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 16 - Country of Mu-lo-san-p’u-lo (Mulasthanapura)

This country[1] is about 4000 li in circuit; the capital town is some 30 li round. It is thickly populated. The establishments are wealthy. This country is in dependence on the kingdom of Cheka (Tse-kia). The soil is rich and fertile. The climate is soft and agreeable; the manners of the people are simple and honest; they love learning and honour the virtuous. The greater part sacrifice to the spirits; few believe in the law of Buddha. There are about ten saṅghārāmas, mostly in ruins; there are a few priests, who study indeed, but without any wish to excel. There are eight Deva temples, in which sectaries of various classes dwell. There is a temple dedicated to the sun,[2] very magnificent and profusely decorated. The image of the Sun-deva is cast in yellow gold and ornamented with rare gems. Its divine insight is mysteriously manifested and its spiritual power made plain to all. Women play their music, light their torches, offer their flowers and perfumes to honour it. This custom has been continued from the very first. The kings and high families of the five Indies never fail to make their offerings of gems and precious stones (to this Deva). They have founded a house of mercy (happiness), in which they provide food, and drink, and medicines for the poor and sick, affording succour and sustenance. Men from all countries come here to offer up their prayers; there are always some thousands doing so. On the four sides of the temple are tanks with flowering groves where one can wander about without restraint.

From this going north-east 700 li or so, we come to the country of Po-fa-to.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Mūlasthānapur or Multān (see Reinaud, Mém. s. l. Inde, p. 98).

[2]:

Aditya or Sūrya.

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