Nagarjuna's influence...

Johannes B. Tuemmers ami0209 at rs1.rrz.Uni-Koeln.DE
Thu Feb 23 17:28:37 UTC 1995

Concerning the ongoing (re-)discussion on NAgArjuna's influence, I wonder
whether NAgArjuna meant his texts (like MK) to be logically flawless in the
first place. Maybe that wasn't his _main_ concern. I find his texts to be
written with a MahAyAnic-motivation, i.e. with some 'therapeutical'
motives behind the letters. The ultimate goal must have been for him,
basically, to contribute valuable for those aspiring to become

The MK, for example, seems (IMO) to lead to the limits of any
grasping knowledge. His _via negativa_-kind of method is directed against
any grasping of the ultimate nature of outer and inner phenomena by
vi-j~nAna. This includes any concepts whatsoever. Hence arises the 
difficult question whether he holds any view at all, or the opposite. 

The most interesting thing with his texts is, for me, the fact that 
NAgArjuna tried to refute the (plain) intellectual approach to 
Emptiness by using the apparatus of the same intellect; 
'to beat it with it's own weapons', so to speak (that's a german proverb). 

NAgArjuna was certainly not _only_ a pure logician, but a practising 
buddhist, too, and as such he might have also had access to meditative 
insight as a source of inspiration for what to write and how. Reading the 
MK reminds me of reading a Zen-Koan. NAgArjuna has shown the limits and 
paradox nature of names and designations. 

Is anybody here on this list, who knows about Ludwig Wittgenstein?
Could it be, that Wittgenstein did a similar job fot western philosophy as
did NAgArjuna for the Indian traditions of his times? Of course, W. was no
buddhist and enlightenment was not among his possible options. 

Looking forward to your comments,



More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list