Nagarjuna of the Middle Way Philosophy
Arya Nagarjuna lived after the Buddha’s time and became the founder of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in ancient India. It was from this great being that the lineage on wisdom, or the teachings on the profound view of Emptiness, descended based on his pure visions of Manjushri. Even before his time, there were numerous accounts in several Sutras that prophesied the coming of Nagarjuna, such as those in the Lankavatara Sutra amongst many others. On the other hand, Nagarjuna in the Tibetan tradition is regarded as one of the previous incarnations of Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug School.
It is said that when Nagarjuna was giving teachings on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, six nagas appeared behind him and formed a parasol over his head to shield him from the sun. This image became popularised in statues and thangkas of him. His name can be broken up into the words ‘naga’ – which reflects his encounters with these beings and ‘arjuna’ – the name of a famous archer from the Bhagavad Gita, a befitting epithet for the precise manner in which he delivered the finer aspects of the teachings much in the same meticulous manner as an archer. Thus, he was known as Nagarjuna.
In the ancient texts, Nagarjuna was born into a Brahmin family in the ancient kingdom of Vidarbha of South India. As soon as he was born, he was customarily presented to a soothsayer who proclaimed him a holy being due to auspicious signs on his body. However, the soothsayer also said that the signs indicated that the baby would not live past the seventh day. He added that it was possible to extend the baby’s life up to seven years if the parents made offerings to a hundred Buddhist monks. The parents immediately obliged and Nagarjuna lived to seven years old. On the seventh year, the soothsayer’s prediction came back to haunt them.
The parents feared the worst and so they resorted to sending the little boy to the great Nalanda Monastery, where he came under the care of the great master Saraha. The master Saraha explained to Nagarjuna that there was a way to extend his life. The method was becoming ordained as a monk and engaging in the sadhana of the Buddha of Boundless Life, Amitayus. The boy was relieved, accepted his teacher’s advice, received the initiation and practised the sadhana diligently. Thus, he outlived his seventh year.
Subsequently, Nagarjuna received his novice vows and began his education in Nalanda. He was exceptionally intelligent in his studies, gradually rising to become a pandit or master in all the major fields of study. Therefore, his teacher Saraha initiated him into the esoteric Tantric teachings beginning with the Guhyasamaja initiation and personally gave the explanation to this Tantric system along with other teachings. Nagarjuna absorbed these teachings easily.
As he reached the permitted age, Nagarjuna returned to his parents and asked for their permission to become ordained. He was given permission and so he returned and was duly ordained by the abbot of the monastery according to the tradition of the Vinaya. As was customary, Nagarjuna was given the ordination name of Sriman (in Tibetan, the name is Palden). His yidam was Manjushri and so he was under the Wisdom Buddha’s care as he had been in previous lives.
There was a time when the master Saraha had instructed his student Nagarjuna to sustain the monastery during the time of a great famine. So, he magically transported himself to an island and studied the art of alchemy from a hermit who lived there. Upon his return, he became celebrated as the provider of the monastery through the knowledge he had learnt.
Nagarjuna eventually became a highly respected pandit-scholar and was elected to the position of Abbot of Nalanda. During his tenure, he was known as an abbot who was practical and levelheaded. In particular, he established a system in which the three higher trainings of moral discipline, concentration and wisdom were emphasised. He also dealt with wayward monks accordingly and would have no problems expelling monk who had broken their core vows.
On the aspect of his teachings, Nagarjuna had his fair share of critics. There was a scholar who went by the name of Sankara who composed a text called Ornament of Knowledge that refuted Nagarjuna’s teachings in 12,000 stanzas. There was also a Hinayana monk by the name of Sendah who refuted the validity of the Mahayana tradition that Nagarjuna taught. Needless to say, Nagarjuna refuted the views held in these texts and many others that propagated wrong views.
One day, Nagarjuna was giving teachings to a large audience when two strangers appeared and joined the crowd while infusing the air with a strong scent of sandalwood. The great master was observing the strangers and when a chance came up for him to speak with them, he began to ask who they were and where they had come from. The strangers explained that they were actually serpentine nagas in human guise and were princes of the Naga King Taksaka. They had anointed themselves with sandalwood oil so they could be amongst men without feeling revulsion at their scent. Nagarjuna immediately requested the assistance of the naga princes to procure sandalwood to be carved into an image of Tara and also the nagas’ help in temple construction.
