Faxian - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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FAXIAN (fl. 399–418), Chinese Buddhist monk, translator, and the earliest successful Chinese Buddhist pilgrim to India. Faxian's family name was Gong; he was born in Wuyang in Pingyang Prefecture (in Shanxi province). After being fully ordained at the age of twenty, Faxian recognized that the Buddhist monastic rules (the Vinaya) available in China at the time were incomplete and confused and thus vowed to journey to India to search for Vinaya texts. After years of preparation he organized a party of five monks, who left Chang'an in 399 and passed out of China through Qiangui, Zhangye and Dunhuang (all in northwestern China). From Dunhuang they proceeded along the southern marches of the Tarim basin to the central Asian kingdoms of Shan-shan, Agni, and Khotan, where they watched the religious procession of the Buddha's image. From there they traveled to Chakarka, crossed the Pamirs and Agzi, and finally arrived at the...

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This section contains 1,307 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Macmillan
Faxian from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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