Nagarjuna’s famous work “Letter to a Friend” is a response that Nagarjuna composed for one his students, a south Indian King. Even though it is relatively short, being only 123 verses, it covers the entire Mahayana path.

Instructions for Lay Practitioners

This famous text by Nagarjuna has special meaning for lay practitioners. Notes from a teaching that Gyalwang Karmapa gave on this work says:

… why he had chosen this particular text – Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend – because, not only did it thoroughly cover the philosophy of Madhyamika, but it was mainly an instruction for householders on how to practice dharma. In ancient India householders who held the five precepts would study the text. It was His Holiness’ hope that this teaching would provide a new perspective for laystudents on how to be a householder and practice the dharma at the same time.

Click here to read a copy of the original letter. Below is a series of teachings that Khandro Rinpoche gave at the University of Berkeley regarding this famous work.