Madhyamaka (Sanskrit: Madhyamaka, Chinese: 中觀见; pinyin: Zhōngguān Jìan') is one of the two main philosophical schools within Mahayana Buddhism (the other being Yogacarya). This school is based on the writings of Nagarjuna (150 CE to 250 CE).
The main tenet of this school is that because all phenomena are dependently co-arisen, they are empty of "inherent existence," This view is often expressed within the Mahayana tradition as the 'freedom from extremes'. For example, it is said in the Samadhiraja Sutra:
- "Existence and non-existence are extremes,
- Purity and impurity are extremes as well,
- Thus, having relinquished both extremes,
- The wise do not dwell even in the middle."
Transmission to East Asia
From Encyclopeia Britannica:
- The basic Mādhyamika texts were translated into Chinese by Kumārajiva in the 5th century, and the teachings were further systematized (as the San-lun, or Three Treatises, school) in the 6th–7th century by Chi-tsang. The school spread to Korea and was first transmitted to Japan, as Sanron, in 625 by the Korean monk Ekwan.