Buddhist records of the Western world (Xuanzang)

by Samuel Beal | 1884 | 224,928 words | ISBN-10: 8120811070

This is the English translation of the travel records of Xuanzang (or, Hiuen Tsiang): a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India during the seventh century. This book recounts his documents his visit to India and neighboring countries, and reflects the condition of those countries during his time, including temples, culture, traditions and fest...

Chapter 1 - Country of U-chang-na (Udyana)

Note: Udyāna (Prākṛit, Ujjāna), the U-chang of Fa-hian, is so called because of its garden-like appearance. Udyāna lay to the north of Peshāwar on the Swāt river.[1]

The country of U-chang-na is about 5000 li in circuit; the mountains and valleys are continuously connected, and the valleys and marshes alternate with a succession of high plateaux. Though various kinds of grain are sown, yet the crops are not rich. The grape is abundant, the sugar-cane scarce. The earth produces gold and iron, and is favourable to the cultivation of the scented (shrub) called Yo-kin (turmeric). The forests are thick and shady, the fruits and flowers abundant. The cold and heat are agreeably tempered, the wind and rain come in their season. The people are soft and effeminate, and in disposition are somewhat sly and crafty. They love learning yet have no application. They practise the art of using charms (religious sentences as charms).[2] Their language, though different in some points, yet greatly resembles that of India. Their written characters and their rules of etiquette are also of a mixed character as before. They greatly reverence the law of Buddha and are believers in the Great Vehicles.[3]

On both sides of the river Su-po-fa-su-tu,[4] there are some 1400 old saṅghārāmas. They are now generally waste and desolate; formerly there were some 18,000 priests in them, but gradually they have become less, till now there are very few. They study the Great Vehicle; they practise the duty of quiet meditation, and have pleasure in reciting texts relating to this subject, but have no great understanding as to them. The (priests who) practise the rules of morality lead a pure life and purposely prohibit the use of charms.[5] The schools[6] of the Vinaya traditionally known amongst them are the Sarvāstivādins, the Dharmaguptas, the Mahīśāsakas, the Kāśyapīyas,[7] and the Mahāsaṅghikas: these five.[8]

There are about ten temples of Devas, and a mixed number of unbelievers who dwell in them. There are four or five strong towns. The kings mostly reign at Muṅgali (Mung-kie-li)[9] as their capital. This town is about 16 or 17 li in circuit and thickly populated. Four or five li to the east of Muṅgali is a great stūpa, where very many spiritual portents are seen. This is the spot where Buddha, when he lived in old time,[10] was the rishi who practised patience (Kṣānti-rishi), and for the sake of Kalirāja endured the dismemberment of his body.

To the north-east of the town of Muṅgali about 250 or 260 li, we enter a great mountain[11] and arrive at the fountain of the Nāga Apalāla; this is the source of the river Su-po-fa-su-tu. This river flows to the south-west.[12] Both in summer and spring it freezes, and from morning till night snow-drifts are flying in clouds, the fine reflected colours of which are seen on every side.

This Nāga, in the time of Kāśyapa Buddha, was born as a man and was called King-ki (Gaṅgi). He was able, by the subtle influences of the charms he used, to restrain and withstand the power of the wicked dragons, so that they could not (afflict the country) with violent storms of rain. Thanks to him, the people were thus able to gather in an abundance of grain. Each family then agreed to offer him, in token of their gratitude, a peck of grain as a yearly tribute. After a lapse of some years there were some who omitted to bring their offerings, on which Gaṅgi in wrath prayed that he might become a poisonous dragon and afflict them with storms of rain and wind to the destruction of their crops. At the end of his life he became the dragon of this country; the flowings of the fountain emitted a white stream which destroyed all the products of the earth.

At this time, śākya Tathāgata, of his great pity guiding the world, was moved with compassion for the people of this country, who were so singularly afflicted with this calamity. Descending therefore spiritually,[13] he came to this place, desiring to convert the violent dragon. Taking the mace of the Vajrapāṇi[14] spirit, he beat against the mountain side. The dragon king, terrified, came forth and paid him reverence. Hearing the preaching of the law by Buddha, his heart became pure and his faith was awakened. Tathāgata forthwith forbad him to injure the crops of the husbandmen. Whereupon the dragon said, "All my sustenance comes from the fields of men; but now, grateful for the sacred instructions I have received, I fear it will be difficult to support myself in this way; yet pray let me have one gathering in every twelve years." Tathāgata compassionately permitted this. Therefore every twelfth year there is a calamity from the overflowing of the White River.

