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 Kie-jo-kio-she-kwo (Kanyakubja)

Note: Kanyākubja (Kie-jo-kio-she-kwo) is now called Kanauj which was for many hundred years the Hindu capital of Northern India, but the existing remains are few and unimportant.[1]

This kingdom is about 4000 li in circuit; the capital, on the west, borders on the river Ganges.[2] It is about 20 li in length and 4 or 5 li in breadth. The city has a dry ditch[3] round it, with strong and lofty towers facing one another. The flowers and woods, the lakes and ponds,[4] bright and pure and shining like mirrors, (are seen on every side). Valuable merchandise is collected here in great quantities. The people are well off and contented, the houses are rich and well found. Flowers and fruits abound in every place, and the land is sown and reaped in due seasons. The climate is agreeable and soft, the manners of the people honest and sincere. They are noble and gracious in appearance. For clothing they use ornamented and bright-shining (fabrics). They apply themselves much to learning, and in their travels are very much given to discussion[5] (on religious subjects). (The fame of) their pure language is far spread. The believers in Buddha and the heretics are about equal in number. There are some hundred saṅghārāmas with 10,000 priests. They study both the Great and Little Vehicle. There are 200 Deva temples with several thousand followers.

The old capital of Kanyākubja, where men lived for a long time, was called Kusumapura.[6] The king's name was Brahmadatta.[7] His religious merit and wisdom in former births entailed on him the inheritance of a literary and military character that caused his name to be widely reverenced and feared. The whole of Jambudvīpa resounded with his fame, and the neighbouring provinces were filled with the knowledge of it. He had 1000 sons famed for wisdom and courage, and 100 daughters of singular grace and beauty.

At this time there was a rishi living on the border of the Ganges river, who, having entered a condition of ecstasy, by his spiritual power passed several myriad of years in this condition, until his form became like a decayed tree. Now it happened that some wandering birds having assembled in a flock near this spot, one of them let drop on the shoulder (of the rishi) a Nyagrodha (Ni-ku-liu) fruit, which grew up, and through summer and winter afforded him a welcome protection and shade. After a succession of years he awoke from his ecstasy. He arose and desired to get rid of the tree, but feared to injure the nests of the birds in it. The men of the time, extolling his virtue, called him "The great-tree (Mahāvṛkṣa) rishi." The rishi gazing once on the river-bank as he wandered forth to behold the woods and trees, saw the daughters of the king following one another and gambolling together. Then the love of the world (the world of desire—Kāmadhātu), which holds and pollutes the mind, was engendered in him. Immediately he went to Kusumapura for the purpose of paying his salutations to the king and asking (for his daughter).

The king, hearing of the arrival of the rishi, went himself to meet and salute him, and thus addressed him graciously: "Great rishi! you were reposing in peace—what has disturbed you?"[8] The rishi answered, "After having reposed in the forest many years, on awaking from my trance, in walking to and fro I saw the king's daughters; a polluted and lustful heart was produced in me, and now I have come from far to request (one of your daughters in marriage).

The king hearing this, and seeing no way to escape, said to the rishi, "Go back to your place and rest, and let me beg you to await the happy period." The rishi, hearing the mandate, returned to the forest. The king then asked his daughters in succession, but none of them consented to be given in marriage.

The king, fearing the power of the rishi, was much grieved and afflicted thereat. And now the youngest daughter of the king, watching an opportunity when the king was at liberty, with an engaging manner said, "The king, my father, has his thousand sons, and on every side his dependents[9] are reverently obedient. Why, then, are you sad as if you were afraid of something?"

The king replied, "The great-tree-rishi has been pleased to look down on you[10] to seek a marriage with one of you, and you have all turned away and not consented to comply with his request. Now this rishi possesses great power, and is able to bring either calamities or good fortune. If he is thwarted he will be exceedingly angry, and in his displeasure destroy my kingdom, and put an end to our religious worship, and bring disgrace on me and my ancestors. As I consider this unhappiness indeed I have much anxiety."

The girl-daughter replied, "Dismiss your heavy grief; ours is the fault. Let me, I pray, in my poor person promote the prosperity of the country."

The king, hearing her words, was overjoyed, and ordered his chariot to accompany her with gifts to her marriage. Having arrived at the hermitage of the rishi, he offered his respectful greetings and said, "Great rishi! since you condescended to fix your mind on external things and to regard the world with complacency, I venture to offer you my young daughter to cherish and provide for you (water and sweep)." The rishi, looking at her, was displeased, and said to the king, "You despise my old age, surely, in offering me this ungainly thing."

