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Madhyamaka (Skt.; Tib. དབུ་མ་, Uma, Wyl. dbu ma) refers to both the state of the Middle Way as well as the texts that express this ultimate meaning such as the Mulamadhyamaka-karika by Nagarjuna.

The state of the Middle Way is the freedom from all extremes, as 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."

The meaning expressed by the term Madhyamaka is, we could say, the sphere of reality (dharmadhatu), beyond all extremes.

This can then be further divided into:

These are all beyond extremes:

  • The Ground Madhyamaka, the unity of the two truths, is beyond all extremes because it is beyond the extremes of eternalism and nihilism.
  • The Path Madhyamaka, the unity of skilful means and wisdom, is beyond the extremes of exaggeration and denial.
  • The Fruition Madhyamaka, the unity of the two kayas, is beyond the extremes of samsaric existence and the peace of nirvana.

See also Madhyamika for the Middle Way philosophical tenet system and its followers.

Oral Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha