What is a good commentary of mmk?
I like Garfield's.
I’ve read almost all of them, and the one by Mark Siderits & Shoryu Katsura is the most balanced and unbiased by far: https://www.amazon.com/Nagarjunas-Middle.../dp/1614290504
That isn’t always what you want though. Sometimes you want the author to weight in more heavily, and for that nothing beats Mervyn Sprung’s Lucid Exposition of the Middle Way.
Nagarjuna's Middle Way: Mulamadhyamakakarika (Classics of Indian Buddhism)
I've actually just started rereading the MMK with Garfield's commentary along with Siderits/Katsura. I find the latter very "lofty", going into little detail, although helpful at times. I'm only 2 chapters in though.
André, I would distinguish between a commentary and an explanation. A commentary need only clarify what the root text is actually saying, because it was often cryptic to save words and fit the meter. For instance Candrakirti wrote a commentary on MMK, and also his own text explaining Madhyamaka. I think Siderits is an exemplary commentary, and for an explanation I go to Westerhoff.
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John tan said "In terms of ranking, I prefer Jan Westerhoff, Garfield then Siderits. Like what Tyler said Siderits is more of clarifying what the root text is saying, his presentation is quite structured in point forms and the settings behind the text and opponent views help readers understand the root text better. Westerhoff went far beyond and many points are related to anatta insight but more from the philosophical angle. But what all these books lack is how it can help one breakthrough conceptualities, what exactly is mmk trying to arrive at. After studying mmk, how does it help in freeing our mind?”
There are a couple of things I really like about Westerhoff. The first is that his "Western philosophy" style exposition makes it easier for me to grasp the subtle points than the explanations by shedra trained khenpos/geshes that I have seen. I have the same praise for Garfield. The second is that he incorporates Tsongkhapa's illuminating philosophical insights on various points without being a fully Gelug presentation, which is what Garfield gives.