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 2 - Country of Kong-kin-na-pu-lo (Konkanapura)

This country is about 5000 li in circuit. The capital is 3000 li or so round. The land is rich and fertile; it is regularly cultivated, and produces large crops. The climate is hot; the disposition of the people ardent and quick. Their complexion is black, and their manners fierce and uncultivated. They love learning, and esteem virtue and talent. There are about 100 saṅghārāmas, with some 10,000 priests (followers). They study both the Great and the Little Vehicle. They also highly reverence the Devas, and there are several hundred temples in which many sectaries dwell together.

By the side of the royal palace is a great saṅghārāma with some 300 priests, who are all men of distinction. This convent has a great vihāra, a hundred feet and more in height. In it is a precious tiara belonging to Sarvārthasiddha (Yih-tsai-i-sh'ing) the prince. It is somewhat less than two feet in height, and is ornamented with gems and precious stones. It is kept in a jewelled casket. On fast-days it is brought out and placed on a high throne. They offer to it flowers and incense, on which occasions it is lit up with radiance.

By the side of the city is a great saṅghārāma in which is a vihāra about 50 feet high. In this is a figure of Maitreya Bodhisattva carved out of sandal-wood. It is about ten feet high. This also on fast-days reflects a bright light. It is the work of the Arhat Wen-'rh-pih-i (śrutaviṃśatikoṭi).[1]

To the north of the city not far is a forest of Tāla trees about 30 li round. The leaves (of this tree) are long and broad, their colour shining and glistening. In all the countries of India these leaves are everywhere used for writing on. In the forest is a stūpa. Here the four former Buddhas sat down and walked for exercise, and traces of them still remain. Beside this is a stūpa containing the bequeathed relics of the Arhat Sacute;rutaviṃśatikoṭi.

Not far to the east of the city is a stūpa which has sunk down into the ground from its foundations, but is still about thirty feet high. The old tradition says, this stūpa is a relic of Tathāgata, and on religious days (holy days) it exhibits a miraculous light. In old days, when Tathūgata was in the world, he preached in this place, and exhibited his miraculous powers and converted a multitude of men.

Not far to the south-west of the city is a stūpa about a hundred feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here the Arhat śrutaviṃśatikoṭi exhibited great miraculous powers and converted a great many people. By the side of it is a saṅghārāma, of which only the foundations remain. This was built by the fore-named Arhat.

From this going north-west, we enter a great forest wild, where savage beasts and bands of robbers inflict injury on travellers. Going thus 2400 or 2500 li, we come to the country of Mo-ho-la-ch'a (Mahārāṣṭra).[2]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

For some reference to this person see ante, p. 187, n. 3. It seems likely that the allusion in the text is to Soṇa Kutikaṇṇa, as he was a disciple of Kātyāyana, who dwelt in Southern India (S. B. E., xvii. p. 32).

[2]:

"The great kingdom;" the country of the Marāṭhas.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: