The Madhyamakāvatāra (Entering the Middle Way) by Candrakīrti

The Madhyamakāvatāra (Entering the Middle Way) by Candrakīrti


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The Madhyamakāvatāra is a text by Candrakīrti (600–c. 650) on the Mādhyamaka school of Buddhist philosophy.

It is a commentary on the meaning of Nagarjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā and the Ten Stages Sutra.

As such, within the Tibetan Buddhist canon this text is classified as commentarial literature.

The Madhyamakāvatāra relates the Mādhyamaka doctrine of śūnyatā to the “spiritual discipline” of a bodhisattva.

The Madhyamakāvatāra contains eleven chapters, where each addresses one of the ten pāramitās or “perfections” fulfilled by bodhisattvas as they traverse the ‘ten stages’ to buddhahood, which is the final chapter.

Extracted from Tsongkhapa, Illuminating the Intent: An Exposition of Candrakīrti’s “Entering the Middle Way.”

Translated by Thupten Jinpa. Library of Tibetan Classics 19. Somerville MA: Wisdom Publications. Forthcoming publication date: March 2021.

This translation of Candrakīrti’s text has been provided by the publisher for participants in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings July 17–19, 2020.

This is a draft translation and may not reflect the final published version.


Chapter 1 - The First Ground, Perfect Joy


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