To the south-west of the fountain of the dragon Apalāla (O-po-lo-lo), about 30 li on the north side of the river, there is a foot trace of Buddha on a great rock. According to the religious merit of persons, this impression appears long or short. This is the trace left by Buddha after having subdued the dragon. Afterwards men built up a stone residence (over the impression). Men come here from a distance to offer incense and flowers.

Following the stream downwards 30 li or so, we come to the stone where Tathāgata washed his robe. The tissues of the Kaṣāya stuff are yet visible as if engraved on the rock.

To the south of the town of Muṅgali 400 li or so we come to Mount Hila (Hi-lo). The water flowing through the valley here turns to the west, and then flowing again eastward remounts (towards its source). Various fruits and flowers skirt the banks of the stream and face the sides of the mountains. There are high crags and deep caverns, and placid streams winding through the valleys: sometimes are heard the sounds of people's voices, sometimes the reverberation of musical notes. There are, moreover, square stones here like long narrow bedsteads,[15] perfected as if by the hand of men; they stretch in continuous lines from the mountain side down the valley. It was here Tathāgata dwelling in old days, by listening to half a Gātha of the law was content to kill himself.[16]

Going south about 200 li from the town of Muṅgali, by the side of a great mountain, we come to the Mahāvana[17] saṅghārāma. It was here Tathāgata in old days practised the life of a Bodhisattva under the name of Sarvadata-rāja.[18] Fleeing from his enemy, he resigned his country and arrived secretly in this place. Meeting with a poor Brāhmaṇ, who asked alms from him, and having nothing to give in consequence of his losing his country, he ordered him to bind him as a prisoner and take him to the king, his enemy, in order that he might receive a reward, which would be in the place of charity to him.

Going north-west from the Mahāvana saṅghārāma down the mountain 30 or 40 li, we arrive at the Mo-su saṅghārāma.[19] Here there is a stūpa about 100 feet or so in height.

By the side of it is a great square stone on which is the impress of Buddha's foot. This is the spot where Buddha in old time planted his foot, (which) scattered a koṭi of rays of light which lit up the Mahāvana saṅghārāma, and then for the sake of Devas and men he recited the history of his former births (Jātakas). Underneath this stūpa (or at the foot of it) is a stone of a yellow-white colour, which is always damp with an unctuous (fatty) moisture; this is where Buddha, when he was in old time practising the life of a Bodhisattva, having heard the words of the true law, breaking a bone of his own body, wrote (with the marrow) the substance of a book containing the words he had heard.

Going west to 60 or 70 li from the Mo-su saṅghārāma is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. It was here Tathāgata in old time, practising the life of a Bodhisattva, was called śivika (or śibika) Rāja.[20] Seeking the fruit of Buddhaship, he cut his body to pieces in this place to redeem a dove from the power of a hawk.

Going north-west from the place where he redeemed the dove, 200 li or so, we enter the valley of Shan-ni-lo-shi, where is the convent of Sa-pao-sha-ti.[21] Here is a stūpa in height 80 feet or so. In old time, when Buddha was Lord śakra, famine and disease were prevalent everywhere in this country. Medicine was of no use, and the roads were filled with dead. Lord śakra was moved with pity and mediated how he might rescue and save the people. Then changing his form, he appeared as a great serpent, and extended his dead body all along the void of the great valley, and called from the void to those on every side (to look). Those who heard were filled with joy, and running together hastened to the spot, and the more they cut the body of the serpent the more they revived, and were delivered both from famine and disease.

By the side of this stūpa and not far off is the great stūpa of Sūma. Here in old time when Tathāgata was Lord śakra, filled with concern for the world, afflicted with every kind of disease and pestilence, with his perfect knowledge of the case, he changed himself into the serpent Sūma;[22] none of those who tasted his flesh failed to recover from their disease.

To the north of the valley Shan-ni-lo-shi, by the side of a steep rock, is a stūpa. Of those who, being sick, have come there to seek (restoration), most have recovered.

In old time Tathāgata was the king of peacocks;[23] on one occasion he came to this place with his followers. Being afflicted with tormenting thirst, they sought for water on every side without success. The king of the peacocks with his beak struck the rock, and forthwith there flowed out an abundant stream which now forms a lake. Those who are afflicted on tasting or washing in the water are healed. On the rock are still seen the traces of the peacock's feet.

To the south-west of the town of Muṅgali 60 or 70 li there is a great river,[24] on the east of which is a stūpa 60 feet or so in height; it was built by Shang-Kiun (Uttarasena). Formerly when Tathāgata was about to die, he addressed the great congregation and said: "After my Nirvāṇa, Uttarasena-rāja, of the country Udyāna (U-chang-na), will obtain a share of the relics of my body. When the kings were about to divide the relics equally, Uttarasena-rāja arrived after (the others); coming from a frontier country, he was treated with little regard by the others.[25] At this time the Devas published afresh the words of Tathāgata as he was about to die. Then obtaining a portion of relics, the king came back to his country, and to show his great respect, erected this stūpa. By the side of it, on the bank of the great river, there is a large rock shaped like an elephant. Formerly Uttarasena-rāja brought back to his own land the relics of Buddha on a great white elephant. Arrived at this spot, the elephant suddenly fell down and died, and was changed immediately into stone. By the side of this the stūpa is built.

Going west of the town of Muṅgali 50 li or so, and crossing the great river, we come to a stūpa called Lu-hi-ta-kia (Rohitaka); it is about 50 feet high, and was built by Aśoka-rāja. In former days, when Tathāgata was practising the life of a Bodhisattva, he was the king of a great country, and was called Ts'z-li (power of love).[26] In this place he pierced his body, and with his blood fed the five Yakṣas.

To the north-east of the town of Muṅgali 30 li or so is the Ho-pu-to-shi stūpa,[27] about 40 feet in height. In former days Tathāgata here expounded the law for the sake of men and Devas, to instruct (enlighten) and guide them. After Tathāgata had gone, from the earth suddenly arose (this stūpa); the people highly reverenced it, and offered flowers and incense without end.

To the west of the stone stūpa, after crossing the great river and going 30 or 40 li, we arrive at Vihāra, in which is a figure of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva.[28] Its spiritual influences exhibit themselves in a mysterious way, and its miraculous powers (evidences) are manifested in an illustrious manner. The votaries of the law come together from every side, and offer it continual sacrifices (presents).

Going north-west 140 or 150 li from the statue of Kwan-tsz-tsai Bodhisattva, we come to the mountain of Lan-po-lu. The crest of this mountain has a dragon lake about 30 li or so in circuit. The clear waves roll in their majesty, the water pure as a bright mirror. In old days Pi-lu-tse-kia (Virūḍhaka-rāja) having led his army to attack the śākyas, four of the tribe resisted the advance.[29] These were driven away by their clansmen, and each fled in a different direction. One of the śākyas, having left the capital of the country, and being worn out by travel, sat down to rest in the middle of the road.

There appeared now a wild goose, who in his flight (progress) alighted before him; and because of his docile ways, he at last mounted on his back. The goose then flying away, took him to the side of this lake. By this mode of conveyance the śākya fugitive visited different kingdoms in various directions. Once having mistaken his way, he went to sleep by the side of the lake under the shadow of a tree. At this time a young Nāga maiden was walking beside the lake, and suddenly espied the śākya youth. Fearing that she might not be able otherwise to accomplish her wish,[30] she transformed herself into a human shape and began to caress him. The youth, because of this, awoke affrighted from his sleep, and addressing her said, "I am but a poor wanderer worn out with fatigue; why then do you show me such tenderness?" In the course of matters the youth, becoming deeply moved, prayed her to consent to his wishes. She said, "My father and mother require to be asked and obeyed in this matter. You have favoured me with your affection, but they have not yet consented." The śākya youth replied, "The mountains and valleys (surround us) with their mysterious shades; where then is your home?" She said, "I am a Nāga maiden belonging to this pool. I have heard with awe of your holy tribe having suffered such things, and of your being driven away from home to wander here and there in consequence. I have fortunately been able, as I wandered, to administer somewhat to your comfort, and you have desired me to yield to your wishes in other respects, but I have received no commands to that effect from my parents. Unhappily, too, this Nāga body is the curse following my evil deeds."[31]

