The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
|Please consider making little donation to help us expand the encyclopedia Donate Enjoy your readings here and have a wonderful day|
The fifth of the five ascetics (Pañcavargika), along with Ājñātakauṇḍinya (P. Aññātako ṇḍañña) , Bhadrika (P. Bhaddiya), Vāṣpa (P. Vappa), and Mahānāman (P. Mahānāma), who practiced austerities with Gautama prior to his enlightenment.
Subsequently, when Gautama abandoned the severe asceticism they had been practicing in favor of the middle way (Madhyamapratipad), Aśvajit and his companions became disgusted with Gautama’s backsliding and left him, going to the Ṛṣipatana (P.
while listening to this sermon, Aśvajit achieved the first stage of awakening or “opening of the dharma eye” (Dharmacakṣus), becoming a stream-enterer (Srotaāpanna), and was immediately ordained as a monk using the informal Ehibhikṣukā, or “come, monk,” formula.
It was through an encounter with Aśvajit that Śāriputra and Mahāmaudgalyāyana, the Buddha’s two chief disciples, were initially converted. Sāriputra witnessed Aśvajit’s calm demeanor while gathering alms in the city of Rājagṛha.
In response, Aśvajit said that he was new to the teachings and could offer only the following summary:
Thus has spoken the great renunciant.”
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism by Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
While begging for alms in Rajagriha in India after his conversion, he happened to encounter Shariputra, who, impressed with Ashvajit's bearing and integrity, decided to embrace Shakyamuni's teachings.
See also; five ascetics.