Mādhyamika and Yogācāra

A Study of Mahāyāna Philosophies

By Gadjin M. Nagao
Edited by Leslie S. Kawamura

Subjects: Buddhism
Series: SUNY series in Buddhist Studies
Paperback : 9780791401873, 304 pages, January 1991
Hardcover : 9780791401866, 304 pages, January 1991

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Table of contents


Author's Preface



1. Buddhist Subjectivity

2. An Interpretation of the Term "Samvrti " (Convention) in Buddhism

3. The Bodhisattva Returns to this World

4. The Silence of the Buddha and its Madhyamic Interpretation

5. What Remains in Sunyata : A Yogacara Interpretation of Emptiness

6. The Buddhist World View as Elucidated in the Three-nature Theory and Its Similies

7. Connotations of the Word Asraya (Basis) in the Mahayana-Sutralamkara

8. Usages and Meanings of Parinamana

9. Tranquil Flow of Mind: An Interpretation of Upeksa

10. On the Theory of Buddha Body (Buddha-kaya )

11. Logic of Convertibility

12. Ontology in Mahayana Buddhism

13. From Madhyamika to Yogacara : An Analysis of MMK, XXIV. 18 and ME I. 1-2

14. Ascent and Descent: Two-Directional Activity in Buddhist Thought

15. Emptiness

16. Yogacara —A Reappraisal

Appendix—Sources of Essays



Index of Terms

Index of Tibetan Terms

Index of Chinese and Japanese Terms

Index of Sanskrit Terms


Nagao invariably focuses on the core of Mahāyāna Buddhism--the path of the Bodhisattva, the doctrine of śūnyatā, and the system of Trisvabhāva are explained.

Important technical terms used in the Mahayana textual tradition, whose exact understanding is imperative for the study of Mahāyāna Buddhism, are skillfully presented, making the book indispensable to scholars of Buddhist studies.

Gadjin M. Nagao is Professor Emeritus of Buddhist Studies at Kyoto University, Japan. He is the author of The Foundational Standpoint of Mādhyamika Philosophy, also published by SUNY Press. Leslie S. Kawamura is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


"It ties together for the first time the two primary schools of Indian Mahayana tradition. Nagao's insights have been valued by Japanese scholars all along and only recently have Western scholars appreciated them. This offers a complete picture of his novel deliberations, showing a first-rate thinker at work. " -- Kenneth Inada, State University of New York, Buffalo

"Professor Nagao is one of the most respected scholars in Buddhism, especially in Yogacara. His detailed treatment of each of the themes combined with a careful linguistic analysis of Buddhist philosophical concepts sheds much light on Buddhist doctrines. " -- David J. Kalupahana, University of Hawaii

"The author's strength in philological discipline and knowledge is manifest. The height of his philosophical achievement may be glimpsed in the chapter entitled: The Logic of Convertibility, which explicates the dialectical structure underlying the Madhyamika and Yogacara systems. " -- Shohei Ichimura, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California