The śākya youth answered, "One word uttered from the ground of the heart and agreed to (by us both) and this matter is ended."[32] She said, "I respectfully obey your orders; let that follow whatever it be."[33] Then the śākya youth said, "By the power of my accumulated merit let this Nāga woman be turned into human shape." The woman was immediately so converted. On seeing herself thus restored to human shape she was overjoyed, and gratefully addressed the śākya youth thus: "By my evil deeds (through the accumulation of evil deeds), I have been compelled to migrate through evil forms of birth, till now happily, by the power of your religious merit, the body which I have possessed through many kalpas has been changed in a moment. My gratitude is boundless, nor could it be expressed if I wore my body to dust (with frequent prostrations). Let me but acquaint my father and mother; I will then follow you and obey you in all things."[34]

The Nāga maiden then returning to the lake addressed her father and mother, saying, "Just now, as I was wandering abroad, I lighted upon a śākya youth, who by the power of his religious merit succeeded in changing me into human form. Having formed an affection for me, he desires to marry me. I lay before you the matter in its truth."

The Nāga-rāja was rejoiced to see his daughter restored to human form, and from a true affection to the holy tribe he gave consent to his daughter's request. Then proceeding from the lake, he expressed his deep gratitude to the śākya youth, and said, "You have not despised creatures of other kinds, and have condescended to those beneath you. I pray you come to my abode, and there receive my humble services."[35]

The śākya youth having accepted the Nāga-rāja's invitation, went forthwith to his abode. On this all the family of the Nāga received the youth with extreme reverence, and desired to delight his mind by an excess of feasting and pleasure; but the youth, seeing the dragon forms of his entertainers, was filled with affright and disgust, and he desired to go. The Nāga-rāja detaining him said, "Of your kindness depart not. Occupy a neighbouring abode; I will manage to make you master of this land and to obtain a lasting fame. All the people shall be your servants, and your dynasty shall endure for successive ages."

The śākya youth expressed his gratitude, and said, "I can hardly expect your words to be fulfilled." Then the Nāga-rāja took a precious sword and placed it in a casket covered with white camlet, very fine and beautiful, and then he said to the śākya youth, "Now of your kindness go to the king and offer him this white camlet as a tribute. The king will be sure to accept it as the offering of a remote (distant) person; then, as he takes it, draw forth the sword and kill him. Thus you will seize his kingdom. Is it not excellent?"

The śākya youth receiving the Nāga's directions, went forthwith to make his offering to the king of U-chang-na (Udyāna). When the king was about to take the piece of white camlet, then the youth took hold of his sleeve, and pierced him with the sword. The attendant ministers and the guards raised a great outcry and ran about in confusion. The śākya youth, waving the sword, cried out, "This sword that I hold was given me by a holy Nāga wherewith to punish the contumelious and subdue the arrogant." Being affrighted at the divine warrior, they submitted, and gave him the kingdom. On this he corrected abuses and established order; he advanced the good and relieved the unfortunate; and then with a great cortége he advanced towards the Nāga palace to acquaint him with the completion of his undertaking; and then taking his wife he went back to the capital. Now the former demerits of the Nāga girl were not yet effaced, and their consequences still remained. Every time he went to rest by her side, from her head came forth the ninefold crest of the Nāga. The śākya prince, filled with affright and disgust, hitting on no other plan, waited till she slept, and then cut off (the dragon's crest) with his sword. The Nāga girl, alarmed, awoke and said, "This will bring no good hereafter to your posterity; it will not be ineffectual in slightly afflicting me during my life, and your children and grandchildren will all suffer from pains in the head." And so the royal line of this country are ever afflicted with this malady, and although they are not all so continually, yet every succession brings a worse affliction. After the death of the śākya youth his son succeeded under the name of Uttarasena (U-ta-lo-si-na).

Just after Uttarasena had come to power his mother lost her sight. Tathāgata, when he was going back from the subjugation of the Nāga Apalāla, descended from space and alighted in this palace. Uttarasena was out hunting, and Tathāgata preached a short sermon to his mother. Having heard the sermon from the mouth of the holy one, she forthwith recovered her sight. Tathāgata then asked her, "Where is your son? He is of my family." She said, "He went out hunting for a while this morning, but he will soon be back." When Tathāgata with his attendants were bent on going, the king's mother said, "Of my great fortune I have borne a child belonging to the holy family; and Tathāgata of his great compassion has again come down to visit my house as connected with him. My son will soon return; oh, pray remain for a short time!" The Lord of the World said, "This son of yours belongs to my family; he need only hear the truth to believe it and understand it. If he were not my relative I would remain to instruct his heart, but now I go. On his return, tell him that Tathāgata has gone from this to Kuśinagara (Keu-shi), where between the Sāla trees he is about to die, and let your son come for a share of the relics to honour them."

