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Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra

Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra

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Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra

A study, translation and critical edition by Adele Tomlin

The present work is a translation and study of a commentary on the Heart Sutra written by Taranatha (1575 - 1634), who is widely considered to be one of the most remarkable Buddhist scholars, translators and practitioners from Tibet. In his commentary, Taranatha succinctly distills his vast studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist thought on prajnaparamita and Buddha-Nature with the philosophical view of 'Empty-of-Other'. The leitmotif of the text is Taranatha's five-fold assertion that the Sutra 'clearly teaches the Empty-of- Other Great Madhyamaka'. For Taranatha, this confirms that 'the intention of all three Turnings is the Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka'. Taranatha's explanation is a valuable addition to the corpus of (Indian and Tibetan) translated commentaries on the Heart Sutra. As a concise distillation of the Jonang view of Empty-of-Other and its connection to prajnaparamita, it provides the reader with a reasoned analysis as to why prajnaparamita involves not only 'seeing' that all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence, but also realizing, via primordial awareness, that the ultimate nature is 'unchanging' and 'permanent', going beyond 'impermanent' conditioning, duality and mental elaborations.


Adele Tomlin is an independent scholar and translator from England, with an MA in Philosophy from king's College, London and an MA in Tibetan Buddhist Studies from the University of Hamburg. She has also spent several years studying Buddhist Philosophy and the Tibetan language in Nepal and India.Β 

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