[INDOLOGY] Candrakirti's Madhyamakavatara: Sanskrit text and English translations

Jan Westerhoff westerhoff at cantab.net
Mon Jan 22 17:11:39 UTC 2024

Dear Colleagues,
as there have been some queries about the status of the Sanskrit text of
Candrakirti's Madhyamakavatara and available English translations I
thought it might be useful to summarise the most important points:


Candrakirti's verses of chapters 1-5 and his autocommentary were published
in 2022 as volume 22 of the series "Sanskrit Texts from the Tibetan
Autonomous Region" (https://doi.org/10.1553/978OEAW87004).

The verses of chapter 6 were published in volume 43 of the Journal of
Indian Philosophy in 2015.

The edition of the autocommentary on chapter 6 currently takes place in
Vienna and is being coordinated by Anne MacDonald. I believe an edition /
annotated translation is scheduled to come out in 2024 or 2025.

The verses of chapters 7-11 and their autocommentary are presently being
edited by Japanese scholars, though I am not sure who is coordinating
this, and when an edition might be published.


Shoryu Katsura and Mark Siderits will be publishing an English translation
of the verses of chapter 6 scheduled to come out in 2024 or 2025. This is
the first translation of the verses of chapter 6 based on the Sanskrit,
and I expect that it, like their 2013 translation of Nagarjuna's
Mulamadhyamakakarika will serve as a reference translation for years to

In the meantime (and for coverage of the rest of the text) I usually
recommend the following translations to my students:

C.W. Huntington's 1989 "The Emptiness of Emptiness" (somewhat dated, but
still useful).

Thupten Jinpa's translation contained in his 2021 "Illuminating the
Intent" (which is accompanied by Tsong kha pa's extensive commentary).

The 2020 translation by Fredrik Liland (http://tinyurl.com/4h9u5rdx)
included in the excellent Bibliotheca Polyglotta
(particularly useful for those who want to read the English and Tibetan of
the verses and autocommentary side by side).

A fairly comprehensive overview of other available English translations
and commentaries is on pp. 9-11 of my 2024 "Candrakirti's Introduction to
the Middle Way. A Guide" (these pages are available in the Amazon preview

Best wishes

Jan Westerhoff

JC Westerhoff
Lady Margaret Hall
University of Oxford
Norham Gardens
Oxford OX2 6QA
United Kingdom

westerhoff at cantab.net

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list