Then Tathāgata with all his attendants took flight through the air and went. Afterwards Uttarasena-rāja, whilst engaged in the chase, saw, a long way off, his palace lighted up as if with a fire. Being in doubt about it, he quitted the chase and returned. On seeing his mother with her sight restored he was transported with joy, and addressed her, saying, "What fortunate circumstance has occurred to you during my short absence that you should have got your sight again as of old time?" The mother said, "After you had gone out Tathāgata came here, and after hearing him preach I recovered my sight. Buddha has gone from here to Kuśinagara; he is going to die between the Sāla trees. He commands you to go quickly to the spot to get some of his relics."

The king having heard these words, uttered cries of lamentation, and fell prostrate on the ground motionless. Coming to himself, he collected his cortége and went to the twin-trees, where Buddha had already died. Then the kings of the other countries treated him scornfully, and were unwilling to give him a share of the much-prized relics they were taking to their own countries. On this a great assembly of Devas acquainted them with Buddha's wishes, on which the kings divided the relics equally, beginning with him.

Going north-west from the town of Mung-kia-li, crossing a mountain and passing through a valley, we reascend the Sin-tu river.[36] The roads are craggy and steep; the mountains and the valleys are dark and gloomy. Sometimes we have to cross by ropes, sometimes by iron chains stretched (across the gorges). There are foot-bridges (or covered ways) suspended in the air, and flying bridges across the chasms, with wooden steps let into the ground for climbing the steep embankments. Going thus 1000 li or so, we reach the river valley of Ta-li-lo,[37] where stood once the capital of U-chang-na. This country produces much gold and scented turmeric. By the side of a great saṅghārāma, in this valley of Ta-li-lo is a figure of Maitreya[38] Bodhisattva, carved out of wood. It is golden coloured, and very dazzling in appearance, and possesses a secret spiritual power (of miracle). It is about 100 feet high, and is the work of the Arhat Madhyāntika.[39] This saint by his spiritual power caused a sculptor to ascend into the Tuṣita (Tu-si-to) heaven, that he might see for himself the marks and signs (on the person of Maitreya); this he did three times, till his task was finished. From the time of the execution of this image the streams of the law (religious teaching) began to flow eastward.

Going east from this, after climbing precipices and crossing valleys, we go up the course of the Sin-tu river; and then, by the help of flying bridges and footways made of wood across the chasms and precipices, after going 500 li or so, we arrive the country of Po-lu-lo (Bolor).

Footnotes and references:


Udyāna (Prākṛit, Ujjāna), the U-chang of Fa-hian (cap. viii.), is so called because of its garden-like appearance. "Udyāna lay to the north of Peshāwar on the Swāt river, but from the extent assigned to it by Hiuen Tsiang the name probably covered the whole hill-region south of the Hindu- Kush and the Dard country from Chitral to the Indus."—Yule, Marco polo, vol. i. p. 173; compare also Cunningham's remarks, Geog. Anc. Ind., p. 81; Lassen, I. A., vol. i. p. 505, vol. iii. p. 138; and Bactrian Coins, (Eng. trans.) p. 96. It is described by Sung-yun as bordering on the T'sung-ling mountains to the north, and on India to the south. This writer gives a glowing description of the fertility and beauty of the valley and its neighbourhood (Beal's Buddhist Pilgrims, p. 189). It was a flourishing centre of Buddhist worship. Fa-hian (cap. viii.) says "the law of Buddha is universally honoured." He tells us, moreover, that there were five hundred saṅghārāmas in the country, all belonging to the Little Vehicle; but in Hiuen Tsiang's time all the convents were desolate and ruined. We may therefore fix the persecution of Mahirakula (or Mihirakula), who was a contemporary of Bālāditya, between the time of Fa-hian and Hiuen Tsiang (A.D. 400 and 630 A.D.) Bālāditya and Mahirakula, indeed, are placed "several centuries before the time of Hiuen Tsiang" (infra); but we can scarcely suppose that Fa-hian would have described the country as he does if the persecution had happened before his time. The common statement is that Siṃha was the last patriarch of the North, and that he was killed by Mahirakula (see Wong Pu, §179, in J. R. As. Soc., vol. xx. p. 204). He is generally stated to be the 23d patriarch and Bodhidharma, who was the 28th, certainly lived in A.D. 520, when he arrived in China from South India. If we allow an interval of 100 years between the 23d patriarch (Siṃha) and the 28th (Bodhidharma), we should thus have the date of Mahirakula cir. 420 A.D., that is, just after Fa-hian's time. But in this case Vasubandhu, who was the 20th patriarch, must have flourished in the fourth century and not in the sixth, as Max Müller proposes (India, p. 290); ante, p. 105, n. 77. Mahirakula is, however, placed by Cunningham in A.D. 164-179, and ārya Siṃha's death is usually placed in the middle of the third century A.D. Remusat, Mel. Asiat., tome i. p. 124.


