Let a great Tibetan scholar guide you through one of Nagarjuna’s masterworks.
In Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness Khensur Jampa Tegchok walks us carefully through a classic of Indian Buddhist philosophy, explaining the implications of its philosophical arguments and grounding its advice in a recognizable day-to-day world. In Precious Garland, the source text for this commentary, Nagarjuna advises his patron king on how best to take advantage of human life to secure a happy rebirth in the next life while making progress toward the goal of enlightenment. Known primarily for his incisive presentation of emptiness, here Nagarjuna shows his wise understanding of how to navigate the intricacies of worldly life to balance everyday needs with spiritual practice. Loaded with equal measures of penetrating explanations of the highest reality and inspiring encouragement towards the bodhisattva practices, Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness makes the case for living a thoughtful, morally upright life in the world to achieve immediate and ultimate spiritual goals.
“Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness is a beautifully clear translation and systematic explanation of Nagarjuna's most accessible and wide-ranging work. As the title suggests, it gives advice on everyday life, public policy, and meditation on the profound nature of our existence. Dharma students everywhere will benefit from careful attention to its pages.”
– Guy Newland, author of Introduction to Emptiness
“The Precious Garland adds various dimensions to Nagarjuna's thought that are not treated in his other works and is therefore of eminent importance for anyone who wants to gain a clear view of Nagarjuna's philosophy and of Madhyamaka thought in general. I am very glad to see this extremely clear translation of an important Madhyamaka work, accompanied by a lucid commentary solidly grounded in the Tibetan scholastic tradition. Serious students of Buddhist philosophy will be delighted by the opportunity it offers to gain a more profound, detailed, and multifaceted view of the conceptual core of the Madhyamaka tradition.”
– Jan Westerhoff, University of Oxford
“Though written to a king and composed over eighteen centuries ago, this poetic text by Nagarjuna, The Precious Garland, offers spot-on advice even for today’s tumultuous times. For its tenth chapter alone--on “Practical Advice for Leaders”—this text ought to be essential reading showing us how to lead a wise, compassionate and ethical life, and a clear, readable, and urgent call to ethical action. This amazing work offers sage advice for our times, especially for our leaders and policy-makers.”
– Jan Willis, author of Dreaming Me; Black, Baptist and Buddhist
“We are fortunate to have such important and instructive texts as Nagarjuna's Precious Garland, which is here profoundly explained by the eminent scholar Khensur Jampa Tegchok. The world has never been more in need of ethics and wisdom, so this timely book is highly recommended for all who seek authoritative guidance on the Mahayana path.”
– Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, author of Into the Heart of Life
“Khensur Jampa Tegchok was renowned in life as a Madhyamaka scholar with a profound understanding of emptiness. His teachings on Nagarjuna's Precious Garland, rendered into clear and entirely readable English by Bhikshu Steve Carlier and Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, leave no room for doubt that Khensur-la had thoroughly unravelled the relationship between the conventionally functioning law of actions and their effects and the ultimate reality of the lack of inherent existence of self and all phenomena. This book is a must for any Dharma practitioner trying to do the same.”
– Joan Nicell, editor of Purification in Tibetan Buddhism