• The Zotero library underlying the CEToM bibliography is now public and can be viewed here.
  • We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Thomas Oberlies and Pratik Rumde from the Seminar für Indologie und Tibetologie of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen for providing our project with scans of the nachlass of Wilhelm Siegling. The nachlass includes letters to and from Siegling throughout his career that are of great importance to the history of the field of Tocharian studies. This material will be published on CEToM, accompanied by transcriptions of the letters, in the course of 2024.


Work in progress

THT 500-502

Known as:THT 500-502; THT 500; THT 501; THT 502; pencil no. 2346; 2347
Cite this page as:Melanie Malzahn. "THT 500-502". In A Comprehensive Edition of Tocharian Manuscripts (CEToM). Created and maintained by Melanie Malzahn, Martin Braun, Hannes A. Fellner, and Bernhard Koller. (accessed 03 Dec. 2023).


Editor:Melanie Malzahn
Date of online publication:2014-09-11


Main find spot:Yar-khoto
Expedition code:T II Y 3.1, T II Y 3.2, T II Y 3.3
Collection:Berlin Turfan Collection (BBAW)

Language and Script

Language:TB; Sanskrit
Linguistic stage:late

Text contents

Title of the work:Treatment of eye diseases
Text genre:Literary
Text subgenre:Medicine/Magic


Material: ink on paper
Number of lines:12+


Images from by courtesy of the International Dunhuang Project Berlin, the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Orientabteilung.


b1(– – – – – – –) bhi jñe : a śo ke lā nt(·) (– – – – – – – – – – –)
b2(– – – – – – –) – na te ka nma ne ka rtse : || wa – (– – – – – – – – – –)
b3(– – – – – – – – – – – – – –) ·ai [:] ka ṣu – (– – – – – – – – – –)
b4(– –) [ka] lle e śa ñe ne ya ma ṣle ce kr[ā] ntsa na sai tya [ma] (– – – – – – – – – –)
b5(–) jā ya ta thā ga tā yā • rha te sa mya ksa mbu ddhā (– – –) ta dya thā ca kṣu jñā na ca kṣu
b6vi śo dha nā ya svā ha – || ña ke [ma] hā «†vai» «†ryo» «†ca» «†ṇi» || (–) hā vai dye hi¯ ¯k ṣa lpe we ñau po
b7(–) śa ñe ṣa na • te ka nma ne ka rtse • mra ñco pi pā¯ ¯l tvā (– –) ji va nti pi sau • wa sto yä
b8(– –) r[p]e ñca ṣṣe tā no • u śi¯ ¯r • ca ndāṃ yā sta ci (– – –) a ri rā¯ ¯k wi pi tā¯ ¯k a
b9(– –) [k]a • śkwi śko • sā la pa rṇi • prä śna pa rṇi • (–) – ti • ga ndha kā ri klyo ta¯ ¯ñä e śpe
b10ṣṣe ma hā me¯ ¯t • me¯ ¯t • kā ko ṭi kṣi ra kā ko [ṭi] – ji va¯ ¯k rṣa bha¯ ¯k ā [t]ma gu pti •
b11pa lā ṣṣai wtsi ko e nme t[r]e • rā s[n]ā pe pa rṣṣa wi (– –) [u] pā¯ ¯l ṣa wi tsa ko • tā li¯ ¯s
b12/// (·)[ā] (–) (·)i [ts]a ko to yna saṃ tke


b1 n1 – – – – – – – (a)bhijñe : aśoke lānt· – – – – – – – – – – –
b2 n2 – – – – – – – – …na tekanmane kartse : ॥ wa… – – – – – – – – – – –
b3 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – ·ai : kaṣu – – – – – – – – – – –
b4 n3n4 – – källe eśañene yamaṣle ce krāntsa nasait yama(ṣle) – – – – – – – – –
b5 – …jāya tathāgatāyā • rhate samyaksambuddhā – – – tadyathā cakṣujñāna cakṣu
b6 n5 viśodhanāya svāha – ॥ ñake «†mahā» «†॥» (ma)hāvaidyehik «॥» ṣalpe weñau po
b7 n6 (e)śañeṣana • tekanmane kartse • mrañco pipāl tvā(ṅkaro) jivanti pisau • wasto-yä-
b8 -(kne)n7 – – rpeñcaṣṣe tāno • uśir • candāṃ yāstaci – – – arirāk wipitāk a-
b9 -(malā)k«†ä»n8n9 • śkwiśko • sālaparṇi • präśnaparṇi • (praha)ti • gandhakāri klyotañ eśpe-
b10 -ṣṣen10 mahāmet • met • kākoṭi kṣirakākoṭi (•) jivak rṣabhak ātmagupti •
b11 n11n12n13n14 palāṣṣai wtsiko enmetre • rāsnā peparṣṣa wi(tsako) upālṣa witsako • tālis
b12 n15 (pattär) /// ·ā (bal) (w)itsako toyna saṃtke-


b1 ... [supernatural] knowledge . (To) King Aśoka ...
b2 ... [it is] good in diseases pertaining to ...
b3 ... Costus speciousus ...
b4 ... has to be ... [and] has to be made into the eyes. On this bond a spell has to be cast. ...
b5 Sanskrit
b6 Sanskrit Now [about the fatty salve called] mahāvaidehik: I will tell the salve for all
b7 [diseases] concerning the eyes; in [theses] diseases [it is] good. [The formula contains]: Piper nigrum, Piper longum, ginger, heart-heaved moonseed, aneth; seed
b8 of the two [Indian Sarsaparilla] of both kinds; vetiver; sandalwood, junipe [or: Wild Himalayan cherry] (root/bark), [the triphalā formula consisting of] Yellow myrobalan, Bastard myrobalan, [and]
b9 Indian gooseberry; Berberis aristata; Desmodium Gangeticum; Uraria lagopoides; Indian nightshade; Solanum xanthocarpum, caltrop, [root] of Boerhavia diffusa
b10 Polygonatum cirrhifolium; Polygonatum verticillatum; Roscoea procera, Lilium polyphyllum; Microstylis wallichii, Microstylis muscifera, Mucuna prurita;
b11 root of Pavonia odorata (?), ..., Vanda roxburghii, root of Nardostachys Jatamansi (?), root of lotus; Pinus (webbiana)
b12 (Rubia cordifolia, grape, blue water-lily,) root (of Sida spinosa). These remedie(s) ...


Linguistic commentary

The text has several late/colloquial spellings. The palatalized ñ in eśañene° (lines b4 and b7) is part of a tendency for late palatalization of n in several contexts, e.g., before i (see Peyrot 2008b: 90-91). If the spelling ṣalpe for ṣalype is not a mere error, it may then be interpreted as a hypercorrect form. Like in other late manuscripts, there are also some wrong vowels (śkwiśko for śkwaśko in line b9). Note further the wrong agreement of the masculine adj. in -ṣṣe with the fem. tāno in b8 and of the oblique feminine adj. in -ṣṣai with the fem.nom. witsako in b11.
n8 gandhakāri for the Sanskrit plant kaṇṭakārī (also attested in TB as B_kaṇḍakāri ) shows a wrong etymological connection with Skt. gandha- 'scent'; cf. Maue 1990: 163, fn. 35.

Parallel texts

Sanskrit/Khotanese Jīvapustaka IOL Khot 91/3

Philological commentary

The edition is based on Maue 1990, who also gives a normalized version of the corrupt text found in the Jīvapustaka; the Khotanese parallel has been edited and translated by Konow 1941: 24-25.
n1 Since the mere oblique form lānt ought to be spelled with virāma, the most likely restoration is an allative lānt(aśc).
n2 -na is certainly the end of a plural adjective modifying tekanma ‘diseases'.
n3 -källe is a gerund from a root ending in -k; note that a restoration -(ṅ)källe or -(r)källe is also possible.
n4 For ce krāntsa nasait yama(ṣle) cf. BHS grantha-dharaṇī 'D. belonging to binding'; see Edgerton 1953: 284b.
n5 The akṣaras hāvairyocaṇ of the chapter title mahāvairyocaṇi have been deleted by the scribe with several small vertikal strokes, the correct title (ma)hāvaidyehik follows, as restored by Sieg/Siegling.
n6 Maue 1990: 161, fn. 23 points out that TB pissau 'aneth' does not conform to the Sanskrit/Khotanese version where we have Skt. madhuka- 'liquorice'. According to Maue, the Tocharian scribe may have confused this word with Skt. madhurikā- which can refer both to 'fennel' and 'aneth'.
n7 According to the Sanskrit and Khotanese parallel, the seed in question is that of the two sorts of Skt. śārivā ‘Indian Sarsaparilla [Hemidesmus indicus]', see Maue 1990: 162 with fn.s 27 and 28. Even though Skt. śārivā is attested otherwise as TB B_śārip , this form cannot be restored here despite the relatively certain reading of r[p]. Nevertheless, it is quite certain that the same plant is meant since the dual śārivā is translated twice: by the adverb and by a dual ending -ñc, onto which the -ṣṣe-adjective is built (cf. the type lakṣānäñc ‘two lakṣaṇas'). As dual of śārip one would expect śāripäñc. As for yāstaci, the Sanskrit formula has padmaka- 'Wild Himalayan cherry', the Khotanese one pauṣṭarä 'juniper'; Maue 1990: 162, fn. 30 notes that Skt. padmaka- is often replaced by juniper species outside India; in any case, since no ingredient of the formula is missing in the Tocharian text, it is likely that one has to restore an adjective like yāstaci(ṣṣe/a) and a plant term such as tāno ‘seed' in the lacuna. Note that in Ayurvedic medicine both the seeds and the bark of the cherry tree are used.
n9 eśpeṣṣe looks like an adjective; since the Khotanese version explicitly refers to the root of this plant, one may think of restoring witsako, even though this is a feminine; see Maue 1990: 163 with fn. 39. Wrong gender agreement is also attested in line b8.
n10 These six plants are part of the aṣṭavarga formula, see Maue 1990: 163, fn. 41; however, ṛddhi- 'Habenaria edgeworthii' and vṛddhi- 'Habenaria intermedia D.Don' seem substituted by ātmagupti 'Mucuna prurita' and the following plant.
n11 palāṣṣai wtsako is another substitution for ṛddhi- 'Habenaria edgeworthii' or vṛddhi- 'Habenaria intermedia D.Don'. In the Sanskrit version one has bāla or bālā, which can refer to several plants, but not to the one found in the Khotanese version, i.e. bela 'Aegle marmelos, Beal tree' (= Skt. bilva- = TB B_pil ; see Maue 1990: 163, fn. 43. As Maue points out, Skt. balā 'Sida cordifolia' = Khot. sacha-bāva listed later in the parallel formula can hardly refer to the same plant as well, so Maue himself interprets Skt. bāla/ā in this passage as 'Pavonia ordorata Willd.'; note that its Khotanese equivalent is bilva. While Adams 2013a: 92 sub enmetre certainly correctly notes that "there is potential for some confusion in translation here", I do not follow his suggestion that enmetre belongs to the same phrase "the enmetre of the pāla-root" (interpreted as "bark", i.e. "the root-bark of pāla") because this is morphologically improbable (even if the agreement between palāṣṣai and wtsiko is wrong). To be sure, since there has no doubt been some confusion as to which ingredient is correct as eigth component of the aṣṭavarga formula, I would not exclude the possibility that enmetre is simply an added ingredient even thought it cannot be found in the Jīvapustaka parallel. Note that further in the line the two versions do slightly differ.
n12 The parallel for pepar* are Skt. nalada- and Khot. svarnagūttaryaṃ būśanai; nalada or naladā refers to the musk-root plant [Nardostachys Jatamansi] (thus the interpretation of Maue 1990: 164. fn. 47) or to a variety of vetiver grass [Vetiveria zizanioides = Andropogon muricatus Retz.] (thus the interpretation of Filliozat 1948: 125 s.v. nalat).
n13 As Maue 1990: 164, fn. 48 points out, both versions differ: Skt. padmakesara- and Khot. padmakyesärä refer to the filament (and not to the root) of the padma-plant [Nelumbo nucifera] (and not of the utpala-plant [Nymphaea stellata]; to be sure, etymologically TB uppāl is derived from Skt. utpala- "Blue Water-lily" [Nymphaea stellata] (which is actually listed later, in the unattested part of the Jīvapustaka), but it can refer to padma-plant also in other Tocharian passages.
n14 Restoration tālis (pattär) according to Maue 1990: 164; the parallel has Skt. tālispattra and Khot. ttālīspattra. Skt. tālīśapattra- refers to the Indian Silver Fir [Pinus webbiana Wall.] (not to the Indian plum = Skt. tālīśa-, as per Adams 2013a: 304). Note that tālis is written with virāma; a calque is also possible.
n15 16-17 syllables are missing at the beginning of the line; accordingly, (w)itsako could very well refer to the last ingredient of the formula, Skt. balā (for nāgabalā 'Sida spinosa', Khot. sacha-bāva 'root of Sida cordifolia', as per Maue 1990: 164. Restoring (bal\) seems possible to me.


Written on the verso side of a Chinese scroll containing Aṣṭādasasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā (Taisho 224 = 8, 465c, 11–25). Tocharian text identification and joint of THT 500 and THT 501 according to Maue 1990. According to the restoration of the leaf by the BBAW, the third fragment THT 502 further joins THT 500 on the top. The script type is basically the classical one, although more clumsy than in regular literary manuscripts.

Alternative linguistic/paleographic classifications

Tamai 2011a C4
Tamai 2011a C14


Online access

IDP: THT 500, THT 501, THT 502; TITUS: THT 500, THT 501, THT 502


Sieg and Siegling 1953: 311; Maue 1990


Adams 2013a

Adams, Douglas Q. 2013a. A dictionary of Tocharian B. Revised and greatly enlarged. 2nd ed. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

Edgerton 1953

Edgerton, Franklin. 1953. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit grammar and dictionary. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Filliozat 1948

Filliozat, Jean. 1948. Fragments de textes koutchéens de médecine et de magie. Texte, parallèles sanskrits et tibétains, traduction et glossaire. Paris: Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient Adrien-Maisonneuve.


“The International Dunhuang Project: The Silk Road Online.” n.d.

Konow 1941

Konow, Sten. 1941. A medical Text in Khotanese Ch. II 003 of the India Office Library. With translation and vocabulary. Avhandlinger utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi, 2, Hist.-Filos. Klasse 1940/4. Oslo: Jacob Dybwad.

Maue 1990

Maue, Dieter. 1990. “Das Mahāvaidehikaṃghr̥taṃ in Tocharisch B.” Historische Sprachforschung 103: 159–65.

Peyrot 2008b

Peyrot, Michaël. 2008b. Variation and change in Tocharian B. Vol. 15. Leiden Studies in Indo-European. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

Sieg and Siegling 1953

Sieg, Emil, and Wilhelm Siegling. 1953. Tocharische Sprachreste. Sprache B, Heft 2. Fragmente Nr. 71-633. Edited by Werner Thomas. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Tamai 2011a

Tamai, Tatsushi. 2011a. Paläographische Untersuchungen zum B-Tocharischen. Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft 138. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachen und Literaturen.


Gippert, Jost, Katharina Kupfer, Christiane Schaefer, and Tatsushi Tamai. n.d. “Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text- und Sprachmaterialien (TITUS): Tocharian Manuscripts from the Berlin Turfan Collection.”