Great Madhyamaka

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Key Term Great Madhyamaka
In Tibetan Script དབུ་མ་ཆེན་པོ་
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration dbu ma chen po
Devanagari Sanskrit Script महामध्यमक
Romanized Sanskrit Mahāmadhyamaka
Tibetan Phonetic Rendering Uma chenpo
English Standard Great Middle Way
Term Type Noun
Source Language Tibetan
Basic Meaning The term Great Madhyamaka is utilized in different contexts depending on the tradition. In the Jonang tradition it generally refers to the Zhentong Madhyamaka philosophy as it was developed and systematized by Dölpopa. In this context, the Great Madhyamaka refers to the presentation of ultimate truth, while Madhyamaka describes the emptiness of relative level of truth. In the Nyingma tradition, Great Madhyamaka refers to the subtle, inner Madhyamaka that unifies the philosophical positions of Nāgārjuna and Asaṅga. This is presented in opposition to the coarse, outer Madhyamaka that is the dialectic approach of Prāsaṅgika and Svātantrika. In the Kagyu tradition, the term is used in a similar vein in that Madhyamaka is used to refer to philosophical inquiry, while Great Madhyamaka is used to refer to the view arrived at through yogic accomplishment. However, in all of these traditions, Great Madhyamaka is heavily associated with buddha-nature (tathāgatagarbha) and the definitive status of these teachings.
Definitions


Buddha-nature, literally the "womb/essence of those who have gone (to suchness)."