Nāgārjuna (c. 150250), called the "second Buddha", was an Indian Buddhist priest and thinker. He systematized Mahayana Buddhist philosophy around the central concept of the emptiness (shunyata) of all existents (dharmas).


  • No suffering is self-caused.
    Nothing causes itself.
    If another is not self-made,
    How could suffering be caused by another?

    If suffering were caused by each,
    Suffering could be caused by both.
    Not caused by self or by other,
    How could suffering be uncaused?

  • The science, which teaches arts and handicrafts
    Is merely science for the gaining of a living;
    But the science which teaches deliverance from worldly existence,
    Is not that the true science?"
    • Prajñadanda (The Staff of Wisdom) attributed to Nagarjuna

  • Even three times a day to offer
    Three hundred cooking pots of food
    Does not match a portion of the merit
    In one instant of love.
    • The Precious Garland, 283

  • "Although you may spend your life killing,
    You will not exhaust all your foes.
    But if you quell your own anger,
    your real enemy will be slain."
    • Nagarjuna & Sakya Pandita. (1977). Elegant sayings. Cazadero, California: Dharma Publishing.

  • If you desire ease, forsake learning.
    If you desire learning, forsake ease.
    How can the man at his ease acquire knowledge,
    And how can the earnest student enjoy ease?

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