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Chapter 1: Verses 57-62

Chapter 1: Verses 57-62

Chapter 1 addresses what to abandon and what to practice to attain upper rebirth and highest good. Part of a series of talks on Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland of Advice for a King.

  • Learning to be responsible for our own happiness instead of looking at others as the source of our unhappiness and happiness
  • Of the two extreme views, the nihilistic view is more dangerous because it leads to unethical actions
  • Through the middle way view one avoids the two extremes and attains liberation
  • Negating inherent existence doesn’t make one a nihilist and asserting conventional existence doesn’t make one an essentialist
  • The lower Buddhist schools that accuse Nagarjuna of being a nihilist have misunderstood the meaning of the middle way
  • The assertion that things are empty and yet still exist nominally is a unique feature of the Prasangika view
  • Only the Buddha spoke of freedom from the two extreme views
  • Only when you get the middle way view exactly can you attain liberation

Precious Garland 18: Verses 57-62 (download)

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.