A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

by Fa-Hien | A.D. 399-414 | 51,094 words

Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. Translated and annotated with a Corean recension of the Chinese text by James Legge...

Chapter XXI - The Three Predecessors Of Sakyamuni In The Buddhaship

Fifty le to the west of the city bring (the traveller) to a town named Too-wei,[1] the birthplace of Kasyapa Buddha.[1] At the place where he and his father met,[2] and at that where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected. Over the entire relic of the whole body of him, the Kasyapa Tathagata,[3] a great tope was also erected.

Going on south-east from the city of Sravasti for twelve yojanas, (the travellers) came to a town named Na-pei-kea,[4] the birthplace of Krakuchanda Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and at that where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected. Going north from here less than a yojana, they came to a town which had been the birthplace of Kanakamuni Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected.

Footnotes and references:


Identified, as Beal says, by Cunningham with Tadwa, a village nine miles to the west of Sahara-mahat. The birthplace of Kasyapa Buddha is generally thought to have been Benares. According to a calculation of Remusat, from his birth to A.D. 1832 there were 1,992,859 years!


It seems to be necessary to have a meeting between every Buddha and his father. One at least is ascribed to Sakyamuni and his father (real or supposed) Suddhodana.


This is the highest epithet given to every supreme Buddha; in Chinese {.} {.}, meaning, as Eitel, p. 147 says, “/Sic profectus sum/.” It is equivalent to “Rightful Buddha, the true successor in the Supreme Buddha Line.” Hardy concludes his account of the Kasyapa Buddha (M. B., p. 97) with the following sentence:—“After his body was burnt, the bones still remained in their usual position, presenting the appearance of a perfect skeleton; and the whole of the inhabitants of Jambudvipa, assembling together, erected a dagoba over his relics one yojana in height!”


Na-pei-kea or Nabhiga is not mentioned elsewhere. Eitel says this Buddha was born at the city of Gan-ho ({.} {.} {.}) and Hardy gives his birthplace as Mekhala. It may be possible, by means of Sanskrit, to reconcile these statements.

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