The king said, "I asked all my daughters in succession, but they were unwilling to comply with your request: this little one alone offered to serve you."

The rishi was extremely angry, and uttered this curse (evil charm), saying, "Let the ninety-nine girls (who refused me) this moment become hump-backed; being thus deformed, they will find no one to marry them in all the world." The king, having sent a messenger in haste, found that already they had become deformed. From this time the town had this other name of the Kuih-niu-shing (Kanyākubja), i.e., "city of the humped-backed women."[11]

The reigning king is of the Vaiśya[12] caste. His name is Harshavardhana (Ho-li-sha-fa-t'an-na).[13] A commission of officers hold the land. During two generations there have been three kings. (The king's) father was called Po-lo-kie-lo-fa-t'an-na (prabhākaravardhana);[14] his elder brother's name was Rājyavardhana (Ho-lo-she-fa-t'an-na).[15]

Rājyavardhana came to the throne as the elder brother, and ruled with virtue. At this time the king of Karṇasuvarṇa (Kie-lo-na-su-fa-la-na),[16]—a kingdom of Eastern India—whose name was śaśāṅgka (She-shang-kia),[17] frequently addressed his ministers in these words: "If a frontier country has a virtuous ruler, this is the unhappiness of the (mother) kingdom." On this they asked the king to a conference and murdered him.

The people having lost their ruler, the country became desolate. Then the great minister P'o-ni (Bhaṇḍi),[18] whose power and reputation were high and of much weight, addressing the assembled ministers, said, "The destiny of the nation is to be fixed to-day. The old king's son is dead: the brother of the prince, however, is humane and affectionate, and his disposition, heaven-conferred, is dutiful and obedient. Because he is strongly attached to his family, the people will trust in him. I propose that he assume the royal authority: let each one give his opinion on this matter, whatever he thinks." They were all agreed on this point, and acknowledged his conspicuous qualities.

On this the chief ministers and the magistrates all exhorted him to take authority, saying, "Let the royal prince attend! The accumulated merit and the conspicuous virtue of the former king were so illustrious as to cause his kingdom to be most happily governed. When he was followed by Rājyavardhana we thought he would end his years (as king); but owing to the fault of his ministers, he was led to subject his person to the hand of his enemy, and the kingdom has suffered a great affliction; but it is the fault of your ministers. The opinion of the people, as shown in their songs, proves their real submission to your eminent qualities. Reign, then, with glory over the land; conquer the enemies of your family; wash out the insult laid on your kingdom and the deeds of your illustrious father. Great will your merit be in such a case. We pray you reject not our prayer."

The prince replied, "The government of a country is a responsible office and ever attended with difficulties. The duties of a prince require previous consideration. As for myself, I am indeed of small eminence; but as my father and brother are no more, to reject the heritage of the crown, that can bring no benefit to the people. I must attend to the opinion of the world and forget my own insufficiency. Now, therefore, on the banks of the Ganges there is a statue of Avalokiteśvara bodhisattva which has evidenced many spiritual wonders. I will go to it and ask advice (request a response)." Forthwith, coming to the spot where the figure of the Bodhisattva was, he remained before it fasting and praying. The Bodhisattva recognising his sincere intention (heart), appeared in a bodily form and inquired, "What do you seek that you are so earnest in your supplications?" The prince answered, "I have suffered under a load of affliction. My dear father, indeed, is dead, who was full of kindness; and my brother, humane and gentle as he was, has been odiously murdered. In the presence of these calamities I humble myself as one of little virtue; nevertheless, the people would exalt me to the royal dignity, to fill the high place of my illustrious father. Yet I am, indeed, but ignorant and foolish. In my trouble I ask the holy direction (of the bodhisattva)."

The Bodhisattva replied, "In your former existence you lived in this forest as a hermit (a forest mendicant),[19] and by your earnest diligence and unremitting attention you inherited a power of religious merit which resulted in your birth as a king's son. The king of the country, Karṇasuvarṇa, has overturned the law of Buddha. Now when you succeed to the royal estate, you should in the same proportion exercise towards it the utmost love and pity.[20] If you give your mind to compassionate the condition of the distressed and to cherish them, then before long you shall rule over the Five Indies. If you would establish your authority, attend to my instruction, and by my secret power you shall receive additional enlightenment, so that not one of your neighbours shall be able to triumph over you. Ascend not the lion-throne, and call not yourself Mahārāja."[21]

Having received these instructions, he departed and assumed the royal office. He called himself the King's Son (Kumāra); his title was śīlāditya. And now he commanded his ministers, saying, "The enemies of my brother are unpunished as yet, the neighbouring countries not brought to submission; while this is so my right hand shall never lift food to my mouth. Therefore do you, people and officers, unite with one heart and put out your strength." Accordingly they assembled all the soldiers of the kingdom, summoned the masters of arms (champions, or, teachers of the art of fighting). They had a body of 5000 elephants, a body of 2000 cavalry, and 50,000 foot-soldiers. He went from east to west subduing all who were not obedient; the elephants were not unharnessed nor the soldiers unbelted (unhelmeted). After six years he had subdued the Five Indies. Having thus enlarged his territory, he increased his forces; he had 60,000 war elephants and 100,000 cavalry. After thirty years his arms reposed, and he governed everywhere in peace. He then practised to the utmost the rules of temperance,[22] and sought to plant the tree of religious merit to such an extent that he forgot to sleep or to eat. He forbade the slaughter of any living thing or flesh as food throughout the Five Indies on pain of death without pardon. He built on the banks of the river Ganges several thousand Stūpas, each about 100 feet high; in all the highways of the towns and villages throughout India he erected hospices,[23] provided with food and drink, and stationed there physicians,[24] with medicines for travellers and poor persons round about, to be given without any stint. On all spots where there were holy traces (of Buddha) he raised saṅghāarāmas.

Once in five years he held the great assembly called Mokṣa. He emptied his treasuries to give all away in charity, only reserving the soldiers' arms, which were unfit to give as alms.[25] Every year he assembled the śramaṇas from all countries, and on the third and seventh days he bestowed on them in charity the four kinds of alms (viz., food, drink, medicine, clothing). He decorated the throne of the law (the pulpit) and extensively ornamented (arranged) the oratories.[26] He ordered the priests to carry on discussions, and himself judged of their several arguments, whether they were weak or powerful. He rewarded the good and punished the wicked, degraded the evil and promoted the men of talent. If any one (of the priests) walked according to the moral precepts, and was distinguished in addition for purity in religion (reason), he himself conducted such an one to "the lion-throne" and received from him the precepts of the law. If any one, though distinguished for purity of life, had no distinction for learning, he was reverenced, but not highly honoured. If any one disregarded the rules of morality and was notorious for his disregard of propriety, him he banished from the country, and would neither see him nor listen to him. If any of the neighbouring princes or their chief ministers lived religiously, with earnest purpose, and aspired to a virtuous character without regarding labour, he led him by the hand to occupy the same seat with himself, and called him "illustrious friend;" but he disdained to look upon those of a different character. If it was necessary to transact state business, he employed couriers who continually went and returned. If there was any irregularity in the manners of the people of the cities, he went amongst them. Wherever he moved he dwelt in a ready-made building[27] during his sojourn. During the excessive rains of the three months of the rainy season he would not travel thus. Constantly in his travelling-palace he would provide choice meats for men of all sorts of religion.[28] The Buddhist priests would be perhaps a thousand; the Brāhmaṇs, five hundred. He divided each day into three portions. During the first he occupied himself on matters of government; during the second he practised himself in religious devotion (merit) without interruption, so that the day was not sufficiently long. When I[29] first received the invitation of Kumāra-rāja, I said I would go from Magadha to Kāmarūpa. At this time śīlāditya-rāja was visiting different parts of his empire, and found himself at Kie-mi-[30] -ou-ki-lo, when he gave the following order to Kumāra-rāja: "I desire you to come at once to the assembly with the strange śramaṇa you are entertaining at the Nālanda convent." On this, coming with Kumāra-rāja, we attended the assembly. The king, śīlāditya, after the fatigue of the journey was over, said, "From what country do you come, and what do you seek in your travels?"

He said in reply, "I come from the great Tang country, and I ask permission to seek for the law (religious books) of Buddha."

The king said, "Whereabouts is the great Tang country? by what road do you travel? and is it far from this, or near?"

In reply he said, "My country lies to the north-east from this several myriads of li; it is the kingdom which in India is called Mahāchina."