The naga princes replied that they would ask the permission of their father first and promised to return. The next day, the naga princes did return and asked to meet with Acharya Nagarjuna. They brought a message from the Naga King, their father, stating that he was willing to make the offerings but that Nagarjuna must first follow the two princes to the land of the nagas. Acharya Nagarjuna pondered upon this and felt that traveling to the naga realm would be beneficial for sentient beings. So he accepted the invitation and followed the naga princes into their realm.
Upon his arrival in their realm, Nagarjuna was accorded the deepest respect as a Guru. He soon discovered that the Naga King and his subjects were predisposed towards virtue and the teachings of the Buddha. The king proceeded to make numerous offerings to the Acharya, requesting him to bestow teachings upon them. Needless to say, the Acharya accepted and gave extensive teachings to the delight of the king and his subjects.
Soon, it was time for Acharya Nagarjuna to return to the monastery but the king and a few of his subjects begged him to remain. However, Nagarjuna said he was not able to stay as he only had permission from the monastery for the short duration that was necessary to acquire and return with sandalwood, the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and the agreement that the nagas would assist in the construction of temples and stupas. In the end, the king relented as the Acharya promised to return.
The Acharya returned to the monastery triumphantly holding the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Lines along with several shorter versions of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and several dharanis. Aside from the texts, he also brought back sandalwood and naga clay meant for the construction of temples and stupas.
The origins of the Sutra were traced back to the time of the Buddha, when he first gave the teaching on the Perfection of Wisdom. It is said that various versions of the teaching were each given to the nagas, gods and yakshas. However, the copy of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra that Nagarjuna brought back with him had two missing chapters at the end. Apparently, the nagas withheld the last two chapters in hopes that he would return to teach them and retrieve the missing chapters. However, the last two chapters were filled in with the last two chapters of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines instead.
Having acquired the precious texts, Nagarjuna studied it and began to establish what would become the Madhyamaka tradition that later spread all over India. Madhyamaka is translated as the ‘Middle Way’ and the teachings became the cornerstone of Mahayana Buddhism. In order to elaborate the view, the Acharya also composed various other treatises and commentaries on the Perfection of Wisdom, Buddhist logic and the Guhyasamaja Tantra.
Throughout his life, Nagarjuna acquired many illustrious students. From among them, there were four primary spiritual sons and three close sons. The four primary sons were Sakyamitra, Nagabodhi, Aryadeva and Matanga and his close sons were Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka and Ashvagosha. The Acharya also met another student who would become his foremost disciple when he was older and he said to him,
To my last disciple Chandrakirti, I shall show the ultimate Dharma which is not born.
Chandrakirti would become a great scholar, was highly attained and developed the Prasangika tradition based on Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka teachings.
In his earlier years, Nagarjuna traveled to the northern continent to give teachings. On his journey, he came across some children playing on the side of the road. He noticed a boy that stood out by the name of Jetaka. Nagarjuna prophesied that he would one day be king. The Acharya went on his way and would not return until many years later. By then, the boy had grown up and was the king of a sprawling kingdom in South India.
The king, recognising the Acharya, invited him to his palace to be his tutor. This is the king that Nagarjuna wrote ‘A Letter to a Friend’ to and is referred to as King Udayibhadra of the Satavahana Dynasty. Members of the Satavahana were great patrons of the Amaravati Stupa where the Buddha first taught the Kalachakra Tantra. This was close to Shri Parvata, where Nagarjuna often engaged in retreats and the place where he penned a lot of his writings.
The king had a son, Prince Kumara Shaktiman who was power hungry and coveted the throne for himself. Unfortunately, his mother told him he would never inherit the throne until Nagarjuna was dead because she felt that there was a deep connection between the Acharya and the king. His mother said to ask the Acharya for his head and he would definitely agree since he is a Bodhisattva.
When the prince did make the request, he was unable to decapitate Nagarjuna with an ordinary sword. In the end, Nagarjuna revealed that in his previous life, he had killed an ant while cutting grass. Consequently, he would succumb to the blade of a kusha grass. So the prince quickly ran to acquire it and severed Nagarjuna’s head. It is said that the blood turned into milk and just before dying, the Acharya exclaimed,
Now I will go to Sukhavati Pure Land, but I will enter this body again…
The prince decided to clean up the scene and disposed of the Acharya’s head a great distance from his body. It is said that each year, the head and body are inching closer together and will reach a point where they will rejoin. When that happens, the Acharya will return to teach again. According to traditional accounts, Nagarjuna lived for 600 years but modern scholars state that he lived for a hundred years between 150 to 250 CE.
In Tibet, Lama Tsongkhapa asked a pure vision of Manjushri if he could rely on Chandrakirti’s commentaries in order to grasp Nagarjuna’s view. Manjushri then replied that the purpose of Chandrakirti appearing on Earth was to clarify Nagarjuna’s excellent view. Therefore, Lama Tsongkhapa could have full faith in Chandrakirti because he had clearly understood Nagarjuna’s complete view of Emptiness.
Later, Lama Tsongkhapa finally gained the complete realisation of Emptiness through his study and meditation on Buddhapalita’s text, which was also highly regarded by Chandrakirti who shared the same view. Both of these great masters were the students of Nagarjuna. Then, Lama Tsongkhapa infused his own writings and teachings with his realisations as defined through Chandrakirti and Buddhapalita’s commentaries.
According to traditional belief, those who follow Lama Tsongkhapa’s writings and lineage will be blessed by Manjushri to develop faster realisations. Furthermore, Dorje Shugden arose principally to assist and protect this special uncommon lineage of Nagarjuna’s view. Hence, Dorje Shugden wears the round yellow hat as a physical representation of Nagarjuna’s view that he had realised and he had sworn to safeguard.
In conclusion, Nagarjuna is widely known as the founding father of the Mahayana Buddhist Tradition. The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras brought from the realm of the nagas is the main text on which Nagarjuna had based his Madhyamaka or Middle Way view. This philosophical view is the basis from which innumerable yogis, geshes, tulkus and great masters achieved the complete realisation of Emptiness, which is known as Shunyata in Sanskrit. In the Tibetan monasteries today, the study of the Perfection of Wisdom texts and Madhyamaka are an integral part of Tibetan monastic curriculum and the doctrinal basis for contemplation and practice. The realisations of Emptiness and Bodhicitta are two means by which one becomes a fully enlightened being.
- Lobsang N. Tsonawa (1984), Indian Buddhist Pundits
- New Delhi. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.
- Berzin Archives
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shell taiPosted on August 24, 2016 #1 Author
Is amazing to know this great being like Nargajuna that contribute so much for the Buddha teaching without this great being we as per today will not be able to study all these material that is so precious .
Pastor Han NeePosted on August 24, 2016 #2 Author
Nagarjuna , great philosopher and founder of the Mahayana School of Buddhism in India, is particularly renowned for bringing us the lineage on wisdom, or the teachings on the profound view of Emptiness, based on his pure visions of Manjushri. The other lineage is the extensive or method Lineage descended from Asanga.
At the young age of seven, he was sent to study and to be trained in the great Nalanda Monastery, under the great Mahasiddha Saraha. A great sage had said that Nagarjuna would live to the age of seven only. Hence, his parents fearing for him, had sent him to Nalanda Monastery. Saraha taught him a way to extend his life. The way or method was to be ordained as a monk and to engage in the sadhana of the Buddha of Boundless Life, Amitayus.
So Nagarjuna accepted his teacher’s advice, received the initiation and practised the sadhana diligently. Thus, he outlived his seventh year. He subsequently received his novice vows and then began his education in Nalanda. He was highly intelligent and mastered all fields of study and became a pandit. His teacher initiated him into tantra, beginning with the Guhyasamaja initiation. He was a great student and quickly absorbed his teacher Saraha’s teachings on Tantra and other teachings.
At the permitted age, he returned home and received permission to go back to Nalanda and be ordained as a monk. Upon his ordination, he was given his yidam , the Wisdom Buddha and so came under the care of Manjushri, as he had been in previous lives.
When famine hit the land, he was instructed to study alchemy and help provide for the Monastery, which he did, and subsequently became the provider for the monastery.
