Corpus ID: 37174030

The Truth of Nagarjuna: Something Beyond Nirvana

By considering his (in terms of) Logic-related works, we shall call Arya Nagarjuna as the most important Buddhist thinker in the Indian Antiquity. The most important parts of his works are the criticisms of thoughts which were presented by Buddhist tradition. Nagarjuna, who develops his ideas from the critical point of view by considering both Buddhist and it’s opposite Nyaya system of thoughts, is accepted as the founder of Madhyamaka which is called either Buddhist and also unique system of thought as its own. This brilliant and famous dialectician in his own period, manifests the most important parts of the fundemental princibles of his doctrine by six of his works. Especially four of six, which are throughly related with his studies on logic, includes these fundemental principles. Theese four main logical works of his are known as Vigraha-vyavartani-karika, Pramana-vihetana/Pramana-vidhvamsana, Upaya-kausalyahrydra-sastra and Mulamadhyamaka-karika (MMK). First three of these works contains his criticisms on Aksapada’s logical studies and alternative ideas that he developed in this direction. But of course, undoubtedly the most important work of his own is MMK, which is also a milestone in the Indian history of logic. Buddhist doctrine accepts Nirvana as undetermined one. However, on the contrary to this, Nagarjuna shows in his doctrine that just because of what Buddhist thinkers generally say: “Nirvana can not be undetermined one”, it also can not be the ultimate truth but it only can be the one face of The Truth. In fact, according to Nagarjuna, the ultimate truth itself is “ there is not a such a thing as ultimate truth”; if one needs to talk about The Truth itself, only this can be said: “Everything -even emptiness itselfis empty”. According to Nagarjuna, Nirvana is a concept which needs to be solved in the context of The Truth. In his MMK, he proves that it is not such a thing hat we can call as ultimate. And beside this, by asking “…so what is Truth?”, he asserts that it is something as we can call a dialectical whole which is also beyond Nirvana. In this paper by considering this first we will talk little bit about his criticisms in MMK on Svabhava and Nasti to figure out his understanding of essence as emptiness. Secondly, we will take a look at two fundamental Buddhist Princibles called Madhmayamaka and Catuskoti to understand how he epistemologically and logically grounds his both ontological and metaphysical ideas on two faces of the truth as so called Samsara and Nirvana. Than we will have our clear conclusion on The Truth by explaining what we are metioning with “Something beyond Nirvana”: “The Truth is there is no Truth at all!”
Yalkin, E.M. (2017). The Truth of Nagarjuna: Something Beyond Nirvana. JOWO.
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