The king answered, "I have heard that the country of Mahāchina has a king called Ts'in,[31] the son of heaven, when young distinguished for his spiritual abilities, when old then (called) 'divine warrior.'[32] The empire in former generations was in disorder and confusion, everywhere divided and in disunion; soldiers were in conflict, and all the people were afflicted with calamity. Then the king of Ts'in, son of heaven, who had conceived from the first vast purposes, brought into exercise all his pity and love; he brought about a right understanding, and pacified and settled all within the seas. His laws and instruction spread on every side. People from other countries brought under his influence declared themselves ready to submit to his rule. The multitude whom he nourished generously sang in their songs of the prowess of the king of Ts'in. I have learned long since his praises sung thus in verse. Are the records (laudatory hymns) of his great (complete) qualities well founded? Is this the king of the great Tang, of which you speak?"

Replying, he said, "China is the country of our former kings, but the 'great Tang' is the country of our present ruler. Our king in former times, before he became hereditary heir to the throne (before the empire was established), was called the sovereign of Ts'in, but now he is called the 'king of heaven' (emperor). At the end of the former dynasty[33] the people had no ruler, civil war raged on every hand and caused confusion, the people were destroyed, when the king of Ts'in, by his supernatural gifts, exercised his love and compassion on every hand; by his power the wicked were destroyed on every side, the eight regions[34] found rest, and the ten thousand kingdoms brought tribute. He cherished creatures of every kind, submitted with respect to the three precious ones.[35] He lightened the burdens of the people and mitigated punishment, so that the country abounded in resources and the people enjoyed complete rest. It would be difficult to recount all the great changes he accomplished."

śīlāditya-rāja replied, "Very excellent indeed! the people are happy in the hands of such a holy king."

śīlāditya-rāja being about to return to the city of Kanyākubja, convoked a religious assembly. Followed by several hundreds of thousand people, he took his place on the southern bank of the river Ganges, whilst Kumāra-rāja, attended by several tens of thousands, took his place on the northern bank, and thus, divided by the stream of the river, they advanced on land and water. The two kings led the way with their gorgeous staff of soldiers (of the four kinds); some also were in boats; some were on elephants; sounding drums and blowing horns, playing on flutes and harps. After ninety days they arrived at the city of Kanyākubja, (and rested) on the western shore of the Ganges river, in the middle of a flowery copse.

Then the kings of the twenty countries who had received instruction from śīlāditya-rāja assembled with the śramaṇas and Brāhmaṇs, the most distinguished of their country, with magistrates and soldiers. The king in advance had constructed on the west side of the river a great saṅghārāma, and on the east of this a precious tower about 100 feet in height; in the middle he had placed a golden statue of Buddha, of the same height as the king himself. On the south of the tower he placed a precious altar, in the place for washing the image of Buddha. From this north-east 14 or 15 li he erected another rest-house. It was now the second month of spring-time; from the first day of the month he had presented exquisite food to the śramaṇas and Brāhmaṇs till the 21st day; all along, from the temporary palace[36] to the saṅghārāma, there were highly decorated pavilions, and places where musicians were stationed, who raised the sounds of their various instruments. The king, on leaving the resting-hall (palace of travel), made them bring forth on a gorgeously caparisoned great elephant a golden statue of Buddha about three feet high, and raised aloft. On the left went the king, śīlāditya, dressed as śakra, holding a precious canopy, whilst Kumāra-??rāja, dressed as Brahmā-rāja, holding a white chāmara, went on the right. Each of them had as an escort 500 war-elephants clad in armour; in front and behind the statue or Buddha went 100 great elephants, carrying musicians, who sounded their drums and raised their music. The king, śīlāditya, as he went, scattered on every side pearls and various precious substances, with gold and silver flowers, in honour of the three precious objects of worship. Having first washed the image in scented water at the altar, the king then himself bore it on his shoulder to the western tower, where he offered to it tens, hundreds, and thousands of silken garments, decorated with precious gems. At this time there were but about twenty śramaṇas following in the procession, the kings of the various countries forming the escort. After the feast they assembled the different men of learning, who discussed in elegant language on the most abstruse subjects. At evening-tide the king retired in state to his palace of travel.

Thus every day he carried the golden statue as before, till at length on the day of separation a great fire suddenly broke out in the tower, and the pavilion over the gate of the saṅghārāma was also in flames. Then the king exclaimed, "I have exhausted the wealth of my country in charity, and following the example of former kings, I have built this saṅghārāma, and I have aimed to distinguish myself by superior deeds, but my poor attempts (feeble qualities) have found no return! In the presence of such calamities as these, what need I of further life?"

