Nagarjuna

kun rdzob stong pa nyid du bshad/ /

stong pa kho na kun rdzob yin/ /

med na mi 'byung nges pa'i phyir/ /

byas dang mi rtag ji bzhin no/ /

The relative is stated to be emptiness,

And emptiness itself is but the relative.

Without the first, the second is not present,

Just as with creation and impermanence.

Commentary on Bodhicitta, verse 68

 

dang po brgyad dang dgu nyon mongs/ /

gnyis dang bcu pa las yin te/ /

lhag ma bdun ni sdug bsngal yin/ /

bcu gnyis chos ni gsum du 'dus/ /

The first, eighth and ninth are afflictions,

The second and tenth are karma,

The remaining seven are suffering.

Thus the twelve links are grouped in three.

Heart of Dependent Origination, verse 2

 

gsum po dag las gnyis 'byung ste/ /

gnyis las bdun 'byung bdun las kyang/ /

gsum 'byung srid pa'i 'khor lo ste/ /

nyid ni yang dang yang du 'khor/ /

From the three the two originate,

And from the two the seven come,

From seven the three come once again?

Thus the wheel of existence turns and turns.

Heart of Dependent Origination, verse 3

 

kha thon mar me me long rgya/ /

me shel sa bon skyur dang sgras/ /

phung po nying mtshams sbyor ba yang/ /

mi 'pho bar yang mkhas rtogs bya/ /

Like a recitation, a candle, a mirror, a seal,

A magnifying glass, a seed, sourness, or a sound,

So also with the continuation of the aggregates?

The wise should know they are not transferred.

Heart of Dependent Origination, verse 5

 

chags dang zhe sdang gti mug dang/ /

des bskyed las ni mi dge ba/ /

ma chags zhe sdang gti mug med/ /

des bskyed las ni dge ba yin/ /

Desire, hatred and ignorance,

And the actions they generate are non-virtues.

Non-desire, non-hatred, non-ignorance,

And the actions they generate are virtues.

Jewel Garland, verse 20

 

ji srid phung por 'dzin yod pa/ /

de srid de las ngar 'dzin yod/ /

ngar 'dzin yod na yang las te/ /

de las yang ni skye ba yin/ /

As long as the aggregates are conceived,

There will be a conception of ?I?,

And when there is a conception of ?I?,

There?s karma, and from that, rebirth.

Jewel Garland, verse 35

 

'chi ba'i rkyen ni mang ba ste/ /

gso ba'i rgyu ni nyung zad cig /

de dag nyid ni 'chi ba'i yang/ /

de bas rtag tu chos mdzod cig /

Causes of death are numerous;

While causes of life are few indeed,

And even those may cause death,

So practise Dharma at all times.[i]

Jewel Garland, verse 278

 

gang zhig sngon chad bag med gyur pa la/ /

phyi nas bag dang ldan par gyur pa de/ /

zla ba sprin bral lta bur rnam mdzes te/ /

dga' bo sor phreng mthong ldan bde byed bzhin/ /

Someone who acted carelessly in the past

And then becomes careful and attentive,

Is as beautiful as the moon emerging from the clouds,

Like Nanda, Angulim?la, Dar?aka and ?ankara.

Letter to a Friend, verse 14

 

kha zas sman dang 'dra bar rig pa yi/ /

'dod chags zhe sdang med par brten bgyi ste/ /

rgyags phyir ma lags snyems pa'i phyir ma lags/ /

mtshag phyir ma lags lus gnas 'bab zhig phyir/ /

Not with feelings of attachment or aversion,

Or out of conceit and pride in your appearance,

Or a wish to gain weight; eat only to sustain the body.

Letter to a Friend, verse 38

 

tshe ni gnod mang rlung gis btab pa yi/ /

chu yi chu bur bas kyang mi rtag na/ /

dbugs dbyung dbugs rngub gnyid kyis log pa las/ /

sad khoms gang lags de ni ngo mtshar che/ /

This life is subject to many dangers,

And as fragile as a bubble in the wind,

While we sleep we breathe in and out,

And it is wondrous that we wake again!

Letter to a Friend, verse 55

 

gang zhig gser snod rin chen sprad pa yis/ /

ngan skyugs 'phyag par bgyis pa de bas ni/ /

gang zhig mi ru skyes las sdig pa dang/ /

bgyis pa de ni ches rab blun pa lags/ /

Even more stupid than one who cleans up vomit

Using a golden vase bedecked with jewels,

Is the one who, having been born a human,

Devotes his life to comitting harmful deeds.

Letter to a Friend, verse 60

 

ma yin thug mtha' rgya shug tshi gu tsam/ /

ril bur dril kyang sa yis langs mi 'gyur/ /

There is not enough soil in the world to make a tiny pellet,

The size of a juniper berry, for each of your past mothers.

Letter to a Friend, verse 68b

 

sdig can dbugs 'byung 'gag pa tsam zhig gi/ /

dus kyi bar du chod rnams dmyal ba yi/ /

sdug bsngal gzhal yas thos nas rnam stong du/ /

mi 'jigs gang lags rdo rje'i rang bzhin no/ /

The ceasing of his breath is all that separates

An evildoer from hell?s boundless suffering.

Anyone who hears this yet remains unmoved

Must have a mind as hard as a diamond.

Letter to a Friend, verse 83

 

dmyal ba bris pa mthong dang thos pa dang/ /

dran dang klog dang gzugs su bgyis pas kyang/ /

'jigs pa skye bar byed na mi bzad pa'i/ /

rnam smin nyams su myong rnams ci byar yod/ /

And if just seeing pictures of the hells, or hearing,

Reading and thinking about them brings such terror,

What will you do when you experience there

The unbearable effects of your past actions?

Letter to a Friend, verse 84

 

rten cing 'brel bar 'byung 'di sangs rgyas kyi/ /

gsung gi mdzod kyi gces pa zab mo ste/ /

gang zhig de ni yang dag mthong ba de/ /

chos mthong ba de de bzhin gshegs pa mthong/ /

Interdependent origination is a most profound

And cherished treasure among Buddha?s teaching.

Anyone who understands it correctly,

Will see the Dharma and see the Buddha.

Letter to a Friend, verse 112

 

ji ltar mar ngo'i bcu bzhi la/ /

zla ba cung zhig snang ba ltar/ /

de bzhin mos spyod zhugs rnams kyis/ /

chos kyi sku yang cung zad snang/ /

Just as on the fourteenth day of waning,

The moon is barely visible at all,

For those first practising with aspiration,

The dharmakaya barely appears.

Praise of the Dharmadhatu, verse 74

 

ci ltar tshes pa'i zla ba la/ /

rim gyis rim gyis 'phel ba ltar/ /

de bzhin sa la zhugs rnams kyis/ /

rim gyis rim gyis 'phel bar mthong/ /

Just as the waxing moon

Grows larger day by day,

Those who?ve reached the bhumis

See the dharmakaya more and more.

Praise of the Dharmadhatu, verse 75

 

gal te ngas dam bcas 'ga' yod/ /

des na nga la skyon de yod/ /

nga la dam bca' med pas na/ /

nga la skyon med kho na yin/ /

If I had a position,

Then I would be at fault,

But because I have no position,

I can only be without fault.

Refutation of Objections, verse 29

 

gang la stong pa nyid srid pa/ /

de la don rnams thams cad srid/ /

gang la stong nyid mi srid pa/ /

de la ci yang mi srid do/ /

To whomever emptiness is possible,

All things are possible.

To whomever emptiness is not possible,

Nothing is possible.

Refutation of Objections, verse 71

 

gang zhig stong dang rten 'byung dag/ /

dbu ma'i lam du don gcig par/ /

gsung mchog mtshungs pa med pa yi/ /

sangs rgyas de la phyag 'tshal lo/ /

To the one who taught this excellent teaching,

In which emptiness and dependent origination,

Are united in a Middle Way?

To the Buddha, I pay homage.

Refutation of Objections, verse 72

 

gang gis rten cing 'brel par 'byung/ /

'gag pa med pa skye med pa/ /

chad pa med pa rtag med pa/ /

'ong ba med pa 'gro med pa/ /

tha dad don min don gcig min/ /

spros pa nyer zhi zhi bstan pa/ /

rdzogs pa'i sangs rgyas smra rnams kyi/ /

dam pa de la phyag 'tshal lo/ /

Everything that arises interdependently

Is unceasing and unborn,

Neither non-existent nor everlasting,

Neither coming nor going,

Neither multiple nor single,

To this teaching that pacifies all complexity,

The most sacred speech of the perfect Buddha,

I pay homage!

