Nagarjuna’s Hymn to (The Buddha) The World Transcendent
with Geshe Tenzin Namdak
That which originates through dependence,
This you maintain to be empty;
That no independent entity exists,
You, the peerless, (proclaimed) in a lion’s roar
–Arya Nagarjuna, “Hymn to [the Buddha] the World Transcendent”
Most of the time, we occupy ourselves without giving the ‘self’ that we occupy much thought—it simply appears to us as a given. Just a little bit of inquiry, however, is all it takes to lessen the solidity of this appearance. This is exactly the kind of practice that emerged from the Buddhist wisdom tradition, developed by the Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (150 C.E.–250 C.E.).
Luckily for practitioners wishing to delve into the philosophy of wisdom, there are many texts that can guide us through this inquiry into the emptiness of inherent existence. In Nagarjuna’s work “Hymn to [the Buddha] the World Transcendent,” can be found not only a praise to the buddha who taught this profound wisdom realizing emptiness, but also instructions for apprehending it ourselves. Each stanza offers a unique and poetic entry point into challenging our limited views of reality. Join Geshe Namdak, resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, in a teaching on this rich yet concise text. Few commentaries can be found on this work of Nagarjuna’s, making this event an opportunity not to be missed!
About the Teacher
Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdak first worked as an environmental researcher having graduated in hydrology. He started studying Buddhism at Maitreya Institute in The Netherlands in 1993 and took ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama before engaging in his formal studies in Buddhist philosophy and psychology at Sera Jey Monastic University, South India, in 1997. He completed the entire twenty-year Geshe program at Sera Jey in 2017 and the traditional one year Vajrayana study program at Gyume Tantric College in January 2019, the first Westerner to do so.
Geshe Namdak has received a great number of teachings from His Holiness and many other highly respected teachers and lineage masters, has done many retreats and is an experienced teacher in practical and philosophical aspects of Buddhism, that he teaches with great clarity and a good sense of humour. Currently, he is the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, and teaches worldwide.