Then with incense-burning he prayed, and with this vow (oath), "Thanks to my previous merit, I have come to reign over all India; let the force of my religious conduct destroy this fire; or if not, let me die!" Then he rushed headlong towards the threshold of the gate, when suddenly, as if by a single blow, the fire was extinguished and the smoke disappeared.

The kings beholding the strange event, were filled with redoubled reverence; but he (the king), with unaltered face and unchanged accents, addressed the princes thus: "The fire has consumed this crowning work of my religious life. What think you of it?" The princes, prostrate at his feet, with tears, replied, "The work which marked the crowning act of your perfected merit, and which we hoped would be handed down to future ages, has in a moment (a dawn) been reduced to ashes. How can we bear to think of it? But how much more when the heretics are rejoicing thereat, and interchanging their congratulations!"

The king answered, "By this, at least, we see the truth of what Buddha said; the heretics and others insist on the permanency[37] of things, but our great teacher's doctrine is that all things are impermanent. As for me, my work of charity was finished, according to my purpose; and this destructive calamity (change) does but strengthen my knowledge of the truth of Tathāgata's doctrine. This is a great happiness (good fortune), and not a subject for lamentation."

On this, in company with the kings, he went to the east, and mounted the great stūpa. Having reached the top, he looked around on the scene, and then descending the steps, suddenly a heretic (or, a strange man), knife in hand, rushed on the king. The king, startled at the sudden attack, stepped back a few steps up the stairs, and then bending himself down he seized the man, in order to deliver him to the magistrates. The officers were so bewildered with fright that they did not know how to move for the purpose of assisting him.

The kings all demanded that the culprit should be instantly killed, but śīlāditya-rāja, without the least show of fear and with unchanged countenance, commanded them not to kill him; and then he himself questioned him thus:

What harm have I done you, that you have attempted such a deed?"

The culprit replied, "Great king! your virtues shine without partiality; both at home and abroad they bring happiness. As for me, I am foolish and besotted, unequal to any great undertaking; led astray by a single word of the heretics, and flattered by their importunity, I have turned as a traitor against the king."

The king then asked, "And why have the heretics conceived this evil purpose?"

He answered and said, "Great king! you have assembled the people of different countries, and exhausted your treasury in offerings to the śramaṇas, and cast a metal image of Buddha; but the heretics who have come from a distance have scarcely been spoken to. Their minds, therefore, have been affected with resentment, and they procured me, wretched man that I am! to undertake this unlucky deed."

The king then straitly questioned the heretics and their followers. There were 500 Brāhmaṇs, all of singular talent, summoned before the king. Jealous of the śramaṇs, whom the king had reverenced and exceedingly honoured, they had caused the precious tower to catch fire by means of burning arrows, and they hoped that in escaping from the fire the crowd would disperse in confusion, and at such a moment they purposed to assassinate the king. Having been foiled in this, they had bribed this man to lay wait for the king in a narrow passage and kill him.

Then the ministers and the kings demanded the extermination of the heretics. The king punished the chief of them and pardoned the rest. He banished the 500 Brāhmaṇs to the frontiers of India, and then returned to his capital.

To the north-west of the capital there is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. In this place Tathāgata, when in the world, preached the most excellent doctrines for seven days. By the side of this stūpa are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked for exercise. There is, moreover, a little stūpa containing the relics of Buddha's hair and nails; and also a preaching-place[38] stūpa.

On the south and by the side of the Ganges are three saṅghārāmas, enclosed within the same walls, but with different gates. They have highly ornamented statues of Buddha. The priests are devout and reverential; they have in their service several thousands of "pure men."[39] In a precious casket in the vihāra is a tooth of Buddha about one and a half inches in length, very bright, and of different colours at morning and night. People assemble from far and near; the leading men with the multitude join in one body in worship. Every day hundreds and thousands come together. The guardians of the relic, on account of the uproar and confusion occasioned by the multitude of people, placed on the exhibition a heavy tax, and proclaimed far and wide that those wishing to see the tooth of Buddha must pay one great gold piece. Nevertheless, the followers who come to worship are very numerous, and gladly pay the tax of a gold piece. On every holiday they bring it (the relic) out and place it on a high throne, whilst hundreds and thousands of men burn incense and scatter flowers; and although the flowers are heaped up, the tooth-casket is not overwhelmed.

In front of the saṅghārāma, on the right and left hand, there are two vihāras, each about 100 feet high, the foundation of stone and the walls of brick. In the middle are statues of Buddha highly decorated with jewels, one made of gold and silver, the other of native copper. Before each vihāra is a little saṅghārāma.

Not far to the south-east of the saṅghārāma is a great vihāra, of which the foundations are stone and the building of brick, about 200 feet high. There is a standing figure of Buddha in it about 30 feet high. It is of native copper (bronze?) and decorated with costly gems. On the four surrounding walls of the vihāra are sculptured pictures. The various incidents in the life of Tathāgata, when he was practising the discipline of a Bodhisattva are here fully portrayed (engraved).

Not far to the south of the stone vihāra is a temple of the Sun-deva. Not far to the south of this is a temple of Maheśvara. The two temples are built of a blue stone of great lustre, and are ornamented with various elegant sculptures. In length and breadth they correspond with the vihāra of Buddha. Each of these foundations has 1000 attendants to sweep and water it; the sound of drums and of songs accompanied by music, ceases not day nor night.

To the south-east of the great city 6 or 7 li, on the south side of the Ganges, is a stūpa about 200 feet in height, built by Aśoka-rāja. When in the world, Tathāgata in this place preached for six months on the impermanency of the body (anātma), on sorrow (duḥkha), on unreality (anitya), and impurity.[40]

On one side of this is the place where the four past Buddhas sat and walked for exercise. Moreover, there is a little stūpa of the hair and nails of Tathāgata. If a sick person with sincere faith walks round this edifice, he obtains immediate recovery and increase of religious merit.

To the south-east of the capital, going about 100 li, we come to the town of Na-fo-ti-p'o-ku-lo (Navadevakula).[41] It is situated on the eastern bank of the Ganges, and is about 20 li in circuit. There are here flowery groves, and pure lakes which reflect the shadows of the trees.

To the north-west of this town, on the eastern bank of the Ganges river, is a Deva temple, the towers and storeyed turrets of which are remarkable for their skilfully carved work. To the east of the city 5 li are three saṅghārāmas with the same wall but different gates, with about 500 priests, who study the Little Vehicle according to the school of the Sarvāstivādins.

Two hundred paces in front of the saṅghārāma is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. Although the foundations are sunk in the ground, it is yet some 100 feet in height. It was here Tathāgata in old days preached the law for seven days. In this monument is a relic (śarīra) which ever emits a brilliant light. Beside it is a place where there are traces of the four former Buddhas, who sat and walked here.

To the north of the saṅghārāma 3 or 4 li, and bordering on the Ganges river, is a stūpa about 200 feet high, built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Buddha preached for seven days. At this time there were some 500 demons who came to the place where Buddha was to hear the law; understanding its character, they gave up their demon form and were born in heaven.[42] By the side of the preaching-stūpa is a place where there are traces of the four Buddhas who sat and walked there. By the side of this again is a stūpa containing the hair and nails of Tathāgata.

From this going south-east 600 li or so, crossing the Ganges and going south, we come to the country of 'O-yu-t'o (Ayodhyā).

Footnotes and references:


The capital, Kanyākubja (Kie-jo-kio-she-kwo), now called Kanauj. The distance from Kapitha or Saṅkisa is given by Hiuen Tsiang as somewhat less than 200 li, and the bearing north-west. There is a mistake here, as the bearing is south-east, and the distance somewhat less than 300 li. Kanauj was for many hundred years the Hindu capital of Northern India, but the existing remains are few and unimportant. Kanauj is mentioned by Ptolemy (lib. vii. c. 2, 22), who calls it Kanaugiza. The modern town occupies only the north end of the site of the old city, including the whole of what is now called the Kilah or citadel (Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of Ind., p. 380). This is probably the part alluded to by Hiuen Tsiang in the context. It is triangular in shape, and each side is covered by a ditch or a dry nala, as stated in the text. Fa-hian places Kanauj 7 yojanas south-east of Saṃkisa.


That is, borders or lies near the western bank of the Ganges. Julien translates it, "is near the Ganges."


The reference seems to be the inner or fortified portion (citadel) of the capital city. Julien translates as if it referred to all the cities. The symbol "hwang" means "a dry ditch."


Or the ponds only.


This passage, which is confused, seems to refer to their going about here and there to discuss questions relating to religion. The purity of their discourses, i.e., the clearness of their arguments, is wide-spread or renowned.


Keu-su-mo-pu-lo, in Chinese Hwa-kung, flower palace.


In Chinese Fan-sheu, "Brahma-given."


Or it may be rendered, "What outward matter has been able to excite for a while the composed passions of the great rishi?" It does not seem probable that the king was acquainted with the rishi's intention; he could not, therefore, use the words as if expostulating with him.


His ten thousand kingdoms.


That is, on the daughters generally.


The Purāṇas refer this story to the curse of the sage Vaya on the hundred daughters of Kuśanābha.


Vaiśya is here, perhaps, the name of a Rājput clan (Bais or Vaisa), not the mercantile class or caste among the Hindus (Cunningham, op. cit., p. 377). Baiswāra, the country of the Bais Rajputs, extends from the neighbourhood of Lakhnau to Khara-Mānikpur, and thus comprises nearly the whole of Southern Oudh (ib.)


In Chinese, Hi-tsang, "increase of joy." This is the celebrated śīlāditya Harshavardhana, whose reign (according to Max Müller, Ind. Ant., vol. xii. p. 234) began 610 A.D. and ended about 650 A.D. Others place the beginning of his reign earlier, 606 or 607 A.D. (See Bendall's Catalogue of an era (śrīharsha) formerly used in various parts of North India. Bendall, op. cit., Int., p. xl.; Hall's Vāsavadattā, pp. 51 f.; Jour. Bom. B. R. As. Soc., vol. x. pp. 38 ff.; Ind. Ant., vol. vii. pp. 196 ff; Reinaud, Fragm. Arab. et Pers., p. 139.


In Chinese, Tso kwong, to cause brightness. The symbol p'o is omitted in the text.


In Chinese, Wang tsang, kingly increase.


In Chinese, Kin'rh, "gold-ear." The town of Rañjāmati, 12 miles north of Murshidābād, in Bengal, stands on the site of an old city called Kurusona-ka-gadh, supposed to be a Bengāli corruption of the name in the text.—J. As. S. Beng., vol. xxii. pp. 281 f.; J. R. As. S., N.S., vol. vi. p. 248; Ind. Ant., vol. vii. p. 197 n.


In Chinese, Yueh, the moon. This was śaśāṅgka Narendragupta, king of Gauḍa or Bengal.


Julien restores Po-ni to Bāṇī. In Chinese it is equal to Pin-liu, "distinguished." Bāṇa, the well-known author of the Harshacharita, informs us that his name was Bhaṇḍin. He is referred to in the preface to Boyd's Nāgānanda. I-tsing relates that śīlāditya kept all the best writers, especially poets, at his court, and that he (the king) used to join in the literary recitals; among the rest that he would assume the part of Jīmūtavāhana Bodhisattva, and transform himself into a Nāga amid the sound of song and instrumental music. Nan hae, § 32, k. iv. p. 6. Now Jīmūtavāhana (Shing yun, "cloud chariot") is the hero of the Nāgānanda. The king śrī Harshadeva, therefore, who is mentioned as the author both of the Ratnāvali and the Nāgānanda, is śīlāditya of Kanauj; and I-tsing has left us the notice that this king himself took the part of the hero during the performance of the Nāgānanda. The real author, however, Professor Cowell thinks, was Dhāvaka, one of the poets residing at the court of śrī Harsha, whilst Bāṇa composed the Ratnāvali. The Jātakamālā was also the work of the poets of śrī Harsha's court. Abstract, etc., p. 197.


"A forest mendicant" is the translation of Ara ya Bhikshu (lan-yo-pi-ts'u). It would appear from the text that the place where this statue of Avalokiteśvara stood was a wild or desert spot near the Ganges.


So I understand the passage as relating to a corresponding favour to the law of Buddha, in return for the persecution of śaśāṅgka.


This appears to be the advice or direction given oracularly (see Jour. R. As. Soc., N.S., vol. xv. p. 334)—"fi shing sse tseu che tso; fi ching ta wang che ho." The promise is, that if this advice is followed, then, "by my mysterious energy (or, in the darkness), shall be added the benefit (happiness) of light, so that in the neighbouring kingdoms there shall be no one strong enough to resist (your arms)." śīlāditya did, in fact, conquer the whole of North India, and was only checked in the south by Pulikeśi (the Pulakeśa of Hiuen Tsiang, book xi. infra), whose title appears to have been Parameśvara, given him on account of his victory over śīlāditya. (See Cunningham, Arch. Surv., vol. i. p. 281; Ind. Ant., vol. vii. pp. 164, 219, etc.) I may here perhaps observe that I-tsing, the Chinese pilgrim, notices his own visit to a great lord of Eastern India called Jih-yueh-kun, i.e., Chandrāditya rāja-bhṛitya (kwan); this is probably the Chandrāditya, elder brother of Vikramāditya, the grandson of Pilakeśi Vallabha, the conqueror of śrī Harsha śīlāditya (vid. Jour. R. As. Soc., N.S., vol. i. p. 260; and Ind. Ant., vol. vii. pp. 163, 219; I-tsing, Nan hae, k. iv. fol. 6 b, and k. iv. fol. 12 a). I-tsing mentions that Chandrāditya was a poet who had versified the Vessantara Jātaka.


Temperate restrictions; but "hëen" is difficult in this sense.


Punyaśālās—"Tsing-leu", pure lodging houses, or choultries.


There is an error in the text, as pointed out by Julien, n. 2. The text may mean he placed in these buildings "doctor's medicines," or "physicians and medicines."


The expression in the text is Tan-she, which, as Julien has observed, is a hybrid term for giving away in dāna, or charity.


The expression may refer to mats or seats for discussion or for religious services.


A hut or dwelling run up for the purpose. It seems to refer to a temporary rest-house, made probably of some light material. From the next sentence it seems that he carried about with him the materials for constructing such an abode.


It will be seen from this that śīlāditya, although leaning to Buddhism, was a patron of other religious sects.


This refers to the pilgrim himself. The Kumāra-rāja who invited him was the king of Kāmarūpa, the western portion of Asam (see Book x.) śīlāditya was also called Kumāra. The invitation referred to will be found in the last section of the 4th book of the Life of Hiuen Tsiang.


Here mi is an error for chu. The restoration will be Kajūghira or Kajinghara, a small kingdom on the banks of the Ganges, about 92 miles from Champā. (see V. de St. Martin, Mémoire, p. 387.)


The context and Hiuen Tsiang's reply indicate the reference to the first emperor (Hwang-ti) "She", or "Urh she", of the Ts'in dynasty (221 B.C.) It was he who broke up the feudal dependencies of China and centralised the government. He built the great wall to keep out invaders, settled the country, and established the dynasty of the Ts'in. for his conduct in destroying the books, see Mayer's Manual, § 368. The reference (farther on) to the songs sung in honour of this king illustrates the character of śīlāditya, who was himself a poet.


The first Japanese emperor was called Zin mu, divine warrior; the allusion in the text may be to the Ts'in emperor being the first to style himself Hwang ti; or it may be simply that he was like a god in the art of war.


This can hardly refer to the Sui dynasty, which preceded the "great Tang," as Julien says (p. 256 n.), but to the troubles which prevailed at the end of the Chow dynasty, which preceded the Ts'in.


That is, the eight regions of the empire, or of the world.


It is widely believed in China that the first Buddhist missionaries arrived there in the reign of the Ts'in emperor. For the story of their imprisonment and deliverance see Abstract of Four Lectures, p. 3.


The palace of travel, erected during a travelling excursion.


The heretics hold the view of endurance (shang, the opposite of anitya).


That is, erected in a place where Buddha had preached.


Julien translates this by "Brāhmaṇs;" but the expression "pure men" is a common one for lay believers or Upāsakas.


These were the subjects on which he preached—anātma, anitya, duḥkha, aśuddhis. For some remarks on the last of these, see Spence Hardy, East. Monach., p. 247; and Childers, Pāli Dict., sub Asubho. Julien's translation, "sur le vide (J'inutilité) de ses macérations," is outside the mark. Fa-hian alludes to this sermon, cap. xviii. (see Beal's edition, p. 71, n. 1).


For some remarks on this place see V. St. Martin, Mémoire, p. 350; Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of India, p. 382; Arch. Survey of India, vol. i. p. 294; and compare Fa-hian, loc. cit., n. 2.


This expression, "born in heaven," is one frequently met with in Buddhist books. In the old Chinese inscription found at Buddha Gayā, the pilgrim Chi-i vowed to exhort 30,000 men to prepare themselves in their conduct for a birth in heaven. J. R. As. S., N.S., vol. xiii. p. 553. And in the Dhammapada it is constantly mentioned.

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