A Record of Buddhistic kingdoms: being an account by the Chinese monk Fa-hsien of travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist books of discipline eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 180 pages of information about A Record of Buddhistic kingdoms.
(4) It occurs at once to the translator to render the characters {.} {.} by “changed himself to.”  Such is often their meaning in the sequel, but their use in chapter xxiv may be considered as a crucial test of the meaning which I have given them here.

   (5) That is, had become Buddha, or completed his course {.} {.}.

   (6) This seems to be the contribution of {.} (or {.}), to the force of
   the binomial {.} {.}, which is continually occurring.


GandharaLegends of Buddha.

The travellers, going downwards from this towards the east, in five days came to the country of Gandhara,(1) the place where Dharma-vivardhana,(2) the son of Asoka,(3) ruled.  When Buddha was a Bodhisattva, he gave his eyes also for another man here;(4) and at the spot they have also reared a large tope, adorned with layers of gold and silver plates.  The people of the country were mostly students of the hinayana.


   (1) Eitel says “an ancient kingdom, corresponding to the region about
   Dheri and Banjour.”  But see note 5.

   (2) Dharma-vivardhana is the name in Sanskrit, represented by the Fa
   Yi {.} {.} of the text.

(3) Asoka is here mentioned for the first time;—­the Constantine of the Buddhist society, and famous for the number of viharas and topes which he erected.  He was the grandson of Chandragupta (i.q.  Sandracottus), a rude adventurer, who at one time was a refugee in the camp of Alexander the Great; and within about twenty years afterwards drove the Greeks out of India, having defeated Seleucus, the Greek ruler of the Indus provinces.  He had by that time made himself king of Magadha.  His grandson was converted to Buddhism by the bold and patient demeanour of an Arhat whom he had ordered to be buried alive, and became a most zealous supporter of the new faith.  Dr. Rhys Davids (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xi, p. xlvi) says that “Asoka’s coronation can be fixed with absolute certainty within a year or two either way of 267 B.C.”

   (4) This also is a Jataka story; but Eitel thinks it may be a myth,
   constructed from the story of the blinding of Dharma-vivardhana.


TakshasilaLegendsThe four great topes.

Seven days’ journey from this to the east brought the travellers to the kingdom of Takshasila,(1) which means “the severed head” in the language of China.  Here, when Buddha was a Bodhisattva, he gave away his head to a man;(2) and from this circumstance the kingdom got its name.

Going on further for two days to the east, they came to the place where the Bodhisattva threw down his body to feed a starving tigress.(2) In these two places also large topes have been built, both adorned with layers of all the precious substances.  The kings, ministers, and peoples of the kingdoms around vie with one another in making offerings at them.  The trains of those who come to scatter flowers and light lamps at them never cease.  The nations of those quarters all those (and the other two mentioned before) “the four great topes.”

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A Record of Buddhistic kingdoms: being an account by the Chinese monk Fa-hsien of travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist books of discipline from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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