Kshuramarga, Kṣuramārga, Kshura-marga: 1 definition


Kshuramarga 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.

The Sanskrit term Kṣuramārga can be transliterated into English as Ksuramarga or Kshuramarga, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Kshuramarga in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

1) Kṣuramārga (क्षुरमार्ग) or Kṣuradhāramārga refers to the “path of knives” and represents one of the four utsadas of the Avīci hell according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—Accordingly, “there arises before them the path of knives (kṣuramārga or kṣuradhāramārga) and they are made to gallop there by whip-lashes. The soles of their feet are cut into pieces like meat minced for cooking; knives, swords and sharp blades fly through their bodies. Just as leaves falling from a frozen tree are scattered at the mercy of the wind, so the sliced-off hands, feet, noses and limbs of these damned cover the ground and torrents of blood flow”.

2) Kṣuramārga (क्षुरमार्ग) refers to the “hell of the path of knives” and is one of the “eight hells of fire and flame” forming part of the sixteen utsadas (secondary hells) sitauted outside of the eight great hells, according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—Accordingly, “some men have stabbed their enemy with sharp knives; they have wounded their enemy with a stake or a lance; they have ruined a path, taken away a bridge; they have destroyed the path of the Holy Dharma (saddharmamārga) by substituting the path of adharma for it; they fall into the hell of the path of knives (kṣuramārga); in this hell, on a path closed off between two barriers, sharp knives have been fixed in such a way that the damned must pass under them”.

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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