Hannah WestBuddhism- PHIL 3500-02Dr. Beck April 28, 2014Nagarjuna Nagarjuna is considered by many to be one of the most important Buddhist philosophers. He is often referred to as “the second Buddha” by Tibetan and East Asian Mahayana traditions ofBuddhism. Nagarjuna and his disciple Aryadeva are known as the founders of the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhism (“Nagarjuna”). Nagarjuna offered important criticisms and ideas that have become very important to the history of philosophy as a whole. He calls into question certain philosophical assumptions such as, the existence of stable substances, the linear and one-directional movement of causation, the atomic individuality of persons, the belief in fixed identity, and the strict separations between good and bad conduct and the blessed and fettered life(Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Aside from founding Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna is also credited with developing the Prajnaparamita Sutras and for having written multiple treatises on rasayana alchemy, and for serving a term as the head of Nalanda University. Unfortunately, there is little known for certain about the life of Nagarjuna. The surviving accounts of his life are written in Chinese and Tibetan and were created centuries after his death. Many of the writings reach mythical proportions and are not very reliable. Nagarajuna was most likely born as a Hindu into an upper-caste Brahmin family somewhere in the southern Andhra region of India (Encyclopedia of Philosophy). It is believed that Nagarjuna could have been an advisor to the king of the Satavahana Dynasty. This king would mostly likely have been, Yajna
Sri Satakarni, who ruled from 167 to 196 CE. These dates, epistles between the king and Nagarjuna, and archaeological evidence have led Nagarjuna to be placed around 150-250 CE. It
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- Mahayana, Nagarjuna, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhism. Nagarjuna