BUD 610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition:
Not Even a Middle

Intermediate Curriculum

Course Credits: 2 credits
Course Code: BUD 610

Course Description: This course is an overview of the final view of the Buddhist philosophy—the Madhyamaka, or the Middle Way tradition of Mahayana, which propounds the view of shunyata, the emptiness of all phenomena, the transcendence of all views, freedom from elaborations. We will study the presentation of the two truths, their union, and the five great madhyamaka reasonings.

Prerequisite: Though any student may take any intermediate course at any time, it is recommended that students complete the Foundation Curriculum before beginning the Intermediate Curriculum, then take all four intermediate courses in the order of:

  • BUD 601 Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances are Mere Mind
  • BUD 610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle
  • BUD 620 Paths and Bhumis: The Path to Enlightenment
  • BUD 630 Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata
Class Topics
  • Explanation of the term Madhyamaka
  • Ground, path, and fruition of Madhyamaka
  • Prajñaparamita literature and commentaries
  • Madhyamaka subschools and the Indian and Tibetan Lineage
  • Three levels of analysis
  • The two truths in Svatantrika and Prasangika view
  • Union of the two truths
  • Implicative and nonimplicative negations
  • Analysis of the nature: reasoning that is freedom from singularity and multiplicity
  • Analysis of the cause: the reasoning that refutes arising from the four extremes called the Vajra Slivers
  • Analysis of result and analysis of both cause and result
  • Analysis of mere appearances: reasoning of dependent origination
  • Selflessness of persons: the sevenfold analysis of the chariot
Required Text
  • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyü Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, Snow Lion Publications, 2004
Recommended Text
  • Commentary on the Presentation of Madhyamaka in the Treasury of Knowledge by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications