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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 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about A Record of Buddhistic kingdoms.

   (5) It stands out on the narrative as a whole that we have not here
   “some pilgrims,” but one devotee.

   (6) What the “great prohibitions” which the devotee now gave up
   were we cannot tell.  Being what he was, a monk of more than ordinary
   ascetical habits, he may have undertaken peculiar and difficult vows.

   (7) The Sramanera, or in Chinese Shamei.  See chap. xvi, note 19.



East from here four yojanas, there is the place where the heir-apparent sent back Chandaka, with his white horse;(1) and there also a tope was erected.

Four yojanas to the east from this, (the travellers) came to the Charcoal tope,(2) where there is also a monastery.

Going on twelve yojanas, still to the east, they came to the city of Kusanagara,(3) on the north of which, between two trees,(4) on the bank of the Nairanjana(5) river, is the place where the World-honoured one, with his head to the north, attained to pari-nirvana (and died).  There also are the places where Subhadra,(6) the last (of his converts), attained to Wisdom (and became an Arhat); where in his coffin of gold they made offerings to the World-honoured one for seven days,(7) where the Vajrapani laid aside his golden club,(8) and where the eight kings(9) divided the relics (of the burnt body):—­at all these places were built topes and monasteries, all of which are now existing.

In the city the inhabitants are few and far between, comprising only the families belonging to the (different) societies of monks.

Going from this to the south-east for twelve yojanas, they came to the place where the Lichchhavis(10) wished to follow Buddha to (the place of) his pari-nirvana, and where, when he would not listen to them and they kept cleaving to him, unwilling to go away, he made to appear a large and deep ditch which they could not cross over, and gave them his alms-bowl, as a pledge of his regard, (thus) sending them back to their families.  There a stone pillar was erected with an account of this event engraved upon it.


(1) This was on the night when Sakyamuni finally left his palace and family to fulfil the course to which he felt that he was called.  Chandaka, in Pali Channa, was the prince’s charioteer, and in sympathy with him.  So also was the white horse Kanthaka (Kanthakanam Asvaraja), which neighed his delight till the devas heard him.  See M. B., pp. 158-161, and Davids’ Manual, pp. 32, 33.  According to “Buddhist Birth Stories,” p. 87, the noble horse never returned to the city, but died of grief at being left by his master, to be reborn immediately in the Trayastrimsas heaven as the deva Kanthaka!
(2) Beal and Giles call this the “Ashes” tope.  I also would have preferred to call it so; but the Chinese character is {.}, not {.}. 
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