In these classes, we will continue our exploration of Nagarjuna’s Wisdom, the most famous book ever written on Buddhism’s most important idea: emptiness, which clarified and became the basis of all subsequent emptiness teachings. Geshe Michael Roach will lead us through an investigation into the flow and the deeper meaning of Nagarjuna’s writings, and how to apply his understanding practically into our daily lives.
Each of Wisdom’s 27 chapters of poetry presents an investigation of a unique idea or question to help us understand that the way we *believe* things work in our world perhaps is more than suspect. For almost 2000 years people have studied these poems and wondered what the meaning is behind the order of these chapters and what is the connection between each of the ideas presented. While some of the chapters obviously belong together, it requires a deep examination to discern what Nagarjuna had in mind.
And we have very few explanations in the canon of literature after Wisdom, one of which is Choney Lama. His commentary is quite extensive, yet his rationale for the order of the chapters explains the book out of order!
Our work then will be to study and understand the book, and put together our own interpretation of why Nagarjuna explained topics in the way and order he does. Then, we will ask ourselves the question: how does this actually help us in our day-to-day life? Perhaps, ultimately the meaning that each of us finds in the order of the chapters will uniquely help us to unravel the struggles and challenges in our personal lives so we can find more peace, happiness, and fulfilment.
This is our 5th course in this series exploring Arya Nagarjuna’s “Wisdom”. Geshe Michael stressed the importance of reviewing the previous Nagarjuna courses. He said,