The employment of magical sentences is with them an art and a study, or a work of art. This country of Udyāna was the birthplace of Padma Sambhava, a great master of enchantments. Yule, Marco polo, vol. i. p. 173.


Fa-hian says that in his days the people of this country were all followers of the Little Vehicle. Probably the re-introduction of Buddhist doctrine after the persecution had been effected by teachers of the Mahāyana school.


That is, the śubhavastu, the Swāt river of the present day. It is named by Arrian the Soastos, and he says that it flows into the Kôphên at Peukalaitis. See note 24 infra.


This translation differs from Julien's, but I understand Hiuen Tsiang to be alluding to the Hīnayānists. "Those who follow the rules" (viz., of the Vinaya).


The rules of the Vinaya are handed down and followed; they have (or, there are) five schools." The purport of the text is apparently to show that there was a traditional knowledge of the old teaching to which Fa-hian refers. The new school, given to magic, had been introduced after the persecution; the old teaching was opposed to this, and the followers of that teaching resisted its use.


Called in the text Yin-kwong-pu, "the drink-brightness school." See Eitel's Handbook, s. v. Mahākāśyapa.


These five schools belong to the Little Vehicle—(1) The Dharmagupta (Fa-mih-pu), (2) Mahīśāsaka (Fa-ti-pu), (3) Kāśyapīya (Yin-kwong-pu), (4) Sarvāstivāda (Shwo-yih-tsai-yeou-pu), (5) Mahāsaṃghika (Ta-chong-pu).


Muṅgali or Maṅgala, probably the Mangora of Wilford's surveyor, Mogal Beg, and the Maṅglavor of General Court's map (Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of India, p. 82). According to V. de St. Martin (Mém., p. 314), it should be Mangalāvor (Maṅgala-pura). It was on the left bank of the Swāt river. See J. A. S. Ben., vol. viii. pp. 311f., Lassen, I. A., vol. i. p. 138.


I.e., as a Bodhisattva. The history of the Bodhisattva when he was born at Kshāntiṛīshi is frequently met with in Chinese Buddhist books. The account will be found in Wong Pūh, §76 (J. R. A. S., vol. xx. p. 165). The name Kie-li (Kali) is interpreted in the original by "fight-quarrel." The lacuna which occurs in the text was probably the history of this Jin-jo-sien (Kshāntiṛīshi), who suffered his hands to be cut off by Kali-rāja, and not only was not angry, but promised the king that he should be born as Koṇḍiṇya and become one of his (Buddha's) first disciples (Burnouf, Introd., p 198).


"Enter a great mountain," i.e., a mountainous range. There is no mention made of "traversing a valley," as in Julien.


It may also be translated, "it branches off and flows to the south-west." The river is the śubhavastu. See below, note 24, p. 126.


The expression "kiang shin", to descend spiritually, is of frequent occurrence in Chinese Buddhist books; it corresponds to the Sanskrit avatāra or avatārin, to make an appearance.


This may be otherwise translated, "he who holds the diamond spirit club, knocking," etc. The reference is to the thunderbolt of Indra. See Eitel's Handbook, s. voc. Vadjrapāṇi.


The expression "t'ah yuen" may refer to the soft cushion of a bed, or it may have a technical meaning. Has the story arisen from the use of prastara for "bed" and "stone" alike?


A gātha is a verse of thirty-two syllables.—Ch. Ed. This story of Bodhisattva sacrificing his life for the sake of a half-gātha will be found in the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra of the Northern School, K. xiv. fol. 11. I have translated it in Trübner's Record. See also Ind. Antiq., vol. iv. p. 90; Upham, Doctrines and Literature of Buddhism, vol. iii. p. 306.


In Chinese Tu-lin, "great forest."—Ch. Ed.


The Chinese equivalents are Sa-po-ta-ta, which are explained by, tsi-shi, "he who gives all."


For Mo-su-lo, Masūra.—Julien. Mo-su is explained in text to mean "lentils" (masura).


For the śivi Jātaka see my Abstract of Four Lectures, pp. 33 seq. This story is a favourite one, and forms an episode in the Mahābhārata, iii. 13275-13300; the same story of the hawk and pigeon is told of Uśīnara in iii. 10560-10596. See also Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. lx. and lxxxiii. fig. 1, pp. 194, 225. The figures of the dove and hawk, which are sometimes seen in other Buddhist sculptures, e.g., Cunningham, Bharhut Stūpa, pl. xlv. 7, probably allude to this jātaka. Conf. Jour. Ceylon Br. R. As. Soc., vol. ii. (1853), pp. 5, 6; S. Hardy's Eastern Monachism, pp. 277-279; Burgess, Notes on Ajaṇṭā Rock Temples, p. 76; Cave-Temples of India, pp. 291, 315.


The valley of Shan-ni-lo-shi may be restored to Sani-rāja, "the giving king." There is a note in the original which explains Shi-pi-kia (śivika) by the word "to give;" but śivika is generally interpreted in Chinese Buddhist books by "silver-white," alluding perhaps to the "birch tree," with its silver-white bark, which is one of the meanings of śivi. The explanation "to give" ought to be referred to sani, in the compound Sani-rāja. The name of the convent, Sa-pao-sha-ti, is explained in the text by she-yo—serpent medicine, and is restored by Julien to Sarpaushadi.


The serpent Sūma (Su-mo-she), translated by Julien, "serpent of water;" but I take Sūma to be a proper name. The serpent Sūma is probably another form of the Ahi, or cloud-snake of the Veda (compare Tiele, Outlines of the History of Anc. Nations, p. 174). The Deva of Adam's Peak, who has so much to do with the serpents converted by Buddha, is called Sumana.




The śubhavastu or Suvāstu (Rig-Veda, viii. 19, 37; Mahābhār., vi. 333), the Soastos of Arrian (Ind., iv. 11), the Souastosof Ptolemy (lib. vii. c. 1, 42), and the modern Swāt river, at the source of which the dragon Apalāla lived. Conf. Fah-hian, ch. viii.; Vie de Hiouen Thsang, p. 86; Reinaud, Mém. sur l' Inde, p. 277; Saint-Martin, Géographie du Veda, p. 44; Mém Analitique s. la Carte, etc., pp. 63, 64; Burnouf, Introd., p. 336, n. 2; Lassen, Ind. Alt., vol. ii. (2d ed.), p. 140; J. A. S. Beng., vol. ix. p. 480; Wilson, Ariana Ant., pp. 183, 190, 194; and ante, notes 4 and 12, pp. 120, 122.


This may be also construed, "he was treated lightly on account of his rustic (frontier) appearance."


Ts'z li, restored by Julien to Maitrībala; for this Jātaka see R. Mitra's Nepalese Buddhist Literature, p. 50.


Ho-pu-to is for adbhuta, miraculous or unique (Ch. k'i-te). Julien suggests Adbhutāśma, the name of this stūpa of miraculous stone (k'i-te-shi), but it may be simply "a miraculous stone stūpa." The expression "stone stūpa" is a common one, and indeed occurs in the following section.


Avalokiteśvara, in Chinese the phonetic symbols are O-fo-lu-che-to-i-shi-fa-lo. There is a note in the text explaining the meaning of this name to be "the looking (kwan) or beholding god" (Īśvara, Ch. tsz tsai, "self-existent"). The note adds that the old forms of translation, viz., Kwong-shai-yin, "luminous voice," Kwan-shai-yin, "beholding or regarding voice," Kwan-shai-tsz-tsai, "beholding the world god," are all erroneous. But there is good reason for believing that the form Kwan-shai-yin, "beholding or attending to the voice of men," arose from a confusion of the "looking-down god" with a quality attributed to a similar deity of "hearing prayers" (Al Makah). (See J. R. As. S., N.S., vol. xv. p. 333f.) It is singular, if the expression Kwan-yin is erroneous, that Hiuen Tsiang, or rather Hwui-lih, uses it so constantly in his biography (see Vie, pp. 88, 141, 146, 163, 172, and in the context); ante, p. 60, n. 210.


