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) A gatha is a stanza, generally consisting, it has seemed to me, of
   a few, commonly of two, lines somewhat metrically arranged; but I do
   not know that its length is strictly defined.

   (7) “A branch,” says Eitel, “of the great vaibhashika school,
   asserting the reality of all visible phenomena, and claiming the
   authority of Rahula.”

   (8) See Nanjio’s Catalogue, No. 1287.  He does not mention it in his
   account of Fa-hien, who, he says, translated the Samyukta-pitaka
   Sutra.

   (9) Probably Nanjio’s Catalogue, No. 120; at any rate, connected with
   it.

(10) This then would be the consummation of the Sramana’s being,—­to get to be Buddha, the Buddha of his time in his Kalpa; and Tao-ching thought that he could attain to this consummation by a succession of births; and was likely to attain to it sooner by living only in India.  If all this was not in his mind, he yet felt that each of his successive lives would be happier, if lived in India.

CHAPTER XXXVII

TO CHAMPA AND TAMALIPTI.  STAY AND LABOURS THERE FOR THREE YEARS.  TAKES SHIP TO SINGHALA, OR CEYLON.

Following the course of the Ganges, and descending eastwards for eighteen yojanas, he found on the southern bank the great kingdom of Champa,(1) with topes reared at the places where Buddha walked in meditation by his vihara, and where he and the three Buddhas, his predecessors, sat.  There were monks residing at them all.  Continuing his journey east for nearly fifty yojanas, he came to the country of Tamalipti,(2) (the capital of which is) a seaport.  In the country there are twenty-two monasteries, at all of which there are monks residing.  The Law of Buddha is also flourishing in it.  Here Fa-hien stayed two years, writing out his Sutras,(3) and drawing pictures of images.

After this he embarked in a large merchant-vessel, and went floating over the sea to the south-west.  It was the beginning of winter, and the wind was favourable; and, after fourteen days, sailing day and night, they came to the country of Singhala.(4) The people said that it was distant (from Tamalipti) about 700 yojanas.

The kingdom is on a large island, extending from east to west fifty yojanas, and from north to south thirty.  Left and right from it there are as many as 100 small islands, distant from one another ten, twenty, or even 200 le; but all subject to the large island.  Most of them produce pearls and precious stones of various kinds; there is one which produces the pure and brilliant pearl,(5)—­an island which would form a square of about ten le.  The king employs men to watch and protect it, and requires three out of every ten such pearls, which the collectors find.

   NOTES

   (1) Probably the modern Champanagur, three miles west of Baglipoor,
   lat. 25d 14s N., lon. 56d 55s E.

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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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