This is a completely new translation of Nagarjuna`s major work the Mulamadhyamakakarika, accompanied by a detailed annotation of each of the verses. The annotation identifies the metaphysical theories of the scholastics criticized by Nagarjuna, and traces the source material and the arguments utilized in his refutation back to the early discourses of the Buddha.
The Introduction presents a completely new hypothesis about the nature of treatise. The work is a grand commentary on the Buddha's "Discourse to Katyayana" (Kaccayanaqotta-sutta). The concluding part of the Introduction compares the teaching of the Buddha and Nagarjuna in regard to epistemology, ontology, ethics and philosophy of language indicating how the latter was making a determined attempt to reconstruct the Buddha's teachings in a very faithful manner, avoiding the substantialist metaphysics of the scholastics.
The book shows that Nagarjuna`s ideas are neither original nor are they an advancement from the early Buddhist period. Nagarjuna is not a Mahayanist.
About the Author:
David Kalupahana is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii.