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 21 - Country of Pi-to-shi-lo (Pitashila)

This kingdom is about 3000 li round; the capital is some 20 li in circuit. The population is dense. They have no chief ruler, but they depend on the country of Sin-tu. The soil is salt and sandy; the country is subject to a cold tempestuous wind. A great quantity of beans and wheat is grown. Flowers and fruits are scarce. The manners of the people are fierce and rough. Their language slightly differs from that of Mid-India. They do not love learning, but as far as they know they have a sincere faith. There are some fifty saṅghārāmas with about 3000 priests; they study the Little Vehicle according to the Sammatīya school. There are twenty Deva temples, frequented mostly by the heretics called Pāśupatas.

To the north of the city 15 or 16 li, in the middle of a great forest, is a stūpa several hundred feet high, built by Aśoka-rāja. It contains relics which from time to time emit a bright light. It was here that Tathāgata, when in old time he was a Rishi, was subjected to the cruelty of the king.

Not far east from this is an old saṅghārāma. This was built by the great Arhat, the great Kātyāyana. By the side of it are traces where the four Buddhas of the past age sat down and walked for exercise. They have erected a stūpa to denote the spot.

Going north-east from this 300 li or so, we come to the country of 'O-fan-ch'a.

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