The Emptiness of Emptiness: An Introduction to Early Indian Madhyamika

Paperback: $24.00
ISBN-13: 9780824817121
Published: January 1995
Hardback: $90.00
ISBN-13: 9780824811655
Published: August 1989

Additional Information

304 pages
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  • About the Book
  • The Emptiness of Emptiness presents the first English translation of the complete text of the Madhyamakāvatāra (Entry into the Middle Way) a sixth century Sanskrit Buddhist composition that was widely studied in Tibet and, presumably, in its native India as well. In his lengthy introduction to the translation, Huntington offers a judiciously crafted, highly original discussion of the central philosophy of Mahāyāna Buddhism. He lays out the principal ideas of emptiness and dependent origination not as abstract philosophical concepts, but rather as powerful tools for restructuring the nature of human experience at the most fundamental level.

    Drawing on a variety of Indian and Western sources, both ancient and modern, Huntington gradually leads the reader toward an understanding of how it is that sophisticated philosophical thinking can serve as a means for breaking down attachment to any idea, opinion or belief. All of this on the Buddhist premise that habitual, unreflective identification with ideas, opinions, or beliefs compromises our appreciation of the ungraspable miracle that lies at the heart of everyday, conventional reality. The author shows how the spiritual path of the bodhisattva works to transform the individual personality from a knot of clinging into a vehicle for the expression of profound wisdom (prajñā) and unconditional love (karuṇā).

  • About the Author(s)
    • C. W. Huntington, Author

    • Namgyal Wangchen, Author

  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • The first complete translation of one of Candrakirti's major works into precise and readable English is a masterful achievement that might well encourage further collaboration between Western and Tibetan scholars. This is a contribution to be applauded.
      Journal of Religion
    • Huntington's philosophical interpretation... is argued with force and clarity. It corrects (with panache) many of the misinterpretations of Madhyamika still current among Anglophone writers.
      Journal of the American Oriental Society