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‘The Root Verses on the Madhyamaka System’, being the title of the most important work by Nāgārjuna which laid the foundations for the Madhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It comprises 448 verses arranged in 27 chapters. Its overall aim is to highlight the inconsistencies that arise through reifying Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical concepts and theories, including causation (pratītya-samutpāda), existence, impermanence (anitya), bondage, and liberation. Nāgarjuna's intention is to establish the absence of any substantial or autonomous reality (svabhāva) underlying these concepts and to replace such wrong views with a true understanding of emptiness (śūnyatā) which is a corollary of Dependent Origination (pratītya-samutpāda). Many major commentaries were written on this work by later Indian scholar-monks such as Buddhapālita, Bhāvaviveka, Candrakīrti, and Sthiramati.

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