Arsak: 1 definition



Arsak means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Arsak is the name of a territority mentioned as one of the “low places of birth”, which represents one of the five dreadful things mentioned in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XL.1.4. Accordingly, “in regard to Buddha’s mundane qualities (laukikaguṇa), no one is able to attain them because he has rooted out dreadful things at their very roots. These dreadful things are: (2) a low place of birth (nīcajāti-sthāna), for example: Ngan-si (Arsak, Persia)”.

Ngan-si (Arsak) designates Parthia proper, or Arsadian Persia, since the year 224 C.E. under the Sassanid dynasty. Buddhists have not hidden their scorn for the Persians (Pārasīka) and their seers (the Mou-kia) who advised the killing of aged father and mother, the sick, and authorized sexual intercourse with mother, sister or a woman of one’s own gotra. Besides, as the Traité will note later, all those born in the border-lands such as the Ngan-si are by nature fools and unable to be converted.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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