The travels of Fa-Hian (400 A.D.)

by Samuel Beal | 1884 | 20,385 words | ISBN-10: 8120811070

This is the English translation of the travel records of Fa-Hian (or, Faxian): a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled by foot from China to India between A.D. 399 and A.D. 412. The full title is: The travels of Fa-Hian: Buddhist-country-records; By Fa-hian, the Sakya of the Sung (Dynasty) [Date, 400 A.D]. This work is an extract of the book “Buddhi...

Chapter XXVIII

From this city proceeding in a south-easterly direction nine yojanas, we arrive at a small solitary stone hill, on the top of which is a stone cell. The stone cell faces the south. On one occasion, when Buddha was sitting in this cell, Sakra Deva, taking the divine musician Panchasikha, caused him to sound a strain in the place where Buddha was. Then Sakra Deva proposed forty-two questions to Buddha, drawing some traces upon a stone with his finger. The remains of the structure and tracings yet exist. There is a sangharama built here. Going south-west from this one yojana, we arrive at the village of Na-lo. This was the place of Sariputra’s birth. Sariputra returned here to enter Nirvana. A tower therefore was erected here, which is still in existence.

Going west from this one yojana, we arrive at the new Rajagriha. This was the town which King Ajatasatru built. There are two sangharamas in it. Leaving this town by the west gate and proceeding 300 paces, (we arrive at) the tower which King Ajatasatru raised over the share of Euddha’s relics which he obtained. Its height is very imposing. Leaving the south side of the city and proceeding southwards four li, we enter a valley situated between five hills. These hills encircle it completely like the walls of a town. This is the site of the old town of King Bimbisara. From east to west it is about five or six li, from north to south seven or eight li. Here Sariputra and Mudgalyayana first met Asvajit. Here also the Nirgrantha made a pit with fire in it, and poisoned the food which he invited Buddha to eat. Here also is the spot where King Ajatasatru, intoxicating a black elephant, desired to destroy Buddha.To the north-east of the city, in a crooked defile, (the physician) Jivaka erected a vihara in the garden of Ambapali, and invited Buddha and his 1250 disciples to receive her religious offerings. The ruins still exist. Within the city all is desolate aDd without inhabitants.

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