He was a highly respected scholar and pandit, and rose to become the abbot of Nalanda.During his tenure, he established a system in which the three higher trainings of moral discipline, concentration and wisdom were emphasised. He was strict and dealt with wayward monks fairly, including expelling them.
Nagajuna dealt with the critics of his views capably and refuted and put down all of their wrong views.
Nagarjuna went to the land of the nagas and returned with the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Lines along with several shorter versions of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and several dharanis. Nagarjuna studied these precious texts and began to establish what would become the Madhyamaka tradition that later spread all over India. Madhyamaka is translated as the ‘Middle Way’ and the teachings became the cornerstone of Mahayana Buddhism.
Nagarjuna acquired many illustrious students. From among them, there were four primary spiritual sons and three close sons. The four primary sons were Sakyamitra, Nagabodhi, Aryadeva and Matanga and his close sons were Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka and Ashvagosha.
Chandakirti was the last of his students and would become the most outstanding one. True to Nagarjuna’s prediction,Chandrakirti became a great scholar, was highly attained and developed the Prasangika tradition based on Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka teachings.
When Lama Tsongkhapa, in a pure vision, asked Manjushri if he could rely on Chandrakirti’s commentaries in order to grasp Nagarjuna’s view, Manjushri then replied that Chandrakirti had come from the Buddhafield to clarify Nagarjuna’s excellent view., and that his wriitngs were error free.Therefore, Lama Tsongkhapa could have full faith in Chandrakirti because he had clearly understood Nagarjuna’s complete view of Emptiness. With this, Tsongkhapa developed full conviction that the corpus of Chandakirti’s writitng was authoritative.
Later, Lama Tsongkhapa gained the complete realisation of Emptiness through his study and meditation on Buddhapalita’s text, which was also highly regarded by Chandrakirti who shared the same view. Indeed, this should be so, as both these great Masters were students of Nagarjuna.
Thus, Lama Tsongkhapa infused his own writings and teachings with his realisations as defined through Chandrakirti and Buddhapalita’s commentaries.
That is how the great Je Tsongkhapa became the unexcelled propounder of Nagarjuna’s Middle (Correct) View .This view , and Tsongkhapa’s propounding of this view which would unmistakably lead beings to Liberation and Full Enlightenment, was what Dorje Shugden arose as an Uncommon Protector to protect, especially in this degenerate age. Dorje Shugden wears the round yellow hat as a physical representation of Nagarjuna’s view that he had realised and he had sworn to safeguard.
FongPosted on August 26, 2016 #3 Author
Nagarjuna’s coming in this world was in sutras such as Lankavatara Sutra. His life was extended several times with the advice of soothsayer and the master Saraha. At the right age, he asked to be ordained and subsequently rose to be the abbot of Nalanda Monastery, where he was known to be very strict with monks.
Nagarjuna retrieved the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Lines along with several shorter versions of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and several dharanis from the Naga realm where it was kept after Buddha Shakyamuni taught it to them. Sandalwood and naga clay were brought back for the construction of temples and stupas as well. This incident is significant in that this Sutra formed the backbone of the Madhyamaka tradition (translated as the ‘Middle Way’) that later spread all over India.
These teachings on Madhyamaka by Nagarjuna together with the commentaries by Chandrakirti and Buddhapalita were what Lama Tsongkhapa meditated on to gain realization of emptiness. Lama Tsongkhapa also infused his own writings and teachings with his realizations.
It is here that the way that the path to enlightenment is by way of the realizations of the two means Emptiness and Bodhicitta.
ChoongPosted on August 27, 2016 #4 Author
History shows that time and again, Buddhadharma manifests in enlightened beings such as Acharya Nagarjuna to steer us out of ignorance, using a teaching toolkit that is understood and therefore effective for a particular era.
In this case, it was a period where the Buddhist traditions were often tied up in knots trying to explain “Sunya”, the interpretive key to the heart of the truth (Dharma), in metaphysical terms which was then flourishing.
Nagarjuna succeeded of course and converted many who had wrong views.
Many centuries later and after more ups and downs, the Middle Way as explained by Nagarjuna and his chief commentators Buddhapalita and Chandrakirti survives and via Je Tsongkhapa, is as stainless as ever.
