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.
on which there is an inscription, saying, “Asoka gave the jambudvipa to the general body of all the monks, and then redeemed it from them with money.  This he did three times."(10) North from the tope 300 or 400 paces, king Asoka built the city of Ne-le.(11) In it there is a stone pillar, which also is more than thirty feet high, with a lion on the top of it.  On the pillar there is an inscription recording the things which led to the building of Ne-le, with the number of the year, the day, and the month.

   NOTES

   (1) The modern Patna, lat. 25d 28s N., lon. 85d 15s E. The Sanskrit
   name means “The city of flowers.”  It is the Indian Florence.

(2) See chap. x, note 3.  Asoka transferred his court from Rajagriha to Pataliputtra, and there, in the eighteenth year of his reign, he convoked the third Great Synod,—­according, at least, to southern Buddhism.  It must have been held a few years before B.C. 250; Eitel says in 246.
(3) “The Vulture-hill;” so called because Mara, according to Buddhist tradition, once assumed the form of a vulture on it to interrupt the meditation of Ananda; or, more probably, because it was a resort of vultures.  It was near Rajagriha, the earlier capital of Asoka, so that Fa-hien connects a legend of it with his account of Patna.  It abounded in caverns, and was famous as a resort of ascetics.

   (4) A Brahman by cast, but a Buddhist in faith.

(5) So, by the help of Julien’s “Methode,” I transliterate the Chinese characters {.} {.} {.} {.}.  Beal gives Radhasvami, his Chinese text having a {.} between {.} and {.}.  I suppose the name was Radhasvami or Radhasami.
(6) {.} {.}, the names of two kinds of schools, often occurring in the Li Ki and Mencius.  Why should there not have been schools in those monasteries in India as there were in China?  Fa-hien himself grew up with other boys in a monastery, and no doubt had to “go to school.”  And the next sentence shows us there might be schools for more advanced students as well as for the Sramaneras.

   (7) See chap. xvi, note 22.  It is perhaps with reference to the famous
   Bodhisattva that the Brahman here is said to be “also” named Manjusri.

   (8) ?  Cashmere cloth.

   (9) See chap. xxiii, note 3.

(10) We wish that we had more particulars of this great transaction, and that we knew what value in money Asoka set on the whole world.  It is to be observed that he gave it to the monks, and did not receive it from them.  Their right was from him, and he bought it back.  He was the only “Power” that was.

   (11) We know nothing more of Ne-le.  It could only have been a small
   place; an outpost for the defence of Pataliputtra.

CHAPTER XXVIII

RAJAGRIHA, NEW AND OLD.  LEGENDS AND INCIDENTS CONNECTED WITH IT.

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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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