For an account of this incident see below, Book vi. There is a corresponding account in the Mahāvanso, p. 55. "While Buddha yet lived, driven by the misfortunes produced by the war of Prince Viḍuḍhabho, certain members of the śākya line retreating to Himavanto discovered a delightful and beautiful location, well watered and situated in the midst of a forest of lofty bo and other trees, etc." The account then goes on to speak of the peafowls (mayuros), and from that to trace the origin of the Moriyan dynasty, to which Chandragupta belonged. The tale of the peacock bringing water from the rock, the serpent to which the dying people were to look, and the Moriyan line of kings, might perhaps justify some reference to the name of the people inhabiting this district, viz., the Yūzafzaïs, Yūzaf being the Oriental form of the name of Joseph (V. de St. Martin, Mémoire, p. 313, n. 3). Conf. Max Müller, Hist. Anc. Sans. Lit., p. 285; Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king, p. 336. The account of the Nāga maiden and the exiled wanderer (holy youth) which follows is also suggestive.


That is, to approach near and inquire or look upon him (tang). The word rendered "caress" in this passage means to smooth, or pat the head.


This passage may be rendered literally thus: "How much rather, alas! since on account of accumulated misery I have received this Nāga (serpent) body." The expression "tsih ho", "misery accumulated from evil deeds," corresponds with the phrase "tsih fuh", "much happiness derived from good works." (See Wells Williams, Tonic Dict., sub "tsik", "to gather or hoard up".) There is a passage following the above omitted in the text: "A man and beast are different in their ways (of birth); such a union has not been heard of."


This may otherwise be translated: "One word permitted by you, my cherished desire is then accomplished." I take "suh sin" to be equal to "suh yuen", a cherished desire; but the expression may also refer to the power of accumulated merit to effect an object, the sachcha kiriyā (satyakrityā) of the Southern School of Buddhism. See Childers, Pāli Dict., sub voc.; also Abstract of Four Lectures, p. 40.


Julien translates this passage: "I am prepared to follow you." The meaning may also be, "only let that follow which you desire;" or, "only let that be accomplished which is the consequence of the past," i.e., your past deeds.


The literal translation of this passage is: "Desiring to make returns for this goodness, grinding my body to dust, I should not yet thank you enough. My heart desires to follow you in your travels; one thing restrains me, the propriety of things; let me," etc. Instead of "obey you," the word "li" may refer to ceremonial or marriage rites.


Literally, "sweepings and bathings."


That is, we strike on the Indus river, and ascend it against its course.


Ta-li-lo, or Dāril or Dārail, a valley on the right or western bank of the Indus (long. 73°44' E.), watered by a river Dāril, containing half-a-dozen towns, and occupied by Dārdua or Dards, from whom it received its name (Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of India, p. 82). It is perhaps the same as the To-li of Fa-hian. Conf. Cunningham in J. A. S. Ben., vol. xvii. pt. ii. p. 19; and Ladak, pp. 2, 46 f. Julien has Talila.


Maitreya is the "Buddha to come." He is supposed now to be dwelling as a Bodhisattva in the fourth Devaloka heaven called Tushita (Hardy, Man. Buddh., p. 25; Burnouf, Introd., pp. 96, 606). This heaven is the place of desire for Buddhists like Hiuen Tsiang, who constantly prayed on his death-bed for the happiness of being born there. The short Chinese inscription lately found at Buddha Gayā is occupied chiefly with aspirations after this heaven (J. R. A. S., N.S., vol. xiii. pp. 552 f.; Ind. Ant., vol. x. p. 193). It is a belief opposed to the "paradise of the west" (Sukhāvatī), which probably is of foreign origin.


Madhyāntika, according to the Northern School of Buddhism, was a disciple of ānanda (Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king, xi.), converted shortly before the death of the latter. In Tibetan he is called Ni-mahi-gung. See Asiat. Res., vol. xx. p. 92. By some he is reckoned as one of the first five patriarchs, and placed between ānanda and śāṇavāsa, but others do not reckon him among them. At Banāras the people were annoyed at the number of Bhikshus, and Madhyāntika, taking ten thousand of them, flew through the air to Mount Uśīra, in Kaśmīr, which he converted to Buddhism. See Vassilief, pp. 35, 39, 45, 225; Köppen, vol. i. pp. 145, 189 f. The Mahāvaṃso (p. 71) speaks of a Majjhima who, after the third Buddhist synod, was sent to Kaśmīr and the Himavanta country to spread the Buddhist faith. (See also Oldenberg, Dīpavaṃsa, viii. 10.) Fa-hian (chap. vii.) says this image was carved about 300 years after the Nirvāṇa.

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