OM YE DHARMA HETU PRABHAVA HAYTUNTE SHAN TATAGATO HAYWADAT TESHAN TSAYO NIRODHA EWAM WADI MAHA SHRAMANAYE SOHA
TAYATHA OM GATEY GATEY PARAGATEY PARASAMGATEY BODHI SOHA
graceleongPosted on August 28, 2016 #5 Author
It is very interesting to see how the Buddha kept aside certain teachings and only to have them exposed many many years after the Buddha has passed on . It was only revealed when the conditions of that period was in need of that teaching to help the practitioners. During the Buddha’s life 2600 years ago, He did try to practice more extreme methods such as extreme fasting or subjecting oneself to bodily pain , but discovered that such methods had its limitations and that the Middle Way was necessary for people to attain Enlightment.
It also seemed like this Middle Way was not the main focus/need of the people during the time when the Buddha was alive and hence it was kept away in the Naga Realm awaiting for the right moment to emerge when it will become beneficial to the practitioners. The coming of Nagarjuna was prophesised in the sutras long before, and when it became a reality, the powerful teachings on the Profound view of Emptiness was revealed and many great saints after that like Chandrakirti, Buddhapalita, Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden became profound teachers who included this view of Emptiness into their writings and from thereon enabled many to become Enlightened.
MingwenPosted on September 15, 2016 #6 Author
Another great story of an enlightened being! What I realised from this article is that, all enlightened being are having the same mindstream, which is to benefit all sentient beings and assist us to the path of enlightenment.
Hence, we should not delay further to do our practice and strive to achieve enlightenment.
Moh MeiPosted on September 15, 2016 #7 Author
A very interesting read. One consistent similarity in all these stories of the past is that there is no consistency. Always there are different versions according to different traditions. I think it is unrealistic to expect one single version of any historic accounts.
Even with modern visual and audio technology which allows us to record an event, we still can get different versions.
Beings that are destined to do great deeds or rather predestined often seemed to have an unusual life from birth. Some explanations I have heard are that due to the great amount of merit required to sustain the presence of these beings, difficulties and struggles will surely manifest.
AlbertPosted on September 15, 2016 #8 Author
Wow, this is amazing, the Buddha’s compassion is really unbeatable, and they will take a new incarnation of a human body or other physical being form life after life going to different realms to spread the teaching to all the sentient beings.
From this, we can see the line of incarnation from Manjushri to Nagarjuna to Lama Tsongkhapa to Dorje Shugden, after so many thousands of years, they still carry the same mind stream and motivation to save the beings like us who are still suffering in Samsara, it also proved that Buddha’s enlightened mind would not be able to destroy or be killed by any factors or beings in Samsara, but they will subdue them and bring them to enlightenment.
While reading this article, it also kept me thinking that how important and beneficial of Nagarjuna’s work, because of his selfless effort of spreading the Buddha’s teaching, it brings to the opportunity that today we can learn and accept the middle way of the teaching. So we should not be feared of doing any good deeds that is beneficial or feel tired of it, because whatever we do now, although it may seems very difficult or tiring, but it can definitely benefit to the people or other beings in the future when we persist of completing it, depends on how great the deeds we are doing. Just like how Kechara Forest Retreat is being built, when we put all the effort and hardwork into making KFR manifest, it can benefit to the people for how many generations, that is beyond we can imagine.
June KangPosted on September 15, 2016 #9 Author
First time reading Nagarjuna story, is very interesting and the way how he established the Madhyamaka tradition.
I don’t know much about Nagarjuna’s view but when I read this,” Dorje Shugden arose principally to assist and protect this special uncommon lineage of Nagarjuna’s view” I trusted that this teaching is so important to us especially during the degenerate time. Wish I have the opportunity to learn the teaching in this life
Eric kksiowPosted on September 15, 2016 #10 Author
Such an interesting article about the life story of Nagarjuna, personally I like another highly attained being is Shantideva ( except Nagarjuna ). Their teachings are attracted too. Would like to read more of their teachings and life stories in future.
Jace ChongPosted on September 15, 2016 #11 Author
Thank you for the article. It’s very interesting story about Nagarjuna and knowing that Nagarjuna’s teaching is very important, I understand why the teaching needs a powerful protector, Dorje Shugden to keep it alive.
