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: BUD 601 Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances are Mere Mind

What You’ll Learn:

  • 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 Texts

  • Commentary on the Presentation of Madhyamaka in the Treasury of Knowledge by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications
  • There is No Secret Ingredient: A Contemporary Introduction to Studying and Using Madhyamaka, by Karl Brunnhölzl, Nitartha Institute Publications

Available for purchase by emailing bookstore@nitarthainstitute.org.

If there are further questions about texts, please write to publications@nitarthainstitute.org.

Mode of Instruction: Self-Paced online course and Semester course
The class is part of our online campus and is available as streaming video, as well as downloadable audio. The course is also sometimes offered as a semester course. The online course has posted study questions, recommended readings, exam questions and the ability to contact a distance learning advisor with questions.

You will receive an email providing information about accessing the online course within a week of registering.

Additional Information
For questions about this course as a Self-Paced Online Course, contact SPOC Coordinator Jenny Shu at jshu@nitarthainstitute.org.