Nāgārjuna’s Advice for Buddhists

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“These words have come from a great, authentic teacher, one who really embodied the method and wisdom lineage of Nāgārjuna. Geshe Sopa was a lineage holder of our time, and having this teaching on Nāgārjuna's Letter in his words will be a great benefit for us. Reading Nāgārjuna's text through the lens of Geshe-la's wisdom and compassion is an unbelievable opportunity for readers to gain realizations. I am deeply amazed, and I hope we all don't take it for granted.”—Yangsi Rinpoche, president, Maitripa College

“This text is a fount of useful advice on both secular and spiritual matters, and Geshe Sopa's clear and detailed explanation of it has been luminously rendered by one of our finest editors and translators, Beth Newman. Nāgārjuna's Advice for Buddhists is an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to understand how Buddhists think, speak, and act—and how the Buddhist vision was articulated two thousand years ago by one of the tradition’s most esteemed thinkers.”—Roger R. Jackson, John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion, emeritus, Carleton College


Geshe Sopa’s Explanation of Letter to a Friend

Geshe Lhundub Sopa Beth Newman

An introduction to Buddhism by one of the tradition’s most famous authors, and a teaching on how to live a Buddhist life in contemporary society.

Letter to A Friend, by the great Indian philosopher Nāgārjuna, is one of the best-known introductions to Buddhism in classical Indian Buddhist literature. In this warm and generous commentary, one of the twentieth century’s most beloved teachers, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, shows how Nāgārjuna’s advice on how to follow Buddhist ethics while living fully in the world speaks just as clearly to us today as it did to the Indian king for whom it was composed.

Nāgārjuna maintained that all Buddhists can embody the full teachings of the Buddha. Therefore, this book covers topics from simple virtues to the most profound truths of emptiness. Expertly compiled by his student, scholar Beth Newman, from talks given over a number of years, the commentary brings this ancient Buddhist teaching to a modern audience.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 424 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $49.95
  • ISBN 9781614297857
  • ebook
  • 424 pages
  • $33.99
  • ISBN 9781614298090
about the author
Nāgārjuna’s Advice for Buddhists

Born in the Tsang region of Tibet in 1923, Geshe Lhundub Sopa was both a spiritual master and a respected academic. He rose from a humble background to complete his geshe studies at Sera Je Monastic University in Lhasa with highest honors and was privileged to serve as a debate opponent for the Dalai Lama’s own geshe examination in 1959. He moved to New Jersey in the United States in 1963 and in 1967 began teaching in the Buddhist Studies Program at University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was professor emeritus. In 1975, he founded the Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon, Wisconsin, site of the Dalai Lama’s first Kalachakra initiation granted in the West. He is the author of several books in English, including the five-volume comprehensive teaching, Steps on the Path to Enlightenment.

Geshe Lhundub Sopa passed away on August 28, 2014, at the age of 91. His Holiness the Dalai Lama composed a prayer of request for the swift return of Geshe Sopa.

Other books by Geshe Lhundub Sopa:
The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 5
Peacock in the Poison Grove
Like a Waking Dream
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 3
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 2
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 1
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 4

Nāgārjuna’s Advice for Buddhists

Beth Newman received her PhD in South Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and is the translator of The Tale of the Incomparable Prince.

Other books by Beth Newman:
The Tibetan Book of Everyday Wisdom
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 3
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 1

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