Another thing that make me reflect on my life is Nagarjuna said he killed an ant in the past and he has the karma to be killed. I imagine how many/much bad things I have done this life and my past lifes, I must have a lot and a lot more karma to purify before I can go any pureland for more achievement.
May I be able to meet Dharma life time after life time until my bad karma purified. Thank you.
Pastor ChiaPosted on September 15, 2016 #12 Author
For thousand of years , buddhist scholar study Madhyamaka view or middy way philosophy base from the great buddhist saint Nagarjuna which he have travel to the Naga realm discover the hidden teaching from lord Shakyamuni teaching. In fact this philosophy are still using now for all Gelupa monasteries to study to become a geshe. This precious teaching has produce many great lama and teacher in the pass and future follow by Lama Tsongkhapa tradition. Is interesting and study about Arya Nagarjuna.
Pastor Henry OoiPosted on September 15, 2016 #13 Author
It is just amazing how much loving compassion great Beings possess that they manifested again and again, in different forms and in different eras to benefit sentient beings. Nagarjuna is an example in this case. The six nagas that appeared behind Nagarjuna while he was teaching was a testament of what a great Being he was.
pammie yapPosted on September 15, 2016 #14 Author
I have always wondered about Nagarjuna. I have heard stories here and there but no substantial ones.
It’s always inspiring to read the achievements/contributions and stories of highly attained beings. One can tell straight away how compassionate and full of wisdom they are. Always benefitting others through teachings.
Without Buddha’s teachings, Naga King’s kindness and Nagarjuna’s wisdom/insight, the Madhyamaka tradition would not be practiced widely until today.
nicholasPosted on September 15, 2016 #15 Author
This article give me a brief of this great saint Nagarjuna. Indeed like many other enlightened being, Nagarjuna life story tell us the benfit of dharma and living his lifestyle in a monastic way. His establishment of Madhyamaka tradition or Middle Way became an important teaching that Dorje Shugden would arose to protect it to benefit the people at this time. It’s our great merit to be able to even listen to this teaching.
Julia TanPosted on September 16, 2016 #16 Author
This is the teachings that Dorje Shugden arose to protect. Dorje Shugden Datin
Julia TanPosted on September 16, 2016 #17 Author
This is the teachings that Dorje Shugden arose to protect. We are very blessed to read about this teaching today due to the effort of Dorje Shigden. What will happen if we all stop practicing Dorje Shugden, we can’t receive Nagarjuna teaching?
Pastor Antoinette KassPosted on September 16, 2016 #18 Author
Nagarjuna’s Middle Way view is based on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra brought from the Naga Realm. Lama Tsongkhapa studied Chandrakirti’s commentary and Buddhapalita’s text to understand Nagarjuna’s view. The uncommon lineage is also assisted and protected by Dorje Shugden. And those who follow Lama Tsongkhapa’s writings and teachings, are blessed by Manjushri, to gain faster realisations.
yin pingPosted on December 30, 2017 #19 Author
Nagarjuna, the founder of the Madhyamaka system, was prophesied by the Buddha in many Sutras and Tantras. He is also previous incarnations of Lama Tsongkhapa who gained complete realization of Emptiness through the study and meditation on Buddhapalita’s text and Chandrakriti’s commentaries. Buddhapalita and Chandrakriti were close sons and foremost disciples of Nagarjuna.
Nagarjuna was invited by the naga king to the land of naga to teach dharma. From there he obtained the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Lines, sandalwood and naga clay for temples and stupas constructions. After having this sacred text, Nagarjuna spent the rest of his life studied, commented extensively and this became the Madhyamaka traditions that spread throughout India.
During Lama Tsongkhapa time, upon gaining the complete realization of Emptiness, Lama Tsongkhapa infused his own writings and teachings with his realizations through Chandrakriti and Buddhapalita’s commentaries. This teachings are precious where Dorje Shugden arose as uncommon dharma protector, to protect the Nagarjuna’s Middle View as taught clearly by Lama Tsongkhpa. Dorje Shugden’s round yellow hat is representing Nagrajuna’s view that he promised to safeguard.