Last Updated: July 26, 2017

Definition - What does Madhyamika mean?

A philosophical school of Mahayana Buddhism, Madhyamika is the teaching of emptiness. Founded in the 2nd century by Nagarjuna, madhya means "middle" in Sanskrit. Madhyamika teachings are the middle path between eternalism and nihilism, and those who follow the teachings are called Madhyamikas.

Yogapedia explains Madhyamika

Buddhist teachings include many different schools of thought that explore views on existence and nonexistence. Madhyamika is the school of thought that explores these views based on two truths: ultimate truth and conventional truth. Ultimate truth is experiential realization of existence, while conventional truth is a perceived reality.

Madhyamika teaches that every dharma exists in relationship with and dependent upon other dharmas. When dharmas, or existence, are explored through the concept of "dependent arising" (which is thought to be synonymous with "empty"), one realizes that emptiness itself is empty and becomes able to see dharmas as they really are -- by themselves and not in relationship to others.

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