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 XXXVII

Following down the river Ganges in an easterly-direction for eighteen yojanaswe come to the great kingdom of Chen-po (Champa) on its southern shore. In the place "where Buddha once dwelt, and where he moved to and fro for exercise, also where the four previous Buddhas sat down, in all these places towers have been erected, and there are still resident priests. From this continuing to go eastward nearly fifty yojanas, we arrive at the kingdom of Tamralipti. This is at the sea-mouth. There are twenty-four sangharamas in this country; all of them have resident priests, and the law of Buddha is generally respected. Fa-Hian remained here for two years, writing out copies of the sacred books (sutras) and drawing image-pictures. He then shipped himself on hoard a great merchant vessel.

Putting to sea, they proceeded in a south-westerly direction, catching the first fair wind of the winter season. They sailed for fourteen days and nights, and arrived at the country of the Rons (Simhala, Ceylon). Men of that country (Tamralipti) say that the distance between the two is about 700 yojanas. This kingdom (of lions) is situated on a great island. From east to west it is fifty yojanas, and from north to south thirty yojanas. On every side of it are small islands, perhaps amounting to a hundred in number. They are distant from one another ten or twenty li and as much as 200 li. All of them depend on the great island. Most of them produce precious stones and pearls. The mani-gem is also found in one district, embracing a surface perhaps of ten li. The king sends a guard to protect the place. If any gems are found, the king claims three out of every ten.

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