Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “notes on the bhikshus ma (ashvaka) and tsing (punarvasuka)” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Appendix 4 - Notes on the bhikṣus Ma (Aśvaka) and Tsing (Punarvasuka)

Note: this appendix belongs to certain stanzas extracted from Chapter XXVI, part 3:

The two bhikṣus Ma (Aśvaka) and Tsing (Punarvasuka),
Fell into the evil destinies because of their laziness.
Although they had seen the Buddha and heard his Dharma
They could not escape [from punishment].

The character tsing (7 and 2), signifying a well, serves also to designate the constellation of Punarvasu; cf. Rosenberg, Vocabulary, p. 18c; Mahāvyutpatti, no, 3101; Traité, I, p. 476F. Ma Tsing here signifies two bhikṣus, known in Sanskrit, by the name of Aśvapunarvasukau (Pāli, Assajipunabbasukā).

They had five hundred disciples and were part of the much-disparaged group of Ṣaḍvargiyas (Samanatapāsādikā, p. 579, 614; Papañca, III, p. 186). They lived at Kiṭāgiri, a village situated on the road from Benares to Śrāvastī. They indulged in various condemnable practices: they grew flowers, made bouquets and garlands of them and sent them to women and girls in the neighborhood to enter into relationships with them; they violated the precept forbidding meals at improper times; they used perfumes, were present at and participated in spectacles.

– See:

1) The Kiṭāgirisutta: Majjhima, I, p. 473–481 (tr. Chalmers, I, p. 334–339); Tchong a han, T 26 (no. 195), k. 51, p. 749c–752c.

2) The 13th Saṅghādesesa: Pāli Vinaya, III, p. 178–185, tr. Horner, I, p. 314–327); Wou fen liu, T 1421, k. 3, p. 21c; Mo ho seng k’i liu, T 1425, k. 7, p. 287b; Sseu fen liu, T 1428, k. 5, p. 596c; Che song liu, T 1435, k. 4, p. 26b; k. 40, p. 290a; Ken pen chouo… p’i nai ye, T 1442, k. 15, p. 705a; Chan kien liu, T 1462, k. 14, p. 770a; Pi nai ye, T 1464, k. 5, p. 873c.

3) The Kammakhaṇḍa: Pāli Vinaya, II, p. 9–15 (Tr. Rh. D.-Oldenberg, II, p. 347–354; Gilgit Manuscript, III, 3 (Pāṇḍulohitakavastu), p. 15–19; Mo ho seng k’i liu, T 1426, k. 16, p. 356b; Ken pen chouo… yao che, T 1448, k. 9, p. 41a; P’i ni mou king, T 1453, k. 4, p. 822c; Pi ani ye, T 1464, k. 2, p. 857c–858a; Fa tche louen, T 1544, k. 1, p. 919a; Tchong a han, T 26, k. 8, p. 472a; Ta pao tsi king, T 310, k. 2, p. 11b; Dhammapadaṭṭha, II, p. 108–110 (tr. Burlingame. Legends, II, p. 165).