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 148 pages of information about A Record of Buddhistic kingdoms.

   (6) We are now therefore in 404.

(7) No doubt the present district of Bannu, in the Lieutenant-Governorship of the Punjab, between 32d 10s and 33d 15s N. lat., and 70d 26s and 72d E. lon.  See Hunter’s Gazetteer of India, i, p. 393.

   (8) They had then crossed the Indus before.  They had done so, indeed,
   twice; first, from north to south, at Skardo or east of it; and
   second, as described in chapter vii.

CHAPTER XV

BhidaSympathy of monks with the pilgrims.

After they had crossed the river, there was a country named Pe-t’oo,(1) where Buddhism was very flourishing, and (the monks) studied both the mahayana and hinayana.  When they saw their fellow-disciples from Ts’in passing along, they were moved with great pity and sympathy, and expressed themselves thus:  “How is it that these men from a border-land should have learned to become monks,(2) and come for the sake of our doctrines from such a distance in search of the Law of Buddha?” They supplied them with what they needed, and treated them in accordance with the rules of the Law.

   Notes

   (1) Bhida.  Eitel says, “The present Punjab;” i.e. it was a portion of
   that.

   (2) “To come forth from their families;” that is, to become celibates,
   and adopt the tonsure.

CHAPTER XVI

On to mathura or muttraCondition and customs of central India; of the monks, viharas, and monasteries.

From this place they travelled south-east, passing by a succession of very many monasteries, with a multitude of monks, who might be counted by myriads.  After passing all these places, they came to a country named Ma-t’aou-lo.(1) They still followed the course of the P’oo-na(2) river, on the banks of which, left and right, there were twenty monasteries, which might contain three thousand monks; and (here) the Law of Buddha was still more flourishing.  Everywhere, from the Sandy Desert, in all the countries of India, the kings had been firm believers in that Law.  When they make their offerings to a community of monks, they take off their royal caps, and along with their relatives and ministers, supply them with food with their own hands.  That done, (the king) has a carpet spread for himself on the ground, and sits down in front of the chairman;—­they dare not presume to sit on couches in front of the community.  The laws and ways, according to which the kings presented their offerings when Buddha was in the world, have been handed down to the present day.

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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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