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 10 - Country of Su-la-ch’a (Surashtra)

This country is 4000 li or so in circuit, the capital about 30 li. On the west the chief town borders on the Mahī river; the population is dense, and the various establishments (families) are rich. The country is dependent on Valabhī. The soil is impregnated with salt; flowers and fruit are rare. Although the climate is equable, yet there is no cessation of tempests. The manners of the people are careless and indifferent; their disposition light and frivolous. They do not love learning and are attached both to the true faith and also to heretical doctrine. There are some fifty saṅghārāmas in this kingdom, with about 3000 priests; they mostly belong to the Sthavira school of the Great Vehicle. There are a hundred or so Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of various sorts. As this country is on the western sea route, the men all derive their livelihood from the sea and engage in commerce and exchange of commodities.

Not far from the city is a mountain called Yuh-chen-to (Ujjanta),[1] on the top of which is a saṅghārāma. The cells and galleries have mostly been excavated from the mountain-side. The mountain is covered with thick jungle and forest trees, whilst streams flow round its limits. Here saints and sages roam and rest, and Rishis endued with spiritual faculties congregate here and stay.

Going north from the country of Valabhī 1800 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Kiu-che-lo (Gurjjara).

Footnotes and references:


The old Prākṛit name of Girnāra, close to Junāgaḍh in Kāthiāwāḍ the Sanskrit form is Ujjayanta (Mahābh., iii. 8347 ff.) Lassen (Ind. Alt., vol. i. p. 686 n.) misplaces it at or near Ajaṇṭā. It is sacred to Neminātha, the twenty-second Jina, and Urjayata (Colebrooke, Essays, vol. ii. p. 212; Arch. Sur. W. Ind. Rep., vol. ii. p. 129), and is also called Raivata.

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