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 14 - Country of Pi-lo-shan-na (Virashana)

Note: General Cunningham identifies Pi-lo-shan-na (Vīraśāna) with a great mound of ruins called Atrañjikhera, four miles to the south of Karsāna.[1]

This country is about 2000 li in circuit. The capital town about 10 li. The climate and produce are the same as those of Ahikṣetra. The habits of the people are violent and headstrong. They are given to study and the arts. They are chiefly heretics (attached in faith to heresy); there are a few who believe in the law of Buddha. There are two saṅghārāmas with about 300 priests, who attach themselves to the study of the Great Vehicle. There are five Deva temples occupied by sectaries of different persuasions.

In the middle of the chief city is an old saṅghārāma, within which is a stūpa, which, although in ruins, is still rather more than 100 feet high. It was built by Aśoka-rāja. Tathāgata, when in the world in old days, preached here for seven days on the Wen-kiai-chu-king (Skandhadhātu-upasthāna Sūtra?).[2] By the side of it are the traces where the four former Buddhas sat and walked in exercise.

Going hence south-east 200 li or so, we come to the country of Kie-pi-ta (Kapitha).[3]

Footnotes and references:


Pi-lo-shan-na is restored (doubtfully) by Julien to Vīraśāna. General Cunningham identifies it (conjecturally) with a great mound of ruins called Atrañjikhera, four miles to the south of Karsāna. Hiuen Tsiang probably crossed the Ganges near Sahāwar, a few miles from Soron: this appears to answer to the distance of 260 or 270 li—about 50 miles. General Cunningham says 23 to 25 miles, but on his Map x. the distance is 50 miles.


Julien (p. 236. n. 1) renders this literally "one who dwells in the world called Ouen-kiai;" but "wen-kiai" represents skandha-dhātu, and "chu" is the Chinese symbol for upasthāna.


Written formerly Sang-kia-she Saṅkāśya.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: