A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

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Cosimo, Inc., Jan 1, 2005 - Religion - 192 pages
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This country originally had no human inhabitants, but was occupied only by spirits and n gas, with which merchants of various countries carried on a trade.... Through the coming and going of merchants... when they went away, the people of their various countries heard how pleasant the land was, and flocked to it in numbers till it became a great nation.-from "Chapter XXXVIII: At Ceylon"Little is known about the 5th-century Chinese monk F -hien beyond what he himself tells us in the journals of his travels in India and Ceylon from the years 399 to 414 in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. But as he follows in the footsteps of the Buddha, revisiting the legendary places of the faith, his wise observations reveal an enlightenment that transcends time.An important primary source on the traditions and beliefs of Buddhism, this 1886 translation-complete with copious notes on Buddhist ideas and rituals, particular translations, and poetic idioms-is still considered the best English-language version available. Spiritual seekers will find a deeper understanding of Buddhism; students of Asian history will discover a glorious travelogue of an ancient culture.Scottish scholar JAMES LEGGE (1815-1897) was the first professor of Chinese language and literature at Oxford University, serving from 1876 to 1897. Among his many books are The Life and Teaching of Confucius (1867), The Religions of China (1880), and the 50-volume Sacred Books of the East (1879-1891).

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INTRODUCTION Lira orFAhien genuineness
From Chanccan to the Sandy Desert
Through the Tsung or Onion mountains to Keeh
NagAra Festival of Buddhas skullbone Other
On to MathurA or Muttra Condition and customs
KanyAkubja or Canouge Buddhas preaching
The three predecessors of JUyamuni in
Remarkable death of Ananba
The rataparna cave or cave of the First Council
Legend of king AJoka in a former birth and
In Patna Fahiens labours in transcription

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Page 12 - T'un-hwang, had supplied them with the means of crossing the desert (before them), in which there are many evil demons and hot winds. (Travellers) who encounter them perish all to a man. There is not a bird to be seen in the air above, nor an animal on the ground below. Though you look all round most earnestly to find where you can cross, you know not where to make your choice, the only mark and indication being the dry bones of the dead (left upon the sand) 2 . CHAPTER II.
Page 79 - Every year on the eighth day of the "second month they celebrate a procession of images. They make a fourwheeled car, and on it erect a structure of five storeys by means of bamboos tied together. This is supported by a king-post with poles and lances slanting from it, and is rather more than twenty cubits high, having the shape of a tope. White and silk-like cloth of hair is wrapped all round it, which is then painted in various colours.
Page 67 - Lumbini, where the queen entered the pond and bathed. Having come forth from the pond on the northern bank, after walking twenty paces, she lifted up her hand, laid hold of a branch of a tree, and, with her face to the east, gave birth to the heir-apparent. When he fell to the ground, he immediately walked seven paces. Two dragon-kings appeared and washed his body. At the place where they did so, there was immediately formed a well, and from it, as well as from the above pond, where the queen bathed,...
Page 38 - Vais"yas l also make their offerings before they attend to their family affairs. Every day it is so, and there is no remissness in the observance of the custom. When all the offerings are over, they replace the bone in the vihara, where there is a vimoksha...
Page 68 - Law l ; third, the place where they preached the Law, discoursed of righteousness, and discomfited (the advocates of) erroneous doctrines; and fourth, the place where they came down, after going up to the Trayastrimsas heaven to preach the Law for the benefit of their mothers. Other places in connexion with them became remarkable, according to the manifestations which were made at them at particular times.
Page 57 - ... and canopies, scattering flowers, burning incense, and lighting lamps, so as to make the night as bright as the day. This they did day after day without ceasing. (It happened that) a rat, carrying in its mouth the wick of a lamp, set one of the streamers or canopies on fire, which caught the vihara, and the seven storeys were all consumed. The kings, with their officers and people, were all very sad and distressed, supposing that the sandal-wood image had been burned; but lo! after four or five...
Page 74 - The tope of the two Pratyeka Buddhas is still existing. In a subsequent age, when the World-honoured one had attained to perfect Wisdom (and become Buddha), he said to his disciples, 'This is the place where I in a former age laid down my bow and weapons...
Page 76 - Vaisali had heard that Ananda was coming to their city, and they on their part came to meet him. In this way, they all arrived together at the river, and Ananda considered that, if he went forward, king Ajatasatru would be very angry, while, if he went back, the Lichchhavis would resent his conduct. He thereupon in the very middle of the river burnt his body in a fiery ecstasy of Samadhi 2, and his pari-nirvana was attained.
Page 20 - The members of the order are secured from want. There is no place in the Buddhist scheme for churches ; the offering of flowers before the sacred tree or image of the Buddha takes the place of worship. Buddhism does not acknowledge the efficacy of prayers; and in the warm countries where Buddhists live, the occasional reading of the law, or preaching of the word, in public, can take place best in the open air, by moonlight, under a simple roof of trees or palms. There are five principal kinds of...
Page 72 - Ambapali 3 built a vihara in honour of Buddha, which is now standing as it was at first. Three le south of the city, on the west of the road, (is the) garden, (which) the same Ambapali presented to Buddha, in which he might an oligarchical constitution.

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