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.
of peripatetic meditation.  The “sitting” would be not because of weariness or for rest, but for meditation.  E. H., p. 144.

   (18) The character in my Corean copy is {.}, which must be a mistake
   for the {.} of the Chinese editions.  Otherwise, the meaning would be
   “a small medusa.”

(19) The reading here seems to me a great improvement on that of the Chinese editions, which means “Fire Limit.”  Buddha, it is said, {.} converted this demon, which Chinese character Beal rendered at first by “in one of his incarnations;” and in his revised version he has “himself.”  The difference between Fa-hien’s usage of {.} and {.} throughout his narrative is quite marked. {.} always refers to the doings of Sakyamuni; {.}, “formerly,” is often used of him and others in the sense of “in a former age or birth.”

   (20) See Hardy, M. B., p. 194:—­“As a token of the giving over of the
   garden, the king poured water upon the hands of Buddha; and from this
   time it became one of the principal residences of the sage.”

   (21) This would seem to be absurd; but the writer evidently intended
   to convey the idea that there was something mysterious about the
   number of the topes.

   (22) This seems to be the meaning.  The bodies of the monks are all
   burned.  Hardy’s E. M., pp. 322-324.

CHAPTER XVIII

Kanyakubja, or CanougeBuddha’s preaching.

Fa-hien stayed at the Dragon vihara till after the summer retreat,(1) and then, travelling to the south-east for seven yojanas, he arrived at the city of Kanyakubja,(2) lying along the Ganges.(3) There are two monasteries in it, the inmates of which are students of the hinayana.  At a distance from the city of six or seven le, on the west, on the northern bank of the Ganges, is a place where Buddha preached the Law to his disciples.  It has been handed down that his subjects of discourse were such as “The bitterness and vanity (of life) as impermanent and uncertain,” and that “The body is as a bubble or foam on the water.”  At this spot a tope was erected, and still exists.

Having crossed the Ganges, and gone south for three yojanas, (the travellers) arrived at a village named A-le,(4) containing places where Buddha preached the Law, where he sat, and where he walked, at all of which topes have been built.

   Notes

   (1) We are now, probably, in 405.

(2) Canouge, the latitude and longitude of which have been given in a previous note.  The Sanskrit name means “the city of humpbacked maidens;” with reference to the legend of the hundred daughters of king Brahma-datta, who were made deformed by the curse of the rishi Maha-vriksha, whose overtures they had refused.  E. H., p. 51.

   (3) Ganga, explained by “Blessed water,” and “Come from heaven to
   earth.”

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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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