemy.
Apart from these legends, the information about Nagarjuna’s real life is also not very enlightening. Nagarjuna was born in Vidharba in the 2nd century to a Brahmin family. He founded a monastery in South India, where he lived, and taught there. Information about the Nalânda monastery, which is a university style, is also included in the legends. In other sources, it is seen that Nagarjuna emphasized his views on Buddhism in the letters he wrote to his friend, who was of the Śātavāhana dynasty. Most of Nagarjuna’s works are in Sanskrit. This is because Nagarjuna is Brahman. The most important religious treatise consists of 27 chapters and is written in quatrains containing the basic teachings of the middle way. Besides, there are many more research papers and these are among the solid, accurate works of Nagarjuna.
Emergence of Nagarjuna philosophy
Nagarjuna’s Philosophy of Contentlessness
Nagarjuna’s Quadruple Theory Model
Dual Reality Teaching