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Nagarjuna's Advice for Buddhists

Geshe Sopa's Explanation of Letter to a Friend

Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A modern commentary by a beloved Tibetan teacher on a classical Indian Buddhist text and an introduction to Buddhism by one of the tradition’s most famous authors. A teaching on how to live a Buddhist life in contemporary society.

Letter to A Friend, by the great Indian philosopher Nagarjuna, 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 Nagarjuna’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.

Nagarjuna 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.

About The Author

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 the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 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 was 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.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (March 14, 2023)
  • Length: 424 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781614298090

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Raves and Reviews

Nagarjuna'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 was a lineage holder of our time, and having this teaching on Nagarjuna's Letter in his words will be a great benefit for us. Reading Nagarjuna's text through the lens of Geshe-la's wisdom and compassion is an unbelievable opportunity for readers to gain realizations.”

– Yangsi Rinpoche, president, Maitripa College

“Geshe Sopa embodies every part of what he is teaching, exerting a power of awakened compassion and awareness that comes through his words to the heart and mind of the reader.”

– John Makransky, professor of Buddhism and comparative theology, Boston College

“Beautifully introduced and edited, with useful explanatory notes and appendices, this book is a wonderful tribute both to Nagarjuna's original Letter, and to Geshe Sopa’s exceptional teachings on that work."

– José Ignacio Cabezón, Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, UC Santa Barbara

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