Root Verses of the Middle Way

 

bdag las ma yin gzhan las min/ /

gnyis las ma yin rgyu med min/ /

dngos po gang dag gang na yang/ /

skye ba nam yang yod ma yin/ /

Not from itself, nor from another,

Not from both, nor without a cause,

Does anything anywhere ever arise.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, I, 1

 

gal te stong min cung zad yod/ /

stong pa cung zad yod par 'gyur/ /

mi stong cung zad yod min na/ /

stong pa yod par ga la 'gyur/ /

If there were the slightest thing which were not empty,

Then there would be that much emptiness as well,

But if there is not the slightest thing which is not empty

How could emptiness exist?

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XIII, 7

 

rgyal ba rnams kyis stong pa nyid/ /

lta kun nges par 'byung bar gsungs/ /

gang dag stong pa nyid lta ba/ /

de dag bsgrub tu med par gsungs/ /

The victorious ones say that emptiness

Undermines all dogmatic views,

Those who take a dogmatic view of emptiness

Are said to be incurable.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XIII, 8

 

yod ces bya bar rtag par 'dzin/ /

med ces bya ba chad par lta/ /

de phyir yod dang med pa la/ /

mkhas pas gnas par mi bya'o/ /

To say ?it is? is a conception of permanence,

To say ?it is not? is a view of nihilism,

Therefore the learned should not dwell

In either existence or non-existence.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XV, 10

 

rdzogs sangs rgyas rnams ma byon zhing/ /

nyan thos rnams kyang zad pa na/ /

rang sangs rgyas kyi ye shes ni/ /

rten pa med las rab tu skye/ /

In a land where the perfect buddhas have not come,

And the ?r?vakas too are nowhere to be found,

The wisdom of the pratyekabuddhas

Develops perfectly without reliance.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XVIII, 12

 

sangs rgyas rnams kyis chos bstan pa/ /

bden pa gnyis la yang dag brten/ /

'jig rten kun rdzob bden pa dang/ /

dam pa'i don gyi bden pa'o/ /

The teachings taught by the buddhas

Entirely depend on the two truths:

The relative truth of the world and

The truth of the ultimate meaning.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XXIV, 8

 

gang dag bden pa de gnyis kyi/ /

rnam dbye rnam par mi shes pa/ /

de dag sangs rgyas bstan pa ni/ /

zab mo'i de nyid rnam mi shes/ /

Those who fail to understand

The distinctions between these two truths

Will fail to understand the meaning

Of the profound teachings of the buddhas.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XXIV, 9

 

tha snyad la ni ma brten par/ /

dam pa'i don ni rtogs mi 'gyur/ /

dam pa'i don ni ma rtogs par/ /

mya ngan 'das pa thob mi 'gyur/ /

Without relying on the conventional,

The ultimate meaning will not be realized,

And if one does not realize the ultimate,

One will not attain nirv?na.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XXIV, 10

 

stong pa nyid la blta nyes na/ /

shes rab chung rnams phung bar 'gyur/ /

ji ltar sbrul la gzung nyes dang/ /

rig sngags nyes par bsgrubs pa bzhin/ /

If they view emptiness in the wrong way,

The less intelligent will be ruined,

Like someone mishandling a poisonous snake,

Or chanting a powerful spell incorrectly.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XXIV, 11

 

gang phyir rten 'byung ma yin pa'i/ /

chos 'ga' yod pa ma yin pa/ /

de phyir stong pa ma yin pa'i/ /

chos 'ga' yod pa ma yin no/ /

There is not a single thing

That does not arise interdependently.

Therefore there is not a single thing

That is not emptiness.

Root Verses of the Middle Way, XXIV, 19

 

gang gi thugs brtse nyer bzung nas/ /

lta ba thams cad spang ba'i phyir/ /

dam pa'i chos ni ston mdzad pa/ /

gau tam de la phyag 'tshal lo/ /

I prostrate to Gautama,

Who, out of compassion,

Taught the sacred Dharma

That leads to the relinquishing of all views.[ii]

Root Verses of the Middle Way

 

dam pas mang po kha 'che mi byed cing/ /

gal te dka' las khas ni blangs gyur na/ /

rdo la ri mo bris pa ji bzhin du/ /

shi yang gzhan du 'gyur ba ma yin no/ /

The wise do not make many promises,

But once they have committed themselves,

Then, as if the pledge were carved in stone,

Even in the face of death, they will not fail.

Staff of Wisdom, verse 11

 

 



[i] Kun bzang bla ma?i zhal lung attributes a very similar verse to ?ryadeva.

 

[ii] The custom of reciting this verse before teaching in order to remember the Buddha?s kindness was initiated by Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen.