Title: An English Translation of the "Datang xiyu ji 大唐西域記"

Author: Xuanzang 玄奘 (600-664).

Translator: Samuel Beal (1825-1899).

Digital version: Marcus Bingenheimer

Version: Version 2.0 (2005)

[id (T51.2087.0868c)]



Records of the Western World1 (compiled during) the Great T'ang2 dynasty (A.D. 618-907); translated by Imperial command by Hiuen Tsiang,3 a Doctor of three Piṭakas, and edited by Pien Ki, a Shaman of the Ta-tsung-chi Temple.


When of yore the precious hair-circle5 shed forth its flood of light, the sweet dew was poured upon the great thousand (worlds),6 the golden mirror7 displayed its brightness, and a fragrant wind was spread over the earth; then it was known that he had appeared in the three worlds8 who is rightly named the lord of the earth. His brightness, indeed, dwells in the four limits (of the universe), but his sublime model was fixed in the middle of the world. Whereupon, as the sun of wisdom declined, the shadow of his doctrine spread to the East, the grand rules of the emperor9 diffused themselves afar, and his imposing laws reached to the extremities of the West.

There was in the temple of "great benevolence" a doctor of the three Piṭakas called Hiuen Tsiang.10 His common name was Chin-shi. His ancestors came from Ing-chuen;11 the emperor Hien12 held the sceptre; reigning at Hwa-chau,13 he opened the source. The great Shun entertained the messengers as he laid on Li-shan14 the foundation of his renown. The three venerable ones distinguished themselves during the years of K'i.15 The six extraordinary (events) shone during the Han period. In penning odes there was one who equalled the clear moon; in wandering by the way there was one who resembled the brilliant stars -- (his illustrious ancestors) like fishes in the lake, or as birds assembled before the wind, by their choice services in the world served to produce as their result an illustrious descendant.

The master of the law under these fortunate influences came into the world. In him were joined sweetness and virtue. These roots, combined and deeply planted, produced their fruits rapidly. The source of his wisdom (reason) was deep, and wonderfully it increased. At his opening life he was rosy as the evening vapours and (round) as the rising moon. A a boy (collecting-sand age) he was sweet as the odour of cinnamon or the vanilla tree. When he grew up he thoroughly mastered the Fan and Su;16 the nine borders17 were filled with (bore) his renown, the five prefectures (or palaces) together resounded his praise.

At early dawn he studied the true and the false, and through the night shone forth his goodness; the mirror of his wisdom, fixed on the true receptacle, remained stationary. He considered the limits of life, and was permanently at rest (in the persuasion that) the vermilion ribbon and the violet silken tassels are the pleasing bonds that keep one attached to the world; but the precious car and red pillow, these are the means of crossing the ford and escaping the world. Wherefore he put away from him the pleasures of sense, and spoke of finding refuge in some hermit retreat. His noble brother Chang-tsi was a master of the law, a pillar and support of the school of Buddha. He was as a dragon or an elephant (or a dragon-elephant) in his own generation, and, as a falcon or a crane, he mounted above those to come. In the court and the wilderness was his fame exalted; within and without was his renown spread. Being deeply affectionate, they loved one another, and so fulfilled the harmony of mutual relationship (parentage). The master of the law was diligent in his labour as a student; he lost not a moment of time, and by his studies he rendered his teachers illustrious, and was an ornament to his place of study. His virtuous qualities were rightly balanced, and he caused the perfume of his fame to extend through the home of his adoption. Whip raised, he travelled on his even way; he mastered the nine divisions of the books, and swallowed (the lake) Mong;18 he worked his paddles across the dark ford; he gave his attention to (looked down upon) the four Vedas, whilst finding Lu small.19 .

From this time he travelled forth and frequented places of discussion, and so passed many years, his merit completed, even as his ability was perfected. Reaching back to the beginning, when the sun and moon first lit up with their brightness the spiritually (created) world, or, as Tseu-yun, with his kerchief suspended at his girdle, startled into life (developed) his spiritual powers, so in his case the golden writing gradually unfolded itself. He waited for the autumn car, yet hastened as the clouds; [id (T51.2087.0868b)] he moved the handle of jade20 for a moment, and the mist-crowds were dispersed as the heaped-up waves. As the occasion required, he could use the force of the flying discus or understand the delicate sounds of the lute used in worship.21

With all the fame of these acquirements, he yet embarked in the boat of humility and departed alone. In the land of Hwan-yuen he first broke down the boasting of the iron-clad stomach;22 in the village of Ping-lo in a moment he exhibited the wonder of the floating wood.23 Men near and afar beheld him with admiration as they said one to another, "Long ago we heard of the eight dragons of the family of Sun, but now we see the double wonder (ke) of the gate of Chin. Wonderful are the men of Ju and Ing."24 This is true indeed! The master of the law, from his early days till he grew up, pondered in heart the mysterious principles (of religion). His fame spread wide among eminent men.

At this time the schools were mutually contentious; they hastened to grasp the end without regarding the beginning; they seized the flower and rejected the reality; so there followed the contradictory teaching of the North and South, and the confused sounds of "Yes" and "No," perpetual words! On this he was afflicted at heart, and fearing lest he should be unable to find out completely the errors of translations, he purposed to examine thoroughly the literature of the perfume elephant,25 and to copy throughout the list of the dragon palace.26

With a virtue of unequalled character, and at a time favourable in its indications, he took his staff, dusted his clothes, and set off for distant regions. On this he left behind him the dark waters of the Pa river;27 he bent his gaze forwards; he then advanced right on to the T'sung-ling mountains. In following the courses of rivers and crossing the plains he encountered constant dangers. Compared with him Po-wang28 went but a little way, and the journey of Fa-hien29 was short indeed. In all the districts through which he journeyed he learnt thoroughly the dialects; he investigated throughout the deep secrets (of religion) and penetrated to the very source of the stream. Thus he was able to correct the books and transcend (the writers of) India. The texts being transcribed on palm leaves, he then returned to China.

The Emperor T'ai Tsung, surnamed Wen-wang-ti, who held the golden wheel and was seated royally on the throne, waited with impatience for that eminent man. He summoned him therefore to the green enclosure,30 and, impressed by his past acquirements, he knelt before him in the yellow palace. With his hand he wrote proclamations full of affectionate sentiments; the officers of the interior attended him constantly; condescending to exhibit his illustrious thoughts, he wrote a preface to the sacred doctrine of the Tripiṭaka, consisting of 780 words. The present emperor (Kao Tsung) had composed in the spring pavilion a sacred record consisting of 579 words, in which he sounded to the bottom the stream of deep mystery and expressed himself in lofty utterances. But now, if he (Hiuen Tsiang) had not displayed his wisdom in the wood of the cock,31 nor scattered his brightness on the peak of the vulture,32 how could he (the emperor) have been able to abase his sacred composition in the praise of the ornament of his time?

In virtue of a royal mandate, he (Hiuen Tsiang) translated 657 works from the original Sanskrit (Fan). Having thoroughly examined the different manners of distant countries, the diverse customs of separate people, the various products of the soil and the class divisions of the people, the regions where the royal calendar is received33 and where the sounds of moral instruction have come, he has composed in twelve books the Ta-t'ang-si-yu-ki. Herein he has collected and written down the most secret principles of the religion of Buddha, couched in language plain and precise. It may be said, indeed, of him, that his works perish not.

[id (T51.2087.0868c)]



(1) O-ki-ni; (2) K'iu-chi; (3) Poh-luh-kia; (4) Nu-chih-kien; (5) Che-shi; (6) Fei-han; (7) Su-tu-li-sse-na; (8) Sa-mo-kien; (9) Mi-mo-kia; (10) K'ie-po-ta-na; (11) K'iuh-shwang-ni-kia; (12) Ta-mi; (13) Ho-han; (14) Pu-ho; (15) Fa-ti; (16) Ho-li-sih-mi-kia; (17) Ki-shwang-na; (18) Ch'i-ngoh-yen-na; (19) Hwuh-lo-mo; (20) Su-man; (21) Kio-ho-yen-na; (22) Hu-sha; (23) Kho-to-lo; (24) Kiu-mi-to; (25) Po-kia-lang; (26) Hi-lu-sih-min-kien; (27) Ho-lin; (28) Po-ho; (29) Jui-mo-to; (30) Hu-shi-kien; (31) Ta-la-kien; (32) Kie-chi; (33) Fan-yen-na; (34) Kia-pi-shi.


If we examine in succession the rules of the emperors,35 or look into the records of the monarchs,36 when P'au I37 began to adjust matters38 [id (T51.2087.0869a)] and Hien-yuen39 began to let fall his robes,40 we see how they administered the affairs, and first divided the limits of the empire.41

When T'ang(-ti) Yao42 received the call of heaven (to rule), his glory reached to the four quarters; when Yu(-ti) Shun43 had received his map of the earth, his virtue flowed throughout the nine provinces. From that time there have come down clear44 records, annals of events; though distant, we may hear the previous doings (of eminent men), or gather their words from the records of their disciples. How much rather when we live under a renowned government, and depend on those without partial aims.45 Now then our great T'ang emperor (or dynasty), conformed in the highest degree to the heavenly pattern,46 now holds the reins of government, and unites in one the six parts of the world, and is gloriously established. Like a fourth august monarch, he illustriously administers the empire. His mysterious controlling power flows afar; his auspicious influence (fame or instruction) widely extends: like the heaven and the earth, he covers and sustains (his subjects), or like the resounding wind or the fertilising rain. The eastern barbarians bring him tribute;47 the western frontiers are brought to submission. He has secured and hands down the succession, appeasing tumult, restoring order.48 He certainly surpasses the previous kings; he embraces in himself the virtues of former generations. Using the same currency49 (or literature), all acknowledge his supreme rule. If his sacred merit be not recorded in history, then it is vain to exalt the great (or his greatness); if it be not to illumine the world, why then shine so brilliantly his mighty deeds?50

Hiuen Tsiang, wherever he bent his steps, has described the character of each country. Although he has not examined the country or distinguished the customs (in every case), he has shown himself trustworthy.51 With respect to the emperor who transcends the five and surpasses the three, we read how all creatures enjoy his benefits, and all who can declare it utter his praises. From the royal city throughout the (five) Indies, men who inhabit the savage wilds, those whose customs are diverse from ours, through the most remote lands, all have received the royal calendar, all have accepted the imperial instructions; alike they praise his warlike merit and sing of his exalted virtues and his true grace of utterance. This is the first thing to be declared. In searching through previous annals no such thing has been seen or heard of. In all the records of biography no such an account has been found. It was necessary first to declare the benefits arising from the imperial rule: now we proceed to narrate facts, which have been gathered either by report or sight, as follows:

This Sahaloka52 (Soh-ho) world is the three-thousand-great-thousand system of worlds (chiliocosm), over which one Buddha exercises spiritual authority (converts and controls). In the middle of the great chiliocosm, illuminated by one sun and moon, are the four continents,53 in which all the Buddhas, lords of the world,54 appear by apparitional birth,55 and here also die, for the purpose of guiding holy men and worldly men.

The mountain called Sumeru stands up in the midst of the great sea firmly fixed on a circle of gold, around which mountain the sun and moon revolve; this mountain is perfected by (composed of) four precious substances, and is the abode of the Devas.56 Around this are seven mountain-ranges and seven seas; between each range a flowing sea of the eight peculiar qualities.57 Outide the seven golden mountain-ranges is the salt sea. There are four lands (countries or islands, dvīpas) in the salt sea, which are inhabited. On the east, (Pūrva)videha; on the south, Jambudvīpa; on the west, Godhanya; [id (T51.2087.0869b)] on the north, Kurudvīpa.

A golden-wheel monarch rules righteously the four; a silver-wheel monarch rules the three (excepting Kuru); a copper-wheel monarch rules over two (excepting Kuru and Godhanya); and an iron-wheel monarch rules over Jambudvīpa only. When first a wheel-king58 is established in power a great wheel-gem appears floating in space, and coming towards him; its character -- whether gold, silver, copper, or iron -- determines the king's destiny59 and his name.60

In the middle of Jambudvīpa there is a lake called Anavatapta,61 to the south of the Fragrant Mountains and to the north of the great Snowy Mountains; it is 800 li and more in circuit; its sides are composed of gold, silver, lapis-lazuli, and crystal; golden sands lie at the bottom, and its waters are clear as a mirror. The great earth Bodhisattva,62 by the power of his vow, transforms himself into a Nāga-rāja and dwells therein; from his dwelling the cool waters proceed forth and enrich Jambudvīpa (Shen-pu-chau).63

From the eastern side of the lake, through the mouth of a silver ox, flows the Ganges (King-kia)64 river; encircling the lake once, it enters the south-eastern sea.

From the south of the lake, through a golden elephant's mouth, proceeds the Sindhu (Sin-to)65 river; encircling the lake once, it flows into the south-western sea.

From the western side of the lake, from the mouth of a horse of lapis-lazuli, proceeds the river Vakshu (Po-tsu),66 and encircling the lake once, it falls into the north-western sea.

From the north side of the lake, through the mouth of a crystal lion, proceeds the river Sītā (Si-to),67 and encircling the lake once, it falls into the north-eastern sea. They also say that the streams of this river Sītā, entering the earth, flow out beneath the Tsih68 rock mountain, and give rise to the river of the middle country (China).69

At the time when there is no paramount wheel-monarch, then the land of Jambudvīpa has four rulers.70

On the south "the lord of elephants;"71 the land here is warm and humid, suitable for elephants.

On the west "the lord of treasures;"72 the land borders on the sea, and abounds in gems.

On the north "the lord of horses;"73 the country is cold and hard, suitable for horses.

On the east "the lord of men;"74 the climate is soft and agreeable (exhilarating), and therefore75 there are many men.

In the country of "the lord of elephants" the people are quick and enthusiastic, and entirely given to learning. They cultivate especially magical arts. They wear a robe76 thrown across them, with their right shoulder bare; their hair is done up in a ball on the top, and left undressed on the four sides. Their various tribes occupy different towns; their houses are built stage over stage.

In the country of "the lord of treasures" the people have no politeness or justice. They accumulate wealth. Their dress is short, with a left skirt."77 They cut their hair and cultivate their moustache. They dwell in walled towns and are eager in profiting by trade.

The people of the country of "the lord of horses" are naturally (t'ien tsz') wild and fierce. They are cruel in disposition; they slaughter (animals)78 and live under large felt tents; they divide like birds (going here and there) attending their flocks.

The land of "the lord of men" is distinguished for the wisdom and virtue and justice of the people. They wear a head-covering and a girdle; the end of their dress (girdle) hangs to the right. They have carriages and robes according to rank;79 they cling to the soil and hardly ever change their abode; they are very earnest in work, and divided into classes.

[id (T51.2087.0870a)] With respect to the people belonging to these three rulers, the eastern region is considered the best; the doors of their dwellings open towards the east, and when the sun rises in the morning they turn towards it and salute it. In this country the south side is considered the most honourable. Such are the leading characteristics in respect of manners and customs relating to these regions.

But with regard to the rules of politeness observed between the prince and his subjects, between superiors and inferiors, and with respect to laws and literature, the land of "the lord of men" is greatly in advance. The country of "the lord of elephants" is distinguished for rules which relate to purifying the heart and release from the ties of life and death; this is its leading excellency. With these things the sacred books and the royal decrees are occupied. Hearing the reports of the native races and diligently searching out things old and new, and examining those things which came before his eyes and ears, it is thus he (i.e., Hiuen Tsiang) obtained information.

Now Buddha having been born in the western region and his religion having spread eastwards, the sounds of the words translated have been often mistaken, the phrases of the different regions have been misunderstood on account of the wrong sounds, and thus the sense has been lost. The words being wrong, the idea has been perverted. Therefore, as it is said, "it is indispensable to have the right names, in order that there be no mistakes."

Now, men differ according to the firmness or weakness of their nature, and so the words and the sounds (of their language) are unlike. This may be the result either of climate or usage. The produce of the soil differs in the same way, according to the mountains and valleys. With respect to the difference in manners and customs, and also as to the character of the people in the country of "the lord of men," the annals sufficiently explain this. In the country of "the lord of horses" and of "the lord of treasures" the (local) records and the proclamations explain the customs faithfully, so that a brief account can be given of them.

In the country of "the lord of elephants" the previous history of the people is little known. The country is said to be in general wet and warm, and it is also said that the people are virtuous and benevolent. With respect to the history of the country, so far as it has been preserved, we cannot cite it in detail; whether it be that the roads are difficult of access, or on account of the revolutions which have occurred, such is the case. In this way we see at least that the people only await instruction to be brought to submission, and when they have received benefit they will enjoy the blessing of civilization (pay homage). How difficult to recount the list of those who, coming from far, after encountering the greatest perils (difficulties), knock at the gem-gate80 with the choice tribute of their country and pay their reverence to the emperor. Wherefore, after he (Hiuen Tsiang) had travelled afar in search of the law, in his moments of leisure he has preserved these records of the character of the lands (visited). After leaving the black ridge, the manners of the people are savage (barbarous). Although the barbarous tribes are intermixed one with the other, yet the different races are distinguishable, and their territories have well-defined boundaries. Generally speaking, as the land suits,81 they build walled towns and devote themselves to agriculture and raising cattle. They naturally hoard wealth and hold virtue and justice in light esteem. They have no marriage decorum, and no distinction of high or low. The women say, "I consent to use you as a husband and live in submission, (and that is all)."82 When dead, they burn the body, and there is no determined period for mourning. They scar their faces and cut their ears. They crop their hair and tear their clothes.83 They slay their herds and offer them in sacrifice to the manes of the dead. When rejoicing, they wear white garments; when in mourning, they clothe themselves in black. Thus we have described briefly points of agreement in the manners and customs of these people. The differences of administration depend on the different countries. With respect to the customs of India, they are contained in the following records.

Leaving the old country of Kau-chang,84 from this neighbourhood there begins what is called the 'O-ki-ni country.

O-KI-NI.(Anciently called Wu-ki.)85

The kingdom of 'O-ki-ni (Akni or Agni) is about 500 li from east to west, and about 400 li from north to south. The chief town of the realm is in circuit 6 or 7 li. On all sides it is girt with hills. The roads are precipitous and easy of defence. Numerous streams unite, and are led86 in channels to irrigate the fields. The soil is suitable for red millet, winter wheat, scented dates, grapes, pears, and plums, and other fruits. The air is soft and agreeable; the manners of the people are sincere and upright. The written character is, with few differences, like that of India. The clothing (of the people) is of cotton or wool. They go with shorn locks and without head-dress. In commerce they use gold coins, silver coins, and little copper coins. The king is a native of the country; he is brave, but little attentive to (military) plans, yet he loves to speak of his own conquests. This country has no annals. The laws are not settled. There are some ten or more Saṅghārāmas with two thousand priests or so, belonging to the Little Vehicle, of the school of the Sarvāstivādas (Shwo-yih-tsai-yu-po). The doctrine of the Sūtras and the requirements of the Vinaya are in agreement with those of India, and the books from which they study are the same. The professors of religion read their books and observe the rules and regulations with purity and strictness. They only eat the three pure aliments,and observe the method known as the "gradual" one.87

Going south-west from this country 200 li or so, surmounting a small mountain range and crossing two large rivers, passing westwards through a level valley some 700 li or so, we come to the country of K'iu-chi88 (anciently written Kuei-tzu).


The country of K'iu-chi is from east to west some thousand li or so; from north to south about 600 li. The capital of the realm is from 17 to 18 li in circuit. The soil is suitable for rice and corn, also (a kind of rice called) keng-t'ao;89 it produces grapes,90 pomegranates, and numerous species of plums, pears, peaches, and almonds, also grow here. The ground is rich in minerals -- gold, copper, iron, and lead, and tin.91 The air is soft, and the manners of the people honest. The style of writing (literature) is Indian, with some differences. They excel other countries in their skill in playing on the lute and pipe. They clothe themselves with ornamental garments of silk and embroidery.92 They cut their hair and wear a flowing covering (over their heads). In commerce they use gold, silver, and copper coins. The king is of the K'iu-chi race; his wisdom being small, he is ruled by a powerful minister. The children born of common parents have their heads flattened by the pressure of a wooden board.93

There are about one hundred convents (saṅghārāmas) in this country, with five thousand and more disciples. These belong to the Little Vehicle of the school of the Sarvāstivādas (Shwo-yih-tsai-yu-po). Their doctrine (teaching of Sūtras) and their rules of discipline (principles of the Vinaya) are like those of India, and those who read them use the same (originals). They especially hold to the customs of the "gradual doctrine," and partake only of the three pure kinds of food. They live purely, and provoke others (by their conduct) to a religious life.

To the north of a city on the eastern borders of the country, in front of a Deva temple, there is a great dragon-lake. The dragons, changing their form, couple with mares. The offspring is a wild species of horse (dragon-horse), difficult to tame and of a fierce nature. The breed of these dragon-horses became docile. [id (T51.2087.0870b)] This country consequently became famous for its many excellent94 horses. Former records (of this country) say: "In late times there was a king called 'Gold Flower,' who exhibited rare intelligence in the doctrines (of religion). He was able to yoke the dragons to his chariot. When the king wished to disappear, he touched the ears of the dragons with his whip, and forthwith he became invisible."

From very early time till now there have been no wells in the town, so that the inhabitants have been accustomed to get water from the dragon lake. On these occasions the dragons, changing themselves into the likeness of men, had intercourse with the women. Their children, when born, were powerful and courageous, and swift of foot as the horse. Thus gradually corrupting themselves, the men all became of the dragon breed, and relying on their strength, they became rebellious and disobedient to the royal authority. Then the king, forming an alliance with the Tuh-kiueh (Turks),95 massacred the men of the city; young and old, all were destroyed, so that there was no remnant left; the city is now a waste and uninhabited.

About 40 li to the north of this desert city there are two convents close together on the slope of a mountain, but separated by a stream of water,96 both named Chau-hu-li, being situated east and west of one another, and accordingly so called.97 (Here there is) a statue of Buddha,98 richly adorned and carved with skill surpassing that of men. The occupants of the convents are pure and truthful, and diligent in the discharge of their duties. In (the hall of) the eastern convent, called the Buddha pavilion, there is a jade stone, with a surface of about two feet in width, and of a yellowish white colour; in shape it is like a sea-shell; on its surface is a foot trace of Buddha, 1 foot 8 inches long, and eight inches or so in breadth; at the expiration of every fast-day it emits a bright and sparkling light.

Outside the western gate of the chief city, on the right and left side of the road, there are (two) erect figures of Buddha, about 90 feet high. In the space in front of these statues there is a place erected for the quinquennial99 assembly. Every year at the autumnal equinox, during ten several days, the priests assemble from all the country in this place. The king and all his people, from the highest to the lowest, on this occasion abstain from public business, and observe a religious fast; they listen to the sacred teachings of the law, and pass the days without weariness.

In all the convents there are highly adorned images of Buddha, decorated with precious substances and covered with silken stuffs. These they carry (on stated occasions) in idol-cars, which they call the "procession of images." On these occasions the people flock by thousands to the place of assembly.

On the fifteenth and last day of the month the king of the country and his ministers always consult together respecting affairs of state, and after taking counsel of the chief priests, they publish their decrees.

To the north-west of the meeting-place we cross a river and arrive at a convent called 'O-she-li-ni.100 The hall of this temple is open and spacious. The image of Buddha is beautifully carved. The disciples (religious) are grave and decorous and very diligent in their duties; rude and rough (men)101 come here together; the aged priests are learned and of great talent, and so from distant spots the most eminent men who desire to acquire just principles come here and fix their abode. The king and his ministers and the great men of the realm offer to these priests the four sorts of provision, and their celebrity spreads farther and farther.

The old records say: "A former102 king of this country worshipped the 'three precious' ones.103 Wishing to pay homage to the sacred relics of the outer world, he intrusted the affairs of the empire to his younger brother on the mother's side. The younger brother having received such orders, mutilated himself in order to prevent any evil risings104 (of passion). He enclosed the mutilated parts in a golden casket, and laid it before the king. 'What is this?' inquired the king. In reply he said, 'On the day of your majesty's return home, [id (T51.2087.0870c)] I pray you open it and see.' The king gave it to the manager of his affairs, who intrusted the casket to a portion of the king's bodyguard to keep. And now, in the end, there were certain mischief-making people who said, 'The king's deputy, in his absence, has been debauching himself in the inner rooms of the women.' The king hearing this, was very angry, and would have subjected his brother to cruel punishment. The brother said, 'I dare not flee from punishment, but I pray you open the golden casket.' The king accordingly opened it, and saw that it contained a mutilated member. Seeing it, he said, 'What strange thing is this, and what does it signify?' Replying, the brother said, 'Formerly, when the king proposed to go abroad, he ordered me to undertake the affairs of the government. Fearing the slanderous reports that might arise, I mutilated myself. You now have the proof of my foresight. Let the king look benignantly on me.' The king was filled with the deepest reverence and strangely moved with affection; in consequence, he permitted him free ingress and egress throughout his palace.105

"After this it happened that the younger brother, going abroad, met by the way a herdsman who was arranging to geld five hundred oxen. On seeing this, he gave himself to reflection, and taking himself as an example of what they were to suffer, he was moved with increased compassion, (and said), 'Are not my present sufferings106 the consequence of my conduct in some former condition of life?' He forthwith desired with money and precious jewels to redeem this herd of oxen. In consequence of this act of love, he recovered by degrees from mutilation, and on this account he ceased to enter the apartments of the women. The king, filled with wonder, asked him the reason of this, and having heard the matter from beginning to end, looked on him as a 'prodigy' (khi-teh), and from this circumstance the convent took its name, which he built to honour the conduct of his brother and perpetuate his name."

After quitting this country and going about 600 li to the west, traversing a small sandy desert, we come to the country of Poh-luh-kia.

POH-LUH-KIA (BĀLUKĀ OR AKSU).(Formerly called Che-meh or Kih-meh.)107

The kingdom of Poh-luh-kia is about 600 li from east to west, and 300 li or so from north to south. The chief town is 5 or 6 li in circuit. With regard to the soil, climate, character of the people, the customs, and literature (laws of composition), these are the same as in the country of K'iu-chi. The language (spoken language) differs however a little. It produces a fine sort of cotton and hair-cloth, which are highly valued by neighbouring (frontier) countries.

There are some ten saṅghārāmas here; the number of priests (priests and followers) is about one thousand. These follow the teaching of the "Little Vehicle," and belong to the school of the Sarvāstivādas (Shwo-yih-tsai-yu-po).108

Going 300 li or so to the north-west of this country, crossing a stony desert, we come to Ling-shan109 (ice-mountain ). This is, in fact, the northern plateau of the T'sung-ling range,110 and from this point the waters mostly have an eastern flow. Both hills and valleys are filled with snowpiles, and it freezes both in spring and summer; if it should thaw for a time, the ice soon forms again. The roads are steep and dangerous, the cold wind is extremely biting, and frequently fierce dragons impede and molest travellers with their inflictions.111 Those who travel this road should not wear red garments nor carry loud-sounding112 calabashes. The least forgetfulness of these precautions entails certain misfortune. [id (T51.2087.0871a)] A violent wind suddenly rises with storms of flying sand and gravel; those who encounter them, sinking through exhaustion, are almost sure to die.

Going 400 li or so, we come to the great Tsing lake.113

This lake is about 1000 li in circuit, extended from east to west, and narrow from north to south. On all sides it is enclosed by mountains, and various streams empty themselves into it and are lost. The colour of the water is a bluish-black, its taste is bitter and salt. The waves of this lake roll along tumultuously as they expend themselves (on the shores). Dragons and fishes inhabit it together. At certain (portentous) occasions scaly monsters rise to the surface, on which travellers passing by put up their prayers for good fortune. Although the water animals are numerous, no one dares (or ventures) to catch them by fishing.

Going 500 li or so to the north-west of the Tsing lake, we arrive at the town of the Su-yeh river.114 This town is about 6 or 7 li in circuit; here the merchants from surrounding countries congregate and dwell.

The soil is favourable for red millet and for grapes; the woods are not thick, the climate is windy and cold ; the people wear garments of twilled wool.

Passing on from Su-yeh westward, there are a great number115 of deserted towns; in each there is a chieftain (or over each there is established a chief) ; these are not dependent on one another, but all are in submission to the Tuh-kiueh.

From the town of the Su-yeh river as far as the Ki-shwang-na116 country the land is called Su-li, and the people are called by the same name. The literature (written characters) and the spoken Language are likewise so called. The primary characters are few; in the beginning they were thirty117 or so in number: the words are composed by the combination of these; these combinations have produced a large and varied vocabulary.118 They have some literature,119 which the common sort read together; their mode of writing is handed down from one master to another without interruption, and is thus preserved. Their inner clothing is made of a fine hair-cloth (linen); their outer garments are of skin, their lower garments of linen, short and tight.120 They adjust their hair so as to leave the top of the head exposed (that is, they shave the top of their heads). Sometimes they shave their hair completely. They wear a silken band round their foreheads. They are tall of stature, but their wills are weak and pusillanimous. They are as a rule crafty and deceitful in their conduct and extremely covetous. Both parent and child plan how to get wealth; and the more they get the more they esteem each other; but the well-to-do and the poor are not distinguished; even when immensely rich, they feed and clothe themselves meanly. The strong bodied cultivate the land; the rest (half) engage in money-getting (business).

Going west from the town Su-yeh 400 li or so, we come to the "Thousand springs,"121 This territory is about 200 li square. On the south are the Snowy Mountains, on the other sides (three boundaries) is level tableland. The soil is well watered; the trees afford a grateful shade, and the flowers in the spring months are varied and like tapestry. There are a thousand springs of water and 1akes here, and hence the name. The Khān of the Tuh-kiueh comes to this place every (year) to avoid the heat. There are a number of deer here, many of which are ornamented with bells and rings;122 they are tame and not afraid of the peop1e, nor do they run away. The Khān is very fond of them, and has forbidden them to be kil1ed on pain of death without remission; hence they are preserved and live out their days.

Going from the Thousand springs westward 140 or 150 li, we come to the town of Ta-lo-sse (Taras).123 This town is 8 or 9 li in circuit; merchants from all parts assemble and live here with the natives (Tartars). The products and the climate are about the same as Su-yeh.

Going 10 li or so to the south, there is a little deserted town. It had once about 300 houses, occupied by people of China. Some time ago the inhabitants were violently carried off by the Tuh-kiueh, but afterwards assembling a number of their countrymen, they occupied this place in common.124 [id (T51.2087.0871b)] Their clothes being worn out, they adopted the Turkish mode of dress, but they have preserved their own native language and customs.

Going 200 li or so south-west from this, we come to the town called Peh-shwui ("White Water.")125 This town is 6 or 7 li in circuit. The products of the earth and the climate are very superior to those of Ta-lo-sse.

Going 200 li or so to the south-west, we arrive at the town of Kong-yu,126 which is about 5 or 6 li in circuit. The plain on which it stands is well watered and fertile, and the verdure of the trees grateful and pleasing. From this going south 40 or 50 li, we come to the country of Nu-chih-kien.


The country of Nu-chih-kien127 is about 1000 li in circuit; the land is fertile, the harvests are abundant, the plants and trees are rich in vegetation, the flowers and fruit plentiful and agreeable in character. This country is famous for its grapes. There are some hundred towns which are governed by their own separate rulers. They are independent in all their movements. But though they are so distinctly divided one from the other, they are all called by the general name of Nu-chih-kien.

Going hence about 200 li west, we come to the country of Che-shi (stony country).


The country of Che-shi128 is 1000 or so li in circuit. On the west it borders on the river Yeh.129 It is contracted towards the east and west, and extended towards the north and south. The products and climate are like those of Nu-chih-kien.

There are some ten towns in the country, each governed by its own chief; as there is no common sovereign over them, they are all under the yoke of the Tuh-kiueh. From this in a south-easterly direction some 1000 li or so, there is a country called Fei-han.


This kingdom is about 4000 li in circuit. It is enclosed by mountains on every side. The soil is rich and fertile, it produces many harvests, and abundance of flowers and fruits. It is favourable for breeding sheep and horses. The climate is windy and cold. The character of the people is one of firmness and courage. Their language differs from that of the neighbouring countries. Their form is rather poor and mean. For ten years or so the country has had no supreme ruler. The strongest rule by force, and are independent one of another. They divide their separate possessions according to the run of the valleys and mountain barriers. Going from this country131 westward for 1000 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Su-tu-li-sse-na.


The country of Su-tu-li-sse-na132 is some 1400 or 1500 li in circuit. On the east it borders on the Yeh river (Jaxartes). This river has its source in the northern plateau of the Tsung-ling range, and flows to the north-west; sometimes it rolls its muddy waters along in quiet, at other times with turbulence. The products and customs of the people are like those of Che-shi. Since it has had a king, it has been under the rule of the Turks.

North-west133 from this we enter on a great sandy desert, where there is neither water nor grass. The road is lost in the waste, which appears boundless, and only by looking in the direction of some great mountain, and following the guidance of the bones which lie scattered about, can we know the way in which we ought to go.


The country of Sa-mo-kien134 is about 1600 or 1700 li in circuit. From east to west it is extended, from north to south it is contracted. The capital of the country is 20 li or so in circuit. It is completely enclosed by rugged land and very populous. [id (T51.2087.0871c)] The precious merchandise of many foreign countries is stored up here. The soil is rich and productive, and yields abundant harvests. The forest trees afford a thick vegetation, and flowers and fruits are plentiful. The Shen horses are bred here. The inhabitants are skilful in the arts and trades beyond those of other countries. The climate is agreeable and temperate. The people are brave and energetic. This country is in the middle of the Hu people (or this is the middle of the Hu).135 They are copied by all surrounding people in point of politeness and propriety. The king is full of courage, and the neighbouring countries obey his commands. The soldiers and the horses (cavalry) are strong and numerous, and principally men of Chih-kia.136 These men of Chih-kia are naturally brave and fierce, and meet death as a refuge (escape or salvation). When they attack, no enemy can stand before them. From this going south-east, there is a country called Mi-mo-ho.137


The country Mi-mo-ho138 is about 400 or 500 li in circuit. It lies in the midst of a valley. From east to west it is narrow, and broad from north to south. It is like Sa-mo-kien in point of the customs of the people and products. From this going north, we arrive at the country K'ie-po-ta-na.139


The country of K'ie-po-ta-na140 is about 1400 or 1500 li in circuit. It is broad from east to west, and narrow from north to south. It is like Sa-mo-kien in point of customs and products. Going about 300 li to the west (of Samarkand), we arrive at K'iuh-shwang-ni-kia.


The kingdom of K'iuh-shwang-ni-kia141 is 1400 or 1500 li in circuit; narrow from east to west, broad from north to south. It resembles Sa-mo-kien in point of customs and products. Going 200 li or so west from this country, we arrive at the Ho-han country.142

Ho-HAN (KUAN).143

This country is about 1000 li in circuit; in point of customs and products it resembles Sa-mo-kien. Going west from here, we come, after 400 li or so, to the country of Pu-ho.144


The Pu-ho145 country is 1600 or 1700 li in circuit; it is broad from east to west, and narrow from north to south. In point of climate and products it is like Sa-mo-kien, Going west from this 400 li or so, we come to the country Fa-ti.146


This country is 400 li or so in circuit. In point of customs and produce it resembles Sa-mo-kien. From this going south-west 500 li or so, we come to the country Ho-li-sih-mi-kia.


This country lies parallel with148 the banks of the river Po-tsu (Oxus). From east to west it is 20 or 30 li, from north to south 500 li or so. In point of customs and produce it resembles the country of Fa-ti; the language, howvever, is a little different.

From the country of Sa-mo-kien149 going south-west 300 li or so, we come to Ki-shwang-na.150


This kingdom is about 1400 or 1500 li in circuit; in customs and produce it resembles the kingdom of Sa-mo-kien.

From this place going south-west 200 li or so, we enter the mountains; [id (T51.2087.0872a)] the mountain road is steep and precipitous, and the passage along the defiles dangerous and difficult. There are no people or villages, and little water or vegetation. Going along the mountains 300 li or so south-east, we enter the Iron Gates.152 The pass so called is bordered on the right and left by mountains. These mountains are of prodigious height. The road is narrow, which adds to the difficulty and danger. On both sides there is a rocky wall of an iron colour. Here there are set up double wooden doors, strengthened with iron and furnished with many bells hung up. Because of the protection afforded to the pass by these doors, when closed, the name of iron gates is given.

Passing through the Iron Gates we arrive at the country of the Tu-ho-lo.153 This country, from north to south, is about 1000 li or so in extent, from east to west 3000 li or so. On the east it is bounded by the T'sung-ling mountains, on the west it touches on Po-li-sse (Persia), on the south are the great Snowy Mountains. on the north the Iron Gates.154 The great river Oxus flows through the midst of this country in a westerly direction. For many centuries past the royal race has been extinct. The several chieftains have by force contended for their possessions, and each held their own independently, only relying upon the natural divisions of the country. Thus they have constituted twenty-seven states,155 divided by natural boundaries, yet as a whole dependent on the Tuh-kiueh tribes (Turks). The climate of this country is warm and damp, and consequently epidemics prevail.

At the end of winter and the beginning of spring rain falls without intermission; therefore from the south of this country, and to the north of Lamghān (Lān-po), diseases from moisture (moist-heat) are common. Hence the priests retire to their rest (rain-rest) on the sixteenth day of the twelfth month, and give up their retirement on the fifteenth day of the third month. This is in consequence of the quantity of rain, and they arrange their instructions accordingly. With regard to the character of the people, it is mean and cowardly;156 their appearance is low and rustic. Their knowledge of good faith and rectitude extends so far as relates to their dealings one with another. Their language differs somewhat from that of other countries. The number of radical letters in their language is twenty-five; by combining these they express all objects (things) around them. Their writing is across the page, and they read from left to right. Their literary records have increased gradually, and exceed those of the people of Su-li. Most of the people use fine cotton for their dress; some use wool. In commercial transactions they use gold and silver alike. The coins are different in pattern from those of other countries.

Following the course of the Oxus as it flows down from the north, there is the country of Ta-mi.


This country157 is 600 li or so from east to west, and 400 li or so from north to south. The capital of the country is about 20 li in circuit, extended from east to west, and narrow from north to south. There are about ten saṅghārāmas with about one thousand monks. The stūpas and the images of the honoured Buddha are noted for various spiritual manifestations. Going east we arrive at Ch'i-ngoh-yen-na.158


This country extends about 400 li from east to west, and about 500 li from north to south. The capital is abont 10 li in circuit. There are some five saṅghārāmas, which contain a few monks. Going east we reach Hwuh-lo-mo.


[id (T51.2087.0872b)] This country is some 100 li in extent from east to west, and 300 li from north to south. The capital is about 10 li in circuit. The king is a Turk of the Hi-su tribe. There are two convents and about one hundred monks. Going east161 we arrive at the Su-ṁan country.


This country extends 400 li or so from east to west, and 100 li from north to south. The capital of the country is 16 or 17 li in circuit; its king is a Hi-su Turk. There are two convents and a few monks. On the south-west this country borders on the Oxus, and extends to the Kio-ho-yen-na country.


From east to west it is 200 li or so in extent; from north to south 300 li or so. The capital is 10 li or so in circuit. There are three convents and about one hundred monks. Still eastward is the country of Hu-sha.


This country is about 300 li from east to west, and 500 li or so from north to south. The capital is 16 or 17 li in circuit. Going eastwards we arrive at Kho-to-lo.


This kingdom is 1000 li or so from east to west, and the same from north to south. The capital is 20 li or so in circuit. On the east it borders on the T'sung-ling mountains, and extends to the country of Kiu-mi-to.


This country extends 2000 li from east to west, and about 200 li from north to south. It is in the midst of the great T'sung-ling mountains. The capital of the country is about 20 li in circuit. On the south-west it borders on the river Oxus;165 on the south it touches the country of Shi-ki-ni.166

Passing the Oxus on the south,167 we come to the kingdom of Ta-mo-sih-teh-ti,168 the kingdom of Po-to-chang-na,169 the kingdom of In-po-kin,170 the kingdom of Kiu-lang-na,171 the kingdom of Hi-mo-to-lo,172 the kingdom of Po-li-ho,173 the kingdom of Khi-li-seh-mo,174 the kingdom of Ho-lo-hu,175 the kingdom of O-li-ni,176 the kingdom of Mung-kin.177

Going from the kingdom of Hwo (Kunduz) south-east, we come to the kingdom of Chen-seh-to,178 the kingdom of 'An-ta-la-po179 (Andarāb), remarks concerning which may be found in the return records.

Going south-west from the country of Hwo, we arrive at the kingdom of Fo-kia-lang (Baghlān).


This country180 is 50 li or so from east to west, and 200 li or so from north to south; the capital is about 10 li in circuit. Going south, we come to the country of Hi-lu-sih-min-kien (Rúī-samangān).


This country is about 1000 li in circuit, the capital about 14 or 15 li. On the north-west it borders on the kingdom of Ho-lin (Khulm).


This country is 800 li or so in circuit, the capital is 5 or 6 li in circumference; there are about ten convents and 500 monks. Going west, we come to the country of Po-ho (Balkh).

[id (T51.2087.0872c)] PO-HO (BALKH)

This country is about 800 li from east to west, and 400 li from north to south; on the north it borders on the Oxus. The capital is about 20 li in circuit. It is called generally the little Rājagṛiha.182 This city, though well (strongly) fortified, is thinly populated. The products of the soil are extremely varied, and the flowers, both on the land and water, would be difficult to enumerate. There are about 100 convents and 3000 monks, who all study the religious teaching of the Little Vehicle.

Outside the city, towards the south-west,183 there is a convent called Navasaṅghārāma, which was built by a former king of this country. The Masters (of Buddhism), who dwell to the north of the great Snowy Mountains, and are authors of śāstras, occupy this convent only, and continue their estimable labours in it. There is a figure of Buddha here, which is lustrous with (reflects the glory of) noted gems, and the hall in which it stands is also adorned with precious substances of rare value. This is the reason why it has often been robbed by chieftains of neighbouring countries, covetous of gain.

This convent a1so contains (possesses)184 a statue of Pi-sha-men (Vaiśravaṇa) Deva, by whose spiritual influence, in unexpected ways, there is protection afforded to the precincts of the convent. Lately the son of the Khān Yeh-hu (or She-hu), belonging to the Turks, becoming rebellious, Yeh-hu Khān broke up his camping ground, and marched at the head of his horde to make a foray against this convent, desiring to obtain the jewels and precious things with which it was enriched.185 Having encamped his army in the open ground, not far from the convent, in the night he had a dream. He saw Vaiśravaṇa Deva, who addressed him thus: "What power do you possess that you dare (to intend) to overthrow this convent?" and then hurling his lance, he transfixed him with it. The Khān, affrighted, awoke, and his heart penetrated with sorrow, he told his dream to his followers, and then, to atone somewhat for his fault, he hastened to the convent to ask permission to confess his crime to the priests; but before he received an answer he died.

Within the convent, in the southern hall of Buddha, there is the washing-basin which Buddha used. It contains about a peck,186 and is of various colours, which dazzle the eyes. It is difficult to name the gold and stone of which it is made.187 Again, there is a tooth of Buddha about an inch long, and about eight or nine tenths of an inch in breadth. Its colour is yellowish white; it is pure and shining. Again, there is the sweeping brush of Buddha, made of the plant "Ka-she" (kāśā). It is about two feet long and about seven inches round. Its handle is ornamented with various gems. These three relics are presented with offerings on each of the six fast-days by the assembly of lay and cleric believers. Those who have the greatest faith in worship see the objects emitting a radiance of glory.

To the north of the convent is a stūpa, in height about 200 feet, which is covered with a plaster hard as188 the diamond, and ornamented with a variety of precious substances. It encloses a sacred relic (she-li), and at times this also reflects a divine splendour.

To tho south-west of the convent there is a Vihāra. Many years have elapsed since its foundation was laid. It is the resort (of people) from distant quarters. There are also a large number of men of conspicuous talent. As it would be difficult for the several possessors of the four different degrees (fruits) of holiness to explain accurately their condition of saintship, therefore the Arhats (Lo-han), when about to die, exhibit their spiritual capabilities (miraculous powers), and those who witness such an exhibition found stūpas in honour of the deceased saints. These are closely crowded together here, to the number of several hundreds. Besides these there are some thousand others, who, although they had reached the fruit of holiness (i.e., Arhatship), yet having exhibited no spiritual changes at the end of life, have no memorial erected to them.

[id (T51.2087.0873a)] At present the number of priests is about 100; so irregular are they morning and night in their duties, that it is hard to tell saints from sinners.189

To the north-west of the capital about 50 li or so we arrive at the town of Ti-wei; 40 li to the north of this town is the town of Po-li. In each of these towns there is a stūpa about three chang (30 feet) in height. In old days, when Buddha first attained enlightenment after advancing to the tree of knowledge,190 he went to the garden of deer;191 at this time two householders192 meeting him, and beholding the brilliant appearance of his person, offered him from their store of provisions for their journey some cakes and honey. The lord of the world, for their sakes, preached concerning the happiness of men and Devas, and delivered to them, his very first disciples,193 the five rules of moral conduct and the ten good qualities (shen, virtuous rules).194 When they had heard the sermon, they humbly asked for some object to worship (offer gifts). On this Tathāgata delivered to them some of his hair and nail-cuttings. Taking these, the merchants were about to return to their own country,195 when they asked of Buddha the right way of venerating these relics. Tathāgata forthwith spreading out his Saṅghāṭi on the ground as a square napkin, next laid down his Uttarāsaṅga and then his Saṅkakshikā again over these he placed as a cover his begging-pot, on which he erected his mendicant's staff.196 Thus he placed them in order, making thereby (the figure of) a stūpa. The two men taking the order, each went to his own town, and then, according to the model which the holy one had prescribed, they prepared to build a monument, and thus was the very first Stūpa of the Buddhist religion erected.

Some 70 1i to the west of this town is a Stūpa about two chang (20 feet) in height. This was erected in the time of Kāśyapa Buddha. Leaving the capital and going south-west, entering the declivities of the Snowy Mountains, there is the country of Jui-mo-to (Jumadh?).


This country is 50 or 60 li from east to west, and 100 li or so from north to south. The capital is about 10 li in circuit. Towards the south-west is the country of Hu-shi-kien (Jūzgān).


This country is about 500 li from east to west, and about 1000 li from north to south. The capital is 20 li in circuit. It has many mountains and river-courses. It produces excellent (shen) horses. To the north-west is Ta-la-kien.


This country is 500 li or so from east to west, and 50 or 60 li from north to south. The capital is 10 li about in circuit. On the west it touches the boundaries of Persia. Going199 100 li or so south from the kingdom of Po-ho (Balkh), we arrive at Kie-chi.


This country from east to west is 500 li or so, from west to south 300 li. The capital is 4 or 5 li in circuit. The soil is stony, the country a succession of hills. There are but few flowers or fruits, but plenty of beans and corn. The climate is wintry; the manner of the people hard and forbidding. There are some ten convents or so, and about 200200 priests. They all belong to the school of the Sarvāstivādas, which is a branch of the Little Vehicle.

On the south-east we enter the great Snowy Mountains. These mountains are high and the valleys deep; the precipices and hollows (crevasses) are very dangerous. [id (T51.2087.0873b)] The wind and snow keep on without intermission; the ice remains through the full summer; the snow-drifts fall into the valleys and block the roads. The mountain spirits and demons (demon sprites) send, in their rage, all sorts of calamities; robbers crossing the path of travellers kill them.201 Going with difficulty 600 li or so, we leave the country of Tukhāra, and arrive at the kingdom of Fan-yen-na (Bāmiyān).


This kingdom is about 2000 li from east to west, and 300 li from north to south. It is situated in the midst of the Snowy Mountains. The people inhabit towns either in the mountains or the valleys, according to circumstances.203 The capital leans on a steep hill, bordering on a valley 6 or 7 li in length.204 On the north it is backed by high precipices. It (the country) produces spring-wheat205 and few flowers or fruits. It is suitable for cattle, and affords pasture for many sheep and horses. The climate is wintry, and the manners of the people hard and uncultivated. The clothes are chiefly made of skin and wool, which are the most suitable for the country. The literature, customary rules, and money used in commerce are the same as those of the Tukhāra country. Their language is a little different, but in point of personal appearance they closely resemble each other. These people are remarkable, among all their neighbours, for a love of religion (a heart of pure faith); from the highest form of worship to the three jewels,206 down to the worship of the hundred (i.e., different) spirits, there is not the least absence (decrease) of earnestness and the utmost devotion of heart. The merchants, in arranging their prices as they come and go, fall in with the signs afforded by the spirits. If good, they act accordingly; if evil, they seek to propitiate the powers.207 There are ten convents and about 1000 priests. They belong to the Little Vehicle, and the school of the Lōkōttaravādins (Shwo-ch'uh-shi-pu).

To the north-east of the royal city there is a mountain, on the declivity of which is placed a stone figure of Buddha, erect, in height 140 or 150 feet.208 Its golden hues sparkle on every side, and its precious ornaments dazzle the eyes by their brightness.

To the east of this spot there is a convent, which was built by a former king of the country. To the east of the convent there is a standing figure of Sākya Buddha, made of metallic stone (teou-shih209 ), in height 100 feet. It has been cast in different parts and joined together, and thus placed in a completed form as it stands.

To the east of the city 12 or 13 li there is a convent, in which there is a figure of Buddha lying in a sleeping position, as when he attained Nirvāṇa. The figure is in length about 1000 feet or so.210 The king of this (country), every time he assembles the great congregation of the Wu-che (Mōksha),211 having sacrificed all his possessions, from his wife and children down to his country's treasures, gives in addition his own body; then his ministers and the lower order of officers prevail on the priests to barter back these possessions; and in these matters most of their time is taken up.212

To the south-west of the convent of the sleeping figure (of Buddha), going 200 li or so, passing the great Snowy Mountains on the east, there is a little watercourse (or valley), which is moist with (the overflowings of) standing springs, bright as mirrors; the herbage here is green and bright.213 There is a saṅghārāma here with a tooth of Buddha, also the tooth of a Pratyeka214 Buddha, who lived at the beginning of the Kalpa, which is in length about five inches, and in breadth somewhat less than four inches. Again, there is the tooth of a golden-wheel king,215 in length three inches, and in surface (breadth) two inches. There is also the iron begging-dish of śaṇakavāsa,216 a great Arhat, which is capable of holding eight or nine shing (pints). These three sacred objects, bequeathed by the holy personages referred to, are all contained in a yellow-golden sealed case. Again, there is here the Saṅghāṭi robe, in nine pieces217 of śaṇakavāsa; the colour is a deep red (rose-red); it is made of the bark (peel) of the She-no-kia plant.218 [id (T51.2087.0873c)] śaṇakavāsa was the disciple of ānanda.219 In a former existence he had given the priests garments made of the śaṇaka plant (fibre), on the conclusion of the rainy season.220 By the force of this meritorious action during 500 successive births he wore only this (kind of) garment,and at his last birth he was born with it. As his body increased so his robe grew larger, until the time when he was converted by ānanda and left his home (i.e., became an ascetic). Then his robe changed into a religious garment;221 and when he was fully ordained it again changed into a Saṅghāṭi, composed of nine pieces. When he was about to arrive at Nirvāṇa he entered into the condition of Samādhi, bordering on complete extinction, and by the force of his vow in attaining wisdom (he arrived at the knowledge)222 that this kashāya garment would last till the bequeathed law (testament) of śākya (was established), and after the destruction of this law then his garment also would perish. At the present time it is a little fading, for faith also is small at this time!

Going eastward from this, we enter the defiles of the Snowy Mountains, cross over the black ridge (Siāh Kōh), and arrive at the country of Kia-pi-shi.


This country223 is 4000 li or so in circuit. On the north it abuts on the Snowy Mountains, and on three sides it borders on the "black ridge" (the Hindu Kush). The capital of the country is lO li or so in circuit. It produces cereals of all sorts, and many kinds of fruit-trees. The shen horses are bred here, and there is also the scent (scented root) called Yu-kin.224 Here also are found objects of merchandise from all parts. The climate is cold and windy. The people are cruel and fierce; their language is coarse and rude; their marriage rites a mere intermingling of the sexes. Their literature is like that of the Tukhāra country, but the customs, common language, and rules of behaviour are somewhat different. For clothing they use hair garments (wool); their garments are trimmed with fur. In commerce they use gold and silver coins, and also little copper coins, which in appearance and stamp225 differ from those of other countries. The king is a Kshattriya by caste. He is of a shrewd character (nature),226 and being brave and determined, he has brought into subjection the neighbouring countries, some ten of which he rules. He cherishes his people227 with affection, and reverences much the three precious objects of worship. Every year228 he makes a silver figure of Buddha eighteen feet high, and at the same time he convokes an assembly called the Mōksha Mahāparishad when he gives alms to the poor and wretched, and relieves the bereaved (widows and bereaved).

There are about 100 convents in this country and some 6000 priests. They mostly study the rules of the Great Vehicle. The stūpas and saṅghārāmas are of an imposing height, and are built on high level spots, from which they may be seen on every side, shining in their grandeur (purity).229 There are some ten temples of the Devas, and 1000 or so of heretics (different ways of religion); there are naked ascetics, and others who cover themselves with ashes, and some who make chaplets of bones, which they wear as crowns on their heads.230

To the east of the capita1231 3 or 4 li, at the foot of a mountain in the north, is a great saṅghārāma with 300 or so priests in it. These belong to the Little Vehicle and adopt its teaching.232

According to tradition, Kanishka Rāja of Gandhāra233 in old days having subdued all the neighbouring provinces and brought into obedience people of distant countries, he governed by his army a wide territory, even to the east of the T'sung-ling mountains. Then the tribes who occupy the territory to the west of the river,234 fearing the power of his arms, sent hostages to him. Kanishka-rāja having received the hostages,235 treated them with singular attention, and ordered for them separate establishments for the cold and hot weather; during the cold they resided in India and its different parts, in the summer they came back to Kapiśa, in the autumn and spring they remained in the kingdom of Gandhāra; and so he founded saṅghāramas for the hostages according to the three seasons. [id (T51.2087.0874a)] This convent (of which we are now speaking) is the one they occupied during the summer, and it was built for that purpose.236 Hence the pictures of these hostages on the walls; their features, and clothing, and ornaments are like the people of Eastern Hia (China).237 Afterwards, when they were permitted to return to their own country, they were remembered in their old abode,238 and notwithstanding the intervening mountains and rivers, they were without cessation reverenced with offerings, so that down to the present time the congregation of priests on each rainy season239 (frequent this spot); and on the breaking up of the fast they convene an assembly and pray for the happiness of the hostages,--a pious custom still existing.

To the south of the eastern door of the hall of Buddha belonging to this saṅghārāma there is a figure of the Great Spirit King;240 beneath his right foot they have hollowed the earth for concealing treasures therein. This is the treasury place of the hostages, therefore we find this inscription, "When the saṅghārāma decays let men take (of the treasure) and repair it." Not long ago there was a petty (frontier) king of a covetous mind and of a wicked and cruel disposition; hearing of the quantity of jewels and precious substances concealed in this convent, he drove away the priests and began digging for them. The King of the Spirits had on his head the figure of a parrot, which now began to flap its wings and to utter screams. The earth shook and quaked, the king and his army were thrown down prostrate on the ground; after a while, arising from the earth, he confessed his fault and returned.

Above a mountain pass241 to the north of this convent there are several stone chambers; it was in these the hostages practised religious meditation. In these recesses many and various gems (precious things) are concealed: on the side there is an inscription that the Yakshas (Yo-cha) guard and defend the places (precincts). If any one wishes to enter and rob the treasures, the Yakshas by spiritual transformation appear in different forms, sometimes as lions, sometimes as snakes, and as savage beasts and poisonous reptiles; under various appearances they exhibit their rage. So no one dares to attempt to take the treasures.

At 2 or 3 li to the west of the stone chambers, above a great mountain pass,242 there is a figure of Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva;243 those who with sincere faith desire (vow or pray) to see him, to them the Bodhisattva appears coming forth from the image, his body of marvellous beauty, and he gives rest and reassurance to the travellers.

Thirty li or so to the south-east of the capital we arrive at the convent of Rāhula (Ho-lo-hu-lo); by its side is a stūpa about 100 feet in height. On sacred days (fast days) this building reflects a brilliant light. Above the cupola,244 from between the interstices of the stone, there exudes a black scented oil, whilst in the quiet night may be heard the sounds of music. According to tradition, this stūpa was formerly built by Rāhula, a great minister of this country. Having completed this work of merit (religious work), he saw in a night-dream a man who said to him, "This stūpa you have built has no sacred relic (she-li) in it as yet; tomorrow, when they come to offer, you must make your request to the king" (for the offering brought).

On the morrow, entering the royal court, he pressed his claim (or he advanced and requested), and said: "Your unworthy subject ventures to make a request." The king replied: "And what does my lord require?" Answering, he said, "That your majesty would be pleased to favour me by conferring on me the first245 offering made this day." The king replied: "I consent."

Rāhula on this went forth and stood at the palace gate. Looking at all who came towards the spot, suddenly he beheld a man holding in his hand a relic casket (pitcher). The great minister said, "What is your will? What have you to offer?" He replied, "Some relics of Buddha." [id (T51.2087.0874b)] The minister answered, "I will protect them for you. I will first go and tell the king." Rāhula, fearing lest the king on account of the great value of the relics should repent him of his former promise, went quickly to the saṅghārāma and mounted the stūpa; by the power of his great faith, the stone cupola opened itself, and then he placed the relics therein. This being done, he was quickly coming out when he caught the hem of his garment in the stone.246 The king sent to pursue him, but by the time the messengers arrived at the stūpa, the stones had closed over him; and this is the reason why a black oily substance exudes from the crevices of the building.

To the south247 of the city 40 li or so, we come to the town of Si-pi-to-fa-la-sse (śvetavāras).248 In the case of earthquakes, and even when the tops of the mountains fall, there is no commotion around this city.

Thirty li or so to the south of the town of Si-po-to-fa-la-sse we come to a mountain called 'O-lu-no (Aruṇa).249 The crags and precipices of this mountain are of a vast height, its caverns and valleys are dark and deep. Each year the peak increases in height several hundred feet, until it approaches the height of Mount Tsu-na-hi-lo (śunagir)250 in the kingdom of Tsu-ku-cha (Tsaukūṭa);251 then when it thus faces it, suddenly it falls down again. I have heard this story in neighbouring countries. When first the heavenly spirit śuna came from far to this mountain desiring to rest, the spirit of the mountain, affrighted, shook the surrounding valleys. The heavenly spirit said, "Because you have no wish to entertain me, therefore this tumult and confusion; if you had but entertained me for a little while, I should have conferred on you great riches and treasure; but now I go to Tsu-ku-cha to the mountain Tsu-na-hi-lo, and I will visit it every year. On these occasions, when the king and his ministers offer me their tribute, then you shall stand face to face with me." Therefore Mount 'O-lu-no having increased to the height {aforesaid), suddenly falls down again at the top.

About 200 li to the north-west of the royal city we come to a great snowy mountain, on the summit of which is a lake. Here whoever asks for rain or prays for fine weather, according to his request so he receives.

Tradition says in old time there was an Arhat (Lo-han) belonging to Gandhāra (Kien-t'o-lo) who constantly received the religious offerings of the Nāga king of this lake. On the arrival of the time for the mid-day meal, by his spiritual power he rose with the mat on which he sat into the air, and went (to the place where the Nāga dwelt). His attendant, a śrāmaṇera (novice), secretly catching hold of the under part of the mat, when the time came for the Arhat to go, was transported in a moment with him (to the palace of the Nāga). On arriving at the palace, the Nāga saw the śrāmaṇera. The Nāga-rāja asking them to partake of his hospitality, he provided the Arhat with "immortal food," but gave to the śrāmaṇera food used by men. The Arhat having finished his meal, began then to preach for the good of the Nāga, whilst he desired the śrāmaṇemacron;ra, as was his custom, to wash out his alms-bowl. Now the bowl happened to have in it some fragments of (the heavenly) food. Startled at the fragrance of this food,252 forthwith there arose in him an evil determination (vow). Irritated with his master, and hating the Nāga, he uttered the prayer (vow) that the force of all his religious merit might now be brought into operation with a view to deprive the Nāga of life, and, "May I," he said, "myself become a Nāga-king."

[id (T51.2087.0874c)] No sooner had the śrāmaṇera made this vow than the Nāga perceived his head to be in pain.

The Arhat having finished his preaching concerning the duty of repentance, the Nāga-rāja confessed his sins, condemning himself. But the śrāmaṇera still cherishing hatred in his heart, confessed not. And now having returned to the saṅghārāma, in very truth the prayer he had put up in consequence of the power of his religious merit was accomplished, and that very night he died and became a Nāga-rāja. Then filled with rage, he entered the lake and killed the other Nāga king, and took possession of his palace; moreover, he attached to himself the whole fraternity of his class (i.e., all the Nāgas) to enable him to carry out his original purpose. Then fiercely raising the winds and tempests, he rooted up the trees and aimed at the destruction of the convent.

At this time Kanishka-rāja, surprised at the ravages, inquired of the Arhat as to the cause, on which he told the whole circumstance. The king therefore, for the sake of the Nāga,253 founded a saṅghārāma at the foot of the Snowy Mountains, and raised a stūpa about 100 feet in height. The Nāga, cherishing his former hatred, raised the wind and rain. The king persevering in his purpose of charity, the Nāga redoubled his fury (angry poison), and became exceedingly fierce. Six times he destroyed the saṅghārāma and the stūpa, and on the seventh occasion Kanishka, confused by his failure, determined to fill the Nāga's lake and overthrow his palace. He came therefore with his soldiers to the foot of the Snowy Mountains.

Then the Nāga-rāja, being terrified and shaken with apprehension, changed himself into an aged Brāhmaṇ, and bowing down before the king's elephant, he remonstrated with the king, and said, "Mahārāja, because of your accumulated merit in former births, you have now been born a king of men, and you have no wish which is not gratified. Why then to-day are you seeking a quarrel with a Nāga? Nāgas are only brutish creatures. Nevertheless amongst lower creatures254 the Nāga possesses great power, which cannot be resisted. He rides on the clouds, drives the winds, passes through space, and glides over the waters; no human power can conquer him.255 Why then is the king's heart so angry? You have now raised the army of your country to fight with a single dragon; if you conquer, your renown will not spread very far;256 but if you are conquered, then you will suffer the humiliation of defeat. Let me advise the king to withdraw his troops."

The king Kanishka hesitating to comply, the dragon returned to his lake. His voice, like the thunderclap, shook the earth, and the fierce winds tore up the trees, whilst stones and sand pelted down like rain; the sombre clouds obscured the air, so that the army and the horses were filled with terror. The king then paid his adoration to the Three Precious ones, and sought their help, saying, " My abounding merit during former births has brought about my state as king of men. By my power I have restrained the strong and conquered the world (Jambudvīpa). But now (as it appears), by the onslaught of a dragon-beast overcome, this, verily, is proof of my poor merit! Let the full power of all my merit now appear!"

Then from both his shoulders there arose a great flame and smoke.257 The dragon fled, the winds hushed, the mists were melted, and the clouds were scattered. Then the king commanded each man of his army to take a stone and thus to fill up the dragon lake.

Again the dragon king changed himself into a Brāhman, and asked the king once more, "I am the Nāga king of yonder lake. Affrighted by your power, I tender my submission. Would that the king in pity might forgive my former faults! The king indeed loves to defend and cherish all animated beings, why then alone against me is he incensed? [id (T51.2087.0875a)] If the king kill me, then we both shall fall into an 'evil way'--the king, for killing; I, for cherishing an angry mind. Deeds and their consequences will be plainly manifested when the good and evil are brought to light."

The king then agreed with the Nāga that if hereafter he should again be rebellious there should be no forgiveness. The Nāga said, "Because of my evil deeds I have received a dragon form. The nature of Nāgas is fierce and wicked, so that they are unable to control themselves; if by chance an angry heart rises in me, it will be from forgetfulness of our present compact. The king may now build the saṅghārāma once more; I will not venture to destroy it again. Each day let the king send a man to observe the mountain top; if it is black with clouds, then let him sound the ghaṇṭā(drum or cymbal) loudly; when I hear the sound of it, my evil purpose will subside"

Forthwith the king renewed his work in raising the saṅghārāma and stūpa. People look out for the clouds and mists on the mountain top down to the present day. Tradition says that in this stūpa there is a considerable quantity (a pint, or shing) of relics258 of Tathāgata, consisting of his bones and flesh, and that wonderful miracles are wrought thereby, which it would be difficult to name separately. At one time, from within the stūpa there arose suddenly a smoke, which was quickly followed by a fierce flame of fire. On this occasion the people said the stūpa was consumed. They gazed for a long time till the fire was expended and the smoke disappeared, when they beheld a śarīra like a white pearl gem,259 which moved with a circular motion round the surmounting pole of the stūpa; it then separated itself and ascended up on high to the region of the clouds, and after scintillating there awhile, again descended with a circular motion.260

To the north-west of the capital there is a large river261 on the southern bank of which, in a convent of an old king, there is a milk-tooth of śākya Bodhisattva; it is about an inch in length.

To the south-east of this convent there is another, which is also called the convent of the old king; in this is a piece of the skull-bone of Tathāgata; the surface of it is about an inch in breadth, its colour a yellowish white; the little hair orifices are plainly seen. There is, moreover, a hair-top262 of Tathāgata of a dark auburn colour; the hair turns to the right; drawing it out, it is about a foot long; when folded up it is only about half an inch. These three objects are reverenced with offerings by the king and the great ministers on each of the six fast (holy) days.

To the south-west of the convent of the skull-bone is the convent of the wife of the old king, in which there is a gilded stūpa (copper gilt), about 100 feet in height. Tradition says in this stūpa is about a pint of the relics of Buddha. On the fifteenth day of each month, in the evening, it reflects a circular halo of glory which lights up the dew-dish.263 Thus it shines till the morning, when it gradually disappears and enters the stūpa.

To the south-west of the town is Mount Pi-lo-sa-lo (Pīlusāra);264 the mountain spirit takes the form of an elephant, hence the name. In old days, when Tathāgata was alive, the spirit, called Pīlusāra (siang-kien, i.e., elephant-fixed), asked the Lord of the World and 1200 Arhats (to partake of his hospitality). On the mountain crag is a great solid rock; here it was Tathāgata received the offerings of the spirit. Afterwards Aśoka-rāja erected on this same rock a stūpa about 100 feet in height. It is now called the stūpa of the Elephant-strength (Pīlusāra). They say that in this also is about a pint measure of the relics of Tathāgata.

[id (T51.2087.0875b)] To the north of the Pīlusāra Stūpa is a mountain cavern, below which is a Nāga fountain. It was here that Tathāgata, having received from the spirit some food (rice) with the Arhats, cleansed his mouth and rubbed his teeth with a piece of willow branch.265 This he planted in the ground, and it forthwith took root, and is now a bushy grove. Afterwards men built here a saṅghārama, and called it the convent of the Pi-to-kia (the willow twig).

Going eastward from this 600 li or so, across a continuation of mountains and valleys, the peaks being of a stupendous height, and skirting the "black ridge,"266 we enter North India, and crossing the frontier, come to the country of Lan-po (Lamghān).

[ref (0875b10)]


Relates to Three Countries, viz., (1) Lan-po, (2) Na-kie lo-ho and (3) Kien-t'o-lo.

1. Names of India

On examination, we find that the names of India (T'ien-chu) are various and perplexing as to their authority. It was anciently called Shin-tu, also Hien-tau, but now, according to the right pronunciation, it is called In-tu. The people of In-tu call their country by different names according to their district. Each country has diverse customs. Aiming at a general name which is the best sounding, we will call the country In-tu.267 In Chinese this name signifies the Moon. The moon has many names, of which this is one. For as it is said that all living things ceaselessly revolve on the wheel (of transmigration) through the long night of ignorance, without a guiding star, their case is like (the world), the sun gone down, as then the torch affords its connecting light, though there be the shining of the stars, how different from the bright (cool) moon; just so the bright connected light of holy men and sages, guiding the world as the shining of the moon, have made this country eminent, and so it is called In-tu.

The families of India are divided into castes, the Brāhmaṇs particularly (are noted) on account of their purity and nobility. Tradition has so hallowed the name of this tribe that there is no question as to difference of place, but the people generally speak of India as the country of the Brāhmaṇs (Po-lo-men).

2. Extent of India, Climate, etc

The countries embraced under this term of India are generally spoken of as the five Indies. In circuit this country is about 90,000 li; on three sides it is bordered by the great sea; on the north it is backed by the Snowy Mountains. The north part is broad, the southern part is narrow. Its shape is like the half-moon. The entire land is divided into seventy countries or so. The seasons are particularly hot; [id (T51.2087.0875c)] the land is well watered268 and humid. The north is a continuation of mountains and hills, the ground being dry and salt. On the east there are valleys and plains, which being well watered and cultivated, are fruitful and productive. The southern district is wooded and herbaceous; the western parts are stony and barren. Such is the general account of this country.

3. Measures of Length

To give a brief account of matters. In point of measurements, there is first of all the yojana (yu-shen-na); this from the time of the holy kings of old has been regarded as a day's march for an army. The old accounts say it is equal to 40 li; according to the common reckoning in India it is 30 li, but in the sacred books (of Buddha) the yojana is only 16 li.

In the subdivision of distances, a yojana is equal to eight krośas (keu-lu-she); a krośa is the distance that the lowing of a cow can be heard; a krośa is divided into 500 bows (dhanus); a bow is divided into four cubits (hastas); a cubit is divided into 24 fingers (aṅgulis); a finger is divided into seven barleycorns (yavas); and so on to a louse (yūka), a nit (likshā), a dust grain, a cow's hair, a sheep's hair, a hare's down, copper-water,269 and so on for seven divisions, till we come to a small grain of dust; this is divided sevenfold till we come to an excessively small grain of dust (aṇu); this cannot be divided further without arriving at nothingness, and so it is called the infinitely small (paramāṇu).

4. Astronomy, the Calendar, etc

Although the revolution of the Yin and Yang principles and the successive mansions of the sun and moon be called by names different from ours, yet the seasons are the same; the names of the months are derived from the position (of the moon in respect) of the asterisms.

The shortest portion of time is called a t'sa-na (kshaṇa); 120 kshaṇas make a ta-t'sa-na (takshaṇa); 60 of these make a la-fo (lava); 30 of these make a mau-hu-li-to (muhūrta); five of these make "a period of time" (kāla); six of these make a day and night (ahorātra),270 but commonly the day and night are divided into eight kalās.271

The period from the new moon till full moon is called the white division (śukla-paksha) of the month; the period from the full moon till the disappearance (of the light) is called the dark portion (Kṛīshṇa-paksha). The dark portion comprises fourteen or fifteen days, because the month is sometimes long and sometimes short. The preceding dark portion and the following light portion together form a month; six months form a "march" (hing, s. ayaṇa). The sun when it moves within (the equator) is said to be on its northward march;272 when it moves without (the equator) it is on its southern march.273 These two periods form a year (vatsara).

The year, again, is divided into six seasons. From the 16th day of the 1st month till the 15th day of the 3d month is the season of gradual heat; from the 16th day of the 3d month till the 15th day of the 5th month is called the season of full heat; from the 16th day of the 5th month till the 15th day of the 7th month is called the rainy season; from the 16th day of the 7th month till the 15th day of the 9th month is called the season of growth (vegetation); from the 16th day of the 9th month to the 15th day of the 11th month is called the season of gradual cold; [id (T51.2087.0876a)] from the 16th day of the 11th month to the 15th day of the 1st month is called the season of great (full) cold.274

According to the holy doctrine of Tathāgata, the year is divided into three seasons. From the 16th day of the 1st month till the 15th day of the 5th month is called the hot season; from the 16th day of the 5th month till the 15th day of the 9th month is called the wet season; from the 16th day of the 9th month to the 15th day of the 1st month is called the cold season. Again, there are four seasons, called spring, summer, autumn, winter. The three spring months are called Chi-ta-lo (Chaītra) month, Fei-she-kie (Vaiśāka) month, She-se-ch'a (Jyeshṭha); these correspond with the time from the 16th day of the 1st month to the 15th of the 4th month. The three summer months are called An-sha-cha (āshāḍha) month, Chi-lo-fa-na (śrāvaṇa) month, Po-ta-lo-pa-to (Bhādrapada) month; these correspond to the time between the 16th day of the 4th month to the 15th day of the 7th month. The three autumn months are called, An-shi-fo-ku275 -che (āśvayuja) month, Kia-li-ta-ka (Kārttika) month, Wi-276 kia-chi-lo (Mārgaśīrsha) month; these correspond to the time between the 16th day of the 7th month to the 15th day of the 10th month. The three months of winter are called P'o-sha (Pushya) month, Ma-ku (Māgha) month, and P'o-li-kiu-na (Phālguna) month; these correspond with the time between the 16th day of the 10th month to the 15th day of the 1st month in China. In old times in India the priestly fraternity, relying on the holy teaching of Buddha, had a double277 resting-time (during the rains), viz., either the former three months or the latter three months; these periods were either from the 16th day of the 5th month to the 15th day of the 8th month, or from the 16th day of the 6th month to the 15th day of the 9th month.

Translators of the Sūtras (king) and the Vinaya (liu) belonging to former generations employed the terms Tso-hia and Tso-la-hia278 to signify the rest during the rainy season; but this was because the ignorant (common) people of the frontier countries did not understand the right sounds of the language of the middle country (India), or that they translated before they comprehended the local phrases: this was the cause of error. And for the same reason occur the mistakes about the time of Tathāgata's conception, birth, departure from his home, enlightenment, and Nirvāṇa, which we shall notice in the subsequent records.

5. Towns and Buildings

The towns and villages have inner gates;279 the walls are wide and high; the streets and lanes are tortuous, and the roads winding. The thoroughfares are dirty and the stalls arranged on both sides of the road with appropriate signs. Butchers, fishers, dancers, executioners, and scavengers, and so on, have their abodes without the city. In coming and going these persons are bound to keep on the left side of the road till they arrive at their homes. Their houses are surrounded by low walls, and form the suburbs. The earth being soft and muddy, the walls of the towns are mostly built of brick or tiles. The towers on the walls are constructed of wood or bamboo; the houses have balconies and belvederes, which are made of wood, with a coating of lime or mortar, and covered with tiles. The different buildings have the same form as those in China: rushes, or dry branches, or tiles, or boards are used for covering them. The walls are covered with lime and mud, mixed with cow's dung for purity. At different seasons they scatter flowers about. Such are some of their different customs.

The saṅghārāmas are constructed with extraordinary skill. A three-storied tower280 is erected at each of the four angles. [id (T51.2087.0876b)] The beams and the projecting heads are carved with great skill in different shapes. The doors, windows, and the low walls are painted profusely; the monks' cells are ornamental on the inside and plain on the outside.281 In the very middle282 of the building is the hall, high and wide. There are various storeyed chambers and turrets of different height and shape, without any fixed rule. The doors open towards the east; the royal throne also faces the east.

6. Seats, Clothing, etc

When they sit or rest they all use mats;283 the royal family and the great personages and assistant officers use mats variously ornamented, but in size they are the same. The throne of the reigning sovereign is large and high, and much adorned with precious gems: it is called the Lion-throne (siṁhāsana). It is covered with extremely fine drapery; the footstool is adorned with gems. The nobility use beautifully painted and enriched seats, according to their taste.

7. Dress, Habits, etc

Their clothing is not cut or fashioned; they mostly affect fresh-white garments; they esteem little those of mixed colour or ornamented. The men wind their garments round their middle, then gather them under the armpits, and let them fall down across the body, hanging to the right. The robes of the women fall down to the ground; they completely cover their shoulders. They wear a little knot of hair on their crowns, and let the rest of their hair fall loose. Some of the men cut off their moustaches, and have other odd customs. On their heads the people wear caps (crowns) ,with flower-wreaths and jewelled necklets. Their garments are made of Kiau-she-ye (kauśeya) and of cotton. Kiau-she-ye is the product of the wild silkworm. They have garments also of Ts'o-mo (kshauma), which is a sort of hemp; garments also made of Kien-po-lo (kambala) which is woven from fine goat-hair; garments also made from Ho-la-li (karāla).284 This stuff is made from the fine hair of a wild animal: it is seldom this can be woven, and therefore the stuff is very valuable, and it is regarded as fine clothing.

In North India, where the air is cold, they wear short and close-fitting garments, like the Hu people. The dress and ornaments worn by non-believers are varied and mixed. Some wear peacocks' feathers; some wear as ornaments necklaces made of skull bones (the Kapāladhārinas); some have no clothing, but go naked (Nirgranthas); some wear leaf or bark garments; some pull out their hair and cut off their moustaches; others have bushy whiskers and their hair braided on the top of their heads. The costume is not uniform, and the colour, whether red or white, not constant.

The Shamans (śramaṇas) have only three kinds285 of robes, viz., the Sang-kio-ki, the Ni-fo-si-na. The cut of the three robes is not the same, but depends on the school. Some have wide or narrow borders, others have small or large flaps. The Sang-kio-ki covers the left shoulder and conceals the two armpits. It is worn open on the left and closed on the right. It is cut longer than the waist. The Ni-fo-se-na has neither girdle nor tassels. When putting it on, it is plaited in folds and worn round the loins with a cord fastening. The schools differ as to the colour of this garment: both yellow and red are used.

The Kshattriyas and the Brāhmaṇs are cleanly and wholesome in their dress, and they live in a homely and frugal way. The king of the country and the great ministers wear garments and ornaments different in their character. They use flowers for decorating their hair, with gem-decked caps; they ornament themselves with bracelets and necklaces.

There are rich merchants who deal exclusively286 in gold trinkets, and so on. They mostly go bare-footed; few wear sandals. They stain their teeth red or black; [id (T51.2087.0876c)] they bind up their hair and pierce their ears; they ornament287 their noses, and have large eyes. Such is their appearance.

8. Cleanliness, Ablutions, etc

They are very particular in their personal cleanliness, and allow no remissness in this particular. All wash themselves before eating; they never use that which has been left over (from a former meal); they do not pass the dishes. Wooden and stone vessels, when used, must be destroyed; vessels of gold, silver, copper, or iron after each meal must be rubbed and polished. After eating they cleanse their teeth with a willow stick, and wash their hands and mouth.

Until these ablutions are finished they do not touch one another. Every time they perform the functions of nature they wash their bodies and use perfumes of sandal-wood or turmeric.

When the king washes288 they strike the drums and sing hymns to the sound of musical instruments. Before offering their religious services and petitions, they wash and bathe themselves.

9. Writing, Language, Books, the Vedas, Study

The letters of their alphabet were arranged by Brahmādeva, and their forms have been handed down from the first till now. They are forty-seven in number, and are combined so as to form words according to the object, and according to circumstances (of time or place): there are other forms (inflexions) used. This alphabet has spread in different directions and formed diverse branches, according to circumstances; therefore there have been slight modifications in the sounds of the words (spoken language); but in its great features there has been no change. Middle India preserves the original character of the language in its integrity. Here the pronunciation is soft and agreeable, and like the language of the Devas. The pronunciation of the words is clear and pure, and fit as a model for all men. The people of the frontiers have contracted several erroneous modes of pronunciation; for according to the licentious habits of the people, so also will be the corrupt nature of their language.

With respect to the records of events, each province has its own official for preserving them in writing. The record of these events in their full character is called Ni-lo-pi-ch'a (Nīlapiṭa, blue deposit). In these records are mentioned good and evil events, with calamities and fortunate occurrences.

To educate and encourage the young, they are first taught (led) to study the book of twelve chapters (Siddhavastu).289

After arriving at the age of seven years and upwards, the young are instructed in the five Vidyās, śāstras of great importance.290 The first is called the elucidation of sounds (śabdavidyā.) This treatise explains and illustrates the agreement (concordance) of words, and it provides an index for derivatives.

The second vidyā is called Kiau-ming (śilpasthānavidyā); it treats of the arts, mechanics, explains the principles of the Yin and Yang and the calendar.

The third is called the medicinal treatise (Chikitsāvidyā); it embraces formulae for protection, secret charms (the use of) medicinal stones, acupuncture, and mugwort.

The fourth vidyā is called the Hetuvidyā (science of causes); its name is derived from the character of the work, which relates to the determination of the true and false, and reduces to their last terms the definition of right and wrong.

The fifth vidyā is called the science of "the interior" (Adhyātmavidyā); it relates to the five vehicles,291 their causes and consequences, and the subtle influences of these.

The Brāhmaṇs study the four Veda Sāstras. The first is called Shau (longevity); it relates to the preservation of life and the regulation of the natural condition. The second is called Sse (sacrifice); it relates to the (rules of) sacrifice and prayer. The third is called Ping (peace or regulation); it relates to decorum, casting of lots, military affairs, and army regulations. The fourth is called Shu (secret mysteries); it relates to various branches of science, incantations, medicine.292

[id (T51.2087.0877a)] The teachers (of these works) must themselves have closely studied the deep and secret principles they contain, and penetrated to their remotest meaning. They then explain their general sense, and guide their pupils in understanding the words which are difficult. They urge them on and skilfully conduct them. They add lustre to their poor knowledge, and stimulate the desponding. If they find that their pupils are satisfied with their acquirements, and so wish to escape to attend to their worldly duties, then they use means to keep them in their power. When they have finished their education, and have attained thirty years of age, then their character is formed and their knowledge ripe. When they have secured an occupation they first of all thank their master for his attention. There are some, deeply versed in antiquity, who devote themselves to elegant studies, and live apart from the world, and retain the simplicity of their character. These rise above mundane presents, and are as insensible to renown as to the contempt of the world. Their name having spread afar, the rulers appreciate them high1y, but are unable to draw them to the court. The chief of the country honours them on account of their (mental) gifts, and the people exalt their fame and render them universal homage. This is the reason of their devoting themselves to their studies with ardour and resolution, without any sense of fatigue. They search for wisdom, relying on their own resources. Although they are possessed of large wealth, yet they will wander here and there to seek their subsistence. There are others who, whilst attaching value to letters, will yet without shame consume their fortunes in wandering about for pleasure, neglecting their duties. They squander their substance in costly food and clothing. Having no virtuous principle, and no desire to study, they are brought to disgrace, and their infamy is widely circulated.

So, according to the class they belong to, all gain knowledge of the doctrine of Tathāgata; but, as the time is distant since the holy one lived, his doctrine is presented in a changed form, and so it is understood, rightly or not, according to the intelligence of those who inquire into it.

10. Buddhist Schools, Books, Discussions, Discipline

The different schools are constantly at variance, and their contending utterances rise like the angry waves of the sea. The different sects have their separate masters, and in various directions aim at one end.

There are Eighteen schools, each claiming pre-eminence. The partisans of the Great and Little Vehicle are content to dwell apart. There are some who give themselves up to quiet contemplation, and devote themselves, whether walking or standing still or sitting down, to the acquirement of wisdom and insight; others, on the contrary, differ from these in raising noisy contentions about their faith. According to their fraternity, they are governed by distinctive rules and regulations, which we need not name.

The Vinaya (liu), discourses (lun), sūtras (king), are equally Buddhist books. He who can entirely explain one class of these books is exempted from the control of the karmadāna. If he can explain two classes, he receives in addition the equipments of an upper seat (room); he who can explain three classes has allotted to him different servants to attend to and obey him; he who can explain four classes has "pure men" (upāsakas) allotted to him as attendants; he who can explain five classes of books is then allowed an elephant carriage; he who can explain six classes of books is allowed a surrounding escort. When a man's renown has reached to a high distinction, then at different times he convokes an assembly for discussion. He judges of the superior or inferior talent of those who take part in it; he distinguishes their good or bad points; he praises the clever and reproves the faulty; if one of the assembly distinguishes himself by refined language, subtle investigation, deep penetration, and severe logic, then he is mounted on an elephant covered with precious ornaments, and conducted by a numerous suite to the gates of the convent.

If, on the contrary, one of the members breaks down in his argument, or uses poor and inelegant phrases, or if he violates a rule in logic and adapts his words accordingly, they proceed to disfigure his face with red and white, and cover his body with dirt and dust, and then carry him off to some deserted spot or leave him in a ditch. Thus they distinguish between the meritorious and the worthless, between the wise and the foolish.

The pursuit of pleasure belongs to a worldly life, to follow knowledge to a religious life; to return to a worldly life from one of religion is considered blameworthy. If one breaks the rules of discipline, the transgressor is publicly reproved: for a slight fault a reprimand is given or a temporary banishment (enforced silence); [id (T51.2087.0877b)] for a grave fault expulsion is enforced. Those who are thus expelled for life go out to seek some dwelling-place, or, finding no place of refuge, wander about the roads; sometimes they go back to their old occupation (resume lay life).

11. Castes--Marriage

With respect to the division of families, there are four classifications. The first is called the Brāhmaṇ (Po-lo-men), men of pure conduct. They guard themselves in religion, live purely, and observe the most correct principles. The second is called Kshattriya (T'sa-ti-li), the royal caste. For ages they have been the governing class: they apply themselves to virtue (humanity) and kindness. The third is called Vaiśyas (feï-she-li), the merchant class: they engage in commercial exchange, and they follow profit at home and abroad. The fourth is called śūdra (Shu-t'o-lo), the agricultural class: they labour in ploughing and tillage. In these four classes purity or impurity of caste assigns to every one his place. When they marry they rise or fall in position according to their new relationship. They do not allow promiscuous marriages between relations. A woman once married can never take another husband. Besides these there are other classes of many kinds that intermarry according to their several callings. It would be difficult to speak of these in detail.

12. Royal Family, Troops, Weapons

The succession of kings is confined to the Kshattriya (T'sa-li) caste, who by usurpation and bloodshed have from time to time raised themselves to power. Although a distinct caste, they are regarded as honourable (or lords).

The chief soldiers of the country are selected from the bravest of the people, and as the sons follow the profession of their fathers, they soon acquire a knowledge of the art of war. These dwell in garrison around the palace (during peace), but when on an expedition they march in front as an advanced guard. There are four divisions of the army, Viz.--(1) the infantry, (2) the cavalry, (3) the chariots, (4) the elephants.293 The elephants are covered with strong armour, and their tusks are provided with sharp spurs. A leader in a car gives the command, whilst two attendants on the right and left drive his chariot, which is drawn by four horses abreast. The general of the soldiers remains in his chariot; he is surrounded by a file of guards, who keep close to his chariot wheels.

The cavalry spread themselves in front to resist an attack, and in case of defeat they carry orders hither and thither. The infantry by their quick movements contribute to the defence. These men are chosen for their courage and strength. They carry a long spear and a great shield; sometimes they hold a sword or sabre, and advance to the front with impetuosity. All their weapons of war are sharp and pointed. Some of them are these--spears, shields, bows, arrows, swords, sabres, battle-axes, lances, halberds, long javelins, and various kinds of slings.294 All these they have used for ages.

13. Manners, Administration of Law, Ordeals

With respect to the ordinary people, although they are naturally light-minded, yet they are upright and honourable. In money matters they are without craft, and in administering justice they are considerate. They dread the retribution of another state of existence, and make light of the things of the present world. They are not deceitful or treacherous in their conduct, and are faithful to their oaths and promises. In their rules of government there is remarkable rectitude, whilst in their behaviour there is much gentleness and sweetness. With respect to criminals or rebels, these are few in number, and only occasionally troublesome. When the laws are broken or the power of the ruler violated, then the matter is clearly sifted and the offenders imprisoned. There is no infliction of corporal punishment; they are simply left to live or die, and are not counted among men. When the rules of propriety or justice are violated, or when a man fails in fidelity or filial piety, then they cut his nose or his ears off, or his hands and feet, or expel him from the country or drive him out into the desert wilds. For other faults, except these, a small payment of money will redeem the punishment. In the investigation of criminal cases there is no use of rod or staff to obtain proofs (of guilt). In questioning an accused person, if he replies with frankness the punishment is proportioned accordingly; but if the accused obstinately denies his fault, or in despite of it attempts to excuse himself, [id (T51.2087.0877c)] then in searching out the truth to the bottom, when it is necessary to pass sentence, there are four kinds of ordeal used--(1) by water, (2) by force, (3) by weighing, (4) by poison.

When the ordeal is by water, then the accused is placed in a sack connected with a stone vessel and thrown into deep water. They then judge of his innocence (truth) or guilt in this way--if the man sinks and the stone floats he is guilty; but if the man floats and the stone sinks then he is pronounced innocent.

Secondly, by fire. They heat a plate of iron and make the accused sit on it, and again place his feet on it, and apply it to the palms of his hands; moreover, he is made to pass his tongue over it; if no scars result, he is innocent; if there are scars, his guilt is proved. In case of weak and timid persons who cannot endure such ordeal, they take a flower-bud and cast it towards the fire; if it opens, he is innocent; if the flower is burnt, he is guilty.

Ordeal by weight is this: A man and a stone are placed in a balance evenly, then they judge according to lightness or weight. If the accused is innocent, then the man weighs down the stone, which rises in the balance; if he is guilty, the man rises and the stone falls.

Ordeal by poison is this: They take a ram and make an incision in its right thigh, then mixing all sorts of poison with a portion of the food of the accused man, they place it in the incision made in the thigh (of the animal); if the man is guilty, then the poison takes effect and the creature dies; if he is innocent, then the poison has no effect, and he survives.

By these four methods of trial the way of crime is stopped.

14. Forms of Politeness

There are nine methods of showing outward respect--(1) by selecting words of a soothing character in making requests; (2) by bowing the head to show respect; (3) by raising the hands and bowing; (4) by joining the hands and bowing low; (5) by bending the knee; (6) by a prostration;295 (7) by a prostration on hands and knees; (8) by touching the ground with the five circles; (9) by stretching the five parts of the body on the ground.

Of these nine methods the most respectful is to make one prostration on the ground and then to kneel and laud the virtues of the one addressed. When at a distance it is usual to bow low;296 when near, then it is customary to kiss the feet and rub the ankles (of the person addressed).

Whenever orders are received at the hands of a superior, the person lifts the skirts of his robes and makes a prostration. The superior or honourable person who is thus reverenced must speak gently (to the inferior), either touching his head or patting his back, and addressing him, with good words of direction or advice to show his affection.

When a śramaṇa, or one who has entered on the religious life, has been thus respectfully addressed, he simply replies by expressing a good wish (vow).

Not only do they prostrate themselves to show reverence, but they also turn round towards the thing reverenced in many ways, sometimes with one turn, sometimes with three: if from some long-cherished feeling there is a call for marked reverence, then according to the desire of the person.

15. Medicines, Funeral Customs, etc

Every one who falls sick fasts for seven days. During this interval many recover, but if the sickness lasts they take medicine. The character of these medicines is different, and their names also. The doctors differ in their modes of examination and treatment.

When a person dies, those who attend the funeral raise lamentable cries and weep together. They rend their garments and loosen their hair; they strike their heads and beat their breasts. There are no regulations as to dress for mourning, nor any fixed time for observing it.

There are three methods of paying the last tribute to the dead: (1) by cremation--wood being made into a pyre, the body is burnt; (2) by water--the body is thrown into deep flowing water and abandoned; (3) by desertion--the body is cast into some forest-wild, to be devoured by beasts.

When the king dies, his successor is first appointed, that he may preside at the funeral rites and fix the different points of precedence. Whilst living they give (their rulers) titles according to their character (virtue); when dead there are no posthumous titles.

[id (T51.2087.0878a)] In a house where there has been a death there is no eating allowed; but after the funeral they resume their usual (habits). There are no anniversaries (of the death) observed. Those who have attended a death they consider unclean; they all bathe outside the town and then enter their houses.

The old and infirm who come near to death, and those entangled in a severe sickness, who fear to linger to the end of their days, and through disgust wish to escape the troubles of life, or those who desire release from the trifling affairs of the world and its concerns (the concerns of life), these, after receiving a farewell meal at the hands of their relatives or friends, they place, amid the sounds of music, on a boat which they propel into the midst of the Ganges, where such persons drown themselves. They think thus to secure a birth among the Devas. Rarely one of these may be seen not yet dead on the borders (of the river).

The priests are not allowed to lament or cry for the dead; when a father or mother of a priest dies they recite their prayers, recounting (pledging) their obligations to them; reflecting on the past, they carefully attend to them now dead. They expect by this to increase the mysterious character of their religious merit.

16. Civil Administration, Revenues, etc

As the administration of the government is founded on benign principles, the executive is simple. The families are not entered on registers, and the people are not subject to forced labour (conscription). The private demesnes of the crown are divided into four principal parts; the first is for carrying out the affairs of state and providing sacrificial offerings; the second is for providing subsidies for the ministers and chief officers of state; the third is for rewarding men of distinguished ability; and the fourth is for charity to religious bodies, whereby the field of merit is cultivated (planted). In this way the taxes on the people are light, and the personal service required of them is moderate. Each one keeps his own worldly goods in peace, and all till the ground for their subsistence. These who cultivate the royal estates pay a sixth part of the produce as tribute. The merchants who engage in commerce come and go in carrying out their transactions. The river-passages and the road-barriers are open on payment of a small toll. When the public works require it, labour is exacted but paid for. The payment is in strict proportion to the work done.

The military guard the frontiers, or go out to punish the refractory. They also mount guard at night round the palace. The soldiers are levied according to the requirements of the service; they are promised certain payments and are publicly enrolled. The governors, ministers, magistrates, and officials have each a portion of land consigned to them for their personal support.

17. Plants and Trees, Agriculture, Food, Drink, Cookery

The climate and the quality of the soil being different according to situation, the produce of the land is various in its character. The flowers and plants, the fruits and trees are of different kinds, and have distinct names. There is, for instance, the Amala fruit (Ngán-mo-lo), the āmla fruit (Ngán-mi-lo), the Madhuka fruit (Mo-tu-kia), the Bhadra fruit (po-ta-lo), the Kapittha fruit (kie-pi-ta), the Amalā fruit ('O-mo-lo), the Tinduka fruit (Chin-tu-kia), the Udumbara fruit (Wu-tan-po-lo), the Mocha fruit (Mau-che), the Nāríkela fruit (Na-li-ki-lo), the Panasa fruit (Pan-na-so). It would be difficult to enumerate all the kinds of fruit; we have briefly named those most esteemed by the people. As for the date (Tsau), the chestnut (Lih), the loquat (P'i), and the persimmon (Thi), they are not known. The pear (Li), the wild plum (Nai), the peach (T'au), the apricot (Hang or Mui), the grape (Po-tau), etc., these all have been brought from the country of Kaśmīr, and are found growing on every side. Pomegranates and sweet oranges are grown everywhere.

In cultivating the land, those whose duty it is sow and reap, plough and harrow (weed), and plant according to the season; and after their labour they rest awhile. Among the products of the ground, rice and corn are most plentiful. With respect to edible herbs and plants, we may name ginger and mustard, melons and pumpkins, the Heun-to (Kaṇḍu?) plant, and others. Onions and garlic are little grown; and few persons eat them; if anyone uses them for food, they are expelled beyond the walls of the town. The most usual food is milk, butter, cream, soft sugar, sugar-candy, the oil of the mustard-seed, and all sorts of cakes made of corn are used as food. [id (T51.2087.0878b)] Fish, mutton, gazelle, and deer they eat generally fresh, sometimes salted; they are forbidden to eat the flesh of the ox, the ass, the elephant, the horse, the pig, the dog, the fox, the wolf, the lion, the monkey, and all the hairy kind. Those who eat them are despised and scorned, and are universally reprobated; they live outside the walls, and are seldom seen among men.

With respect to the different kinds of wine and liquors, there are various sorts. The juice of the grape and sugarcane, these are used by the Kshattriyas as drink; the Vaiśyas use strong fermented drinks;297 the śramaṇs and Brāhmans drink a sort of syrup made from the grape or sugarcane, but not of the nature of fermented wine.298

The mixed classes and base-born differ in no way (as to food or drink) from the rest, except in respect of the vessels they use, which are very different both as to value and material. There is no lack of suitable things for household use. Although they have saucepans and stewpans, yet they do not know the steamer used for cooking rice. They have many vessels made of dried clay; they seldom use red copper vessels: they eat from one vessel, mixing all sorts of condiments together, which they take up with their fingers. They have no spoons or cups, and in short no sort of chopstick. When sick, however, they use copper drinking cups.

18. Commercial Transactions

Gold and silver, teou-shih (native copper), white jade, fire pearls,299 are the natural products of the country; there are besides these abundance of rare gems and various kinds of precious stones of different names, which are collected from the islands of the sea. These they exchange for other goods; and in fact they always barter in their commercial transactions, for they have no gold or silver coins, pearl shells, or little pearls."300

The boundaries of India and the neighbouring countries are herein fully described; the differences of climate and soil are briefly alluded to. Details referring to these points are grouped together, and are stated succinctly; and in referring to the different countries, the various customs and modes of administration are fully detailed.


The kingdom of Lan-po301 is about 1000 li in circuit, and on the north is backed by the Snowy Mountains; on three sides it is surrounded by the Black-ridge Mountains. The capital of the country is about 10 li in circuit. As for some centuries the royal family has been extinct, the chiefs have disputed for power among themselves, without the acknowledged superiority of any one in particular. Lately it has become tributary to Kapiśa. [id (T51.2087.0878c)] The country is adapted for the production of rice, and there are many forests of sugar-cane. The trees, though they produce many fruits, yet few are ripened. The climate is backward; the hoar-frosts are plenty, but not much snow. In common there is abundance and contentment. The men (people) are given to music. Naturally they are untrustworthy and thievish; their disposition is exacting one over the other, and they never give another the preference over themselves. In respect of stature they are little, but they are active and impetuous. Their garments are made of white linen for the most part, and what they wear is well appointed. There are about ten saṅghārāmas, with few followers (priests). The greater portion study the Great Vehicle. There are several scores of different Deva temples. There are few heretics. Going south-east from this country 100 li or so, we cross a great mountain (ridge), pass a wide river, and so come to Na-kie-lo-ho (the frontiers of North India).


The country of Nagarahāra (Na-kie-lo-ho) is about 600 li from east to west, and 250 or 260 li from north to south. It is surrounded on four sides by overhanging precipices and natural barriers. The capital is 20 li or so in circuit.302 It has no chief ruler; the commandant and his subordinates come from Kapiśa. The country is rich in cereals, and produces a great quantity of flowers and fruits. The climate is moist and warm. Their manners are simple and honest, their disposition ardent and courageous. They think lightly of wealth and love learning. They cultivate the religion of Buddha, and few believe in other doctrines. The saṅghārāmas are many, but yet the priests are few; the stūpas are desolate and ruined. There are five Deva temples, with about one hundred worshippers,303

Three li to the east of the city there is a stūpa in height about 300 feet, which was built by Aśoka Rāja. It is wonderfully constructed304 of stone beautifully adorned and carved. śākya, when a Bodhisattva, here met Dīpaṅkara305 Buddha (Jen-tang-fo), and spreading out his deerskin doublet, and unbinding his hair and covering with it the muddy road, received a predictive assurance. Though the passed kalpa brought the overthrow of the world, the trace of this event was not destroyed; on religious (fast) days the sky rains down all sorts of flowers, which excite a religious frame of mind in the people, who also offer up religious offerings.

To the west of this place is a Kia-lan (saṅghārāma) with a few priests. To the south is a small stūpa: this was the place where, in old time, Bodhisattva covered the mud (with his hair). Aśoka-rāja built (this stūpa) away from the road.306

Within the city is the ruined foundation of a great stūpa. Tradition says that it once contained a tooth of Buddha, and that it was high and of great magnificence. Now it has no tooth, but only the ancient foundations remain.

By its side is a stūpa 30 feet or so in height; the old stories of the place know nothing of the origin of this fabric; they say only that it fell from heaven and placed itself here. Being no work of man's art, it is clearly a spiritual prodigy.

To the south-west of the city about 10 li is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata, when living in the world, alighted, having left Mid-India and passed through the air for the sake of converting men. The people, moved by reverence, erected this building. Not far to the east is a stūpa; it was here Bodhisattva met Dīpaṅkara Buddha and bought the flowers.307

About 20 li to the south-west of the city we come to a small stone ridge, where there is a saṅghārāma with a high hall and a storied tower made of piled-up stone. It is now silent and deserted, with no priests. In the middle is a stūpa 200 feet or so in height, built by Aśokarāja.

To the south-west of this saṅghārāma a deep torrent rushes from a high point of the hill and scatters its waters in leaping cascades. The mountain sides are like walls; [id (T51.2087.0879a)] on the eastern side of one is a great cavern, deep and profound, the abode of the Nāga Gopāla. The gate (or entrance) leading to it is narrow; the cavern is dark; the precipitous rock causes the water to find its way in various rivulets into this cavern. In old days there was a shadow of Buddha to be seen here, bright as the true form, with all its characteristic marks.308 In later days men have not seen it so much. What does appear is only a feeble likeness. But whoever prays with fervent faith, he is mysteriously endowed, and he sees it clearly before him, though not for long.

In old times, when Tathāgata was in the world, this dragon was a shepherd who provided the king with milk and cream. Having on one occasion failed to do so, and having received a reprimand, he proceeded in an angry temper to the stūpa of "the predictive assurance," and there made an offering of flowers, with the prayer that he might become a destructive dragon for the purpose of afflicting the country and destroying the king. Then ascending the rocky side of the hill, he threw himself down and was killed. Forthwith he became a great dragon and occupied this cavern, and then he purposed to go forth and accomplish his original wicked purpose. When this intention had risen within him, Tathāgata, having examined what was his object, was moved with pity for the country and the people about to be destroyed by the dragon. By his spiritual power he came from Mid-India to where the dragon was. The dragon seeing Tathāgata, his murderous purpose was stayed, and he accepted the precept against killing, and vowed to defend the true law; he requested Tathāgata to occupy this cavern evermore, that his holy disciples might ever receive his (the dragon's) religious offerings.309

Tathāgata replied, "When I am about to die; I will leave you my shadow, and I will send five Arhats to receive from you continual offerings. When the true law is destroyed,310 this service of yours shall still go on; if an evil heart rises in you, you must look at my shadow, and because of its power of love and virtue your evil purpose will be stopped. The Buddhas who will appear throughout this Bhadra-kalpa311 will all, from a motive of pity, intrust to you their shadows as a bequest." Outside the gate of the Cavern of the Shadow there are two square stones; on one is the impression of the foot of Tathāgata, with a wheel-circle (lun-siang) beautifully clear, which shines with a brilliant light from time to time.

On either side of the Cavern of the Shadow there are several stone chambers; in these the holy disciples of Tathāgata reposed in meditation.

At the north-west corner of the cave of the shadow is a stūpa where Buddha walked up and down. Beside this is a stūpa which contains some of the hair and the nail-parings of Tathāgata.

Not far from this is a stūpa where Tathāgata, making manifest the secret principles of his true doctrine, declared the Skandha-dhātu-āyatanas (Yun-kiaï-king).312

At the west of the Cave of the Shadow is a vast rock, on which Tathāgata in old time spread out his kashāya313 robe after washing it; the marks of the tissue still exist.

To the south-east of the city 30 li or so is the town of Hi-lo (Hiḍḍa);314 it is about 4 or 5 li in circuit; it is high in situation and strong by natural declivities. It has flowers and woods, and lakes whose waters are bright as a mirror. The people of this city are simple, honest, and upright. There is here a two-storied tower; the beams are painted and the columns coloured red. In the second storey is a little stūpa, made of the seven precious substances; it contains the skull-bone of Tathāgata; it is 1 foot 2 inches round; [id (T51.2087.0879b)] the hair orifices are distinct; its colour is a whitish-yellow. It is enclosed in a precious receptacle, which is placed in the middle of the stūpa. Those who wish to make lucky or unlucky presages (marks) make a paste of scented earth, and impress it on the skull-bone; then, according to their merit, is the impression made.

Again there is another little stūpa, made of the seven precious substances, which encloses the skull-bone of Tathāgata. Its shape is like a lotus leaf;315 its colour is the same as that of the other, and it is also contained in a precious casket, sealed up and fastened.

Again, there is another little stūpa, made of the seven precious substances, in which is deposited the eyeball of Tathāgata, large as an āmra fruit and bright and clear throughout; this also is deposited in a precious casket sealed up and fastened. The Saṅghāṭī robe of Tathāgata, which is made of fine cotton stuff of a yellow-red colour,316 so is also enclosed in a precious box. Since many months and years have passed, it is a little damaged. The staff317 of Tathāgata, of which the rings are white iron (tin?) and the stick of sandalwood, is contained in a precious case (a case made of a precious substance). Lately, a king, hearing of these various articles that they formerly belonged to Tathāgata as his own private property, took them away by force to his own country and placed them in his palace. After a short time,318 going to look at them, they were gone; and after further inquiries he found they had returned to their original place. These five sacred objects (relics) often work miracles.

The king of Kapiśa has commanded five pure-conduct men (Brāhmaṇs) to offer continually scents and flowers to these objects. These pure persons, observing the crowds who came to worship incessantly, wishing to devote themselves to quiet meditation, have established a scale of fixed charges, with a view to secure order, by means of that wealth which is so much esteemed by men. Their plan, in brief, is this:--All who wish to see the skull-bone of Tathāgata have to pay one gold piece; those who wish to take an impression pay five pieces. The other objects319 in their several order, have a fixed price; and yet, though the charges are heavy, the worshippers are numerous.

To the north-west of the double-storied pavilion is a stūpa, not very high or large, but yet one which possesses many spiritual (miraculous) qualities. If men only touch it with a finger, it shakes and trembles to the foundation, and the bells and the jingles moving together give out a pleasant sound.

Going south-east from this, crossing mountains and valleys for 500 li or so, we arrive at the kingdom of Kien-t'o-lo (Gandhāra).


The kingdom of Gandhāra is about 1000 li from east to west, and about 800 li from north to south. On the east it borders on the river Sin (Sindh). The capital of the country is called Po-lu-sha-pu-lo;320 it is about 40 li in circuit. The royal family is extinct, and the kingdom is governed by deputies from Kapiśa. The towns and villages are deserted, and there are but few inhabitants. At one corner of the royal residence321 there are about 1000 families. The country is rich in cereals, and produces a variety of flowers and fruits; it abounds also in sugar-cane, from the juice of which they prepare "the solid sugar." The climate is warm and moist, and in general without ice or snow. The disposition of the people is timid and soft: they love literature; most of them belong to heretical schools; a few believe in the true law. From old time till now this border-land of India has produced many authors of śāstras; [id (T51.2087.0879c)] for example, Nārāyaṇadeva,322 Asaṅga Bodhisattva, Vasubandhu Bodhisattva, Dharmatrāta, Manorhita, Pārśva the noble, and so on. There are about 1000 saṅghārāmas, which are deserted and in ruins. They are filled with wild shrubs,323 and solitary to the last degree. The stūpas are mostly decayed. The heretical temples, to the number of about 100, are occupied pell-mell by heretics.

Inside the royal city, towards the north-east,324 is an old foundation (or a ruinous foundation). Formerly this was the precious tower of the pātra of Buddha. After the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, his pātra coming to this country, was worshipped during many centuries. In traversing different countries it has come now to Persia.325

Outside the city, about 8 or 9 li to the south-east, there is a pipala tree about 100 feet or so in height. Its branches are thick and the shade beneath sombre and deep. The four past Buddhas have sat beneath this tree, and at the present time there are four sitting figures of the Buddhas to be seen here. During the Bhadrakalpa, the 996 other Buddhas will all sit here. Secret spiritual influences guard the precincts of the tree and exert a protecting virtue in its continuance. śākya Tathāgata sat beneath this tree with his face to the south and addressed ānanda thus:--"Four hundred years after my departure from the world, there will be a king who shall rule it called Kanishka (Kia-ni-se-kia); not far to the south of this spot he will raise a stūpa which will contain many various relics of my bones and flesh."

To the south of the Pippala tree is a stūpa built by King Kanishka; this king ascended the throne four hundred years after the Nirvāṇa,326 and governed the whole of Jambudvīpa. He had no faith either in wrong or right (crime or religious merit), and he lightly esteemed the law of Buddha. One day when traversing a swampy grove (bushy swamp) he saw a white hare, which he followed as far as this spot, when suddenly it disappeared. He then saw a young shepherd-boy, who was building in the wood hard by a little stūpa about three feet high. The king said, "What are you doing?" The shepherd-boy answered and said, "Formerly śākya Buddha, by his divine wisdom, delivered this prophecy: 'There shall be a king in this victorious (superior) land who shall erect a stūpa, which shall contain a great portion of my bodily relics.' The sacred merits of the great king (Kanishka) in former births (suh), with his increasing fame, have made the present occasion a proper one for the fulfillment of the old prophecy relating to the divine merit and the religious superiority of the person concerned. And now I am engaged for the purpose of directing you to these former predictions."327 Having said these words he disappeared.

The king hearing this explanation, was overjoyed. Flattering himself that he was referred to in the prophecy of the great saint, he believed with all his heart and paid reverence to the law of Buddha. Surrounding the site of the little stūpa he built a stone stūpa, wishing to surpass it in height, to prove the power of his religious merit. But in proportion as his stūpa increased the other always exceeded it by three feet, and so he went on till his reached 400 feet, and the circumference of the base was a li and a half. The storeys having reached to five, each 150 feet in height, then he succeeded in covering the other. [id (T51.2087.0880a)] The king, overjoyed, raised on the top of this stūpa twenty-five circlets of gilded copper on a staff, and he placed in the middle of the stūpa a peck of the śarīras of Tathāgata, and offered to them religious offerings. Scarcely had he finished his work when he saw the little stūpa take its place at the south-east of the great foundation, and project from its side about half-way up.328 The king was disturbed at this, and ordered the stūpa to be destroyed. When they had got down to the bottom of the second storey, through which the other projected, immediately that one removed to its former place, and once more it surpassed in height the other. The king retiring said, "It is easy to commit errors in human affairs,329 but when there is divine influence at work it is difficult to counteract it. When a matter is directed by spiritual power, what can human resentment effect?" Having confessed his fault, therefore, he retired.

These two stūpas are still visible. In aggravated330 sickness, if a cure is sought, people burn incense and offer flowers, and with a sincere faith pay their devotions. In many cases a remedy is found.

On the southern side of the steps, on the eastern face of the great stūpa, there are engraved (or carved) two stūpas,331 one three feet high, the other five feet. They are the same shape and proportion as the great stūpa. Again, there are two full-sized figures of Buddha, one four feet, the other six feet in height. They resemble him as he sat cross-legged beneath the Bodhi tree. When the full rays of the sun shine on them they appear of a brilliant gold colour, and as the light decreases the hues of the stone seem to assume a reddish-blue colour. The old people say, "Several centuries ago, in a fissure of the stone foundation, there were some gold-coloured ants, the greatest about the size of the finger, the longest about a barleycorn in size. Those of the same species consorted together; by gnawing the stone steps they have left lines and marks as if engraved on the surface, and by the gold sand which they left (as deposits) they have caused the figures of Buddha to assume their present appearance."

On the southern side of the stone steps of the great stūpa332 there is a painted figure of Buddha about sixteen feet high. From the middle upward there are two bodies, below the middle, only one. The old tradition says: In the beginning, there was a poor man who hired himself out to get a living; having obtained a gold coin, he vowed to make a figure of Buddha. Coming to the stūpa, he spoke to a painter and said, "I wish now to get a figure of Tathāgata painted, with its beautiful points of excellence;333 but I only have one gold coin; this is little enough to repay an artist. I am sorry to be so hampered by poverty in carrying out my cherished aim."

Then the painter, observing his simple truth, said nothing about the price, but promised to set to work to furnish the picture.

Again there was a man, similarly circumstanced, with one gold coin, who also sought to have a picture of Buddha painted. The painter having received thus a gold piece from each, procured some excellent colours (blue and vermilion) and painted a picture. Then both men came the same day to pay reverence to the picture they had had done, and the artist pointed each to the same figure, telling them, "This is the figure of Buddha which you ordered to be done." The two men looking at one another in perplexity, the mind of the artist understanding their doubts, said, [id (T51.2087.0880b)] "What are you thinking about so long? If you are thinking about the money, I have not defrauded you of any part. To show that it is so there must be some spiritual indication on the part of the picture." Scarcely had he finished when the picture, by some spiritual power, divided itself (from the middle upwards), and both parts emitted a glory alike. The two men with joy believed and exulted.

To the south-west of the great stūpa 100 paces or so, there is a figure of Buddha in white stone about eighteen feet high. It is a standing figure, and looks to the north. It has many spiritual powers, and diffuses a brilliant light. Sometimes there are people who see the image come out of an evening and go round334 the great stūpa. Lately a band of robbers wished to go in and steal. The image immediately came forth and went before the robbers. Affrighted, they ran away; the image then returned to its own place, and remained fixed as before. The robbers, affected by what they had seen, began a new life, and went about through towns and villages telling what had happened.

To the left and right of the great stūpa are a hundred little stūpas standing closely together,335 executed with consummate art. Exquisite perfumes and different musical sounds at times are perceived, the work of Rishis, saints, and eminent sages; these also at times are seen walking round the stūpas.

According to the prediction of Tathāgata, after this stūpa has been seven times burnt down and seven times rebuilt, then the religion of Buddha will disappear. The record of old worthies says this building has already been destroyed and restored three times. When (I) first arrived in this country it had just been destroyed by a fire calamity. Steps are being taken for its restoration, but they are not yet complete.

To the west of the great stūpa there is an old saṅghārāma which was built by King Kanishka. Its double towers, connected terraces, storeyed piles, and deep chambers bear testimony to the eminence of the great priests who have here formed their illustrious religious characters (gained distinction). Although now somewhat decayed, it yet gives evidence of its wonderful construction. The priests living in it are few; they study the Little Vehicle. From the time it was built many authors of śāstras have lived herein and gained the supreme fruit (of Arhatship). Their pure fame is wide-spread, and their exemplary religious character still survives.

In the third tower (double-storeyed tower) is the chamber of the honourable Pārśvika (Pi-lo-shi-po), but it has long been in ruins; but they have placed here a commemorative tablet to him. He was at first a master of the Brāhmaṇs (or a Brāhmaṇ doctor), but when eighty years of age he left his home and assumed the soiled robes (of a Buddhist disciple). The boys of the town ridiculed him, saying, "Foolish old man! You have no wisdom, surely! Don't you know that they who become disciples of Buddha have two tasks to perform, viz., to give themselves to meditation and to recite the Scriptures? And now you are old and infirm, what progress can you make as a disciple?336 Doubtless you know how to eat (and that is all)!" Then Pārśvika, hearing such railing speeches, gave up the world337 and made this vow, "Until I thoroughly penetrate338 the wisdom of the three Piṭakas and get rid of the evil desire of the three worlds, till I obtain the six miraculous powers339 and reach the eight deliverances (vimokshas), I will not lie down to rest (my side shall not touch the sleeping mat)." From that day forth the day was not enough for him to walk in meditation or to sit upright in deep thought. In the daytime he studied incessantly the doctrine of the sublime principles (of Buddhism), and at night he sat silently meditating in unbroken thought. After three years he obtained insight into the three piṭakas, [id (T51.2087.0880c)] and shook off all worldly desires,340 and obtained the threefold knowledge.341 Then people called him the honourable Pārśvika342 and paid him reverence.

To the east of Pārśvika's chamber is an old building in which Vasubandhu343 Bodhisattva prepared the 'O-pi-ta-mo-ku-she-lun (Abhidharmakosha śāstra);344 men, out of respect to him, have placed here a commemorative tablet to this effect.

To the south of Vasubandhu's house, about fifty paces or so, is a second storied-pavilion in which Manorhita,345 a master of śāstras, composed the Vibhāshā śāstra. This learned doctor flourished in the midst of the thousand years346 after the Nirvāṇa of Buddha. In his youth he was devoted to study and had distinguished talent. His fame was wide spread with the religious, and laymen sought to do him hearty reverence. At that time Vikramāditya,347 king of the country of śrāvastī, was of wide renown. He ordered his ministers to distribute daily throughout India348 five lakhs of gold coin; he largely (everywhere) supplied the wants of the poor, the orphan, and the bereaved. His treasurer, fearing that the resources of the kingdom would be exhausted, represented the case to the king, and said, "Mahārāja! your fame has reached to the very lowest of your subjects, and extends to the brute creation. You bid me add (to your expenditure) five lakhs of gold to succour the poor throughout the world. Your treasury will thus be emptied, and then fresh imposts will have to be laid (on the land cultivators), until the resources of the land be also exhausted; then the voice of complaint will be heard and hostility be provoked. Your majesty, indeed, will get credit for charity, but your minister349 will lose the respect of all." The king answered, "But of my own surplus I (wish to) relieve the poor. I would on no account, for my own advantage, thoughtlessly burthen (grind down) the country." Accordingly he added five lakhs for the good of the poor. Some time after this the king was engaged chasing a boar. Having lost the track, be gave a man a lakh for putting him on the scent again. Now Manorhita, the doctor of śāstras, once engaged a man to shave his head, and gave him offhand a lakh of gold for so doing.350 This munificent act was recorded in the annals by the chief historian. The king reading of it, was filled with shame, and his proud heart continually fretted about it,351 and so he desired to bring some fault against Manorhita and punish him. So he summoned an assembly of different religious persons whose talents were most noted,352 to the number of one hundred, and issued the following decree: "I wish to put a check to the various opinions (wanderings) and to settle the true limits (of inquiry); the opinions of different religious sects are so various that the mind knows not what to believe. Exert your utmost ability, therefore, to-day in following out my directions." On meeting for discussion be made a second decree: "The doctors of law belonging to the heretics353 are distinguished for their ability. The Shamans and the followers of the law (of Buddha) ought to look well to the principles of their sect; if they prevail, then they will bring reverence to the law of Buddha; but if they fail, then they shall be exterminated."354 On this, Manorhita questioned the heretics and silenced355 ninety-nine of them. And now a man was placed (sat on the mat to dispute with him) of no ability whatever,356 and for the sake of a trifling discussion (Manorhita) proposed the subject of fire and smoke. On this the king and the heretics cried out, saying, "Manorhita, the doctor of śāstras, has lost the sense of right connection (mistaken the order or sense of the phrase); he should have named smoke first and fire afterwards: this order of things is constant." Manorhita wishing to explain the difficulty, was not allowed a hearing; on which, ashamed to see himself thus treated by the people, he bit out his tongue and wrote a warning to his disciple Vasubandhu, saying, [id (T51.2087.0881a)] "In the multitude of partisans there is no justice; among persons deceived there is no discernment." Having written this, he died.

A little afterwards Vikramāditya-rāja lost his kingdom and was succeeded by a monarch who widely patronised those distinguished for literary merit.357 Vasubandhu, wishing to wash out the former disgrace, came to the king and said, "Mahārāja, by your sacred qualities you rule the empire and govern with wisdom. My old master, Manorhita, was deeply versed in the mysterious doctrine. The former king, from an old resentment, deprived him of his high renown. I now wish to avenge the injury done to my master." The king, knowing that Manorhita was a man of superior intelligence, approved of the noble project of Vasubandhu; he summoned the heretics who had discussed with Manorhita. Vasubandhu having exhibited afresh the former conclusions of his master, the heretics were abashed and retired.

To the north-east of the saṅghārāma of Kanishka-rāja about 50 li, we cross a great river and arrive at the town of Pushkalāvatī (Po-shi-kie-lo-fa-ti).358 It is about 14 or 15 li in circuit; the population is large; the inner gates are connected by a hollow (tunnel?).359 .

Outside the western gate is a Deva temple. The image of the god is imposing and works constant miracles.

To the east of the city is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the place where the four former Buddhas delivered the law (preached). Among former saints and sages many have come (descended spiritually) from Mid-India to this place to instruct all creatures (things). For example, Vasumitra,360 doctor of śāstras, who composed the Chung-sse-fen-o-pi-ta-mo(Abhidharmaprakaraṇa-pāda) śāstra in this place.

To the north of the town 4 or 5 li is an old saṅghārāma, of which the halls are deserted and cold. There are very few priests in it, and all of them follow the teaching of the Little Vehicle. Dharmatrāta, master of śāstras, here composed the Ts'a-o-pi-ta-ma-lun (Saṁyuktābhidharma S'āstra).361

By the side of the saṅghārāma is a stūpa several hundred feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. It is made of carved wood and veined stone, the work of various artists. śākya Buddha, in old time when king of this country, prepared himself as a Bodhisattva (for becoming a Buddha). He gave up all he had at the request of those who asked, and spared not to sacrifice his own body as a bequeathed gift (a testamentary gift). Having been born in this country a thousand times as king, he gave during each of those thousands births in this excellent country, his eyes as an offering.

Going not far east from this, there are two stone stūpas, each about 100 feet in height. The right-hand one was built by Brahmā Deva, that on the left by śakra (king of Devas). They were both adorned with jewels and gems. After Buddha's death these jewels changed themselves into ordinary stones. Although the buildings are in a ruinous condition, still they are of a considerable height and grandeur.

[id (T51.2087.0881b)] Going north-west about 50 li from these stūpas, there is another stūpa. Here śākya Tathāgata converted the Mother of the demons362 and caused her to refrain from hurting men. It is for this reason the common folk of this country offer sacrifices to obtain children from her.

Going north 50 li or so from this, there is another stūpa. It was here Sāmaka Bodhisattva363 (Shang-mu-kia), walking piously, nourished as a boy his blind father and mother. One day when gathering fruits for them, be encountered the king as he was hunting, who wounded him by mistake with a poisoned arrow. By means of the spiritual power of his great faith he was restored to health through some medicaments which Indra (Tien-ti), moved by his holy conduct, applied to the wound.

To the south-east of this place364 about 200 li, we arrive at the town Po-lu-sha.365 On the north of this town is a stūpa; here it was Sudāna366 the prince, having given in charity to some Brahmaṇs the great elephant of his father the king, was blamed and banished. In leaving his friends, having gone out of the gate of the wall, it was here he paid adieu. Beside this is a saṅghārāma367 with about fifty priests or so, who all study the Little Vehicle. Formerly Īśvara, master of śāstras, in this place composed the O-pi-ta-mo-ming-ching-lun.368

Outside the eastern gate of the town of Po-lu-sha is a saṅghārāma with about fifty priests, who all study the Great Vehicle. Here is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. In old times Sudāna the prince, having been banished from his home, dwelt in Mount Dantaloka.369 Here a Brahmaṇ begged his son and daughter, and he sold them to him.

To the north-east of Po-lu-sha city about 20 li or so we come to Mount Dantaloka. Above a ridge of that mountain is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja; it was here the prince Sudāna dwelt in solitude. By the side of this place, and close by, is a stūpa. It was here the prince gave his son and daughter to the Brahmaṇ, who, on his part, beat them till the blood flowed out on the ground. At the present time the shrubs and trees are all of a deep red colour. Between the crags (of the mountain) there is a stone chamber, where the prince and his wife dwelt and practised meditation. In the midst of the valley the trees droop down their branches like curtains. Here it was the prince in old time wandered forth and rested.

By the side of this wood, and not far from it, is a rocky cell in which an old rishi dwelt.

Going north-west from the stone cell about 100 li or so, we cross a small hill and come to a large mountain. To the south of the mountain is a saṅghārāma, with a few priests as occupants, who study the Great Vehicle. By the side of it is a stūpa built by Aśoka rāja. This is the place which in old time was occupied by Ekaśṛīṅga Rishi.370 This rishi being deceived by a pleasure-woman, lost his spiritual faculties. The woman, mounting his shoulders, returned to the city.

[id (T51.2087.0881c)] To the north-east of the city of Po-lu-sha 50 li or so, we come to a high mountain, on which is a figure of the wife of Īśvara Deva carved out of green (bluish) stone. This is Bhīmā Devī.371 All the people of the better class, and the lower orders too, declare that this figure was self-wrought. It has the reputation of working numerous miracles, and therefore is venerated (worshipped) by all, so that from every part of India men come to pay their vows and seek prosperity thereby. Both poor and rich assemble here from every part, near and distant. Those who wish to see the form of the divine spirit, being filled with faith and free from doubt, after fasting seven days are privileged to behold it, and obtain for the most part their prayers.372 Below the mountain is the temple of Maheśvara Deva; the heretics who cover themselves with ashes373 come here to offer sacrifice.

Going south-east from the temple of Bhīmā 150 li, we come to U-to-kia-han-ch'a.374 This town is about 20 li in circuit; on the south it borders on the river Sindh (Sin-to). The inhabitants are rich and prosperous. Here is amassed a supply of valuable merchandise, and mixed goods from all quarters.

To the north-west of U-to-kia-han-c'ha 20 li or so we come to the town of P'o-lo-tu-lo.375 This is the place where the Rishi Pāṇini, who composed the Ching-ming-lun376 was born.

Referring to the most ancient times, letters were very numerous; but when, in the process of ages, the world was destroyed and remained as a void, the Devas of long life377 descended spiritually to guide the people. Such was the origin of the ancient378 letters and composition. From this time and after it the source (of language) spread and passed its (former) bounds. Brahmā Deva and śakra (Devendra) established rules (forms or examples) according to the requirements. Rishis belonging to different schools each drew up forms of letters. Men in their successive generations put into use what had been delivered to them; but nevertheless students without ability (religious ability) were unable to make use (of these characters). And now men's lives were reduced to the length of a hundred years, when the Rishi Pāṇini was born; he was from his birth extensively informed about things (men and things). The times being dull and careless, he wished to reform the vague and false rules (of writing and speaking) to fix the rules and correct improprieties. As he wandered about asking for right ways,379 he encountered Īśvara Deva, and recounted to him the plan of his undertaking. Īśvara Deva said, "Wonderful! I will assist you in this." The Rishi, having received instruction, retired. He then laboured incessantly and put forth all his power of mind. He collected a multitude of words, and made a book on letters which contained a thousand ślokas; each śloka was of thirty-two syllables. It contained everything known from the first till then, without exception, respecting letters and words. He then closed it and sent it to the king (supreme ruler), who exceedingly prized it, and issued an edict that throughout the kingdom it should be used and taught to others; and he added that whoever should learn it from beginning to end should receive as his reward a thousand pieces of gold. And so from that time masters have received it and handed it down in its completeness for the good of the world. Hence the Brāhmaṇs of this town are well grounded in their literary work, and are of high renown for their talents, well informed as to things (men and things), and of a vigorous understanding (memory).

In the town of So-lo-tu-lo is a stūpa. This is the spot where an Arhat converted a disciple of Pāṇini. Tathāgata had left the world some five hundred years, when there was a great Arhat who came to the country of Kaśmīr, and went about converting men. Coming to this place, [id (T51.2087.0882a)] he saw a Brahmachārin occupied in chastising a boy whom he was instructing in letters. Then the Arhat spake to the Brāhmaṇ thus: "Why do you cause pain to this child?" The Brāhmaṇ replied, "I am teaching him the Shing-ming (śabdavidyā), but he makes no proper progress." The Arhat smiled significantly,380 on which the Brāhmaṇ said, "Shamans are of a pitiful and loving disposition, and well disposed to men and creatures generally; why did you smile, honoured sir? Pray let me know!"

The Arhat replied, "Light words are not becoming,381 and I fear to cause in you incredulous thoughts and unbelief. No doubt you have heard of the Rishi Pāṇini, who compiled the śabdavidyā śāstra, which he has left for the instruction of the world." The Brāhmaṇ replied, "The children of this town, who are his disciples, revere his eminent qualities, and a statue erected to his memory still exists." The Arhat continued: "This little boy whom you are instructing was that very (Pāṇini) Rishi. As he devoted his vigorous mind to investigate worldly literature, he only produced heretical treatises without any power of true reason in them. His spirit and his wisdom were dispersed, and he has run through the cycles of continued birth from then till now. Thanks to some remnant of true virtue, he has been now born as your attached child; but the literature of the world and these treatises on letters are only cause of useless efforts to him, and are as nothing compared to the holy teaching of Tathāgata, which, by its mysterious influences, procures both happiness and wisdom. On the shores of the southern sea there was an old decayed tree, in the hollows of which five hundred bats had taken up their abodes. Once some merchants took their seats beneath this tree, and as a cold wind was blowing, these men, cold and hungry, gathered together a heap of fuel and lit a fire at the tree-foot. The flames catching hold of the tree, by degrees it was burnt down. At this time amongst the merchant troop there was one who, after the turn of the night, began to recite a portion of the Abhidharma Piṭaka. The bats, notwithstanding the flames, because of the beauty of the sound of the law patiently endured the pain, and did not come forth. After this they died, and, according to their works, they all received birth as men. They became ascetics, practised wisdom, and by the power of the sounds of the law they had heard they grew in wisdom and became Arhats as the result of merit acquired in the world. Lately the king, Kanishka, with the honourable Pārśvika, summoning a council of five hundred saints and sages in the country of Kaśmīr, they drew up the Vibhāshā śāstra. These were the five hundred bats who formerly dwelt in that decayed tree. I myself, though of poor ability, am one of the number. It is thus men differ in their superior or inferior abilities. Some rise, others live in obscurity. But now, O virtuous one! permit your pupil (attached child) to leave his home. Becoming a disciple of Buddha, the merits we secure are not to be told,"

The Arhat having spoken thus, proved his spiritual capabilities by instantly disappearing. The Brāhman was deeply affected by what he saw, and moved to believe. He noised abroad through the town and neighbourhood what had happened, and permitted the child to become a disciple of Buddha and acquire wisdom. Moreover, he himself changed his belief, and mightily reverenced the three precious ones. The people of the village, following his example, became disciples, and till now they have remained earnest in their profession.

From U-to-kia-han-ch'a, going north, we pass over some mountains, cross a river, and travelling 600 li or so, we arrive at the kingdom of U-chang-na (Udyāna).

[id (T51.2087.0882b)]


Relates to eight countries, viz., (1) U-chang-na, (2) Po-lu-lo, (3) Ta-ch'a-shi-lo, (4) Sang-ho-pu-lo, (5) Wu-la-shi, (6) Kia-shi-mi-lo, (7) Pun-nu-tso, (8) Ko-lo-chi-pu-lo.


The country of U-chang-na382 is about 5000 li in circuit; the mountains and valleys are continuously connected, and the valleys and marshes alternate with a succession of high plateaux. Though various kinds of grain are sown, yet the crops are not rich. The grape is abundant, the sugar-cane scarce. The earth produces gold and iron, and is favourable to the cultivation of the scented (shrub) called Yo-kin (turmeric). The forests are thick and shady, the fruits and flowers abundant. The cold and heat are agreeably tempered, the wind and rain come in their season. The people are soft and effeminate, and in disposition are somewhat sly and crafty. They love learning yet have no application. They practise the art of using charms (religious sentences as charms).383 Their language, though different in some points, yet greatly resembles that of India. Their written characters and their rules of etiquette are also of a mixed character as before. They greatly reverence the law of Buddha and are believers in the Great Vehicles.384

On both sides of the river Su-po-fa-su-tu,385 there are some 1400 old saṅghārāmas. They are now generally waste and desolate; formerly there were some 18,000 priests in them, but gradually they have become less, till now there are very few. They study the Great Vehicle; they practise the duty of quiet meditation, and have pleasure in reciting texts relating to this subject, but have no great understanding as to them. The (priests who) practise the rules of morality lead a pure life and purposely prohibit the use of charms.386 The schools387 of the Vinaya traditionally known amongst them are the Sarvāstivādins, the Dharmaguptas, the Mahīśāsakas, the Kāśyapīyas,388 and the Mahāsaṅghikas: these five.389

There are about ten temples of Devas, and a mixed number of unbelievers who dwell in them. There are four or five strong towns. The kings mostly reign at Muṅgali (Mung-kie-li)390 as their capital. This town is about 16 or 17 li in circuit and thickly populated. Four or five li to the east of Muṅgali is a great stūpa, where very many spiritual portents are seen. This is the spot where Buddha, when he lived in old time,391 was the rishi who practised patience (Kshānti-rishi), and for the sake of Kalirāja endured the dismemberment of his body.

To the north-east of the town of Muṅgali about 250 or 260 li, we enter a great mountain392 and arrive at the fountain of the Nāga Apalāla; this is the source of the river Su-po-fa-su-tu. This river flows to the south-west.393 Both in summer and spring it freezes, and from morning till night snow-drifts are flying in clouds, [id (T51.2087.0882c)] the fine reflected colours of which are seen on every side.

This Nāga, in the time of Kāśyapa Buddha, was born as a man and was called King-ki (Gaṅgi). He was able, by the subtle influences of the charms he used, to restrain and withstand the power of the wicked dragons, so that they could not (afflict the country) with violent storms of rain. Thanks to him, the people were thus able to gather in an abundance of grain. Each family then agreed to offer him, in token of their gratitude, a peck of grain as a yearly tribute. After a lapse of some years there were some who omitted to bring their offerings, on which Gaṅgi in wrath prayed that he might become a poisonous dragon and afflict them with storms of rain and wind to the destruction of their crops. At the end of his life he became the dragon of this country; the flowings of the fountain emitted a white stream which destroyed all the products of the earth.

At this time, śākya Tathāgata, of his great pity guiding the world, was moved with compassion for the people of this country, who were so singularly afflicted with this calamity. Descending therefore spiritually,394 he came to this place, desiring to convert the violent dragon. Taking the mace of the Vajrapāṇi395 spirit, he beat against the mountain side. The dragon king, terrified, came forth and paid him reverence. Hearing the preaching of the law by Buddha, his heart became pure and his faith was awakened. Tathāgata forthwith forbad him to injure the crops of the husbandmen. Whereupon the dragon said, "All my sustenance comes from the fields of men; but now, grateful for the sacred instructions I have received, I fear it will be difficult to support myself in this way; yet pray let me have one gathering in every twelve years." Tathāgata compassionately permitted this. Therefore every twelfth year there is a calamity from the overflowing of the White River.

To the south-west of the fountain of the dragon Apalāla (O-po-lo-lo), about 30 li on the north side of the river, there is a foot trace of Buddha on a great rock. According to the religious merit of persons, this impression appears long or short. This is the trace left by Buddha after having subdued the dragon. Afterwards men built up a stone residence (over the impression). Men come here from a distance to offer incense and flowers.

Following the stream downwards 30 li or so, we come to the stone where Tathāgata washed his robe. The tissues of the Kashāya stuff are yet visible as if engraved on the rock.

To the south of the town of Muṅgali 400 li or so we come to Mount Hila (Hi-lo). The water flowing through the valley here turns to the west, and then flowing again eastward remounts (towards its source). Various fruits and flowers skirt the banks of the stream and face the sides of the mountains. There are high crags and deep caverns, and placid streams winding through the valleys: sometimes are heard the sounds of people's voices, sometimes the reverberation of musical notes. There are, moreover, square stones here like long narrow bedsteads,396 perfected as if by the hand of men; they stretch in continuous lines from the mountain side down the valley. It was here Tathāgata dwelling in old days, [id (T51.2087.0883a)] by listening to half a Gātha of the law was content to kill himself.397

Going south about 200 li from the town of Muṅgali, by the side of a great mountain, we come to the Mahāvana398 saṅghārāma. It was here Tathāgata in old days practised the life of a Bodhisattva under the name of Sarvadata-rāja.399 Fleeing from his enemy, he resigned his country and arrived secretly in this place. Meeting with a poor Brāhmaṇ, who asked alms from him, and having nothing to give in consequence of his losing his country, he ordered him to bind him as a prisoner and take him to the king, his enemy, in order that he might receive a reward, which would be in the place of charity to him.

Going north-west from the Mahāvana saṅghārāma down the mountain 30 or 40 li, we arrive at the Mo-su saṅghārāma.400 Here there is a stūpa about 100 feet or so in height.

By the side of it is a great square stone on which is the impress of Buddha's foot. This is the spot where Buddha in old time planted his foot, (which) scattered a koṭi of rays of light which lit up the Mahāvana saṅghārāma, and then for the sake of Devas and men he recited the history of his former births (Jātakas). Underneath this stūpa (or at the foot of it) is a stone of a yellow-white colour, which is always damp with an unctuous (fatty) moisture; this is where Buddha, when he was in old time practising the life of a Bodhisattva, having heard the words of the true law, breaking a bone of his own body, wrote (with the marrow) the substance of a book containing the words he had heard.

Going west to 60 or 70 li from the Mo-su saṅghārāma is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. It was here Tathāgata in old time, practising the life of a Bodhisattva, was called śivika (or śibika) Rāja.401 Seeking the fruit of Buddhaship, he cut his body to pieces in this place to redeem a dove from the power of a hawk.

Going north-west from the place where he redeemed the dove, 200 li or so, we enter the valley of Shan-ni-lo-shi, where is the convent of Sa-pao-sha-ti.402 Here is a stūpa in height 80 feet or so. In old time, when Buddha was Lord śakra, famine and disease were prevalent everywhere in this country. Medicine was of no use, and the roads were filled with dead. Lord śakra was moved with pity and mediated how he might rescue and save the people. Then changing his form, he appeared as a great serpent, and extended his dead body all along the void of the great valley, and called from the void to those on every side (to look). Those who heard were filled with joy, and running together hastened to the spot, and the more they cut the body of the serpent the more they revived, and were delivered both from famine and disease.

By the side of this stūpa and not far off is the great stūpa of Sūma. Here in old time when Tathāgata was Lord śakra, filled with concern for the world, afflicted with every kind of disease and pestilence, with his perfect knowledge of the case, he changed himself into the serpent Sūma;403 none of those who tasted his flesh failed to recover from their disease.

To the north of the valley Shan-ni-lo-shi, by the side of a steep rock, is a stūpa. Of those who, being sick, have come there to seek (restoration), most have recovered.

In old time Tathāgata was the king of peacocks;404 on one occasion he came to this place with his followers. Being afflicted with tormenting thirst, they sought for water on every side without success. [id (T51.2087.0883b)] The king of the peacocks with his beak struck the rock, and forthwith there flowed out an abundant stream which now forms a lake. Those who are afflicted on tasting or washing in the water are healed. On the rock are still seen the traces of the peacock's feet.

To the south-west of the town of Muṅgali 60 or 70 li there is a great river,405 on the east of which is a stūpa 60 feet or so in height; it was built by Shang-Kiun (Uttarasena). Formerly when Tathāgata was about to die, he addressed the great congregation and said: "After my Nirvāṇa, Uttarasena-rāja, of the country Udyāna (U-chang-na), will obtain a share of the relics of my body. When the kings were about to divide the relics equally, Uttarasena-rāja arrived after (the others); coming from a frontier country, he was treated with little regard by the others.406 At this time the Devas published afresh the words of Tathāgata as he was about to die. Then obtaining a portion of relics, the king came back to his country, and to show his great respect, erected this stūpa. By the side of it, on the bank of the great river, there is a large rock shaped like an elephant. Formerly Uttarasena-rāja brought back to his own land the relics of Buddha on a great white elephant. Arrived at this spot, the elephant suddenly fell down and died, and was changed immediately into stone. By the side of this the stūpa is built.

Going west of the town of Muṅgali 50 li or so, and crossing the great river, we come to a stūpa called Lu-hi-ta-kia (Rohitaka); it is about 50 feet high, and was built by Aśoka-rāja. In former days, when Tathāgata was practising the life of a Bodhisattva, he was the king of a great country, and was called Ts'z-li (power of love).407 In this place he pierced his body, and with his blood fed the five Yakshas.

To the north-east of the town of Muṅgali 30 li or so is the Ho-pu-to-shi stūpa,408 about 40 feet in height. In former days Tathāgata here expounded the law for the sake of men and Devas, to instruct (enlighten) and guide them. After Tathāgata had gone, from the earth suddenly arose (this stūpa); the people highly reverenced it, and offered flowers and incense without end.

To the west of the stone stūpa, after crossing the great river and going 30 or 40 li, we arrive at Vihāra, in which is a figure of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva.409 Its spiritual influences exhibit themselves in a mysterious way, and its miraculous powers (evidences) are manifested in an illustrious manner. The votaries of the law come together from every side, and offer it continual sacrifices (presents).

Going north-west 140 or 150 li from the statue of Kwan-tsz-tsai Bodhisattva, we come to the mountain of Lan-po-lu. The crest of this mountain has a dragon lake about 30 li or so in circuit. The clear waves roll in their majesty, the water pure as a bright mirror. In old days Pi-lu-tse-kia (Virūḍhaka-rāja) having led his army to attack the śākyas, four of the tribe resisted the advance.410 These were driven away by their clansmen, and each fled in a different direction. One of the śākyas, having left the capital of the country, and being worn out by travel, sat down to rest in the middle of the road.

There appeared now a wild goose, [id (T51.2087.0883c)] who in his flight (progress) alighted before him; and because of his docile ways, he at last mounted on his back. The goose then flying away, took him to the side of this lake. By this mode of conveyance the śākya fugitive visited different kingdoms in various directions. Once having mistaken his way, he went to sleep by the side of the lake under the shadow of a tree. At this time a young Nāga maiden was walking beside the lake, and suddenly espied the śākya youth. Fearing that she might not be able otherwise to accomplish her wish,411 she transformed herself into a human shape and began to caress him. The youth, because of this, awoke affrighted from his sleep, and addressing her said, "I am but a poor wanderer worn out with fatigue; why then do you show me such tenderness?" In the course of matters the youth, becoming deeply moved, prayed her to consent to his wishes. She said, "My father and mother require to be asked and obeyed in this matter. You have favoured me with your affection, but they have not yet consented." The śākya youth replied, "The mountains and valleys (surround us) with their mysterious shades; where then is your home?" She said, "I am a Nāga maiden belonging to this pool. I have heard with awe of your holy tribe having suffered such things, and of your being driven away from home to wander here and there in consequence. I have fortunately been able, as I wandered, to administer somewhat to your comfort, and you have desired me to yield to your wishes in other respects, but I have received no commands to that effect from my parents. Unhappily, too, this Nāga body is the curse following my evil deeds."412

The śākya youth answered, "One word uttered from the ground of the heart and agreed to (by us both) and this matter is ended."413 She said, "I respectfully obey your orders; let that follow whatever it be."414 Then the śākya youth said, "By the power of my accumulated merit let this Nāga woman be turned into human shape." The woman was immediately so converted. On seeing herself thus restored to human shape she was overjoyed, and gratefully addressed the śākya youth thus: "By my evil deeds (through the accumulation of evil deeds), I have been compelled to migrate through evil forms of birth, till now happily, by the power of your religious merit, the body which I have possessed through many kalpas has been changed in a moment. My gratitude is boundless, nor could it be expressed if I wore my body to dust (with frequent prostrations). Let me but acquaint my father and mother; I will then follow you and obey you in all things."415

The Nāga maiden then returning to the lake addressed her father and mother, saying, "Just now, as I was wandering abroad, I lighted upon a śākya youth, who by the power of his religious merit succeeded in changing me into human form. Having formed an affection for me, he desires to marry me. I lay before you the matter in its truth."

The Nāga-rāja was rejoiced to see his daughter restored to human form, and from a true affection to the holy tribe he gave consent to his daughter's request. Then proceeding from the lake, he expressed his deep gratitude to the śākya youth, and said, "You have not despised creatures of other kinds, and have condescended to those beneath you. I pray you come to my abode, and there receive my humble services."416

The śākya youth having accepted the Nāga-rāja's invitation, went forthwith to his abode. On this all the family of the Nāga received the youth with extreme reverence, and desired to delight his mind by an excess of feasting and pleasure; but the youth, seeing the dragon forms of his entertainers, was filled with affright and disgust, and he desired to go. The Nāga-rāja detaining him said, "Of your kindness depart not. Occupy a neighbouring abode; I will manage to make you master of this land and to obtain a lasting fame. All the people shall be your servants, and your dynasty shall endure for successive ages."

The śākya youth expressed his gratitude, and said, "I can hardly expect your words to be fulfilled." Then the Nāga-rāja took a precious sword and placed it in a casket covered with white camlet, very fine and beautiful, and then he said to the śākya youth, "Now of your kindness go to the king and offer him this white camlet as a tribute. [id (T51.2087.0884a)] The king will be sure to accept it as the offering of a remote (distant) person; then, as he takes it, draw forth the sword and kill him. Thus you will seize his kingdom. Is it not excellent?"

The śākya youth receiving the Nāga's directions, went forthwith to make his offering to the king of U-chang-na (Udyāna). When the king was about to take the piece of white camlet, then the youth took hold of his sleeve, and pierced him with the sword. The attendant ministers and the guards raised a great outcry and ran about in confusion. The śākya youth, waving the sword, cried out, "This sword that I hold was given me by a holy Nāga wherewith to punish the contumelious and subdue the arrogant." Being affrighted at the divine warrior, they submitted, and gave him the kingdom. On this he corrected abuses and established order; he advanced the good and relieved the unfortunate; and then with a great cortége he advanced towards the Nāga palace to acquaint him with the completion of his undertaking; and then taking his wife he went back to the capital. Now the former demerits of the Nāga girl were not yet effaced, and their consequences still remained. Every time he went to rest by her side, from her head came forth the ninefold crest of the Nāga. The śākya prince, filled with affright and disgust, hitting on no other plan, waited till she slept, and then cut off (the dragon's crest) with his sword. The Nāga girl, alarmed, awoke and said, "This will bring no good hereafter to your posterity; it will not be ineffectual in slightly afflicting me during my life, and your children and grandchildren will all suffer from pains in the head." And so the royal line of this country are ever afflicted with this malady, and although they are not all so continually, yet every succession brings a worse affliction. After the death of the śākya youth his son succeeded under the name of Uttarasena (U-ta-lo-si-na).

Just after Uttarasena had come to power his mother lost her sight. Tathāgata, when he was going back from the subjugation of the Nāga Apalāla, descended from space and alighted in this palace. Uttarasena was out hunting, and Tathāgata preached a short sermon to his mother. Having heard the sermon from the mouth of the holy one, she forthwith recovered her sight. Tathāgata then asked her, "Where is your son? He is of my family." She said, "He went out hunting for a while this morning, but he will soon be back." When Tathāgata with his attendants were bent on going, the king's mother said, "Of my great fortune I have borne a child belonging to the holy family; and Tathāgata of his great compassion has again come down to visit my house as connected with him. My son will soon return; oh, pray remain for a short time!" The Lord of the World said, "This son of yours belongs to my family; he need only hear the truth to believe it and understand it. If he were not my relative I would remain to instruct his heart, but now I go. On his return, tell him that Tathāgata has gone from this to Kuśinagara (Keu-shi), where between the Sāla trees he is about to die, and let your son come for a share of the relics to honour them."

Then Tathāgata with all his attendants took flight through the air and went. Afterwards Uttarasena-rāja, whilst engaged in the chase, saw, a long way off, his palace lighted up as if with a fire. Being in doubt about it, he quitted the chase and returned. On seeing his mother with her sight restored he was transported with joy, and addressed her, saying, "What fortunate circumstance has occurred to you during my short absence that you should have got your sight again as of old time?" The mother said, "After you had gone out Tathāgata came here, and after hearing him preach [id (T51.2087.0884b)] I recovered my sight. Buddha has gone from here to Kuśinagara; he is going to die between the Sāla trees. He commands you to go quickly to the spot to get some of his relics."

The king having heard these words, uttered cries of lamentation, and fell prostrate on the ground motionless. Coming to himself, he collected his cortége and went to the twin-trees, where Buddha had already died. Then the kings of the other countries treated him scornfully, and were unwilling to give him a share of the much-prized relics they were taking to their own countries. On this a great assembly of Devas acquainted them with Buddha's wishes, on which the kings divided the relics equally, beginning with him.

Going north-west from the town of Mung-kia-li, crossing a mountain and passing through a valley, we reascend the Sin-tu river.417 The roads are craggy and steep; the mountains and the valleys are dark and gloomy. Sometimes we have to cross by ropes, sometimes by iron chains stretched (across the gorges). There are foot-bridges (or covered ways) suspended in the air, and flying bridges across the chasms, with wooden steps let into the ground for climbing the steep embankments. Going thus 1000 li or so, we reach the river valley of Ta-li-lo,418 where stood once the capital of U-chang-na. This country produces much gold and scented turmeric. By the side of a great saṅghārāma, in this valley of Ta-li-lo is a figure of Maitreya419 Bodhisattva, carved out of wood. It is golden coloured, and very dazzling in appearance, and possesses a secret spiritual power (of miracle). It is about 100 feet high, and is the work of the Arhat Madhyāntika.420 This saint by his spiritual power caused a sculptor to ascend into the Tushita (Tu-si-to) heaven, that he might see for himself the marks and signs (on the person of Maitreya); this he did three times, till his task was finished. From the time of the execution of this image the streams of the law (religious teaching) began to flow eastward.

Going east from this, after climbing precipices and crossing valleys, we go up the course of the Sin-tu river; and then, by the help of flying bridges and footways made of wood across the chasms and precipices, after going 500 li or so, we arrive the country of Po-lu-lo (Bolor).


The country of Po-lu-lo421 is about 4000 li in circuit; it stands in the midst of the great Snowy Mountains. It is long from east to west, and narrow from north to south. It produces wheat and pulse, gold and silver. Thanks to the quantity of gold, the country is rich in supplies. The climate is continually cold. The people are rough and rude in character; there is little humanity or justice with them; and as for politeness, such a thing has not been heard of. They are coarse and despicable in appearance, and wear clothes made of wool. Their letters are nearly like those of India, their language somewhat different. There are about a hundred saṅghārāmas in the country, with something like a thousand priests, who show no great zeal for learning, and are careless in their moral conduct. Leaving this country and returning to U-to-kia-han-ch'a (Uḍakhāṇḍa),422 we cross at the south the river Sin-tu. The river is about 3 or 4 li in width, and flows south-west. Its waters are pure and clear as a mirror as they roll along with impetuous flow. Poisonous Nāgas and hurtful beasts occupy the caverns and clefts along its sides. If a man tries to cross the river carrying with him valuable goods or gems or rare kinds of flowers or fruits, or especially relics of Buddha, the boat is frequently engulphed by the waves.423 After crossing the river we arrive at the kingdom of Ta-ch'a-shi-lo (Takshaśilā).


The kingdom of Ta-ch'a-shi-lo424 is about 2000 li in circuit, and the capital is about 10 li in circuit. The royal family being extinct, the nobles contend for power by force. Formerly this country was in subjection to Kapiśa, [id (T51.2087.0884c)] but latterly it has become tributary to Kia-shi-mi-io (Kaśmīr). The land is renowned for its fertility, and produces rich harvests. It is very full of streams and fountains. Flowers and fruits are abundant. The climate is agreeably temperate. The people are lively and courageous, and they honour the three gems. Although there are many saṅghārāmas, they have become ruinous and deserted, and there are very few priests; those that there are study the Great Vehicle.

North-west of the capital about 70 li is the tank of the Nāga-rāja Elāpatra (I-lo-po-to-lo);425 it is about 100 paces round, the waters are pure and sweet; lotus flowers of various colours, which reflect different tints in their common beauty (garnish the surface); this Nāga was a Bhikshu who anciently, in the time of Kāśyapa Buddha, destroyed an Elāpatra tree. Hence, at the present time, when the people of that country ask for rain or fine weather, they must go with the Shamans to the side of the tank, and then cracking their fingers (or, in a moment), after praying for the desired object, they obtain it.

Going 30 li or so to the south-east of the Nāga tank, we enter a gorge between two mountains, where there is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. It is about 100 feet in height. This is where śākya Tathāgata delivered a prediction, that when Maitreya, Lord of the World, appeared hereafter, there should also appear of themselves four great gem treasures, and that in this excellent land there should be one. According to tradition, we find that whenever there is an earthquake, and the mountains on every side are shaken, all round this sacred spot (treasure) to the distance of 100 paces there is perfect stillness. If men are so foolish as to attempt to dig into the place (or ground surrounding it), the earth shakes again, and the men are thrown down headlong.

By the side of the stūpa is a saṅghārāma in ruins, and which has been for a long time deserted and without priests.

To the north of the city 12 or 13 li is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. On feast-days (religious commemoration days) it glows with light, and divine flowers fall around it, and heavenly music is heard. According to tradition, we find in late times there was a woman whose body was grievously afflicted with leprosy. Coming to the stūpa secretly, she offered worship in excess and confessed her faults. Then seeing that the vestibule (the open court in front of the stūpa) was full of dung and dirt, she removed it, and set to work to sweep and water it and to scatter flowers and perfumes; and having gathered some blue lotus flowers, she covered the ground with them. On this her evil leprosy left her, and her form became lovely, and her beauty doubled, whilst from her person there came the famed scent of the blue lotus, and this also is the reason of the fragrance of this excellent place. This is the spot where Tathāgata formerly dwelt when he was practising the discipline of a Bodhisattva; he was then the king of a great country and was called Chen-ta-lo-po-la-po (Chandraprabha); he cut off his head, earnestly seeking the acquirement of Bodhi: and this he did during a thousand successive births, (for the same object and in the same place).426

By the side of the stūpa of the "sacrificed head" is a saṅghārāma, of which the surrounding courts are deserted and overgrown; [id (T51.2087.0885)] there are (nevertheless) a few priests. It was here in old days the master of śāstras Kumāralabdha,427 belonging to the school of Sūtras (Sāutrāntikas),428 composed several treatises.

Outside the city to the south-east, on the shady429 side of a mountain,430 there is a stūpa, in height 100 feet or so; this is the place where they put out the eyes of Ku-lang-na (for Ku-na-lang-na, Kuṇāla), who had been unjustly accused by his step-mother; it was built by Aśoka-rāja.

When the blind pray to it (or before it) with fervent faith, many of them recover their sight. This prince (Kuṇāla) was the son of the rightful queen. His person was graceful and his disposition loving and humane. When the queen-royal was dead, her successor (the step-queen) was dissolute and unprincipled. Following her wild and foolish preference, she made proposals to the prince; he, when she solicited him, reproached her with tears, and departed, refusing to be guilty of such a crime. The step-mother, seeing that he rejected her, was filled with wrath and hatred; waiting for an interval when she was with the king, she addressed him431 thus: "To whom should your majesty intrust the government of Ta-ch'a-shi-lo but to your own son? The prince is renowned for his humanity and obedience; because of his attachment to the good his fame is in every mouth." The king listening to her seducing words,432 agreed willingly with the vile plot, and forthwith gave orders to his eldest son in these words: "I have received my royal inheritance in succession, and I desire to hand it down to those who follow me; my only fear is lest I should lose aught of it and so dishonour my ancestors. I now confide to you the government of Ta-ch'a-shi-lo.433 The affairs of a country are of serious importance; the feelings of men are contradictory; undertake nothing rashly, so as to endanger your authority; verify the orders sent you; my seal is the impression of my teeth; here in my mouth is my seal. There can be no mistake."

On this the prince, receiving his orders, went to establish order. And so months passed on, yet the step-mother's hatred did but increase. Accordingly she wrote a dispatch and sealed it with red wax, and then, waiting till the king was asleep, she stamped it secretly with his tooth impression, and sent it off by a messenger with all dispatch as a letter of accusation. His ministers having read the letter,434 were confused, and looked at one another with dismay.

The prince then asked them what moved them so. They said, "The Mahārāja has sent a dispatch accusing the prince, and ordering both his eyes to be put out, and that he be taken with his wife to the mountains,435 and there left to die. Although this order has come, we dare not obey it; but we will ask afresh for directions, and keep you bound till the reply comes."436

The prince said, "My father, if he has ordered my death, must be obeyed; and the seal of his teeth is a sure sign of the truth of the order. There can be no error." Then he ordered a Chaṇḍāla to pluck out his eyes; and having thus lost his sight, he wandered forth to beg for his daily support. As he travelled on far away, he came to his father's capital town. His wife said to him,437 "There is the royal city." " Alas!" he said, "what pain I endure from hunger and cold. I was a prince; I am a beggar. Oh, that I could make myself known and get redress for the false charge formerly brought against me!"438 On this he contrived to enter the king's inner bureau, and in the after part of the night he began to weep, and with a plaintive voice, accompanied with the sound of a lute,439 he sang a mournful song.

The king, who was in an upper chamber,440 hearing these wonderful strains full of sadness and suffering, was surprised, and inquired. "From the notes of the lute and the sound of the voice I take this to be my son; but why has he come here?"

[id (T51.2087.0885b)] He immediately said to his court attendant, "Who is that singing so?"

Forthwith he brought the blind man into his presence and placed him before the king. The king, seeing the prince, overwhelmed with grief, exclaimed, "Who has thus injured you? Who has caused this misery, that my beloved son should be deprived of sight? Not one of all his people can he see. Alas! what an end to come to!441 O heavens! O heavens! What a misfortune is this!"442

The prince, yielding to his tears, thanked (his father) and replied, "In truth,443 for want of filial piety have I thus been punished by Heaven. In such a year and such a month and such a day suddenly there came a loving order (or an order from my mother). Having no means of excusing myself, I dared not shrink from the punishment." The king's heart, knowing that the second wife had committed this crime, without any further inquiry caused her to be put to death.444

At this time in the saṅghārāma of the Bodhi tree445 there was a great Arhat called Ghosha (K'iu-sha). He had the fourfold power of "explanation without any difficulties."446 He was completely versed in the Trividyās.447 The king taking to him his blind son, told him all the matter, and prayed that he would of his mercy restore him to sight. Then that Arhat, having received the king's request, forthwith addressed to the people this order: "Tomorrow I desire to declare the mysterious principle (of the law); let each person come here with a vessel in his hands to hear the law and receive in it his tears." Accordingly, they came together from every side (far and near), both men and women, in crowds. At this time the Arhat preached on the twelve Nidānas,448 and there was not one of those who heard the sermon but was moved to tears. The tears were collected in the vessels, and then, when his sermon was finished, he collected all these tears in one golden vessel, and then, with a strong affirmation, he said, "What I have said is gathered from the most mysterious of Buddha's doctrines; if this is not true, if there be error in what I have said, then let things remain as they are; but if it is otherwise, I desire that this blind man may recover his sight after washing his eyes with these tears."449

After finishing this speech he washed his eyes with the water, and lo! his sight was restored.

The king then accused the ministers (who had executed the order) and their associates. Some he degraded, others he banished, others he removed, others he put to death. The common people (who had participated in the crime) he banished to the north-east side of the Snowy Mountains, to the middle of the sandy desert.

Going south-east from this kingdom, and crossing the mountains and valleys about 700 li, we come to the kingdom of Sang-ho-pu-lo (Siṁhapura).


The kingdom of Sang-ho-pu-lo450 is about 3500 or 3600 li in circuit. On the west it borders on the river Sin-tu. The capital is about 14 or 15 li in circuit; it borders on the mountains. The crags and precipices which surround it cause it to be naturally strong. The ground is not highly cultivated, but the produce is abundant. The climate is cold, the people are fierce and value highly the quality of courage; moreover, they are much given to deceit. The country has no king or rulers, but is in dependence on Kaśmīr. Not far to the south of the capital is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. The decorations are much injured: spiritual wonders are continually connected with it. By its side is a saṅghārāma, which is deserted and without priests.

To the south-east of the city 40 or 50 li is a stone stūpa [id (T51.2087.0885c)] which was built by Aśoka-rāja; it is 200 feet or so in height. There are ten tanks, which are secretly connected together, and on the right and left (of the walks joining them) are covered stones (balustrades) in different shapes and of strange character. The water of the tanks is clear, and the ripples are sometimes noisy and tumultuous. Dragons and various fishes451 live in the clefts and caverns bordering on the tanks or hide themselves452 in the waters. Lotus flowers of the four colours cover the surface of the limpid water. A hundred kind of fruits surround them, and glisten with different shades. The trees are reflected deep down in the water, and altogether it is a lovely spot for wandering forth.

By the side there is a saṅghārāma, which for a long time has been without priests. By the side of the stūpa, and not far off, is the spot where the original teacher of the white-robed heretics453 arrived at the knowledge of the principles he sought, and first preached the law. There is an inscription placed there to that effect. By the side of this spot is a temple of the Devas. The persons who frequent it subject themselves to austerities; day and night they use constant diligence without relaxation. The laws of their founder are mostly filched from the principles of the books of Buddha. These men are of different classes, and select their rules and frame their precepts accordingly.454 The great ones are called Bhikshus; the younger are called śrāmaṇeras. In their ceremonies and modes of life they greatly resemble the priests (of Buddha), only they have a little twist of hair on their heads, and they go naked.455 Moreover, what clothes they chance to wear are white. Such are the slight differences which distinguish them from others. The figure of their sacred master456 they stealthily class with that of Tathāgata; it differs only in point of clothing;457 the points of beauty are absolutely the same.

From this place going back to the northern frontiers of Ta-ch'a-shi-lo, crossing the Sin-tu458 river and going south-east 200 li or so, we pass the great stone gates where formerly Mahāsattva, as a prince,459 sacrificed his body to feed a hungry Wu-t'u (Otu, a cat).460 To the south of this place 40 or 50 paces there is a stone stūpa. This is the place where Mahāsattva, pitying the dying condition of the beast,461 after arriving at the spot, pierced his body with a bamboo splinter, so as to nourish the beast with his blood. On this the animal, taking the blood, revived. On this account all the earth and the plants at this place are dyed with a blood colour,462 and when men dig the earth they find things like prickly spikes. Without asking whether we believe the tale or not, it is a piteous one.

To the north of the body-sacrifice place there is a stone stūpa about 200 feet high, which was built by King Aśoka. It is adorned with sculptures and tastefully constructed (built). From time to time spiritual indications463 are apparent. There are a hundred or so small stūpas, provided with stone niches for movable images (or stone movable niches) around this distinguished spot.464 Whatever sick there are who can circumambulate it are mostly restored to health.

To the east of the stūpa there is a saṅghārāma, with about 100 priests given to the study of the Great Vehicle.

Going east from this 50 li or so, we come to an isolated mountain, where there is a saṅghārāma with about 200 priests in it. They all study the Great Vehicle. Fruits and flowers abound here, with fountains and tanks clear as a mirror. By the side of this convent is a stūpa about 300 feet in height. Here Tathāgata dwelt in old time, and restrained a wicked Yaksha from eating flesh.

Going from this kingdom about 500 li or so along the mountains in a south-easterly direction, we come to the country of Wu-la-shi (Uraśa).

[id (T51.2087.0886a)] WU-LA-SHI (URAŚA)

The kingdom of Wu-la-shi (Uraśa)465 is about 2000 li in circuit; the mountains and valleys form a continuous chain. The fields fit for cultivation are contracted as to space. The capital is 7 or 8 li in circuit; there is no king, but the country is dependent on Kaśmīr. The soil is fit for sowing and reaping, but there are few flowers or fruits. The air is soft and agreeable; there is very little ice or snow. The people have no refinement; the men are hard and rough in their disposition, and are much given to deceit. They do not believe in the religion of Buddha.

To the south-west of the capital 4 or 5 li is a stūpa about 200 feet or so in height, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. By its side is a saṅghārāma, in which there are but a few disciples, who study the Great Vehicle.466

Going south-east from this, crossing over mountains and treading along precipices, passing over chain bridges, after 1000 li or so, we come to the country of Kia-shi-mi-lo467 (Kaśmīr).


The kingdom of Kaśmīr468 is about 7000 li in circuit, and on all sides it is enclosed by mountains. These mountains are very high. Although the mountains have passes through them, these are narrow and contracted. The neighbouring states that have attacked it have never succeeded in subduing it. The capital of the country on the west side is bordered by a great river. It (the capital) is from north to south 12 or 13 li, and from east to west 4 or 5 li. The soil is fit for producing cereals, and abounds with fruits and flowers. Here also are dragon-horses and the fragrant turmeric, the fo-chü,469 and medicinal plants.

The climate is cold and stern. There is much snow but little wind. The people wear leather doublets and clothes of white linen. They are light and frivolous, and of a weak, pusillanimous disposition. As the country is protected by a dragon, it has always assumed superiority among neighbouring people. The people are handsome in appearance, but they are given to cunning. They love learning and are well instructed. There are both heretics and believers among them. There are about 100 saṅghārāmas and 5000 priests. There are four stūpas built by Aśoka-rāja. Each of these has about a pint measure of relics of Tathāgata. The history of the country says: This country was once a dragon lake. In old times the Lord Buddha was returning to the middle kingdom (India) after subduing a wicked spirit in U-chang-na (Udyāna), and when in mid-air, just over this country, he addressed ānanda thus: "After my Nirvāṇa, the Arhat Madhyāntika will found a kingdom in this land, civilise (pacify) the people, and by his own effort spread abroad the law of Buddha."

In the fiftieth year after the Nirvāṇa, the disciple of ānanda, Madhyāntika (Mo-t'ien-ti-kia) the Arhat -- having obtained the six spiritual faculties470 and been gifted with the eight Vimokshas471 -- heard of the prediction of Buddha. His heart was overjoyed, and he repaired to this country. He was sitting tranquilly in a wood on the top of a high mountain crag, and exhibited great spiritual changes. The dragon beholding it was filled with a deep faith, and requested to know what he desired. The Arhat said, "I request you to give me a spot in the middle of the lake just big enough for my knees."472

On this the dragon withdrew the water so far, and gave him the spot. Then by his spiritual power the Arhat increased the size of his body, whilst the dragon king kept back the waters with all his might. So the lake became dry, and the waters exhausted. On this the Nāga, taking his flight, asked for a place.473

The Arhat (then said), "To the north-west of this is a pool [id (T51.2087.0886b)] about 100 li in circuit; in this little lake you and your posterity may continue to dwell." The Nāga said, "The lake and the land being mutually transferred, let me then be allowed to make my religious offerings to you." Madhyāntika said, "Not long hence I shall enter on the Nirvāṇa without remnants (anupadhiśesha); although I should wish to allow your request, how can I do it?" The Nāga then pressed his request in this way: "May 500 Arhats then ever receive my offerings till the end of the law?474 After which (I ask to be allowed) to return to this country to dwell (in it) as a lake." Madhyāntika granted his request.

Then the Arhat, having obtained this land by the exercise of his great spiritual power, founded 500 saṅghārāmas. He then set himself to procure by purchase from surrounding countries a number of poor people who might act as servitors to the priests. Madhyāntika having died, these poor people constituted themselves rulers over the neighbouring countries. The people of surrounding countries despising these low-born men, would not associate with them, and called them Kritīyas475 (Ki-li-to). The fountains now have begun to bubble up (in token of the end of the law having come).

In the hundredth year after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, Aśoka, king of Magadha, extended his power over the world, and was honoured even by the most distant people. He deeply reverenced the three gems, and had a loving regard for all living things.476 At this time there were 500 Arhats and 500 schismatical priests, whom the king honoured and patronised without any difference. Among the latter was a priest called Mahādeva, a man of deep learning and rare ability; in his retirement he sought a true renown; far thinking, he wrote treatises the principles of which were opposed to the holy doctrine. All who heard of him resorted to his company and adopted his views. Aśoka-rāja, not knowing either holy or common men,477 and because he was naturally given to patronise those who were seditious, was induced to call together an assembly of priests to the banks of the Ganges, intending to drown them all.

At this time the Arhats having seen the danger threatening their lives, by the exercise of their spiritual power flew away through the air and came to this country and concealed themselves among the mountains and valleys. Aśoka-rāja having heard of it, repented, and confessing his fault, begged them to return to their own country; but the Arhats refused to do so with determination. Then Aśoka-rāja, for the sake of the Arhats, built 500 saṅghārāmas, and gave this country as a gift to the priesthood.

In the four-hundredth year478 after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, Kanishka, king of Gandhāra, having succeeded to the kingdom, his kingly renown reached far, and he brought the most remote within his jurisdiction. During his intervals of duty he frequently consulted the sacred books of Buddha; daily he invited a priest to enter his palace and preach the law, but he found the different views of the schools so contradictory that he was filled with doubt, and he had no way to get rid of his uncertainty. At this time the honoured Pārśva said, "Since Tathāgata left the world many years and months have elapsed. The different schools hold to the treatises of their several masters. Each keeps to his own views, and so the whole body is torn by divisions."

The king having heard this, was deeply affected and gave way to sad regrets. After awhile he spoke to Pārśva and said, "Though of no account personally, [id (T51.2087.0886c)] yet, thanks to the remnant of merit which has followed me through successive births since the time of the Holy One till now, I have come to my present state. I will dare to forget my own low degree, and hand down in succession the teaching of the law unimpaired. I will therefore arrange the teaching of the three piṭakas of Buddha according to the various schools." The honourable Pārśva replied, "The previous merit of the great king has resulted in his present distinguished position479 That he may continue to love the law of Buddha is what I desire above all things.

The king then summoned from far and near a holy assembly (issued an edict to assemble the holy teachers).

On this they came together from the four quarters, and, like stars, they hurried together for myriads of li, men the most distinguished for talents and for holiness of life. Being thus assembled, for seven days offerings of the four necessary things were made, after which, as the king desired that there should be an arrangement of the law, and as he feared the clamour of such a mixed assembly (would prevent consultation), he said, with affection for the priests, "Let those who have obtained the holy fruit (as Arhats) remain, but those who are still bound by worldly influences480 let them go!" Yet the multitude was too great. He then published another order: "Let those who have arrived at the condition of 'freedom from study' remain, and those who are still in a condition of learners go."481 Still there were a great multitude who remained. On this the king issued another edict: "Those who are in possession of the three enlightenments and have the six spiritual faculties482 may remain; the others can go."483 And yet there was a great multitude who remained. Then he published another edict: "Let those who are acquainted both with the three Piṭakas and the five vidyās484 remain; as to others, let them go." Thus there remained 499 men. Then the king desired to go to his own country,485 as he suffered from the heat and moisture of this country. He also wished to go to the stone grot486 at Rājagṛha, where Kāśyapa had held his religious assembly (convocation). The honourable Pārśva and others then counselled him, saying, "We cannot go there, because there are many heretical teachers there, and different śāstras being brought under consideration, there will be clamour and vain discussion. Without having right leisure for consideration, what benefit will there be in making (fresh) treatises?487 The mind of the assembly is well affected towards this country; the land is guarded on every side by mountains, the Yakshas defend its frontiers, the soil is rich and productive, and it is well provided with food. Here both saints and sages assemble and abide; here the spiritual rishis wander and rest."

The assembly having deliberated, they came to this resolution: "We are willing to fall in with the wishes of the king." On this, with the Arhats, he went from the spot where they had deliberated to another, and there founded a monastery, where they might hold an assembly (for the purpose of arranging) the Scriptures and composing the Vibhāshā śāstra.488

At this time the venerable Vasumitra (Shi-Yu) was putting on his robes outside the door (about to enter) when the Arhats addressed him and said, "The bonds or sin (the kleśas) not loosed, then all discussion is contradictory and useless. You had better go, and not dwell here."

On this Vasumitra answered, "The wise without doubt regard the law in the place of489 Buddha, appointed for the conversion of the world, and therefore you490 reasonably desire to compile true (orthodox) śāstras. As for myself, though not quick, yet in my poor way I have investigated the meaning of words. I have also studied with earnestness the obscure literature of the three piṭakas and the recondite meaning of the five vidyās; and I have succeeded in penetrating their teaching,491 dull as I am."

The Arhats answered, "It is impossible; but if it is as you say, you can stand by a little and presently get the condition of 'past learning.' Then you can enter the assembly; at present your presence is not possible."

Vasumitra answered, "I care for the condition of 'past learning' as little as for a drop of spittle; my mind seeks only the fruit of Buddha;492 I do not run after little quests (little sideways). I will throw this ball up into the air, and before it comes to earth I shall have got the holy condition (fruit) of 'past learning.'"

Then all the Arhats roundly scolded him, saying, "'Intolerably arrogant' is your right title. The fruit of 'past learning' is the condition praised by all the Buddhas. [id (T51.2087.0887a)] You are bound to acquire this condition and scatter the doubts of the assembly."

Then Vasumitra cast the ball into the air; it was arrested by the Devas, who, before it fell, asked him this question: "In consequence of obtaining the fruit of Buddha, you shall succeed Maitreya in his place (in the Tushita heaven); the three worlds shall honour you, and the four kinds of creatures (all flesh) shall look up to you with awe. Why then do you seek this little fruit?"

Then the Arhats, having witnessed all this, confessed their fault, and with reverence asked him to become their president. All difficulties that occurred in their discussion were referred to him for settlement. These five hundred sages and saints first composed in ten myriads of verses the Upadeśa śāstra to explain the Sūtra Piṭaka.493 Next they made in ten myriads of verses the Vinaya Vibhāshā śāstra to explain the Vinaya Piṭaka; and afterwards they made in ten myriad of verses the Abhidharma Vibhāshā śāstra494 to explain the Abhidharma Piṭaka. Altogether they composed thirty myriad of verses in six hundred and sixty myriad of words, which thoroughly explained the three Piṭakas. There was no work of antiquity495 to be compared with (placed above) their productions; from the deepest to the smallest question, they examined all,496 explaining all minute expressions, so that their work has become universally known and is the resource of all students who have followed them.

Kanishka-rāja forthwith ordered these discourses to be engraved on sheets of red copper. He enclosed them in a stone receptacle, and having sealed this, he raised over it a stūpa with the Scriptures in the middle. He commanded the Yakshas497 to defend the approaches to the kingdom, so as not to permit the other sects to get these śāstras and take them away, with the view that those dwelling in the country might enjoy the fruit of this labour.498

Having finished this pious labour, he returned with his army to his own capital.499

Having left this country by the western gate, he turned towards the east and fell on his knees, and again bestowed all this kingdom on the priesthood.

After Kanishka's death the Kritīya race again assumed the government, banished the priests, and overthrew religion.500

The king of Himatala,501 of the country of To-hu-lo (Tukhāra), was by descent of the śākya race.502 In the six-hundredth year after the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, he succeeded to the territory of his ancestor, and his heart was deeply imbued with affection for the law of Buddha.503 Hearing that the Kritīyas had overthrown the law of Buddha, he assembled in his land the most warlike (courageous) of his knights, to the number of three thousand, and under the pretence of being merchants laden with many articles of merchandise and with valuable goods, but having secretly concealed on their persons warlike instruments, they entered on this kingdom, and the king of the country received them as his guests with special honour. He504 then selected five hundred of these, men of great courage and address, and armed them with swords and provided them with choice merchandise to offer to the king.

Then the king of Himatala, flinging off his cap,505 proceeded towards the throne; the king of the Kritīyas, terrified, was at a loss what to do. Having cut off the king's head, (the king of Himatala) said to the officers standing below, "I am the king of Himatala, belonging to Tukhāra. I was grieved because this low-caste ruler practised such outrages; [id (T51.2087.0887b)] therefore I have today punished his crimes; but as for the people, there is no fault to be found with them." Having banished the ministers in charge of the government to other states and pacified this country, he commanded the priests to return, and built a saṅghārāma, and there settled them as in old time. Then he left the kingdom by the western gate (pass), and when outside he bowed down with his face to the east, and gave in charity to the priesthood (the kingdom).

As for the Kritīyas, as they had more than once been put down by the priests and their religion overturned, in lapse of time their enmity had increased so that they hated the law of Buddha. After some years they came again into power. This is the reason why at the present time this kingdom is not much given to the faith and the temples of the heretics are their sole thought.

About 10 li to the south-east of the new city and to the north of the old city,506 and on the south of a great mountain, is a saṅghārāma with about 300 priests in it. In the śtūpa (attached to the convent) is a tooth of Buddha in length about an inch and a half, of a yellowish-white colour; on religious days it emits a bright light. In old days the Kritīya race having destroyed the law of Buddha, the priests being dispersed, each one selected his own place of abode. On this occasion one śramaṇa, wandering throughout the Indies to visit and worship the relics of Buddha (traces of the Holy One) and to exhibit his sincere faith, after a while came to hear that his native country was pacified and settled. Forthwith he set out on his return, and on his way he met with a herd of elephants rushing athwart his path through the jungle and raising a trumpeting tumult. The śramaṇa having seen them, climbed up a tree to get out of their way; then the herd of elephants rushed down to drink507 at a pool and to cleanse themselves with the water; then surrounding the tree, they tore its roots, and by force dragged it to the ground. Having got the śramaṇa, they put him on the back of one, and hurried off to the middle of a great forest, where was a sick elephant wounded (swollen with a sore), and lying on the ground at rest. Taking the hand of the priest, it directed it to the place of the hurt, where a rotten (broken) piece of bamboo had penetrated. The śramana thereupon drew out the splinter and applied some medicinal herbs, and tore up his garment to bind the foot with it. Another elephant taking a gold casket, brought it to the sick elephant, who having received it gave it forthwith to the śramaṇa. The śramaṇa opening it, found in the inside Buddha's tooth. Then all the elephants surrounding him, he knew not how to get away. On the morrow, being a fast-day, each elephant brought him some fruit for his midday meal. Having finished eating, they carried the priest out of the forest a long way (some hundred li), and then they set him down, and, after salutation paid, they each retired.

The śramaṇa coming to the western borders of the country, crossed a rapid river; whilst so doing the boat was nearly overwhelmed, when the men, consulting together, said, "The calamity that threatens the boat is owing to the śramaṇa; he must be carrying some relics of Buddha, and the dragons have coveted them."

The master of the ship having examined (his goods), found the tooth of Buddha. Then the śramaṇa, raising up the relic, bowed his head, and called to the Nāgas and said, "I now intrust this to your care; not long hence I will come again and fake it." Then declining to cross the river,508 he returned to the bank and departed. Turning to the river he sighed and said, "Not knowing how to restrain these Nāga creatures has been the cause of my calamity." Then going back to India, he studied the rules of restraining dragons, and after three years he returned towards his native country, and having come to the river-side he built and appointed there an altar. [id (T51.2087.0887c)] Then the Nāgas brought the casket of Buddha's tooth and gave it to the śramaṇa; the śramaṇa took it and brought it to this saṅghārāma and henceforth worshipped it. Fourteen or fifteen li to the south of the saṅghārāma is a little saṅghārāma in which is a standing figure of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva. If any one vows to fast till he dies unless he beholds this Bodhisattva, immediately from the image it comes forth glorious in appearance.

South-east of the little saṅghārāma about 30 li or so, we come to a great mountain, where there is an old (ruined) saṅghārāma, of which the shape is imposing and the masonry strong. But now it is in ruins; there is only left one angle where there is a small double tower. There are thirty priests or so who study the Great Vehicle. This is where of old Saṅghabhadra, a writer of śāstras, composed the Shun-ching-li-lun509 (Nyāyānusāra śāstra); on the left and the right of the saṅghārāma are stūpas where are enshrined the relics (śarīras) of great Arhats. The wild beasts and mountain apes gather flowers to offer as religious oblations. Throughout the year they continue these offerings without interruption, as if it were a traditional service. Many miraculous circumstances occur in this mountain. Sometimes a stone barrier is split across; sometimes on the mountain-top there remain the traces of a horse; but all things of this sort are only mistaken traces of the Arhats and śrāmaṇeras, who in troops frequent this spot, and with their fingers trace these figures, as if riding on horses or going to and fro (on foot), and this has led to the difficulty in explaining these marks.510

Ten li to the east of the saṅghārāma of Buddha's tooth, between the crags of a mountain to the north,511 is a small saṅghārāma. In old days the great master of śāstras called So-kin-ta-lo (Skandhila)composed here the treatise called Chung-sse-fan-pi-p'o-sha.512

In the little convent is a śtūpa of stone about 50 feet high, where are preserved the śarīras of the bequeathed body of an Arhat.

In former times there was an Arhat whose bodily size was very great, and he eat and drank as an elephant. People said in raillery, "He knows well enough how to eat like a glutton, but what does he know of truth or error?" The Arhat, when about to pass to Nirvāṇa, addressing the people round him, said, "Not long hence I shall reach a condition of anūpadhiśesa (without a remnant).513 I wish to explain how I have attained to the excellent law."514 The people hearing him again laughed together in ridicule. They all came together in an assembly to see him put to shame.515 Then the Arhat spoke thus to the people: "I will tell you how, for your advantage, my previous conditions of life and the causes thereof. In my former birth I received, because of my desert, the body of an elephant, and I dwelt in Eastern India, in the stable of a king. At this time this country possessed a Shaman who went forth to wander through India in search of the holy doctrine of Buddha, the various sūtras and śāstras Then the king gave me to the Shaman. I arrived in this country carrying on my back the books of Buddha. Not long after this I died suddenly. The merit I had obtained by carrying these sacred books eventuated in my being born as a man, and then again I died as a mortal.516 But, thanks to the merit I possessed, I soon (was born in the same condition, and) assumed the coloured clothes of a hermit. [id (T51.2087.0888a)] I diligently set after the means of putting off (the shackles of existence), and gave myself no repose. Thus I obtained the six supernatural powers and cut off my connection with the three worlds. However, when I eat I have preserved my old habits, but every day I moderate my appetite, and only take one-third of what my body requires as nourishment." Although he thus spoke, men were still incredulous. Forthwith he ascended into the air and entered on the Samādhi called the brilliancy of flame. From his body proceeded smoke and fire,517 and thus he entered Nirvāṇa; his remains (bones) fell to the earth, and they raised a stūpa over them.

Going north-west 200 li or so of the royal city, we come to the saṅghārāma called "Mai-lin."518 It was here the master of śāstras called Pūrṇa519 composed a commentary on the Vibhāshā śāstra.

To the west of the city 140 or 150 li there is a great river, on the borders of which, to the north, resting on the southern slope of a mountain, is a saṅghārāma belonging to the Mahāsaṁghīka (Ta-chong-pu) school, with about 100 priests. It was here in old time that Fo-ti-la (Bodhila),520 a master of śāstras, composed the treatise Tsih-chin-lun.521

From this going south-west, and crossing some mountains and traversing many precipices, going 700 li or so, we come to the country Pun-nu-ts'o (Punach).


This kingdom522 is about 2000 li in circuit, with many mountains and river-courses, so that the arable land is very contracted. The seed is sown, however, at regular intervals, and there are a quantity of flowers and fruits. There are many sugar-canes, but no grapes. Amalas,523 Udumbaras, Mochas, etc., flourish, and are grown in large quantities like woods; they are prized on account of their taste. The climate is warm and damp. The people are brave. They wear ordinarily cotton clothing. The disposition of the people is true and upright; they are Buddhists.524 There are five saṅghārāmas, mostly deserted. There is no independent ruler, the country being tributary to Kaśmīr. To the north of the chief town is a saṅghārāma with a few priests. Here there is a stūpa which is celebrated for its miracles.

Going south-east from this 400 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Ho-lo-she-pu-lo (Rājapuri).


This kindgom525 is about 4000 li in circuit; the capital town is about 10 li round. It is naturally very strong. with many mountains, hills, and river-courses, which cause the arable land to be contracted. The produce therefore is small. The climate and the fruits of the soil are like those of Pun-nu-tso. The people are quick and hasty; the country has no independent ruler, but is subject to Kaśmīr. There are ten saṅghārāmas, with a very small number of priests. There is one temple of Devas, with an enormous number of unbelievers.

From the country of Lan-po till this, the men are of a coarse appearance, their disposition fierce and passionate, their language vulgar and uncultivated, with scarce any manners or refinement. They do not properly belong to India, but are frontier people, with barbarous habits.

Going south-east from this, descending the mountains and crossing a river, after 700 li we come to the kingdom of Tsih-kia (Takka).

[id (T51.2087.0888b)] Book IV

Relates to fifteen countries, viz., (1) Tseh-kia; (2) Chi-na-po-ti; (3) Che-lan-t'o-lo; (4) K'iu-lu-to; (5) She-to-t'u-lo; (6) Po-li-ye-to-lo; (7) Mo-t'u-lo (8) Sa-t'a-ni-shi-fa-lo (9) Su-lo-kin-na; (10) Mo-ti-pu-lo; (11) Po-lo-ki-mo-pu-lo; (12) Kiu-pi-shwong-na; (13) O-hi-chi-ta-lo; (14) Pi-lo-shan-na; (15) Kie-pi-ta.


This kingdom526 is about 10,000 li in circuit. On the east it borders on the river Pi-po-che (Vipāśā);527 on the west it borders on the Sin-tu river. The capital of the country is about 20 li in circuit. The soil is suitable for rice and produces much late-sown corn. It also produces gold, silver, the stone called teou,528 copper and iron. The climate is very warm, and the land is subject to hurricanes. The people are quick and violent, their language coarse and uncultivated. For clothing they wear a very shining white fabric which they call kiau-che-ye (Kauśeya, silk), and also morning-red cloth (chau hia),529 and other kinds. Few of them believe in Buddha; many sacrifice to the heavenly spirits (Devas and spirits). There are about ten saṅghārāmas and some hundreds of temples. There were formerly in this country many houses of charity (goodness or happiness--Puṇyaśālās) for keeping the poor and the unfortunate. They provided for them medicine and food, clothing and necessaries; so that travellers were never badly off.

To the south-west of the capital about 14 or 15 li we come to the old town of śākala530 (She-kie-lo). Although its walls are thrown down, the foundations are still firm and strong. It is about 20 li in circuit. In the midst of it they have built a little town of about 6 or 7 li in circuit; the inhabitants are prosperous and rich. This was the old capital of the country. Some centuries ago there was a king called Mo-hi-lo-kiu-lo (Mahirakula),531 who established his authority in this town and ruled over India. He was of quick talent, and naturally brave. He subdued all the neighbouring provinces without exception.532 In his intervals of leisure he desired to examine the law of Buddha, and he commanded that one among the priests of superior talent533 should wait on him. Now it happened that none of the priests dared to attend to his command. Those who had few desires and were content, did not care about distinction; those of superior learning and high renown despised the royal bounty (glitter). [id (T51.2087.0888c)] At this time there was an old servant in the king's household who had long worn the religious garments. He was of distinguished ability and able to enter on discussion, and was very eloquent. The priests put him forward in answer to the royal appeal. The king said, "I have a respect for the law of Buddha, and I invited from far any renowned priest (to come and instruct me), and now the congregation have put forward this servant to discuss with me. I always thought that amongst the priests there were men of illustrious ability; after what has happened today what further respect can I have for the priesthood?" He then issued an edict to destroy all the priests through the five Indies, to overthrow the law of Buddha, and leave nothing remaining.

Bālāditya534 -rāja, king of Magadha, profoundly honoured the law of Buddha and tenderly nourished his people. When he heard of the cruel persecution and atrocities of Mahirakula (Ta-tso), he strictly guarded the frontiers of his kingdom and refused to pay tribute. Then Mahirakula raised an army to punish his rebellion. Bālāditya-rāja, knowing his renown, said to his ministers,"I hear that these thieves are coming, and I cannot fight with them (their troops); by the permission of my ministers I will conceal my poor person among the bushes of the morass."

Having said this, he departed from his palace and wandered through the mountains and deserts. Being very much beloved in his kingdom, his followers amounted to many myriads, who fled with him and hid themselves in the islands535 of the sea.

Mahirakula-rāja, committing the army to his younger brother, himself embarked on the sea to go attack Bālāditya. The king guarding the narrow passes, whilst the light cavalry were out to provoke the enemy to fight, sounded the golden drum, and his soldiers suddenly rose on every side and took Mahirakula alive as captive, and brought him into the presence (of Bālāditya).

The king Mahirakula being overcome with shame at his defeat, covered his face with his robe. Bālāditya sitting on his throne with his ministers round him, ordered one of them to tell the king to uncover himself as he wished to speak with him.

Muhirakula answered, "The subject and the master have changed places; that enemies should look on one another is useless; and what advantage is there in seeing my face during conversation?"

Having given the order three times with no success, the king then ordered his crimes to be punished, and said, "The field of religious merit connected with the three precious objects of reverence is a public536 blessing; but this you have overturned and destroyed like a wild beast. Your religious merit is over, and unprotected by fortune you are my prisoner. Your crimes admit of no extenuation and you must die."

At this time the mother of Bālāditya was of wide celebrity on account of her vigorous intellect and her skill in casting horoscopes. Hearing that they were going to kill Mahirakula, she addressed Bālāditya-rāja and said, "I have understood that Mahirakula is of remarkable beauty and vast wisdom. I should like to see him once."

Bālāditya-rāja (Yeou-jih) ordered them to bring in Mahirakula to the presence of his mother in her palace. Then she said, "Alas! Mahirakula, be not ashamed! Worldly things are impermanent; success and discomfiture follow one another according to circumstances. I regard myself as your mother and you as my son; remove the covering from your face and speak to me."

Mahirakula said, "A little while ago I was prince of a victorious country, now I am a prisoner condemned to death. I have lost my kingly estate and I am unable to offer my religious services;537 I am ashamed in the presence of my ancestors and of my people. [id (T51.2087.0889a)] In very truth I am ashamed before all, whether before heaven or earth. I find no deliverance.538 Therefore I hide my face with my mantle." The mother of the king said, "Prosperity or the opposite depends on the occasion; gain and loss come in turn. If you give way to events (things), you are lost; but if you rise above circumstances, though you fall, you may rise again. Believe me, the result of deeds depends on the occasion. Lift the covering from your face and speak with me. I may perhaps save your life."

Mahirakula, thanking her, said, "I have inherited a kingdom without having the necessary talent for government, and so I have abused the royal power in inflicting punishment; for this reason I have lost my kingdom. But though I am in chains, yet I desire life if only for a day. Let me then thank you with uncovered face for your offer of safety." Whereupon he removed his mantle and showed his face. The king's mother said, "My son is well-favoured;539 he will die after his years are accomplished." Then she said to Bālāditya, "In agreement with former regulations, it is right to forgive crime and to love to give life. Although Mahirakula has long accumulated sinful actions, yet his remnant of merit is not altogether exhausted. If you kill this man, for twelve years you will see him with his pale face before you. I gather from his air that he will be the king of a small country; let him rule over some small kingdom in the north."

Then Bālāditya-rāja, obeying his dear mother's command, had pity on the prince bereft of his kingdom; gave him in marriage to a young maiden and treated him with extreme courtesy. Then he assembled the troops he had left and added a guard to escort him from the island.

Mahirakula-rāja's brother having gone back, established himself in the kingdom. Mahirakula having lost his royal estate, concealed himself in the isles and deserts, and going northwards to Kaśmīr, he sought there an asylum. The king of Kaśmīr received him with honour, and moved with pity for his loss, gave him a small territory and a town to govern. After some years he stirred up the people of the town to rebellion, and killed the king of Kaśmīr and placed himself on the throne. Profiting by this victory and the renown it got him, he went to the west, plotting against the kingdom of Gandhāra. He set some soldiers in ambush and took and killed the king. He exterminated the royal family and the chief minister, overthrew the stūpas, destroyed the saṅghārāmas, altogether one thousand six hundred foundations. Besides those whom his soldiers had killed there were nine hundred thousand whom he was about to destroy without leaving one. At this time all the ministers addressed him and said, "Great king! Your prowess has gained a great victory, and our soldiers are no longer engaged in conflict. Now that you have punished the chief, why would you charge the poor people with fault? Let us, insignificant as we are, die in their stead."

The king said, "You believe in the law of Buddha and greatly reverence the mysterious law of merit. Your aim is to arrive at the condition of Buddha, and then you will declare fully, under the form of Jātakas,540 my evil deeds, for the good of future generations. Now go back to your estates, and say no more on the subject."

Then he slew three ten myriads of people of the first rank by the side of the Sin-tu river; the same number of the middle rank he drowned in the river, and the same number of the third rank he divided among his soldiers (as slaves). Then he took the wealth of the country he had destroyed, assembled his troops, and returned. But before the year was out he died.541 [id (T51.2087.0889b)] At the time of his death there was thunder and hail and a thick darkness; the earth shook and a mighty tempest raged. Then the holy saints said in pity, "For having killed countless victims and overthrown the law of Buddha, he has now fallen into the lowest hell,542 where he shall pass endless ages of revolution."543

In the old town of śākala (She-ki-lo) is a saṅghārāma with about 100 priests, who study the Little Vehicle. In old days Vasubandhu (Shi-t'sin) Bodhisattva composed in this place the treatise called Shing-i-tai (Paramārthasatya śāstra).

By the side of the convent is a stūpa about 200 feet high; on this spot the four former Buddhas preached the law, and here again are the traces of their walking to and fro (king-hing).

To the north-west of the saṅghārāma 5 or 6 li is a stūpa about 200 feet high built by Aśoka-rāja. Here also the four past Buddhas preached.

About 10 li to the north-east of the new capital we come to a stūpa of stone about 200 feet in height, built by Aśoka. This is where Tathāgata, when he was going northward on his work of conversion, stopped in the middle of the road. In the records of India (In-tu-ki) it is said, "In this stūpa are many relics; on holidays they emit a bright light."

From this544 going east 500 li or so, we come to Chi-na-po-ti (Chīnapati) country.


This country is about 2000 li in circuit. The capital is about 14 or 15 li round. It produces abundant harvests;546 the fruit trees are thinly scattered. The people are contented and peaceful; the resources of the country are abundant. The climate is hot and humid; the people are timid and listless. They are given to promiscuous study, and there are amongst them believers and the contrary. There are ten saṅghārāmas and eight Deva temples.

Formerly, when Kanishka-rāja was on the throne, his fame spread throughout the neighbouring countries, and his military power was recognised by all. The tributary princes547 to the west of the (Yellow) River, in recognition of his authority, sent hostages to him. Kanishka-rāja having received the hostages, he treated them with marked attention. During the three seasons of the year he appointed them separate establishments, and afforded them special guards of troops.548 This country was the residence of the hostages during the winter. This is the reason why it is called Chīnapati549 after the name of the residence of the hostages.

There existed neither pear nor peach in this kingdom and throughout the Indies until the hostages planted them, and therefore the peach is called Chīnāni, and the pear is called Chīnarājaputra.550 For this reason the men of this country have a profound respect for the Eastern land. Moreover (when they saw me) they pointed with their fingers, and said one to another, "This man is a native of the country of our former ruler.551

To the south-east of the capital 500552 li or so, we come to the convent called Ta-mo-su-fa-na (dark forest, i.e., Tāmasavana). There are about 300 priests in it, who study the doctrine of the Sarvāstivāda school. [id (T51.2087.0889c)] They (the congregation) have a dignified address, and are of conspicuous virtue and pure life. They are deeply versed in the teaching of the Little Vehicle. The 1000 Buddhas of the Bhadrakalpa will explain, in this country, to the assembly of the Devas the principles of the excellent law.

Three hundred years after the Nirvāṇa of Buddha the master of śāstras called Kātyāyana composed here the Fa-chi-lun (Abhidharmajñāna-prasthāna śāstra).553

In the convent of the dark forest there is a stūpa about 200 feet high, which was erected by Aśoka-rāja. By its side are traces of the four past Buddhas, where they sat and walked. There is a succession of little stūpas and large stone houses facing one another, of an uncertain number; here, from the beginning of the kalpa till now, saints who have obtained the fruit (of Arhats) have reached Nirvāṇa. To cite all would be difficult, Their teeth and bones still remain. The convents gird the mountain554 for about 20 li in circuit, and the stūpas containing relics of Buddha are hundreds and thousands in number; they are crowded together, so that one overshadows the other.

Going north-east from this country, 140 or 150 li, we come to the country of Che-lan-ta-lo (Jālaṅdhara).


This kingdom555 is about 1000 li from east to west, and about 800 li from north to south. The capital is 12 or 13 li in circuit. The land is favourable for the cultivation of cereals, and it produces much rice. The forests are thick and umbrageous, fruits and flowers abundant. The climate is warm and moist, the people brave and impetuous, but their appearance is common and rustic. The houses are rich and well supplied. There are fifty convents, or so; about 2000 priests. They have students both of the Great and Little Vehicle. There are three temples of Devas and about 500 heretics, who all belong to the Pāśupatas (cinder-sprinkled).

A former king of this land showed great partiality for the heretics, but afterwards, having met with an Arhat and heard the law, he believed and understood it. Therefore the king of Mid-India, out of regard for his sincere faith, appointed him sole inspector of the affairs of religion (the three gems) throughout the five Indies. Making light of party distinctions (this or that), with no preference or dislike, he examined into the conduct of the priests, and probed their behaviour with wonderful sagacity. The virtuous and the well-reported of, he reverenced and openly rewarded; the disorderly he punished. Wherever there were traces of the holy one (or, ones), he built either stūpas or saṅghārāmas, and there was no place within the limits of India he did not visit and inspect.

Going north-east from this, skirting along some high mountain passes and traversing some deep valleys, following a dangerous road, and crossing many ravines, going 700 li or so, we come to the country of K'iu-lu-to (Kulūta).


This country556 is about 3000 li in circuit, and surrounded on every side by mountains. The chief town is about 14 or 15 li round. The land is rich and fertile, and the crops are duly sown and gathered. Flowers and fruits are abundant, and the plants and trees afford a rich vegetation. Being contiguous to the Snowy Mountains, there are found here many medicinal (roots) of much value. [id (T51.2087.0890a)] Gold, silver, and copper are found here -- fire-drops (crystal) and native copper (teou). The climate is unusually cold, and hail or snow continually falls. The people are coarse and common in appearance, and are much afflicted with goitre and tumours, Their nature is hard and fierce; they greatly regard justice and bravery. There are about twenty saṅghārāmas, and 1000 priests or so. They mostly study the Great Vehicle; a few practise (the rules of) other schools (nikāyas). There are fifteen Deva temples: different sects occupy them without distinction.

Along the precipitous sides of the mountains and hollowed into the rocks are stone chambers which face one another. Here the Arhats dwell or the rishis stop.

In the middle of the country is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. Of old the Tathāgata came to this country with his followers to preach the law and to save men. This stūpa is a memorial of the traces of his presence.

Going north from this, along a road thick with dangers and precipices, about 1800 or 1900 li, along mountains and valleys, we come to the country of Lo-u-lo (Lahul).557

North of this 2000 li or so, travelling by a road dangerous and precipitous, where icy winds and flying snow (assault the traveller), we come to the country of Mo-lo-so (called also San-po-ho).558

Leaving the country of K'iu-lu-to and going south 700 li or so, passing a great mountain and crossing a wide river, we come to the country of She-to-t'u-lo (śatadru).


This country559 is about 2000 li from east to west, and borders on a great river. The capital is 17 or 18 li in circuit. Cereals grow in abundance, and there is very much fruit. There is an abundance of gold and silver found here, and precious stones. For clothing the people wear a very bright silk stuff; their garments are elegant and rich. The climate is warm and moist. The manners of the people are soft and agreeable; the men are docile and virtuous. The high and low take their proper place. They all sincerely believe in the law of Buddha and show it great respect. Within and without the royal city there are ten saṅghārāmas, but the halls are now deserted and cold, and there are but few priests. To the south-east of the city 3 or 4 li is a stūpa about 200 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Beside it are the traces where the four past Buddhas sat or walked.

Going again from this south-west about 800 li, we come to the kingdom of Po-li-ye-to-lo (Pāryātra).


This country560 is about 3000 li in circuit, and the capital about 14 or 15 li. Grain is abundant and late wheat. There is a strange kind of rice grown here, which ripens after sixty days.561 There are many oxen and sheep, few flowers and fruits. The climate is warm and fiery, the manners of the people are resolute and fierce.562 They do not esteem learning, and are given to honour the heretics. The king is of the Vaiśya caste; he is of a brave and impetuous nature, and very warlike.

There are eight saṅghārāmas, mostly ruined, with a very few priests, who study the Little Vehicle. There are ten Deva temples with about 1000 followers of different sects.

Going east from this 500 li or so, we come to the country of Mo-t'u-lo (Mathurā).


The kingdom of Mo-t'u-lo563 is about 5000 li in circuit. The capital is 20 li round. The soil is rich and fertile, and fit for producing grain (sowing and reaping). They give principal care to the cultivation of 'An-mo-lo (trees), which grow in clusters564 like forests. [id (T51.2087.0890b)] These trees, though called by one name, are of two kinds; the small species, the fruit of which, when young, is green, and becomes yellow as it ripens; and the great species, the fruit of which is green throughout its growth.

This country produces a fine species of cotton fabric and also yellow gold. The climate is warm to a degree. The manners of the people are soft and complacent. They like to prepare secret stores of religious merit.565 They esteem virtue and honour learning.

There are about twenty saṅghārāmas with 2000 priests or so. They study equally the Great and the Little Vehicles. There are five Deva temples, in which sectaries of all kinds live.

There are three stūpas built by Aśoka-rāja. There are very many traces566 of the four past Buddhas here. There are also stūpas to commemorate the remains of the holy followers of Sākya Tathāgata, to wit, of śāriputra (She-li-tseu), of Mudgalaputra (Mo-te-kia-lo-tseu), of Pūrṇamaitrāyaṇīputra (Pu-la-na-meï-ta-li-yen-ni-fo-ta-lo), of Upāli (Yeu-po-li), of ānanda (O-nan-t'o), of Rāhula (Lo-hu-lo), of Mañjuśrī (Man-chu-shi-li), and stūpas of other Bodhisattvas. Every year during the three months in which long fasts are observed,567 and during the six fast-days of each month, the priests resort to these various stūpas and pay mutual compliments; they make their religious offerings, and bring many rare and precious objects for presents. According to their school they visit the sacred object (figure) of their veneration. Those who study the Abhidharma honour śāriputra; those who practise meditation honour Mudgalaputra; those who recite the sūtras honour Pūrṇamaitrāyaṇīputra;568 those who study the Vinaya reverence Upāli. All the Bhikshunīs honour ānanda, the śrāmaṇeras569 honour Rāhula; those who study the Great Vehicle reverence the Bodhisattvas. On these days they honour the stūpas with offerings. They spread out (display) their jewelled banners; the rich (precious) coverings (parasols) are crowded together as network; the smoke of incense rises in clouds; and flowers are scattered in every direction like rain; the sun and the moon are concealed as by the clouds which hang over the moist valleys. The king of the country and the great ministers apply themselves to these religious duties with zeal.570

To the east of the city about 5 or 6 li we come to a mountain saṅghārāma.571 The hill-sides are pierced (widened) to make cells (for the priests). We enter it572 through a valley, as by gates. This was constructed by the honourable Upagupta.573 There is in it a stūpa containing the nail-parings of the Tathāgata.

To the north of the saṅghārāma, in a cavern (or between two high banks), is a stone house about 20 feet high and 30 feet wide. It is filled with small wooden tokens (slips) four inches long.574 Here the honourable Upagupta preached; when he converted a man and wife, so that they both arrived at (confronted) the fruit of Arhatship, he placed one slip (in this house). He made no record of those who attained this condition if they belonged to different families or separate castes (tribes).

Twenty-four or five li to the south-east of the stone house there is a great dry marsh, by the side of which is a stūpa. [id (T51.2087.0890c)] In old days the Tathāgata walked to and fro in this place. At this time a monkey holding (a pot of) honey offered it to Buddha. Buddha hereupon ordered him to mingle it with water, and to distribute it everywhere among the great assembly.575 The monkey, filled with joy, fell into a deep hole and was killed. By the power of his religious merit he obtained birth as a man.

To the north of the lake not very far, in the midst of a great wood, are the traces of the four former Buddhas walking to and fro. By the side are stūpas erected to commemorate the spots where śāriputra, Mudgalaputra, and others, to the number of 1250 great Arhats, practised samādhi and left traces thereof. The Tathāgata, when in the world, often traversed this country preaching the law. On the places where he stopped there are monuments (trees or posts) with titles on them.

Going north-east 500 li or so, we come to the country of Sa-t'a-ni-shi-fa-lo (Sthāneśvara).


This kingdom576 is about 7000 li in circuit, the capital 20 li or so. The soil is rich and productive, and abounds with grain (cereals). The climate is genial, though hot. The manners of the people are cold and insincere. The families are rich and given to excessive luxury. They are much addicted to the use of magical arts, and greatly honour those of distinguished ability in other ways. Most of the people follow after worldly gain; a few give themselves to agricultural pursuits. There is a large accumulation here of rare and valuable merchandise from every quarter. There are three saṅghārāmas in this country, with about 700 priests. They all study (practise or use) the Little Vehicle. There are some hundred Deva temples, and sectaries of various kinds in great number.

On every side of the capital within a precinct of 200 li in circuit is an area called by the men of this place "the land of religious merit."577 This is what tradition states about it:--In old time there were two kings578 of the five Indies, between whom the government was divided. They attacked one another's frontiers, and never ceased fighting. At length the two kings came to the agreement that they should select on each side a certain number of soldiers to decide the question by combat, and so give the people rest. But the multitude rejected this plan, and would have none of it. Then the king (of this country) reflected that the people are difficult to please (to deal with). A miraculous power (a spirit) may perhaps move them (to action); some project (out-of-the-way plan) may perhaps settle (establish) them in some right course of action.

At this time there was a Brāhmaṇ of great wisdom and high talent. To him the king sent secretly a present of some rolls of silk, and requested him to retire within his after-hall (private apartment) and there compose a religious book which he might conceal in a mountain cavern. After some time,579 when the trees had grown over (the mouth of the cavern), the king summoned his ministers before him as he sat on his royal throne, and said: "Ashamed of my little virtue in the high estate I occupy, the ruler of heaven580 (or, of Devas) has been pleased to reveal to me in a dream, and to confer upon me a divine book which is now concealed in such-and-such a mountain fastness and in such-and-such a rocky corner."

On this an edict was issued to search for this book, and it was found underneath the mountain bushes. The high ministers addressed their congratulations (to the king) and the people were overjoyed. The king then gave an account of the discovery to those far and near, and caused all to understand the matter; and this is the upshot of his message: "To birth and death there is no limit--no end to the revolutions of life. There is no rescue from the spiritual abyss (in which we are immersed). But now by a rare plan I am able to deliver men from this suffering. Around this royal city, for the space of 200 li in circuit, was the land of 'religious merit' for men, apportioned by the kings of old. [id (T51.2087.0891a)] Years having rolled away in great numbers, the traces have been forgotten or destroyed. Men not regarding spiritual indications (religion) have been immersed in the sea of sorrow without power of escape. What then is to be said? Let it be known (from the divine revelation given) that all those of you who shall attack the enemy's troops and die in battle, that they shall be born again as men; if they kill many, that, free from guilt,581 they shall receive heavenly joys. Those obedient grandchildren and pious children who assist (attend) their aged parents582 in walking about this land shall reap happiness (merit) without bounds. With little work, a great reward.583 Who would lose such an opportunity, (since,) when once dead, our bodies fall into the dark intricacies of the three evil ways?584 Therefore let every man stir himself to the utmost to prepare good works."

On this the men hastened to the conflict, and regarded death as deliverance.585 The king accordingly issued an edict and summoned his braves. The two countries engaged in conflict, and the dead bodies were heaped together as sticks, and from that time till now the plains are everywhere covered with their bones. As this relates to a very remote period of time, the bones are very large ones.586 The constant tradition of the country, therefore, has called this "the field of religious merit" (or "happiness").

To the north-west of the city 4 or 5 li is a stūpa about 300 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. The bricks are all of a yellowish red colour, very bright and shining, within is a peck measure of the relics of Buddha. From the stūpa is frequently emitted a brilliant light, and many spiritual prodigies exhibit themselves.

Going south of the city about 100 li, we come to a convent called Ku-hwan-ch'a (Gokaṇṭḥa).587 There are here a succession of towers with overlapping storeys,588 with intervals between them for walking (pacing). The priests are virtuous and well-mannered, possessed of quiet dignity.

Going from this north-east 400 li or so, we come to the country of Su-lo-k'in-na (Srughna).


This country589 is about 6000 li in circuit. On the eastern side it borders on the Ganges river, on the north it is backed by great mountains. The river Yamunā (Chen-mu-na) flows through its frontiers. The capital is about 20 li in circuit, and is bounded on the east by the river Yamunā. It is deserted, although its foundations are still very strong. As to produce of soil and character of climate, this country resembles the kingdom of Sa-t'a-ni-shi-fa-lo (Sthāneśvara). The disposition of the people is sincere and truthful. They honour and have faith in heretical teaching, and they greatly esteem the pursuit of learning, but principally religious wisdom (or, the wisdom that brings happiness).

There are five saṅghārāmas with about 1000 priests; the greater number study the Little Vehicle; a few exercise themselves in other (exceptional) schools. They deliberate and discuss in appropriate language (choice words), and their clear discourses embody profound truth. Men of different regions of eminent skill discuss with them to satisfy their doubts. There are a hundred Deva temples with very many sectaries (unbelievers).

To the south-west of the capital and west of Mo-ti-pu-lo the river Yamunā is a saṅghārāma, outside the eastern gate of which is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. The Tathāgata, when in the world in former days, preached the law in this place to convert men. By its side is another stūpa in which there are relics of the Tathāgata's hair and nails. Surrounding this on the right and left are stūpas enclosing the hair and nail relics of Sāriputra and of Mu-te-kia-lo (Maudgalyāyana) and other Arhats, several tens in number.

After Tathāgata had entered Nirvāṇa this country was the seat of heretical teaching. The faithful were perverted to false doctrine, and forsook the orthodox views. Now there are five saṅghārāmas [id (T51.2087.0891b)] in places where masters of treatises590 from different countries, holding controversies with the heretics and Brāhmaṇs, prevailed; they were erected on this account.

On the east of the Yamunā, going about 800 li, we come to the Ganges river.591 The source of the river (or the river at its source) is 3 or 4 li wide; flowing south-east, it enters the sea, where it is 10 li and more in width. The water of the river is blue, like the ocean, and its waves are wide-rolling as the sea. The scaly monsters, though many, do no harm to men. The taste of the water is sweet and pleasant, and sands of extreme fineness592 border its course. In the common history of the country this river is called Fo-shwui, the river of religious merit,593 which can wash away countless594 sins. Those who are weary of life, if they end their days in it, are borne to heaven and receive happiness. If a man dies and his bones are cast into the river, he cannot fall into an evil way; whilst he is carried by its waters and forgotten by men, his soul is preserved in safety on the other side (in the other world).

At a certain time there was a Bodhisattva of the island of Siṁhala (Chi-sse-tseu--Ceylon) called Deva, who profoundly understood the relationship of truth595 and the nature of all composite things (fa).596 Moved with pity at the ignorance of men, he came to this country to guide and direct the people in the right way. At this time the men and women were all assembled with the young and old together on the banks of the river, whose waves rolled along with impetuosity. Then Deva Bodhisattva composing his supernatural appearance597 bent his head and dispersed it (the rays of his glory?) again598 -- his appearance different from that of other men. There was an unbeliever who said, "What does my son in altering thus his appearance?"599

Deva Bohisattva answered: "My father, mother, and relations dwell in the island of Ceylon. I fear lest they may be suffering from hunger and thirst; I desire to appease them from this distant spot."

The heretic said: "You deceive yourself, my son;600 have you no reflection to see how foolish such a thing is? Your country is far off, and separated by mountains and rivers of wide extent from this. To draw up this water and scatter it in order to quench the thirst of those far off, is like going backwards to seek a thing before you; it is a way never heard of before." Then Deva Bodhisattva said: "If those who are kept for their sins in the dark regions of evil can reap the benefit of the water, why should it not reach those who are merely separated by mountains and rivers?"

Then the heretics, in presence of the difficulty, confessed themselves wrong, and, giving up their unbelief, received the true law. Changing their evil ways, they reformed themselves, and vowed to become his disciples.601

After crossing the river and going along the eastern side of it, we come to the country of (Matipura).


This country602 is about 6000 li in circuit; the capital is about 20 li. The soil is favourable for the growth of cereals, and there are many flowers and kinds of fruit. The climate is soft and mild. The people are sincere and truthful. They very much reverence learning, and are deeply versed in the use of charms and magic. The followers of truth and error are equally divided.603 The king belongs to the caste of the śūdras (Shu-t'o-lo). He is not a believer in the law of Buddha, but reverences and worships the spirits of heaven. There are about twenty saṅghārāmas, with 800 priests. They mostly study the Little Vehicle and belong to the school of Sarvāstivādas (Shwo-i-tsie-yau). There are some fifty Deva temples, in which men of different persuasions dwell promiscuously.

Four or five li to the south of the capital we come to a little saṅghārāma having about fifty priests in it. In old time the master of śāstras called Kiu-na-po-la-p'o (Guṇaprabha),604 composed in this convent the treatise called Pin-chin,605 and some hundred others. When young, this master of śāstras distinguished himself for his eminent talent, and when he grew up he stood alone in point of learning. [id (T51.2087.0891c)] He was well versed in knowledge of men (or things), was of sound understanding, full of learning, and widely celebrated.606 Originally he was brought up in the study of the Great Vehicle, but before he had penetrated its deep principles he had occasion to study the Vibhāshā śāstra, on which he withdrew from his former work and attached himself to the Little Vehicle. He composed several tens of treatises to overthrow the Great Vehicle, and thus became a zealous partisan of the Little Vehicle school. Moreover, he composed several tens of secular books opposing and criticising the writings of former renowned teachers. He widely studied the sacred books of Buddha, but yet, though he studied deeply for a long time, there were yet some ten difficulties which he could not overcome in this school.

At this time there was an Arhat called Devasena,607 who went once and again to the Tushita (Tu-shi-to) heaven. Guṇaprabha begged him to obtain for him an interview with Maitreya in order to settle his doubts.

Devasena, by his miraculous power, transported him to the heavenly palace. Having seen Maitreya (Tse-shi) Guṇaprabha bowed low to him, but paid him no worship. On this Devasena said, "Maitreya Bodhisattva holds the next place in becoming a Buddha, why are you so self-conceited as not to pay him supreme reverence? If you wish to receive benefit (building up, edification) from him, why do you not fall down?"

Guṇaprabha replied: "Reverend sir! This advice is honest, and intended to lead me to right amendment; but I am an ordained Bhikshu, and have left the world as a disciple, whereas this Maitreya Bodhisattva is enjoying heavenly beatitude, and is no associate for one who has become an ascetic. I was about to offer him worship, but I feared it would not be right."

Bodhisattva (Maitreya) perceived that pride of self (ātmamada) was bound up in his heart, so that he was not a vessel for instruction; and though he went and returned three times, he got no solution of his doubts. At length he begged Devasena to take him again, and that he was ready to worship. But Devasena, repelled by his pride of self, refused to answer him.

Guṇaprabha, not attaining his wish, was filled with hatred and resentment. He went forthwith into the desert apart, and practised the samādhi called fa-tung (opening intelligence); but because he had not put away the pride of self, he could obtain no fruit.

To the north of the saṅghārāma of Guṇaprabha about three or four li is a great convent with some 200 disciples in it, who study the Little Vehicle. This is where Saṅghabhadra (Chung-hin), master of śāstras, died. He was a native of Kashmir, and was possessed of great ability and vast penetration. As a young man he was singularly accomplished, and had mastered throughout the Vibhāshā śāstra (Pi-p'o-sha-lun) of the Sarvāstivāda school.

At this time Vasubandhu Bodhisattva was living. He was seeking to explain that which it is beyond the power of words to convey by the mysterious method (way) of profound meditation.608 With a view to overthrow the propositions of the masters of the Vibhāshika school, he composed the Abhidharma-kośa śāstra. The form of his composition is clear and elegant, and his arguments are very subtle and lofty.

Saṅghabhadra having read this work, took his resolution accordingly. He devoted himself during twelve years to the most profound researches, and composed the Kin-she-pao-lun (Kośakarakā śāstra)609 in 25,000 ślokas, containing altogether 800,000 words. We may say that it is a work of the deepest research and most subtle principles. Addressing his disciples, he said, "Whilst I retire from sight, do you, distinguished disciples,610 take this my orthodox treatise and go attack Vasubandhu; break down his sharp-pointed arguments, and permit not this old man611 alone to assume the leading name."

Thereupon three or four of the most distinguished of his disciples took the treatise he had composed, and went in search of Vasubandhu. At this time he was in the country of Cheka,612 in the town of śākala, his fame being spread far and wide. And now Saṅghabhadra was coming there; Vasubandhu having heard it, [id (T51.2087.0892a)] forthwith ordered (his disciples) to prepare for removal (dress for travel). His disciples having (cherishing) some doubts, the most eminent of them began to remonstrate with him, and said, "The high qualities of our great master transcend those of former men of note, and at the present day your wisdom is far spread and acknowledged by all. Why, then, on hearing the name of Saṅghabhadra are you so fearful and timid? We, your disciples, are indeed humbled thereat."

Vasubandhu answered, "I am going away not because I fear to meet this man (doctor), but because in this country there is no one of penetration enough to recognise the inferiority of Saṅgabhadra. He would only vilify me as if my old age were a fault. There would be no holding him to the śāstra, or in one word I could overthrow his vagaries. Let us draw him to Mid-India, and there, in the presence of the eminent and wise, let us examine into the matter, and determine what is true and what is false, and who should be pronounced the victor or the loser."613 Forthwith he ordered his disciples to pack up their books, and to remove far away.

The master of śāstras, Saṅghabhadra, the day after arriving at this convent, suddenly felt his powers of body (hi, vital spirits) fail him. On this he wrote a letter, and excused himself to Vasubandhu thus: "The Tathāgata having died, the different schools of his followers adopted and arranged their distinctive teaching; and each had its own disciples without hindrance. They favoured those of their own way of thinking; they rejected (persecuted) others. I, who possess but a weak understanding, unhappily inherited this custom from my predecessors, and coming to read your treatise called the Abhidharma-kośa, written to overthrow the great principles of the masters of the Vibhāshika school, abruptly, without measuring my strength, after many years' study have produced this śāstra to uphold the teaching of the orthodox school. My wisdom indeed is little, my intentions great. My end is now approaching. If the Bodhisattva (Vasubandhu), in spreading abroad his subtle maxims and disseminating his profound reasonings, will vouchsafe not to overthrow my production, but will let it remain whole and entire for posterity, then I shall not regret my death."

Then, selecting from his followers one distinguished for his talents in speaking, he addressed him as follows: "I, who am but a scholar of poor ability, have aspired to surpass one of high natural talent. Wherefore, after my approaching death, do you take this letter which I have written, and my treatise also, and make my excuses to that Bodhisattva, and assure him of my repentance."

After uttering these words he suddenly stopped, when one said, "He is dead!"

The disciple, taking the letter, went to the place where Vasubandhu was, and having come, he spoke thus: "My master, Saṅghabhadra, has died; and his last words are contained in this letter, in which he blames himself for his faults, and in excusing himself to you asks you not to destroy his good name so that it dare not face the world."

Vasubandhu Bodhisattva, reading the letter and looking through the book, was for a time lost in thought. Then at length he addressed the disciple and said: "Saṅghabhadra, the writer of śāstras, was a clever and ingenious scholar (inferior scholar). His reasoning powers (li), indeed, were not deep (enough), but his diction is somewhat (to the point).614 If I had any desire to overthrow Saṅghabhadra's śāstra, I could do so as easily as I place my finger in my hand. As to his dying request made to me, I greatly respect the expression of the difficulty he acknowledges. But besides that, there is great reason why I should observe his last wish, for indeed this śāstra may illustrate the doctrines of my school, and accordingly I will only change its name and call it Shun-ching-li-lun (Nyāyānusāra śāstra).615

The disciple remonstrating said, "Before Saṅghabhadra's death the great master (Vasubandhu) had removed far away; but now he has obtained the śāstra, he proposes to change the title; how shall we (the disciples of Saṅghabhadra) be able to suffer such an affront?"

Vasubandhu Bodhisattva, wishing to remove all doubts, said in reply by verse: "Though the lion-king [id (T51.2087.0892b)] retires afar off before the pig, nevertheless the wise will know which of the two is best in strength."616

Saṅghabhadra having died, they burnt his body and collected his bones, and in a stūpa attached to the saṅghārāma, 200 paces or so to the north-west, in a wood of āmra617 (An-mo-lo) trees, they are yet visible.

Beside the āmra wood is a stūpa in which are relics of the bequeathed body of the master of śāstras Vimalamitra (Pi-mo-lo-mi-to-lo).618 This master of śāstras was a man of Kashmir. He became a disciple and attached himself to the Sarvāstivāda school. He had read a multitude of sūtras and investigated various śāstras; he travelled through the five Indies and made himself acquainted with the mysterious literature of the three Piṭakas. Having established a name and accomplished his work, being about to retire to his own country, on his way he passed near the stūpa of Saṅghabhadra, the master of śāstras. Putting is hand (on it),619 he sighed and said, "This master was truly distinguished, his views pure and eminent. After having spread abroad the great principles (of his faith), he purposed to overthrow those of other schools and lay firmly the fabric of his own. Why then should his fame not be eternal? I, Vimalamitra, foolish as I am, have received at various times the knowledge of the deep principles of his departed wisdom; his distinguished qualities have been cherished through successive generations. Vasubandhu, though dead, yet lives in the tradition of the school. That which I know so perfectly (ought to be preserved). I will write, then, such śāstras as will cause the learned men of Jambudvīpa to forget the name of the Great Vehicle and destroy the fame of Vasubandhu. This will be an immortal work, and will be the accomplishment of my long-meditated design."

Having finished these words, his mind became confused and wild; his boastful tongue heavily protruded,620 whilst the hot blood flowed forth. Knowing that his end was approaching, he wrote the following letter to signify his repentance:--"The doctrines of the Great Vehicle in the law of Buddha contain the final principles.621 Its renown may fade, but its depth of reason is inscrutable. I foolishly dared to attack its distinguished teachers. The reward of my works is plain to all. It is for this I die. Let me address men of wisdom, who may learn from my example to guard well their thoughts, and not give way to the encouragement of doubts." Then the great earth shook again as he gave up life. In the place where he died the earth opened, and there was produced a great ditch. His disciples burnt his body, collected his bones, and raised over them (a stūpa). 622

At this time there was an Arhat who, having witnessed his death, sighed and exclaimed, "What unhappiness! What suffering! Today this master of śāstras yielding to his feelings and maintaining his own views, abusing the Great Vehicle, has fallen into the deepest hell (Avīchi)!"

On the north-west frontier of this country, on the eastern shore of the river Ganges, is the town of Mo-yu-lo;623 it is about 20 li in circuit. The inhabitants are very numerous. The pure streams of the river flow round it on every side; it produces native copper (teou shih), pure crystal, and precious vases. Not far from the town, and standing by the Ganges river, is a great Deva temple, where very many miracles of divers sorts are wrought. In the midst of it is a tank, of which the borders are made of stone joined skilfully together. Through it the Ganges river is led by an artificial canal. The men of the five Indies call it "the gate of the Gaṅgā river."624 This is where religious merit is found and sin effaced. There are always hundreds and thousands of people gathered together here from distant quarters to bathe and wash in its waters. Benevolent kings have founded here "a house of merit" (Puṇyaśālā). This foundation is endowed with funds for providing choice food and medicines to bestow in charity on widows and bereaved persons, [id (T51.2087.0892c)] on orphans and the destitute.

Going north from this 300 li or so, we come to Po-lo-hih-mo-pu-lo country (Brahmapura).


This kingdom625 is about 4000 li in circuit, and surrounded on all sides by mountains. The chief town is about 20 li round. It is thickly populated, and the householders are rich. The soil is rich and fertile; the lands are sown and reaped in their seasons. The country produces teou-shih (native copper) and rock crystal. The climate is rather cold; the people are hardy and uncultivated. Few of the people attend to literature -- most of them are engaged in commerce.

The disposition of the men is of a savage kind. There are heretics mixed with believers in Buddha. There are five saṅghārāmas, which contain a few priests. There are ten Deva temples, in which persons of different opinions dwell together.

This country is bounded on the north by the great Snowy Mountains, in the midst of which is the country called Su-fa-la-na-kiu-ta-lo (Suvarṇagotra).626 From this country comes a superior sort of gold, and hence the name. It is extended from east to west, and contracted from north to south. It is the same as the country of the "eastern women."627 For ages a woman has been the ruler, and so it is called the kingdom of the women. The husband of the reigning woman is called king, but he knows nothing about the affairs of the state. The men manage the wars and sow the land, and that is all. The land produces winter wheat and much cattle, sheep, and horses. The climate is extremely cold (icy). The people are hasty and impetuous.

On the eastern side this country is bordered by the Fan kingdom (Tibet), on the west by San-po-ho (Sampaha or Malasa (?)), on the north by Khotan.

Going south-east from Mo-ti-pu-lo 400 li or so, we come to the country of Kiu-pi-shwong-na.


This kingdom628 is about 2000 li in circuit, and the capital about 14 or 15 li. It is naturally strong, being fenced in with crags and precipices. The population is numerous. We find on every side flowers, and groves, and lakes (ponds) succeeding each other in regular order. The climate and the products resemble those of Mo-ti-pu-lo. The manners of the people are pure and honest. They are diligent in study and given to good works. There are many believers in false doctrine, who seek present happiness only. There are two saṅghārāmas and about 100 priests, who mostly study the Little Vehicle. There are thirty Deva temples with different sectaries, who congregate together without distinction.

Beside the chief town is an old saṅghārāma in which is a stūpa built by King Aśoka. It is about 200 feet high; here Buddha, when living, preached for a month on the most essential points of religion. By the side is a place where there are traces of the four past Buddhas, who sat and walked here. At the side of this place are two small stūpas containing the hair and nail-parings of Tathāgata. They are about 10 feet high.

Going from this south-east about 400 li, we come to the country of O-hi-chi-ta-lo (Ahikshetra).


This country629 is about 3000 li in circuit, and the capital about 17 or 18 li. It is naturally strong, being flanked by mountain crags. It produces wheat, and there are many woods and fountains. The climate is soft and agreeable, and the people sincere and truthful. They love religion, and apply themselves to learning. They are clever and well informed. There are about ten saṅghārāmas, [id (T51.2087.0893a)] and some 1000 priests who study the Little Vehicle of the Ching-liang school.630

There are some nine Deva temples with 300 sectaries. They sacrifice to Īśvara, and belong to the company of "ashes-sprinklers" (Pāśupatas).

Outside the chief town is a Nāga tank, by the side of which is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. It was here the Tathāgata, when in the world, preached the law for the sake of a Nāga-rāja for seven days.631 By the side of it are four little stūpas; here are traces where, in days gone by, the four past Buddhas sat and walked.

From this going south 260 or 270 li, and crossing the Ganges river, proceeding then in a south-west direction, we come to Pi-lo-shan-na (Vīraśāna) country.


This country632 is about 2000 li in circuit. The capital town about 10 li. The climate and produce are the same as those of Ahikshetra. The habits of the people are violent and headstrong. They are given to study and the arts. They are chiefly heretics (attached in faith to heresy); there are a few who believe in the law of Buddha. There are two saṅghārāmas with about 300 priests, who attach themselves to the study of the Great Vehicle. There are five Deva temples occupied by sectaries of different persuasions.

In the middle of the chief city is an old saṅghārāma, within which is a stūpa, which, although in ruins, is still rather more than 100 feet high. It was built by Aśoka-rāja. Tathāgata, when in the world in old days, preached here for seven days on the Wen-kiai-chu-king (Skandhadhātu-upasthāna Sūtra?).633 By the side of it are the traces where the four former Buddhas sat and walked in exercise.

Going hence south-east 200 li or so, we come to the country of Kie-pi-ta (Kapitha).634


This country635 is abont 2000 li in circuit, and the capital 20 li or so. The climate and produce resemble those of Pi-lo-shan-na. The manners of the people are soft and agreeable. The men are much given to learning. There are four saṅghārāmas with about 1000 priests, who study the Ching-liang (Saṁmatīya) school of the Little Vehicle. There are ten Deva temples, where sectaries of all persuasions dwell. They all honour and sacrifice to636 Maheśvara (Ta-tseu-t'sai-tien).

To the east of the city 20 li or so is a great saṅghārāma of beautiful construction, throughout which the artist has exhibited his greatest skill. The sacred image of the holy form (of Buddha) is most wonderfully magnificent. There are about 100 priests here, who study the doctrines of the Saṁmatīya (Ching-liang) school. Several myriads of "pure men" (religious laymen) live by the side of this convent.

Within the great enclosure of the saṅghārāma there are three precious ladders, which are arranged side by side from north to south, with their faces for descent to the east. This is where Tathāgata came down on his return from the Trayastriṁśas heaven.637 In old days Tathāgata, going up from the "wood of the conqueror" (Shing-lin, Jetavana), ascended to the heavenly mansions, and dwelt in the Saddharma Hall,638 preaching the law for the sake of his mother. Three months having elapsed, being desirous to descend to earth, śakra, king of the Devas, exercising his spiritual power, erected these precious ladders. The middle one was of yellow gold, the left-hand one of pure crystal, the right-hand one of white silver.

Tathāgata rising from the Saddharma hall, accompanied by a multitude of Devas, descended by the middle ladder. Māha-Brahmā-rāja (Fan), holding a white chāmara, [id (T51.2087.0893b)] came down by the white ladder on the right, whilst śakra (Shi), king of Devas (Devendra), holding a precious canopy (parasol), descended by the crystal ladder on the left. Meanwhile the company of Devas in the air scattered flowers and chanted their praises in his honour. Some centuries ago the ladders still existed in their original position, but now they have sunk into the earth and have disappeared. The neighbouring princes, grieved at not having seen them, built up of bricks and chased stones ornamented with jewels, on the ancient foundations (three ladders) resembling the old ones. They are about 70 feet high. Above them they have built a vihāra in which is a stone image of Buddha, and on either side of this is a ladder with the figures of Brahmā and śakra, just as they appeared when first rising to accompany Buddha in his descent.

On the outside of the vihāra, but close by its side, there is a stone column about 70 feet high which was erected by Aśoka-rāja (Wu-yeu). It is of a purple colour, and shining as if with moisture. The substance is hard and finely grained. Above it is a lion sitting on his haunches,639 and facing the ladder. There are carved figures inlaid,640 of wonderful execution, on the four sides of the pillar and around it. As men are good or bad these figures appear on the pillar (or disappear).

Beside the precious ladder (temple), and not far from it, is a stūpa where there are traces left of the four past Buddhas, who sat and walked here.

By the side of it is another stūpa. This is where Tathāgata, when in the world, bathed himself. By the side of this is a vihāra on the spot where Tathāgata entered Samādhi. By the side of the vihāra there is a long foundation wall 50 paces in length and 7 feet high; this is the place where Tathāgata took exercise.641 On the spots where his feet trod are figures of the lotus flower. On the right and left of the wall are (two) little stūpas, erected by śakra and Brahmā-rāja.

In front of the stūpas of śakra and Brahmā is the place where Utpalavarṇā (Lin-hwa-sih) the Bhikshunī,642 wishing to be the first to see Buddha, was changed into a Chakravartin-rāja when Tathāgata was returning from the palace of Īśvara Deva to Jambudvīpa. At this time Subhūti (Su-p'u-ti),643 quietly seated in his stone cell, thought thus with himself: "Now Buddha is returning down to dwell with men -- angels lead and attend him. And now why should I go to the place? Have I not heard him declare that all existing things are void of reality? Since this is the nature of all things, I have already seen with my eyes of wisdom the spiritual (fa) body of Buddha."644

At this time Utpalavarṇā Bhikshunī, being anxious to be the first to see Buddha, was changed into a Chakravartin monarch, with the seven gems645 (ratnāni) accompanying her, and with the four kinds of troops to escort and defend her. Coming to the place where the lord of the world was, she reassumed her form as a Bhikshunī, on which Tathāgata addressed her and said: "You are not the first to see me! Subhūti (Chen-hien), comprehending the emptiness of all things, he has beheld my spiritual body (dharmakāya)."646

Within the precinct of the sacred traces miracles are constantly exhibited.

To the south-east of the great stūpa is a Nāga tank. He defends the sacred traces with care, and being thus spiritually protected, one cannot regard them lightly. Years may effect their destruction, but no human power can do so. Going north-west from this less than 200 li, we come to the kingdom of Kie-jo-kio-she (Kanyākubja).

[id (T51.2087.0893c)] BOOK V

Contains the following countries: -- (1) Kie-jo-kio-she-kwo; (2) 'O-yu-t'o; (3) 'O-ye-mu-k'ie; (4) Po-lo-ye-kia; (5) Kiao-shang-mi; (6) Pi-su-kia.


This kingdom is about 4000 li in circuit; the capital,647 on the west, borders on the river Ganges.648 It is about 20 li in length and 4 or 5 li in breadth. The city has a dry ditch649 round it, with strong and lofty towers facing one another. The flowers and woods, the lakes and ponds,650 bright and pure and shining like mirrors, (are seen on every side). Valuable merchandise is collected here in great quantities. The people are well off and contented, the houses are rich and well found. Flowers and fruits abound in every place, and the land is sown and reaped in due seasons. The climate is agreeable and soft, the manners of the people honest and sincere. They are noble and gracious in appearance. For clothing they use ornamented and bright-shining (fabrics). They apply themselves much to learning, and in their travels are very much given to discussion651 (on religious subjects). (The fame of) their pure language is far spread. The believers in Buddha and the heretics are about equal in number. There are some hundred saṅghārāmas with 10,000 priests. They study both the Great and Little Vehicle. There are 200 Deva temples with several thousand followers.

The old capital of Kanyākubja, where men lived for a long time, was called Kusumapura.652 The king's name was Brahmadatta.653 His religious merit and wisdom in former births entailed on him the inheritance of a literary and military character that caused his name to be widely reverenced and feared. The whole of Jambudvīpa resounded with his fame, and the neighbouring provinces were filled with the knowledge of it. He had 1000 sons famed for wisdom and courage, and 100 daughters of singular grace and beauty.

At this time there was a rishi living on the border of the Ganges river, who, having entered a condition of ecstasy, by his spiritual power passed several myriad of years in this condition, until his form became like a decayed tree. Now it happened that some wandering birds having assembled in a flock near this spot, one of them let drop on the shoulder (of the rishi) a Nyagrodha (Ni-ku-liu) fruit, which grew up, and through summer and winter afforded him a welcome protection and shade. After a succession of years he awoke from his ecstasy. He arose and desired to get rid of the tree, but feared to injure the nests of the birds in it. The men of the time, extolling his virtue, called him "The great-tree (Mahāvṛksha) rishi." The rishi gazing once on the river-bank as he wandered forth to behold the woods and trees, saw the daughters of the king following one another and gambolling together. Then the love of the world (the world of desire--Kāmadhātu), which holds and pollutes the mind, was engendered in him. Immediately he went to Kusumapura for the purpose of paying his salutations to the king and asking (for his daughter).

The king, hearing of the arrival of the rishi, went himself to meet and salute him, and thus addressed him graciously: "Great rishi! you were reposing in peace [id (T51.2087.0894a)] -- what has disturbed you?"654 The rishi answered, "After having reposed in the forest many years, on awaking from my trance, in walking to and fro I saw the king's daughters; a polluted and lustful heart was produced in me, and now I have come from far to request (one of your daughters in marriage).

The king hearing this, and seeing no way to escape, said to the rishi, "Go back to your place and rest, and let me beg you to await the happy period." The rishi, hearing the mandate, returned to the forest. The king then asked his daughters in succession, but none of them consented to be given in marriage.

The king, fearing the power of the rishi, was much grieved and afflicted thereat. And now the youngest daughter of the king, watching an opportunity when the king was at liberty, with an engaging manner said, "The king, my father, has his thousand sons, and on every side his dependents655 are reverently obedient. Why, then, are you sad as if you were afraid of something?"

The king replied, "The great-tree-rishi has been pleased to look down on you656 to seek a marriage with one of you, and you have all turned away and not consented to comply with his request. Now this rishi possesses great power, and is able to bring either calamities or good fortune. If he is thwarted he will be exceedingly angry, and in his displeasure destroy my kingdom, and put an end to our religious worship, and bring disgrace on me and my ancestors. As I consider this unhappiness indeed I have much anxiety."

The girl-daughter replied, "Dismiss your heavy grief; ours is the fault. Let me, I pray, in my poor person promote the prosperity of the country."

The king, hearing her words, was overjoyed, and ordered his chariot to accompany her with gifts to her marriage. Having arrived at the hermitage of the rishi, he offered his respectful greetings and said, "Great rishi! since you condescended to fix your mind on external things and to regard the world with complacency, I venture to offer you my young daughter to cherish and provide for you (water and sweep)." The rishi, looking at her, was displeased, and said to the king, "You despise my old age, surely, in offering me this ungainly thing."

The king said, "I asked all my daughters in succession, but they were unwilling to comply with your request: this little one alone offered to serve you."

The rishi was extremely angry, and uttered this curse (evil charm), saying, "Let the ninety-nine girls (who refused me) this moment become hump-backed; being thus deformed, they will find no one to marry them in all the world." The king, having sent a messenger in haste, found that already they had become deformed. From this time the town had this other name of the Kuih-niu-shing (Kanyākubja), i.e., "city of the humped-backed women."657

The reigning king is of the Vaiśya658 caste. His name is Harshavardhana (Ho-li-sha-fa-t'an-na).659 A commission of officers hold the land. During two generations there have been three kings. (The king's) father was called Po-lo-kie-lo-fa-t'an-na (prabhākaravardhana);660 his elder brother's name was Rājyavardhana (Ho-lo-she-fa-t'an-na).661

Rājyavardhana came to the throne as the elder brother, and ruled with virtue. At this time the king of Karṇasuvarṇa (Kie-lo-na-su-fa-la-na),662 --a kingdom of Eastern India--whose name was śaśāṅgka (She-shang-kia),663 frequently addressed his ministers in these words: "If a frontier country has a virtuous ruler, this is the unhappiness of the (mother) kingdom." On this they asked the king to a conference and murdered him.

The people having lost their ruler, the country became desolate. Then the great minister P'o-ni (Bhaṇḍi),664 whose power and reputation were high and of much weight, addressing the assembled ministers, said, "The destiny of the nation is to be fixed to-day. The old king's son is dead: the brother of the prince, however, is humane and affectionate, and his disposition, heaven-conferred, is dutiful and obedient. Because he is strongly attached to his family, the people will trust in him. I propose that he assume the royal authority: let each one give his opinion on this matter, whatever he thinks." They were all agreed on this point, and acknowledged his conspicuous qualities.

[id (T51.2087.0894b)] On this the chief ministers and the magistrates all exhorted him to take authority, saying, "Let the royal prince attend! The accumulated merit and the conspicuous virtue of the former king were so illustrious as to cause his kingdom to be most happily governed. When he was followed by Rājyavardhana we thought he would end his years (as king); but owing to the fault of his ministers, he was led to subject his person to the hand of his enemy, and the kingdom has suffered a great affliction; but it is the fault of your ministers. The opinion of the people, as shown in their songs, proves their real submission to your eminent qualities. Reign, then, with glory over the land; conquer the enemies of your family; wash out the insult laid on your kingdom and the deeds of your illustrious father. Great will your merit be in such a case. We pray you reject not our prayer."

The prince replied, "The government of a country is a responsible office and ever attended with difficulties. The duties of a prince require previous consideration. As for myself, I am indeed of small eminence; but as my father and brother are no more, to reject the heritage of the crown, that can bring no benefit to the people. I must attend to the opinion of the world and forget my own insufficiency. Now, therefore, on the banks of the Ganges there is a statue of Avalokiteśvara bodhisattva which has evidenced many spiritual wonders. I will go to it and ask advice (request a response)." Forthwith, coming to the spot where the figure of the Bodhisattva was, he remained before it fasting and praying. The Bodhisattva recognising his sincere intention (heart), appeared in a bodily form and inquired, "What do you seek that you are so earnest in your supplications?" The prince answered, "I have suffered under a load of affliction. My dear father, indeed, is dead, who was full of kindness; and my brother, humane and gentle as he was, has been odiously murdered. In the presence of these calamities I humble myself as one of little virtue; nevertheless, the people would exalt me to the royal dignity, to fill the high place of my illustrious father. Yet I am, indeed, but ignorant and foolish. In my trouble I ask the holy direction (of the bodhisattva)."

The Bodhisattva replied, "In your former existence you lived in this forest as a hermit (a forest mendicant),665 and by your earnest diligence and unremitting attention you inherited a power of religious merit which resulted in your birth as a king's son. The king of the country, Karṇasuvarṇa, has overturned the law of Buddha. Now when you succeed to the royal estate, you should in the same proportion exercise towards it the utmost love and pity.666 If you give your mind to compassionate the condition of the distressed and to cherish them, then before long you shall rule over the Five Indies. If you would establish your authority, attend to my instruction, and by my secret power you shall receive additional enlightenment, so that not one of your neighbours shall be able to triumph over you. Ascend not the lion-throne, and call not yourself Mahārāja."667

Having received these instructions, he departed and assumed the royal office. He called himself the King's Son (Kumāra); his title was śīlāditya. And now he commanded his ministers, saying, "The enemies of my brother are unpunished as yet, the neighbouring countries not brought to submission; while this is so my right hand shall never lift food to my mouth. Therefore do you, people and officers, unite with one heart and put out your strength." Accordingly they assembled all the soldiers of the kingdom, summoned the masters of arms (champions, or, teachers of the art of fighting). They had a body of 5000 elephants, a body of 2000 cavalry, and 50,000 foot-soldiers. He went from east to west subduing all who were not obedient; the elephants were not unharnessed nor the soldiers unbelted (unhelmeted). After six years he had subdued the Five Indies. Having thus enlarged his territory, he increased his forces; he had 60,000 war elephants and 100,000 cavalry. After thirty years his arms reposed, and he governed everywhere in peace. He then practised to the utmost the rules of temperance,668 and sought to plant the tree of religious merit to such an extent that he forgot to sleep or to eat. He forbade the slaughter of any living thing or flesh as food throughout the Five Indies on pain of death without pardon. [id (T51.2087.0894c)] He built on the banks of the river Ganges several thousand Stūpas, each about 100 feet high; in all the highways of the towns and villages throughout India he erected hospices,669 provided with food and drink, and stationed there physicians,670 with medicines for travellers and poor persons round about, to be given without any stint. On all spots where there were holy traces (of Buddha) he raised saṅghāarāmas.

Once in five years he held the great assembly called Moksha. He emptied his treasuries to give all away in charity, only reserving the soldiers' arms, which were unfit to give as alms.671 Every year he assembled the śramaṇas from all countries, and on the third and seventh days he bestowed on them in charity the four kinds of alms (viz., food, drink, medicine, clothing). He decorated the throne of the law (the pulpit) and extensively ornamented (arranged) the oratories.672 He ordered the priests to carry on discussions, and himself judged of their several arguments, whether they were weak or powerful. He rewarded the good and punished the wicked, degraded the evil and promoted the men of talent. If any one (of the priests) walked according to the moral precepts, and was distinguished in addition for purity in religion (reason), he himself conducted such an one to "the lion-throne" and received from him the precepts of the law. If any one, though distinguished for purity of life, had no distinction for learning, he was reverenced, but not highly honoured. If any one disregarded the rules of morality and was notorious for his disregard of propriety, him he banished from the country, and would neither see him nor listen to him. If any of the neighbouring princes or their chief ministers lived religiously, with earnest purpose, and aspired to a virtuous character without regarding labour, he led him by the hand to occupy the same seat with himself, and called him "illustrious friend;" but he disdained to look upon those of a different character. If it was necessary to transact state business, he employed couriers who continually went and returned. If there was any irregularity in the manners of the people of the cities, he went amongst them. Wherever he moved he dwelt in a ready-made building673 during his sojourn. During the excessive rains of the three months of the rainy season he would not travel thus. Constantly in his travelling-palace he would provide choice meats for men of all sorts of religion.674 The Buddhist priests would be perhaps a thousand; the Brāhmaṇs, five hundred. He divided each day into three portions. During the first he occupied himself on matters of government; during the second he practised himself in religious devotion (merit) without interruption, so that the day was not sufficiently long. When I675 first received the invitation of Kumāra-rāja, I said I would go from Magadha to Kāmarūpa. At this time śīlāditya-rāja was visiting different parts of his empire, and found himself at Kie-mi-676 -ou-ki-lo, when he gave the following order to Kumāra-rāja: "I desire you to come at once to the assembly with the strange śramaṇa you are entertaining at the Nālanda convent." On this, coming with Kumāra-rāja, we attended the assembly. The king, śīlāditya, after the fatigue of the journey was over, said, "From what country do you come, and what do you seek in your travels?"

He said in reply, "I come from the great Tang country, and I ask permission to seek for the law (religious books) of Buddha."

The king said, "Whereabouts is the great Tang country? by what road do you travel? and is it far from this, or near?"

In reply he said, "My country lies to the north-east from this several myriads of li; it is the kingdom which in India is called Mahāchina."

The king answered, "I have heard that the country of Mahāchina has a king called Ts'in,677 the son of heaven, when young distinguished for his spiritual abilities, when old then (called) 'divine warrior.'678 [id (T51.2087.0895a)] The empire in former generations was in disorder and confusion, everywhere divided and in disunion; soldiers were in conflict, and all the people were afflicted with calamity. Then the king of Ts'in, son of heaven, who had conceived from the first vast purposes, brought into exercise all his pity and love; he brought about a right understanding, and pacified and settled all within the seas. His laws and instruction spread on every side. People from other countries brought under his influence declared themselves ready to submit to his rule. The multitude whom he nourished generously sang in their songs of the prowess of the king of Ts'in. I have learned long since his praises sung thus in verse. Are the records (laudatory hymns) of his great (complete) qualities well founded? Is this the king of the great Tang, of which you speak?"

Replying, he said, "China is the country of our former kings, but the 'great Tang' is the country of our present ruler. Our king in former times, before he became hereditary heir to the throne (before the empire was established), was called the sovereign of Ts'in, but now he is called the 'king of heaven' (emperor). At the end of the former dynasty679 the people had no ruler, civil war raged on every hand and caused confusion, the people were destroyed, when the king of Ts'in, by his supernatural gifts, exercised his love and compassion on every hand; by his power the wicked were destroyed on every side, the eight regions680 found rest, and the ten thousand kingdoms brought tribute. He cherished creatures of every kind, submitted with respect to the three precious ones.681 He lightened the burdens of the people and mitigated punishment, so that the country abounded in resources and the people enjoyed complete rest. It would be difficult to recount all the great changes he accomplished."

śīlāditya-rāja replied, "Very excellent indeed! the people are happy in the hands of such a holy king."

śīlāditya-rāja being about to return to the city of Kanyākubja, convoked a religious assembly. Followed by several hundreds of thousand people, he took his place on the southern bank of the river Ganges, whilst Kumāra-rāja, attended by several tens of thousands, took his place on the northern bank, and thus, divided by the stream of the river, they advanced on land and water. The two kings led the way with their gorgeous staff of soldiers (of the four kinds); some also were in boats; some were on elephants; sounding drums and blowing horns, playing on flutes and harps. After ninety days they arrived at the city of Kanyākubja, (and rested) on the western shore of the Ganges river, in the middle of a flowery copse.

Then the kings of the twenty countries who had received instruction from śīlāditya-rāja assembled with the śramaṇas and Brāhmaṇs, the most distinguished of their country, with magistrates and soldiers. The king in advance had constructed on the west side of the river a great saṅghārāma, and on the east of this a precious tower about 100 feet in height; in the middle he had placed a golden statue of Buddha, of the same height as the king himself. On the south of the tower he placed a precious altar, in the place for washing the image of Buddha. From this north-east 14 or 15 li he erected another rest-house. It was now the second month of spring-time; from the first day of the month he had presented exquisite food to the śramaṇas and Brāhmaṇs [id (T51.2087.0895b)] till the 21st day; all along, from the temporary palace682 to the saṅghārāma, there were highly decorated pavilions, and places where musicians were stationed, who raised the sounds of their various instruments. The king, on leaving the resting-hall (palace of travel), made them bring forth on a gorgeously caparisoned great elephant a golden statue of Buddha about three feet high, and raised aloft. On the left went the king, śīlāditya, dressed as śakra, holding a precious canopy, whilst Kumāra-??rāja, dressed as Brahmā-rāja, holding a white chāmara, went on the right. Each of them had as an escort 500 war-elephants clad in armour; in front and behind the statue or Buddha went 100 great elephants, carrying musicians, who sounded their drums and raised their music. The king, śīlāditya, as he went, scattered on every side pearls and various precious substances, with gold and silver flowers, in honour of the three precious objects of worship. Having first washed the image in scented water at the altar, the king then himself bore it on his shoulder to the western tower, where he offered to it tens, hundreds, and thousands of silken garments, decorated with precious gems. At this time there were but about twenty śramaṇas following in the procession, the kings of the various countries forming the escort. After the feast they assembled the different men of learning, who discussed in elegant language on the most abstruse subjects. At evening-tide the king retired in state to his palace of travel.

Thus every day he carried the golden statue as before, till at length on the day of separation a great fire suddenly broke out in the tower, and the pavilion over the gate of the saṅghārāma was also in flames. Then the king exclaimed, "I have exhausted the wealth of my country in charity, and following the example of former kings, I have built this saṅghārāma, and I have aimed to distinguish myself by superior deeds, but my poor attempts (feeble qualities) have found no return! In the presence of such calamities as these, what need I of further life?"

Then with incense-burning he prayed, and with this vow (oath), "Thanks to my previous merit, I have come to reign over all India; let the force of my religious conduct destroy this fire; or if not, let me die!" Then he rushed headlong towards the threshold of the gate, when suddenly, as if by a single blow, the fire was extinguished and the smoke disappeared.

The kings beholding the strange event, were filled with redoubled reverence; but he (the king), with unaltered face and unchanged accents, addressed the princes thus: "The fire has consumed this crowning work of my religious life. What think you of it?" The princes, prostrate at his feet, with tears, replied, "The work which marked the crowning act of your perfected merit, and which we hoped would be handed down to future ages, has in a moment (a dawn) been reduced to ashes. How can we bear to think of it? But how much more when the heretics are rejoicing thereat, and interchanging their congratulations!"

The king answered, "By this, at least, we see the truth of what Buddha said; the heretics and others insist on the permanency683 of things, but our great teacher's doctrine is that all things are impermanent. As for me, my work of charity was finished, according to my purpose; and this destructive calamity (change) does but strengthen my knowledge of the truth of Tathāgata's doctrine. This is a great happiness (good fortune), and not a subject for lamentation."

On this, in company with the kings, he went to the east, and mounted the great stūpa. Having reached the top, he looked around on the scene, and then descending the steps, [id (T51.2087.0895c)] suddenly a heretic (or, a strange man), knife in hand, rushed on the king. The king, startled at the sudden attack, stepped back a few steps up the stairs, and then bending himself down he seized the man, in order to deliver him to the magistrates. The officers were so bewildered with fright that they did not know how to move for the purpose of assisting him.

The kings all demanded that the culprit should be instantly killed, but śīlāditya-rāja, without the least show of fear and with unchanged countenance, commanded them not to kill him; and then he himself questioned him thus:

What harm have I done you, that you have attempted such a deed?"

The culprit replied, "Great king! your virtues shine without partiality; both at home and abroad they bring happiness. As for me, I am foolish and besotted, unequal to any great undertaking; led astray by a single word of the heretics, and flattered by their importunity, I have turned as a traitor against the king."

The king then asked, "And why have the heretics conceived this evil purpose?"

He answered and said, "Great king! you have assembled the people of different countries, and exhausted your treasury in offerings to the śramaṇas, and cast a metal image of Buddha; but the heretics who have come from a distance have scarcely been spoken to. Their minds, therefore, have been affected with resentment, and they procured me, wretched man that I am! to undertake this unlucky deed."

The king then straitly questioned the heretics and their followers. There were 500 Brāhmaṇs, all of singular talent, summoned before the king. Jealous of the śramaṇs, whom the king had reverenced and exceedingly honoured, they had caused the precious tower to catch fire by means of burning arrows, and they hoped that in escaping from the fire the crowd would disperse in confusion, and at such a moment they purposed to assassinate the king. Having been foiled in this, they had bribed this man to lay wait for the king in a narrow passage and kill him.

Then the ministers and the kings demanded the extermination of the heretics. The king punished the chief of them and pardoned the rest. He banished the 500 Brāhmaṇs to the frontiers of India, and then returned to his capital.

To the north-west of the capital there is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. In this place Tathāgata, when in the world, preached the most excellent doctrines for seven days. By the side of this stūpa are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked for exercise. There is, moreover, a little stūpa containing the relics of Buddha's hair and nails; and also a preaching-place684 stūpa.

On the south and by the side of the Ganges are three saṅghārāmas, enclosed within the same walls, but with different gates. They have highly ornamented statues of Buddha. The priests are devout and reverential; they have in their service several thousands of "pure men."685 In a precious casket in the vihāra is a tooth of Buddha about one and a half inches in length, very bright, and of different colours at morning and night. People assemble from far and near; the leading men with the multitude join in one body in worship. Every day hundreds and thousands come together. The guardians of the relic, on account of the uproar and confusion occasioned by the multitude of people, placed on the exhibition a heavy tax, and proclaimed far and wide that those wishing to see the tooth of Buddha must pay one great gold piece. Nevertheless, the followers who come to worship are very numerous, and gladly pay the tax of a gold piece. On every holiday they bring it (the relic) out and place it on a high throne, whilst hundreds and thousands of men burn incense and scatter flowers; and although the flowers are heaped up, the tooth-casket is not overwhelmed.

In front of the saṅghārāma, on the right and left hand, there are two vihāras, each about 100 feet high, the foundation of stone and the walls of brick. In the middle are statues of Buddha highly decorated with jewels, one made of gold and silver [id (T51.2087.0896a)] , the other of native copper. Before each vihāra is a little saṅghārāma.

Not far to the south-east of the saṅghārāma is a great vihāra, of which the foundations are stone and the building of brick, about 200 feet high. There is a standing figure of Buddha in it about 30 feet high. It is of native copper (bronze?) and decorated with costly gems. On the four surrounding walls of the vihāra are sculptured pictures. The various incidents in the life of Tathāgata, when he was practising the discipline of a Bodhisattva are here fully portrayed (engraved).

Not far to the south of the stone vihāra is a temple of the Sun-deva. Not far to the south of this is a temple of Maheśvara. The two temples are built of a blue stone of great lustre, and are ornamented with various elegant sculptures. In length and breadth they correspond with the vihāra of Buddha. Each of these foundations has 1000 attendants to sweep and water it; the sound of drums and of songs accompanied by music, ceases not day nor night.

To the south-east of the great city 6 or 7 li, on the south side of the Ganges, is a stūpa about 200 feet in height, built by Aśoka-rāja. When in the world, Tathāgata in this place preached for six months on the impermanency of the body (anātma), on sorrow (duḥkha), on unreality (anitya), and impurity.686

On one side of this is the place where the four past Buddhas sat and walked for exercise. Moreover, there is a little stūpa of the hair and nails of Tathāgata. If a sick person with sincere faith walks round this edifice, he obtains immediate recovery and increase of religious merit.

To the south-east of the capital, going about 100 li, we come to the town of Na-fo-ti-p'o-ku-lo (Navadevakula).687 It is situated on the eastern bank of the Ganges, and is about 20 li in circuit. There are here flowery groves, and pure lakes which reflect the shadows of the trees.

To the north-west of this town, on the eastern bank of the Ganges river, is a Deva temple, the towers and storeyed turrets of which are remarkable for their skilfully carved work. To the east of the city 5 li are three saṅghārāmas with the same wall but different gates, with about 500 priests, who study the Little Vehicle according to the school of the Sarvāstivādins.

Two hundred paces in front of the saṅghārāma is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. Although the foundations are sunk in the ground, it is yet some 100 feet in height. It was here Tathāgata in old days preached the law for seven days. In this monument is a relic (śarīra) which ever emits a brilliant light. Beside it is a place where there are traces of the four former Buddhas, who sat and walked here.

To the north of the saṅghārāma 3 or 4 li, and bordering on the Ganges river, is a stūpa about 200 feet high, built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Buddha preached for seven days. At this time there were some 500 demons who came to the place where Buddha was to hear the law; understanding its character, they gave up their demon form and were born in heaven.688 By the side of the preaching-stūpa is a place where there are traces of the four Buddhas who sat and walked there. [id (T51.2087.0896b)] By the side of this again is a stūpa containing the hair and nails of Tathāgata.

From this going south-east 600 li or so, crossing the Ganges and going south, we come to the country of 'O-yu-t'o (Ayodhyā).


This kingdom689 is 5000 li in circuit, and the capital about 20 li. It abounds in cereals, and produces a large quantity of flowers and fruits. The climate is temperate and agreeable, the manners of the people virtuous and amiable; they love the duties of religion (merit), and diligently devote themselves to learning. There are about 100 saṅghārāmas in the country and 3000 priests, who study both the books of the Great and the Little Vehicle. There are ten Deva temples; heretics of different schools are found in them, but few in number.

In the capital is an old saṅghārāma; it was in this place that Vasubandhu690 Bodhisattva, during a sojourn of several decades of years, composed various śāstras both of the Great and Little Vehicle. By the side of it are some ruined foundation walls; this was the hall in which Vasubandhu Bodhisattva explained the principles of religion and preached for the benefit of kings of different countries, eminent men of the world, śramaṇs and Brāhmaṇs.

To the north of the city 40 li, by the side of the river Ganges, is a large saṅghārāma in which is a stūpa about 200 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. It was here that Tathāgata explained the excellent principles of the law for the benefit of a congregation of Devas during a period of three months.

By the side is a stūpa to commemorate the place where are traces of the four past Buddhas, who sat and walked here.

To the west of the saṅghārāma 4 or 5 li is a stūpa containing relics of Tathāgata's hair and nails. To the north of this stūpa are the ruins of a saṅghārāma; it was here that śrīlabdha691 (Shi-li-lo-to), a master of śāstras belonging to the Sautrāntika school, composed the Vibhāshā śāstra of that school.

To the south-west of the city 5 or 6 li, in an extensive grove of āmra trees, is an old saṅghārāma; this is where Asaṅga692 Bodhisattva pursued his studies and directed the men of the age.693 Asaṅga Bodhisattva went up by night to the palace of Maitreya Bodhisattva, and there received694 the Yogāchārya śāstra,695 the Mahāyana Sūtrālaṅkāraṭīka,696 the Madyānta Vibhaṅga śāstra,697 etc., and afterwards declared these to the great congregation, in their deep principles.

North-west of the āmra grove about a hundred paces is a stūpa containing relics of the hair and nails of Tathāgata. By its side are some old foundation walls. This is where Vasubandhu Bodhisattva descended from the Tushita heaven and beheld Asaṅga Bodhisattva. Asaṅga Bodhisattva was a man of Candhāra.698 He was born in the middle of the thousand years following the departure of Buddha from the world; and possessed of deep spiritual insight, he soon acquired a knowledge of the doctrine (of Buddha). He became a professed disciple, and attached himself to the school of the Mahīśāsakas, but afterwards altered his views and embraced the teaching of the Great Vehicle. His brother, Vasubandhu Bodhisattva, belonged to the school of the Sarvāstivādins, [id (T51.2087.0896c)] and had inherited a wide fame, with a strong intelligence and penetrating wisdom and remarkable acumen. The disciple of Asaṅga was Buddhasiṁha, a man whose secret conduct was unfathomable, of high talent and wide renown.

These two or three worthies had often talked together in this way: "We all are engaged in framing our conduct so as to enjoy the presence of Maitreya after death.699 Whoever of us first dies and obtains the condition (of being so born in the heaven of Maitreya), let him come and communicate it to us, that we may know his arrival there."

After this Buddhasiṁha was the first to die. After three years, during which there was no message from him, Vasubandhu Bodhisattva also died. Then six months having elapsed, and there being no message either from him, all the unbelievers began to mock and ridicule, as if Vasubandhu and Buddhasiṁha had fallen into an evil way of birth, and so there was no spiritual manifestation.

After this, Asaṅga Bodhisattva, during the first division of a certain night, was explaining to his disciples the law of entailing (or conferring on others) the power of samādhi, when suddenly the flame of the lamp was eclipsed, and there was a great light in space; then a rishi-deva, traversing through the sky, came down, and forthwith ascending the stairs of the hall, saluted Asaṅga. Asaṅga, addressing him, said, "What has been the delay in your coming? What is your present name?" In reply he said, "At the time of my death I went to the Tushita heaven, to the inner assembly (i.e., the immediate presence) of Maitreya, and was there born in a lotus flower."700 On the flower presently opening, Maitreya, in laudatory terms, addressed me, saying, 'Welcome! thou vastly learned one! welcome! thou vastly learned one!' I then paid him my respects by moving round his person, and then directly701 came here to communicate my mode of life." Asaṅga said, "And where is Buddhasiṁha?" He answered, "As I was going round Maitreya I saw Buddhasiṁha among the outside crowd, immersed in pleasure and merriment. He exchanged no look with me; how then can you expect him to come to you to communicate his condition?" Asaṅga answered, "That is settled; but with respect to Maitreya, what is his appearance and what the law he declares?" He said, "No words can describe the marks and signs (the personal beauty) of Maitreya. With respect to the excellent law which he declares, the principles of it are not different from those (of our belief). The exquisite voice of the Bodhisattva is soft and pure and refined; those who hear it can never tire; those who listen are never satiated."702

To the north-west of the ruins of the preaching-hall of Asaṅga about 40 li, we come to an old saṅghārāma, bordering the Ganges on the north. In it is a stūpa of brick, about 100 feet high; this is the place where Vasubandhu first conceived a desire to cultivate the teaching of the Great Vehicle.703 He had come to this place from North India. At this time Asaṅga Bodhisattva commanded his followers to go forward to meet him. Having come to the place, they met and had an interview. The disciple of Asaṅga was reposing outside the open window (of Vasubandhu), when in the after part of the night he began to recite the Daśabhūmi Sūtra. Vasubandhu having heard it, understood the meaning, and was deeply grieved that this profound and excellent doctrine had not come to his ears in time past, and he laid the blame on his tongue as the origin of his sin of calumniating (the Great Vehicle), "and so," said he, "I will cut it out." Seizing a knife, he was about to do so, when he saw Asaṅga standing before him, who said, "Indeed the doctrine of the Great Vehicle is very profound; it is praised by all the Buddhas, exalted by all the saints. I would teach it to you, [id (T51.2087.0897a)] but you yourself now understand it; but now, at the very time of understanding it, what good, in the presence of this holy teaching of the Buddhas, to cut out your tongue? Do it not, but (rather) repent; and as in old time you abused the Great Vehicle with your tongue, now with the same member extol it. Change your life and renew yourself; this is the only good thing to do. There can be no benefit from closing your mouth and ceasing to speak." Having said this he disappeared.

Vasubandhu, in obedience to his words, gave up his purpose of cutting out his tongue. On the morrow morning he went to Asaṅga and accepted the teaching of the Great Vehicle. On this he gave himself up earnestly to think on the subject, and wrote a hundred and more śāstras in agreement with the Great Vehicle, which are spread everywhere, and are in great renown.

From this going east 300 li or so on the north of the Ganges, we arrive at 'O-ye-mo-khi (Hayamukha).


This kingdom704 is 2400 or 2500 li in circuit, and the chief town, which borders on the Ganges, is about 20 li round. Its products and climate are the same as those of Ayodhyā. The people are of a simple and honest disposition. They diligently apply themselves to learning and cultivate religion. There are five saṅghārāmas, with about a thousand priests. They belong to the Sammatīya school of the Little Vehicle. There are ten Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of various kinds.

Not far to the south-east of the city, close to the shore of the Ganges, is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja, 200 feet high. Here Buddha in old time repeated the law for three months. Beside it are traces where the four past Buddhas walked and sat.

There is also another stone stūpa, containing relics of Buddha's hair and nails.

By the side of this stūpa is a saṅghārāma with about 200 disciples in it. There is here a richly adorned statue of Buddha, as grave and dignified as if really alive. The towers and balconies are wonderfully carved and constructed, and rise up imposingly (or, in great numbers) above the building. In old days Buddhadāsa (Fo-t'o-t'o-so),705 a master of śāstras, composed in this place the Mahāvibhāsha śāstra of the school of the Sarvāstivādins.

Going south-east 700 li, passing to the south of the Ganges, we come to the kingdom of Po-lo-ye-kia (prayāga).


This country706 is about 5000 li in circuit, and the capital, which lies between two branches of the river, is about 20 li round. The grain products are very abundant, and fruit-trees grow in great luxuriance. The climate is warm and agreeable; the people are gentle and compliant in their disposition. They love learning, and are very much given to heresy.

There are two saṅghārāmas with a few followers, who belong to the Little Vehicle.

There are several Deva temples; the number of heretics is very great.

To the south-west of the capital, in a Champaka (Chen-po-kia) grove, is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja; although the foundations have sunk down, yet the walls are more than 100 feet high. Here it was in old days Tathāgata discomfited the heretics. By the side of it is a stūpa containing hair and nail relics, [id (T51.2087.0897b)] and also a place where (the past Buddhas?) sat and walked.

By the side of this last stūpa is an old saṅghārāma; this is the place where Deva Bodhisattva composed the śāstra called Kwang-pih (śataśāstra vaipulyam), refuted the principles of the Little Vehicle and silenced the heretics. At first Deva came from South India to this saṅghārāma. There was then in the town a Brāhmaṇ of high controversial renown and great dialectic skill. Following to its origin the meaning of names, and relying on the different applications of the same word, he was in the habit of questioning his adversary and silencing him. Knowing the subtle skill of Deva, he desired to overthrow him and refute him in the use of words. He therefore said:--

"Pray, what is your name?" Deva said, "They call me Deva." The heretic rejoined, "Who is Deva?" He answered, "I am." The heretic said, "And 'I,' what is that?" Deva answered, "A dog." The heretic said, "And who is a dog?" Deva said, "You." The heretic answered, "And 'you,' what is that?" Deva said, "Deva." The heretic said, "And who is Deva?" He said, "I." The heretic said, "And who is 'I'?" Deva said, "A dog." Again he asked, "And who is a dog?" Deva said, "You." The heretic said, "And who is 'you'?" Deva answered, "Deva." And so they went on till the heretic understood; from that time he greatly reverenced the brilliant reputation of Deva.

In the city there is a Deva temple beautifully ornamented and celebrated for its numerous miracles. According to their records, this place is a noted one (śrī -- fortunate ground) for all living things to acquire religious merit.

If in this temple a man gives a single farthing, his merit is greater than if he gave a 1000 gold pieces elsewhere. Again, if in this temple a person is able to contemn life so as to put an end to himself, then he is born to eternal happiness in heaven.

Before the hall of the temple there is a great tree707 with spreading boughs and branches, and casting a deep shadow. There was a body-eating demon here, who, depending on this custom (viz., of committing suicide), made his abode here; accordingly on the left and right one sees heaps of bones. Hence, when a person comes to this temple, there is everything to persuade him to despise his life and give it up: he is encouraged thereto both by the promptings of the heretics and also by the seductions of the (evil) spirit. From very early days till now this false custom has been practised.

Lately there was a Brāhmaṇ whose family name was Tseu (putra); he was a man of deep penetration and great learning, of lucid wit and high talent. This man coming to the temple, called to all the people and said, "Sirs, ye are of crooked ways and perverse mind, difficult to lead and persuade." Then he engaged in their sacrifices with them, with a view afterwards to convert them. Then he mounted the tree, and looking down on his friends he said, "I am going to die. Formerly I said that their doctrine was false and wicked; now I say it is good and true. The heavenly rishis, with their music in the air, call me. From this fortunate spot will I cast down my poor body." He was about to cast himself down when his friends, having failed by their expostulations to deter him, spread out their garments underneath the place where he was on the tree, and so when he fell he was preserved. When he recovered he said, "I thought I saw in the air the Devas calling me to come, but now by the stratagem of this hateful (heretical) spirit (viz., of the tree), [id (T51.2087.0897c)] I have failed to obtain the heavenly joys."

To the east of the capital, between the two confluents of the river, for the space of 10 li or so, the ground is pleasant and upland. The whole is covered with a fine sand. From old time till now, the kings and noble families, whenever they had occasion to distribute their gifts in charity, ever came to this place, and here gave away their goods; hence it is called the great charity enclosure. At the present time śīlāditya-rāja, after the example of his ancestors, distributes here in one day the accumulated wealth of five years. Having collected in this space of the charity enclosure immense piles of wealth and jewels, on the first day he adorns in a very sumptuous way a statue of Buddha, and then offers to it the most costly jewels. Afterwards he offers his charity to the residentiary priests; afterwards to the priests (from a distance) who are present; afterwards to the men of distinguished talent; afterwards to the heretics who live in the place, following the ways of the world; and lastly, to the windows and bereaved, orphans and desolate, poor and mendicants.

Thus, according to this order, having exhausted his treasuries and given food in charity, he next gives away his head diadem and his jewelled necklaces. From the first to the last he shows no regret, and when he has finished he cries with joy, "Well done! now all that I have has entered into incorruptible and imperishable treasuries."

After this the rulers of the different countries offer their jewels and robes to the king, so that his treasury is replenished.

To the east of the enclosure of charity, at the confluence of the two rivers, every day there are many hundreds of men who bathe themselves and die. The people of this country consider that whoever wishes to be born in heaven ought to fast to a grain of rice, and then drown himself in the waters. By bathing in this water (they say) all the pollution of sin is washed away and destroyed; therefore from various quarters and distant regions people come here together and rest. During seven days they abstain from food, and afterwards end their lives. And even the monkeys and mountain stags assemble here in the neighbourhood of the river, and some of them bathe and depart, others fast and die.

On one occasion when śīlāditya-rāja distributed the alms in charity, there was a monkey who lived apart by the river-side under a tree. He also abstained from food in private, and after some days he died on that account from want.

The heretics who practise asceticism have raised a high column in the middle of the river; when the sun is about to go down they immediately climb up the pillar; then clinging on to the pillar with one hand and one foot, they wonderfully hold themselves out with one foot and one arm; and so they keep themselves stretched out in the air with their eyes fixed on the sun, and their heads turning with it to the right as it sets. When the evening has darkened, then they come down. There are many dozens of ascetics who practise this rite. They hope by these means to escape from birth and death, and many continue to practise this ordeal through several decades of years.

Going from this country south-west, we enter into a great forest infested with savage beasts and wild elephants, which congregate in numbers and molest travellers, so that unless in large numbers it is difficult (dangerous) to pass this way.

Going 500708 li or so, we come to the country Kiau-shang-mi (Kauśāmbī).

[id (T51.2087.0898a)] KIAU-SHANG-MI (KAUŚĀBĪ)

This country709 is about 6000 li in circuit, and the capital about 30 li. The land is famous for its productiveness; the increase is very wonderful. Rice and sugar-canes are plentiful. The climate is very hot, the manners of the people hard and rough. They cultivate learning and are very earnest in their religious life and in virtue. There are ten saṅghārāmas, which are in ruins and deserted; the priests are about 300; they study the Little Vehicle. There are fifty Deva temples, and the number of heretics is enormous.

In the city, within an old palace, there is a large vihāra about 60 feet high; in it is a figure of Buddha carved out of sandal-wood, above which is a stone canopy. It is the work of the king U-to-yen-na (Udāyana). By its spiritual qualities (or, between its spiritual marks) it produces a divine light, which from time to time shines forth. The princes of various countries have used their power to carry off this statue, but although many men have tried, not all the number could move it. They therefore worship copies of it,710 and they pretend that the likeness is a true one, and this is the original of all such figures.

When Tathāgata first arrived at complete enlightenment, he ascended up to heaven to preach the law for the benefit of his mother, and for three months remained absent. This king (i,e., Udāyana), thinking of him with affection, desired to have an image of his person; therefore he asked Mudgalyāyanaputra, by his spiritual power, to transport an artist to the heavenly mansions to observe the excellent marks of Buddha's body, and carve a sandal-wood statue. When Tathāgata returned from the heavenly palace, the carved figure of sandal-wood rose and saluted the Lord of the World. The Lord then graciously addressed it and said, "The work expected from you is to toil in the conversion of heretics,711 and to lead in the way of religion future ages."

About 100 paces to the east of the vihāra are the signs of the walking and sitting of the four former Buddhas. By the side of this, and not far off, is a well used by Tathāgata, and a bathing-house. The well still has water in it, but the house has long been destroyed.

Within the city, at the south-east angle of it, is an old habitation, the ruins of which only exist. This is the house of Ghoshira (Kiu-shi-lo) the nobleman.712 In the middle is a vihāra of Buddha, and a stūpa containing hair and nail relics. There are also ruins of Tathāgata's bathing-house.

Not far to the south-east of the city is an old saṅghārāma. This was formerly the place where Goshira the nobleman had a garden. In it is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja, about 200 feet high; here Tathāgata for several years preached the law. By the side of this stūpa are traces of the four past Buddhas where they sat down and walked. Here again is a stūpa containing hair and nail relics of Tathāgata.

To the south-east of the saṅghārāma, on the top of a double-storeyed tower, is an old brick chamber where Vasubandhu Bodhisattva dwelt. In this chamber he composed the Vidyāmātrasiddhi śāstra (Wei-chi-lun), intended to refute the principles of the Little Vehicle and confound the heretics.

[id (T51.2087.0898b)] To the east of the saṅghārāma, and in the middle of an āmra grove, is an old foundation wall; this was the place where Asaṅga Bodhisattva composed the śāstra called Hin-yang-shing-kiau.

To the south-west of the city 8 or 9 li is a stone dwelling of a venomous Nāga. Having subdued this dragon, Tathāgata left here his shadow; but though this is a tradition of the place, there is no vestige of the shadow visible.

By the side of it is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja, about 200 feet high. Near this are marks where Tathāgata walked to and fro, and also a hair and nail stūpa. The disciples who are afflicted with disease, by praying here mostly are cured.

The law of śākya becoming extinct, this will be the very last country in which it will survive; therefore from the highest to the lowest all who enter the borders of this country are deeply affected, even to tears, ere they return.

To the north-east of the Nāga dwelling is a great forest, after going about 700 li through which, we cross the Ganges, and going northward we arrive at the town of Kia-she-pu-lo (Kaśapura).713 This town is about 10 li in circuit; the inhabitants are rich and well-to-do (happy).

By the side of the city is an old saṅghārāma, of which the foundation walls alone exist. This was where Dharmapāla714 Bodhisattva refuted the arguments of the heretics. A former king of this country, being partial to the teaching of heresy, wished to overthrow the law of Buddha, whilst he showed the greatest respect to the unbelievers. One day he summoned from among the heretics a master of śāstras, extremely learned and of superior talents, who clearly understood the abstruse doctrines (of religion). He had composed a work of heresy in a thousand ślokas, consisting of thirty-two thousand words. In this work he contradicted and slandered the law of Buddha, and represented his own school as orthodox. Whereupon (the king) convoked the body of the (Buddhist) priests, and ordered them to discuss the question under dispute, adding that if the heretics were victorious he would destroy the law of Buddha, but that if the priests did not suffer defeat he would cut out his tongue as proof of the acknowledgment of his fault.715 At this time the company of the priests being afraid they would be defeated, assembled for consultation, and said, "The sun of wisdom having set, the bridge of the law716 is about to fall. The king is partial to the heretics; how can we hope to prevail against them? Things have arrived at a difficult point; is there any expedient to be found in the circumstances, as a way of escape?" The assembly remained silent, and no one stood up to suggest any plan.

Dharmapāla Bodhisattva, although young in years, had acquired a wide renown for penetration and wisdom, and the reputation of his noble character was far spread. He was now in the assembly, and standing up, with encouraging words addressed them thus: "Ignorant though I am, yet I request permission to say a few words. Verily I am ready to answer immediately to the king's summons. If by my lofty argument (discourse) I obtain the victory, this will prove spiritual protection; but if I fail in the subtle part of the argument, this will be attributable to my youth. In either case there will be an escape, so that the law and the priesthood will suffer no loss." They said, "We agree to your proposition," and they voted that he should respond to the king's summons. Forthwith he ascended the pulpit.

Then the heretical teacher began to lay down his captious principles, and to maintain or oppose the sense of the words and arguments used. At last, having fully explained his own position, he waited for the opposite side to speak.

Dharmapāla Bodhisattva, accepting his words, said with a smile, "I am conqueror! I will show how he uses false arguments in advocating his heretical doctrines, how his sentences are confused in urging his false teaching."

The opponent, with some emotion, said, "Sir, be not high-minded! [id (T51.2087.0898c)] If you can expose my words you will be the conqueror, but first take my text fairly and explain its meaning." Then Dharmapāla, with modulated voice, followed the principles of his text (thesis), the words and the argument, without a mistake or change of expression.

When the heretic had heard the whole, he was ready to cut out his tongue; but Dharmapāla said, "It is not by cutting out your tongue you show repentance. Change your principles--that is repentance!" Immediately he explained the law for his sake; his heart believed it and his mind embraced the truth. The king gave up his heresy and profoundly respected the law of Buddha (the orthodox law).

By the side of this place is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja; the walls are broken down, but it is yet 200 feet or so in height. Here Buddha in old days declared the law for six months; by the side of it are traces where he walked. There is also a hair and nail stūpa.

Going north from this 170 or 180 li, we come to the kingdom of Pi-she??-k'ie?? (Viśākhā).


This kingdom717 is about 4000 li in circuit, and the capital about 16 li round. The country produces abundance of cereals, and is rich in flowers and fruits. The climate is soft and agreeable. The people are pure and honest. They are very diligent in study, and seek to gain merit (by doing good) without relaxation. There are 20 saṅghārāmas and about 3000 priests, who study the Little Vehicle according to the Sammatīya school. There are about fifty Deva temples and very many heretics.

To the south of the city, on the left of the road, is a large saṅghārāma; this is where the Arhat Devaśarma wrote the Shih-shin-lun (Vijñānakāya śāstra), in which he defends the position that there is no "I" as an individual.718 The Arhat Gopa (Kiu-po) composed also in this place the Shing-kiau-iu-shih-lun, in which he defends the position that there is an "I" as an individual. These doctrines excited much controversial discussion. Again, in this place Dharmapāla Bodhisattva during seven days defeated a hundred doctors belonging to the Little Vehicle.

By the side of the saṅghārāma is a stūpa about 200 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata in old days preached during six years, and occupied himself whilst so doing in guiding and converting men. By the side of this stūpa is a wonderful tree which is 6 or 7 feet high. Through many years it has remained just the same, without increase or decrease. Formerly when Tathāgata had cleansed his teeth, he threw away in this place the small piece of twig he had used. It took root, and produced the exuberant foliage which remains to the present time.719 The heretics and Brāhmaṇs have frequently come together and cut it down, but it grows again as before.

Not far from this spot are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked. There is also a nail and hair stūpa. Sacred buildings here follow one another in succession; the woods, and lakes reflecting their shadows, are seen everywhere.

Going from this north-east 500 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Shi-sah-lo-fu-sih-tai (śrāvastī).

[id (T51.2087.0899a)] BOOK VI

Contains an account of four countries, viz., (1) Shi-lo-fu-shi-ti; (2) Kie-pi-lo-fu-sse-to; (3) Lan-mo; (4) Ku-shi-na-k'ie-lo.


The kingdom of śrāvastī (Shi-lo-fu-shi-ti)720 is about 6000 li in circuit. The chief town is desert and ruined. There is no record as to its exact limits (area). The ruins of the walls encompassing the royal precincts721 give a circuit of about 20 li. Though mostly in ruins, still there are a few inhabitants. Cereals grow in great abundance; the climate is soft and agreeable, the manners of the people are honest and pure. They apply themselves to learning, and love religion (merit). There are several hundreds of saṅghārāmas, mostly in ruin, with very few religious followers, who study the books of the Saṁmatīya (Ching-liang-pu) school. There are 100 Deva temples with very many heretics. When Tathāgata was in the world, this was the capital of the country governed by Prasenajita-rāja (Po-lo-si-na-chi-to-wang).722

Within the old precincts of the royal city are some ancient foundations; these are the remains of the palace of King Shing-kwan (Prasenajita).

From this not far to the east is a ruinous foundation, above which is built a small stūpa; these ruins represent the Great Hall of the Law,723 which King Prasenajita built for Buddha.

By the side of this hall, not far from it, above the ruins a stūpa is built. This is where stood the vihāra which King Prasenajita built for Prajāpatī724 Bhikshunī, the maternal aunt of Buddha.

Still east of this is a stūpa to record the site of the house of Sudatta725 (Shen-shi).

By the side of the house of Sudatta is a great stūpa. This is the place where the Aṅgulimālya (Yang-kiu-li-mo-lo) gave up his heresy. The Aṅgulimālyas726 are the unlucky caste (the criminals) of Srāvastī. They kill everything that lives, and maddening themselves, they murder men in the towns and country, and make chaplets for the head of their fingers. The man in question wished to kill his mother to complete the number of fingers, when the Lord of the World (Buddha), moved by pity, went to him to convert him. Beholding the Lord from far, the Aṅgulimālya rejoicing said, "Now I shall be born in heaven; our former teacher declared that whoever injures a Buddha or kills his mother, ought to be born in the Brahmā heaven."

Addressing his mother, he said, "Old woman! I will leave you for a time till I have killed that great Shaman." Then taking a knife, he went to attack the Lord. On this Tathāgata stepped slowly as he went, whilst the Aṅgulimālya rushed at him without slacking his pace.

[id (T51.2087.0899b)] The Lord of the World addressing him said, "Why do you persevere in your evil purpose and give up the better feelings of your nature and foster the source of evil?" The Aṅgulimālya, hearing these words, understood the wickedness of his conduct, and on that paid reverence to Buddha, and sought permission to enter the law (i.e., the religious profession of Buddha), and having persevered with diligence in his religious progress, he obtained the fruit of an Arhat.

To the south of the city 5 or 6 li is the Jetavana.727 This is where Anāthapiṇdada (Ki-ku-to) (otherwise called) Sudatta, the chief minister of Prasenajita-rāja, built for Buddha a vihāra. There was a saṅghārāma here formerly, but now all is in ruins (desert).

On the left and right of the eastern gate has been built a pillar about 70 feet high; on the left-hand pillar is engraved on the base a wheel;728 on the right-hand pillar the figure of an ox is on the top. Both columns were erected by Aśoka-rāja. The residences (of the priests) are wholly destroyed; the foundations only remain, with the exception of one solitary brick building, which stands alone in the midst of the ruins, and contains an image of Buddha.

Formerly, when Tathāgata ascended into the Trāyastriṁśas heaven to preach for the benefit of his mother, Prasenajita-rāja, having heard that the king Udāyana had caused a sandal-wood figure of Buddha to be carved, also caused this image to be made.

The nobleman Sudatta was a man of "humanity" and talent. He had amassed great wealth, and was liberal in its distribution. He succoured the needy and destitute, and had compassion on the orphan and helped the aged. During his lifetime they called him Anāthapiṇdada (Ki-ku-to--friend of the orphan) on account of his virtue. He, bearing of the religious merit of Buddha, conceived a deep reverence for him, and vowed to build a vihāra for him. He therefore asked Buddha to condescend to come to receive it. The Lord of the World commanded śāriputra (She-li-tseu) to accompany him and aid by his counsel. Considering the garden of Jeta (Shi-to-yuen), the prince, to be a proper site on account of its pleasant and upland position, they agreed to go to the prince to make known the circumstances of the case. The prince in a jeering way said, "If you can cover the ground with gold (pieces) I will sell it (you can buy it)."

Sudatta, hearing it, was rejoiced. He immediately opened his treasuries, with a view to comply with the agreement, and cover the ground. There was yet a little space not filled.729 The prince asked him to desist, but he said, "The field of Buddha is true;730 I must plant good seed in it." Then on the vacant spot of ground731 he raised a vihāra.

The Lord of the World forthwith addressed ānanda and said, "The ground of the garden is what Sudatta has bought; the trees are given by Jeta. Both of them, similarly minded, have acquired the utmost merit. From this time forth let the place be called the grove of Jeta (Shi-to) and the garden of Anāthapiṇḍada (Ki-ku-to).

To the north-east of the garden of Anāthapiṇḍada (Ki-ku-to) is a stūpa. This is the place where Tathāgata washed with water the sick Bhikshu. Formerly. when Buddha was in the world, there was a sick Bhikshu (Pi-tsu), who, cherishing his sorrow, lived apart by himself in a solitary place. The Lord of the World seeing him, inquired, "What is your affliction, living thus by yourself?" He answered, "My natural disposition being a careless one and an idle one, I had no patience to look on a man sick (to attend on the sick),732 and now when I am entangled in sickness there is nobody to look on me (attend to me)." Tathāgata, moved with pity thereat, addressed him and said, "My son! I will look on you!" and then touching him, as he bent down, with his hand, lo! the sickness was immediately healed; then leading him forth to the outside of the door, he spread a fresh mat for him and himself, washed his body and changed his clothes for new ones.

Then Buddha addressed the Bhikshu, "From this time be diligent and exert yourself." [id (T51.2087.0899c)] Hearing this, he repented of his idleness, was moved by gratitude, and, filled with joy, he followed him.

To the north-west of the garden of Anāthapiṇḍada is a little stūpa. This is the place where Mudgalaputra (Mo-te-kia-lo-tseu) vainly exerted his spiritual power in order to lift the girdle (sash) of śāriputra (She-li-tseu). Formerly, when Buddha was residing near the lake Wu-jeh-no,733 in the midst of an assembly of men and Devas, only śāriputra (She-li-tseu) was absent (had not time to join the assembly) Then Buddha summoned Mudgalaputra, and bade him go and command him to attend. Mudgalaputra accordingly went.

śāriputra was at the time engaged in repairing his religious vestments. Mudgalaputra addressing him said, "The Lord, who is now dwelling beside the Anavatapta lake, has ordered me to summon you."

śāriputra said, "Wait a minute, till I have finished repairing my garment, and then I will go with you." Mudgalaputra said, "If you do not come quickly, I will exert my spiritual power, and carry both you and your house to the great assembly."

Then śāriputra, loosing his sash, threw it on the ground and said, "If you can lift this sash, then perhaps my body will move (or, then I will start)." Mudgalaputra exerted all his spiritual power to raise the sash, yet it moved not. Then the earth trembled in consequence. On returning by his spiritual power of locomotion to the place where Buddha was, he found śāriputra already arrived and sitting in the assembly. Mudgalaputra sighing said, "Now then I have learned that the power of working miracles is not equal to the power of wisdom."734

Not far from the stūpa just named is a well. Tathāgata, when in the world, drew from this well for his personal use. By the side of it is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja; in it are some śarīras735 of Tathāgata; here also are spots where there are traces of walking to and fro and preaching the law. To commemorate both these circumstances, (the king) erected a pillar and built the stūpa. A mysterious sense of awe surrounds the precincts of the place; many miracles are manifested also. Sometimes heavenly music is heard, at other times divine odours are perceived. The lucky (happy) presages (or, the omens that indicate religious merit) would be difficult to recount in full.

Not far behind the saṅghārāma (of Anāthapiṇḍada) is the place where the Brahmachārins killed a courtesan, in order to lay the charge of murdering her on Buddha (in order to slander him). Now Tathāgata was possessed of the tenfold powers,736 without fear,737 perfectly wise, honoured by men and Devas,738 reverenced by saints and sages; then the heretics consulting together said, "We must devise some evil about him, that we may slander him before the congregation." Accordingly they allured and bribed this courtesan to come, as it were, to hear Buddha preach, and then, the congregation having knowledge of the fact of her presence, they (the heretics) took her and secretly killed her and buried her body beside a tree, and then, pretending to be affected with resentment, they acquainted the king (with the fact of the woman's death). The king ordered search to be made, and the body was found in the Jetavana. Then the heretics with a loud voice said, "This great śramaṇa Gautama739 is ever preaching about moral duty and about patience (forbearance), but now having had secret correspondence with this woman, he has killed her so as to stop her mouth; but now, in the presence of adultery and murder, what room is there for morality and continence?" The Devas then in the sky joined together their voices and chanted, "This is a slander of the infamous heretics."

To the east of the saṅghārāma 100 paces or so is a large and deep ditch; [id (T51.2087.0900a)] this is where Devadatta,740 having plotted to kill Buddha with some poisonous medicine, fell down into hell. Devadatta was the son of Dronodana-rāja (Ho-wang). Having applied himself for twelve years with earnestness, he was able to recite 80,000 (verses) from the treasury of the law. Afterwards, prompted by covetousness, he wished to acquire the divine (supernatural) faculties. Associating himself with evil companions, they consulted together, and he spake thus: "I possess thirty marks (of a Buddha), not much less than Buddha himself; a great company of followers surround me; in what respect do I differ from Tathāgata?" Having thought thus, he forthwith tried to put a stumbling-block in the way of the disciples, but śāriputra and Mudgalaputra, obedient to Buddha's behest, and endowed with the spiritual power of Buddha himself, preached the law exhorting the disciples to re-union. Then Devadatta, not giving up his evil designs, wickedly placed some poison under his nails, designing to kill Buddha when he was paying him homage. For the purpose of executing this design he came from a long distance to this spot, but the earth opening, he went down alive into hell.

To the south of this again there is a great ditch, where Kukālī741 the Bhikshunī slandered Tathāgata, and went down alive into hell.

To the south of the Kukālī ditch about 800 paces is a large and deep ditch. Chanścha,742 the daughter of a Brāhmaṇ, calumniated Tathāgata, and here went down alive into hell. Buddha was preaching, for the sake of Devas and men, the excellent doctrines of the law, when a female follower of the heretics, seeing from afar the Lord of the World surrounded by a great congregation who venerated and reverenced him, thought thus with herself, "I will this very day destroy the good name of this Gautama, in order that my teacher may alone enjoy a wide reputation." Then tying a piece of wood next her person, she went to the garden of Anāthapiṇḍada, and in the midst of the great congregation she cried with a loud voice and said, "This preacher of yours has had private intercourse with me, and I bear his child in my womb, the offspring of the śākya tribe." The heretics all believed it, but the prudent knew it was a slander. At this time, śakra, the king of Devas, wishing to dissipate all doubt about the matter, took the form of a white rat, and nibbled through the bandage that fastened the (wooden) pillow to her person. Having done so, it fell down to the ground with a great noise, which startled the assembly. Then the people, witnessing this event, were filled with increased joy; and one in the crowd picking up the wooden bolster, held it up and showed it to the woman, saying, "Is this your child, thou bad one?" Then the earth opened or itself, and she went down whole into the lowest hell of Avīchi, and received her due punishment.

These three ditches743 are unfathomable in their depth; when the floods of summer and autumn fill all the lakes and ponds with water, these deep caverns show no signs of the water standing in them.

East of the saṅghārāma 60 or 70 paces is a vihāra about 60 feet high. There is in it a figure of Buddha looking to the east in a sitting posture. When Tathāgata was in the world in old days, he discussed here with the heretics. Farther east is a Deva temple of equal size with the vihāra. When the sun is rising, the Deva temple does not cast its shade on the vihāra, but when it is setting, the vihāra obscures the Deva temple.

[id (T51.2087.0900b)] Three or four li to the east of the vihāra "which covers with its shadow" is a stūpa. This is where śāriputra discussed with the heretics. When Sudatta first bought the garden of the Prince Jeta for the purpose of building a vihāra for Buddha, then śāriputra accompanied the nobleman to inspect and assist the plan. On this occasion six masters of the heretics sought to deprive him of his spiritual power. śāriputra, as occasion offered, brought them to reason and subdued them. There is a vihāra by the side, in front of which is built a stūpa; this is where Tathāgata defeated the heretics and acceded to the request of Viśākhā.744

On the south of the stūpa erected on the spot where Buddha acceded to Viśākhā's request is the place where Virūḍhaka-rāja,745 having raised an army to destroy the family of the śākyas, on seeing Buddha dispersed his soldiers. After King Virūḍhaka had succeeded to the throne, stirred up to hatred by his former disgrace, he equipped an army and moved forward with a great force. The summer heat being ended and everything arranged, he commanded an advance. At this time a Bhikshu, having heard of it, told Buddha; on this the Lord of the World was sitting beneath a withered tree; Virūḍhaka-rāja, seeing him thus seated, some way off alighted from his chariot and paid him reverence, then as he stood up he said, "There are plenty of green and umbrageous trees; why do you not sit beneath one of these, instead of under this withered one with dried leaves, where you walk and sit?" The Lord said, "My honourable tribe is like branches and leaves; these being about to perish, what shade can there be for one belonging to it?" The king said, "The Lord of the World by his honourable regard for his family is able to turn my chariot." Then looking at him with emotion, he disbanded his army and returned to his country.

By the side of this place is a stūpa; this is the spot where the śākya maidens were slaughtered. Virūḍhaka-rāja having destroyed the śākyas, in celebration of his victory, took 500 of the śākya maidens for his harem. The girls, filled with hatred and rage, said they would never obey the king, and reviled the king and his household. The king, hearing of it, was filled with rage, and ordered them all to be slaughtered. Then the officers, obedient to the king's orders, cut off their hands and feet, and cast them into a ditch. Then all the śākya maidens, nursing their grief, invoked Buddha. The Lord by his sacred power of insight having beheld their pain and agony, bade a Bhikshu take his garment and go to preach the most profound doctrine to the śākya girls, viz., on the bonds of the five desires, the misery of transmigration in the evil ways, the pain of separation between loved ones, and the long period (distance) of birth and death. Then the śākya maidens, having heard the instructions of Buddha, put away the defilement of sense, removed all pollutions, and obtained the purity of the eyes of the law; then they died and were all born in heaven. Then śakra, king of Devas, taking the form of a Brāhman, collected their bones and burnt them. Men of succeeding years have kept this record.

By the side of the stūpa commemorating the slaughter of the śākyas, and not far from it, is a great lake which has dried up. [id (T51.2087.0900c)] This is where Virūḍhaka-rāja went down bodily into hell. The world-honoured one having seen the śākya maidens, went back to the Jetavana, and there told the Bhikshus, "Now is King Virūdhaka's end come; after seven days' interval a fire will come forth to burn up the king" The king hearing the prediction, was very frightened and alarmed. On the seventh day he was rejoiced that no harm had come, and in order to gratify himself he ordered the women of his palace to go to the lake, and there he sported with them on its shores, strolling here and there with music and drinking. Still, however, he feared lest fire should brust out. Suddenly, whilst he was on the pure waters of the lake, the waves divided, and flames burst forth and consumed the little boat in which he was, and the king himself went down bodily into the lowest hell, there to suffer torments.

To the north-west of the saṅghārāma 3 or 4 li, we come to the forest of Obtaining-Sight (āptanetravana?) where are vestiges of Tathāgata, who walked here for exercise, and the place where various holy persons have engaged in profound meditation. In all these places they have erected posts with inscriptions or else stūpas.

Formerly there was in this country a band of 500 robbers, who roamed about through the towns and villages and pillaged the border of the country. Prasenajita-rāja having seized them all, caused their eyes to be put out and abandoned them in the midst of a dark forest. The robbers, racked with pain, sought compassion as they invoked Buddha. At this time Tathāgata was in the vihāra of the Jetavana, and hearing their piteous cries (i.e., by his spiritual power), he was moved to compassion, and caused a soft wind to blow gently from the Snowy Mountains, and bring with it some medicinal (leaves?) which filled up the cavity of their eye-sockets. They immediately recovered their sight, and lo! the Lord of the World was standing before them. Arriving at the heart of wisdom, they rejoiced and worshipped. Fixing their walking-staves in the ground, they departed. This was how they took root and grew.

To the north-west of the capital 16 li or so, there is an old town. In the Bhadra-kalpa when men lived to 20,000 years, this was the town in which Kāśyapa Buddha was born. To the south of the town there is a stūpa. This is the place where he first met his father after arriving at enlightenment.

To the north of the town is a stūpa, which contains relics of the entire body746 of Kāśyapa Buddha. Both these were built by Aśoka-rāja. From this point going south-east 500 li or so, we come to the country of Kie-pi-lo-fa-sse-ti (Kapilavastu).


This country747 is about 4000 li circuit. There are some ten desert748 cities in this country, wholly desolate and ruined. The capital is overthrown and in ruins. Its circuit cannot be accurately measured. The royal precincts749 within the city measure some 14 or 15 li round. They were all built of brick. The foundation walls are still strong and high. It has been long deserted. The peopled villages750 are few and waste.

There is no supreme ruler; each of the towns appoints its own ruler. The ground is rich and fertile, and is cultivated according to the regular season. The climate is uniform, the manners of the people soft and obliging. There are 1000 or more ruined saṅghārāmas remaining; by the side of the royal precincts there is still a saṅghārāma with about 3000 (read 30) followers in it, who study the Little Vehicle of the Saṁmatīya school.

There are a couple of Deva temples, in which various sectaries worship (live). [id (T51.2087.0901a)] Within the royal precincts are some ruined foundation walls; these are the remains of the proper751 palace of śuddhodana-rāja; above is built a vihāra in which is a statue of the king. Not far from this is a ruined foundation, which represents the sleeping palace of Mahāmāyā,752 the queen. Above this they have erected a vihāra in which is a figure of the queen.

By the side of this is a vihāra;753 this is where Bodhisattya descended spiritually into the womb of his mother. There is a representation of this scene754 drawn in the vihāra. The Mahāsthavira school say that Bodhisattva was conceived on the 30th night of the month U-ta-lo-'an-sha-cha (Uttarāshādha). This is the 15th day of the 5th month (with us). The other schools fix the event on the 23d day of the same month. This would be the 8th day of the 5th month (with us).

To the north-east of the palace of the spiritual conception is a stūpa; this is the place where Asita the Rishi prognosticated the fortune (took the horoscope or signs of) the royal prince.755 On the day when the Bodhisattva was born there was a gathering (a succession) of lucky indications. Then śuddhodana-rāja summoned all the sooth-sayers, and addressing them said, "With respect to this child, what are the fortunate and what the evil (signs)? As it is right, so do you clearly answer me." In reply they said, "According to the record of the former saints the signs are especially fortunate: If he remains in secular life he will be a Chakravartin monarch; if he leaves his home he will become a Buddha."756

At this time the Rishi Asita, coming from afar, stood before the door,757 and requested to see the king. The king, overjoyed, went forth to meet and reverence him, and requested him to be seated on a precious chair; then addressing him he said, "It is not without an object that the Great Rishi has condescended to visit me this day." The Rishi said, "I was quietly resting (or, observing the summer rest) in the palace of the Devas, when I suddenly saw the multitude of the Devas dancing together for joy.758 I forthwith asked why they rejoiced in this extravagant way, on which they said, 'Great Rishi, you should know that to-day is born in Jambudvīpa, of Māyā, the first queen of śuddhodana-rāja of the śākya line, a royal son, who shall attain the complete enlightenment of sambodhi, and become all-wise.'759 Hearing this, I have come accordingly to behold the child; alas! that my age should prevent me awaiting the holy fruit."760

At the south gate of the city is a stūpa. This is where the royal prince, when contending with the śākya princes, cast the elephant away.761 The royal prince having contended in the public competition (of arts and athletic exercises), was left entirely alone (without compeer) among them all, (or, in every exercise). And now the Mahārāja śuddhodana, after receiving congratulations (or, congratulating him), was about to go back to the city.762

At this time the coachman was leading out the elephant and just about to leave the city. Devadatta, confident as ever in his brute strength, was just entering the gate from without; forthwith he asked the coachman, "Who is going to ride on this gaily caparisoned elephant?" He said, "The royal prince is just about to return, therefore I am going to meet him." Devadatta, in an excited manner, pulled the elephant down, and struck his forehead and kicked his belly, and left him lying senseless, blocking the way so that no one could pass. As they could not move him out of the way, the passers-by were stopped on their route. Nanda coming afterwards, asked, "Who has killed the elephant?" [id (T51.2087.0901b)] They said, "It was Devadatta." Forthwith he (Nanda) drew it on one side of the road. The prince-royal then coming, again asked, "Who had done the foul deed of killing the elephant?" They replied, "Devadatta killed it and blocked up the gate with it, and Nanda drew it on one side to clear the road." The royal prince then lifted the elephant on high and threw it across the city moat; the elephant falling on the ground caused a deep and wide ditch; the people since then have commonly called it "the fallen-elephant ditch."763

By the side of this is a vihāra in which is a figure of the royal prince. By the side of this again is a vihāra; this was the sleeping apartment of the queen and the prince; in it is a likeness of Yaśodharā and (the child) Rāhula. By the side of the queen's Chamber is a vihāra with a figure of a pupil receiving his lessons; this indicates the old foundation of the school-house of the royal prince.

At the south-east angle of the city is a vihāra in which is the figure of the royal prince riding a white and high-prancing horse;764 this was the place where he left the city. Outside each of the four gates of the city there is a vihāra in which there are respectively figures of an old man, a diseased man, a dead man, and a śramaṇ.765 It was in these places the royal prince, on going his rounds, beheld the various indications, on which he received an increase of (religious) feeling, and deeper disgust at the world and its pleasures; and, filled with this conviction, he ordered his coachman to return and go home again.

To the south of the city going 50 li or so, we come to an old town where there is a stūpa. This is the place where Krakuchchhanda Buddha was born, during the Bhadra-kalpa when men lived to 60,000 years.766

To the south of the city, not far, there is a stūpa; this is the place where, having arrived at complete enlightenment, he met his father.

To the south-east of the city is a stūpa where are that Tathāgata's relics (of his bequeathed body); before it is erected a stone pillar about 30 feet high, on the top of which is carved a lion.767 By its side (or, on its side) is a record relating the circumstances of his Nirvāṇa. It was erected by Aśoka-rāja.

To the north-east of the town of Krakuchchhanda Buddha, going about 30 li, we come to an old capital (or, great city) in which there is a stūpa. This is to commemorate the spot where, in the Bhadra-kalpa when men lived to the age of 40,000 years, Kanakamuni Buddha was born.768

To the north-east of the city, not far, is a stūpa; it was here, having arrived at complete enlightenment, he met his father.

Farther north there is a stūpa containing the relics of his bequeathed body; in front of it is a stone pillar with a lion on the top, and about 20 feet high; on this is inscribed a record of the events connected with his Nirvāṇa; this was built by Aśoka-rāja.

To the north-east of the city about 40 li is a stūpa. This is the spot where the prince sat in the shade of a tree to watch the ploughing festival. Here he engaged in profound meditation and reached the condition of "absence of desire."769 The king seeing the prince in the shade of the tree and engrossed in quiet contemplation, and observing that whilst the sun's rays shed their bright light around him, yet the shadow of the tree did not move, his heart, recognising the spiritual character of the prince, was deeply reverent.

To the north-west of the capital there are several hundreds and thousands of stūpas, indicating the spot where the members of the śākya tribe were slaughtered. Virūdhaka-rāja having subdued the śākyas, and captured the members of their tribe to the number of 9990 myriads of people, then ordered them to be slaughtered.770 They piled their bodies like straw, [id (T51.2087.0901c)] and their blood was collected in lakes. The Devas moved the hearts of men to collect their bones and bury them.

To the south-west of the place of massacre are four little stūpas. This is the place where the four śākyas withstood an army. When first Prasenajita became king, he sought an alliance by marriage with the śākya race. The śākyas despised him as not of their family, and so deceived him by giving him as a wife a child of a servant, whom they largely endowed. Prasenajita-rāja established her as his principal queen, and she brought forth in due time a son, who was called Virūdhaka-rāja. And now Virūdhaka was desirous to go to the family of his maternal uncles to pursue his studies under their direction. Having come to the south part of the city, he there saw a new preaching-hall, and there he stopped his chariot. The śākyas hearing of it, forthwith drove him away, saying, "How dare you, base-born fellow occupy this abode, an abode built by the śākyas, in appearance (or, intended for) an abode of Buddha? "

After Virūdhaka had succeeded to the throne he longed to revenge his former insult; he therefore raised an army and occupied this place with his troops, who took possession of the fields. Four men of the śākyas who were engaged in ploughing between the watercourses771 immediately opposed the progress of the soldiers, and having scattered them, entered the town. Their clansmen, considering that their tribe was one in which there had been a long succession of universal monarchs, and that the honourable children of such righteous kings772 had dared to act cruelly and impetuously, and without patience to kill and slay, and so had brought disgrace on their family, drove them away from their home.

The four men, having been banished, went to the north among the Snowy Mountains; one became king of the country of Bamyān, one of Udyāna, one of Himatala, one of śāmbi (Kauśāmbī?). They have transmitted their kingly authority from generation to generation without any interruption.773

To the south of the city 3 or 4 li is a grove of Nyagrodha trees in which is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the place where śākya Tathāgata, having returned to his country after his enlightenment, met his father and preached the law.774 śuddhodana-rāja, knowing that Tathāgata had defeated Māra and was engaged in travelling about, leading people to the truth and converting them, was moved by a strong desire to see him, and considered how he could pay him the reverence due to him. He therefore sent a messenger to invite Tathāgata, saying, "Formerly you promised, when you had completed your purpose to become a Buddha, to return to your native place. These are your words still unperformed; now then is the time for you to condescend to visit me." The messenger having come to the place where Buddha was, expressed to him the king's desire (mind). Tathāgata in reply said, "After seven days I will return to my native place." The messenger returning, acquainted the king with the news, on which śuddhodana-rāja ordered his subjects to prepare the way by watering and sweeping it, and to adorn the road with incense and flowers; and then, accompanied by his officers of state, he proceeded 40 li beyond the city, and there drew up his chariot to await his arrival. Then Tathāgata with a great multitude advanced; the eight Vajrapāṇis surrounded him as an escort, the four heavenly kings went before him; divine śakra with a multitude of Devas belonging to the world of desires (Kāma-loka), took their place on the left hand; Brahmā-rāja with Devas of Rūpa-loka accompanied him on the right. The Bhikshu priests walked in order behind, Buddha by himself, as the full moon among the stars, stood in the midst; his supreme spiritual presence shook the three worlds, the brightness of his person exceeded that of the seven lights;775 and thus traversing the air he approached his native country.776 [id (T51.2087.0902a)] The king and ministers having reverenced him, again returned to the kingdom, and they located themselves in this Nyagrodha grove.

By the side of the saṅghārāma, and not far from it, is a stūpa; this is the spot where Tathāgata sat beneath a great tree with his face to the east and received from his aunt a golden-tissued kashāya garment.777 A little farther on is another stūpa; this is the place where Tathāgata converted eight king's sons and 5OO śākyas.

Within the eastern gate of the city, on the left of the road, is a stūpa; this is where the Prince Siddārtha practised (athletic sports and competitive) arts.

Outside the gate is the temple of Īśvara-deva. In the temple is a figure of the Deva made of stone, which has the appearance of rising in a bent position.778 This is the temple which the royal prince when an infant (in swaddling clothes) entered. King śuddhodana was returning from the Lumbinī (Lavaṇī -- La-fa-ni) garden,779 after having gone to meet the prince. Passing by this temple the king said, "This temple is noted for its many spiritual exhibitions (miracles). The śākya children,780 who here seek divine protection always obtain what they ask; we must take the royal prince to this place and offer up our worship." At this time the nurse (foster-mother), carrying the child in her arms, entered the temple; then the stone image raised itself and saluted the prince. When the prince left, the image again seated itself.

Outside the south gate of the city, on the left of the road, is a stūpa; it was here the royal prince contended with the śākyas in athletic sports (arts) and pierced with his arrows the iron targets.781

From this 30 li south-east is a small stūpa.782 Here there is a fountain, the waters of which are as clear as a mirror. Here it was, during the athletic contest, that the arrow of the prince, after penetrating the targets fell and buried itself up to the feather in the ground, causing a clear spring of water to flow forth. Common tradition has called this the arrow fountain (Sarakūpa); persons who are sick by drinking the water of this spring are mostly restored to health; and so people coming from a distance taking back, with them some of the mud (moist earth) of this place, and applying it to the part where they suffer pain, mostly recover from their ailments.

To the north-east of the arrow well about 80 or 90 li, we come to the Lumbinī (Lavaṇī) garden. Here is the bathing tank of the śākyas, the water of which is bright and clear as a mirror, and the surface covered with a mixture of flowers.

To the north of this 24 or 25 paces there is an Aśoka-flower tree,783 which is now decayed; this is the place where Bodhisattva was born on the eighth day of the second half of the month called Vaiśākha, which corresponds with us to the eighth day of the third month. The school of the Sthāviras (Shang-tso-pu) say it was on the fifteenth day of the second half of the same month, corresponding to the fifteenth day of the third month with us. East from this is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja, on the spot where the two dragons bathed the body of the prince.784 When Bodhisattva was born, he walked without assistance in the direction of the four quarters, seven paces in each direction, and said, "I am the only lord in heaven and earth; from this time forth my births are finished." Where his feet had trod there sprang up great lotus flowers. Moreover, two dragons sprang forth, and, fixed in the air, poured down the one a cold and the other a warm water stream from his mouth, [id (T51.2087.0902b)] to wash the prince.

To the east of this stūpa are two fountains of pure water, by the side of which have been built two stūpas. This is the place where two dragons appeared from the earth. When Bodhisattva was born, the attendants and household relations hastened in every direction to find water for the use of the child. At this time two springs gurgled forth from the earth just before the queen, the one cold, the other warm, using which they bathed him.

To the south of this is a stūpa. This is the spot where śakra, the lord of Devas, received Bodhisattva in his arms. When Bodhisattva was born, then śakra, the king of Devas, took him and wrapped him in an exquisite and divine robe.

Close to this there are four stūpas to denote the place where the four heavenly kings received Bodhisattva in their arms. When Bodhisattva was born from the right side of his mother, the four kings wrapped him in a golden-coloured cotton vestment, and placing him on a golden slab (bench) and bringing him to his mother, they said, "The queen may rejoice indeed at having given birth to such a fortunate child!" If the Devas rejoiced at the event, how much more should men!

By the side of these stūpas and not far from them is a great stone pillar, on the top of which is the figure of a horse, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Afterwards, by the contrivance of a wicked dragon, it was broken off in the middle and fell to the ground. By the side of it is a little river which flows to the south-east. The people of the place call it the river of oil.785 This is the stream which the Devas caused to appear as a pure and glistening pool for the queen, when she had brought forth her child to wash and purify herself in. Now it is changed and become a river, the stream of which is still unctuous.

From this going east 300 li or so, across a wild and deserted jungle, we arrive at the kingdom of Lan-mo (Rāmagrāma).


The kingdom of Lan-mo 786 has been waste and desolate for many years. There is no account of its extent. The towns are decayed and the inhabitants few.

To the south-east of the old capital (town) there is a brick stūpa, in height less than 100 feet. Formerly, after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, a previous king of this country having got a share of the śarīras of his body, returned home with them, and to honour these relics he built (this stūpa). Miraculous signs are here displayed, and a divine light from time to time shines around.

By the side of the stūpa is a clear lake (tank). A dragon at certain periods787 comes forth and walks here, and changing his form and snake-like exterior, marches round the stūpa, turning to the right to pay it honour. The wild elephants come in herds, gather flowers, and scatter them here. Impelled by a mysterious power, they have continued to offer this service from the first till now. In former days, when Aśoka-rāja, dividing the relics, built stūpas, having opened the stūpas built by the kings of the seven countries, he proceeded to travel to this country, and put his hand to the work (viz., of opening this stūpa);788 the dragon, apprehending the desecration of the place, changed himself into the form of a Brāhmaṇ, and going in front, he bowed down before the elephant789 and said, "Mahārāja! your feelings are well affected to the law of Buddha, and you have largely planted (good seed) in the field of religious merit. [id (T51.2087.0902c)] I venture to ask you to detain your carriage awhile and condescend to visit my dwelling." The king replied, "And where is your dwelling? is it near at hand?" The Brāhmaṇ said, "I am the Nāga king of this lake. As I have heard that the great king desires to build a superior field of merit,790 I have ventured to ask you to visit my abode." The king, receiving this invitation, immediately entered the dragon precinct, and sitting there for some time, the Nāga advanced towards him and said, "Because of my evil karma I have received this Nāga body; by religious service to these śarīras of Buddha I desire to atone for and efface my guilt. Oh, that the king would himself go and inspect (the stūpa, or, the relics) with a view to worship. Aśoka-rāja having seen (the character of the place), was filled with fear, and said, "All these appliances for worship are unlike anything seen amongst men." The Nāga said, "If it be so, would that the king would not attempt to destroy the stūpa!" The king, seeing that he could not measure his power with that of the Nāga, did not attempt to open the stūpa (to take out the relics). At the spot where the dragon came out of the lake is an inscription to the above effect.791

Not far from the neighbourhood of this stūpa is a saṅghārāma, with a very few priests attached to it. Their conduct is respectful and scrupulously correct; and one śrāmaṇera manages the whole business of the society. When any priests come from distant regions, they entertain them with the greatest courtesy and liberality; during three days they keep them in their society, and offer them the four necessary things.792

The old tradition is this: Formerly there were some Bhikshus who agreed793 to come together from a distance, and to travel to worship this stūpa. They saw when they had arrived a herd of elephants, coming and departing together. Some of them brought on their tusks shrubs (leaves and branches), others with their trunks sprinkled water, some of them brought different flowers, and all offered worship (as they stood) to the stūpa. When the Bhikshus saw this, they were moved with joy and deeply affected. Then one of them giving up his full orders794 (ordination), vowed to remain here and offer his services continually (to the stūpa), and expressing his thoughts to the others, he said, "I indeed, considering these remarkable signs of abounding merit, count as nothing my own excessive labours during many years amongst the priests.795 This stūpa having some relics of Buddha, by the mysterious power of its sacred character draws together the herd of elephants, who water the earth around the bequeathed body (of the saint). It would be pleasant to finish the rest of my years in this place, and to obtain with the elephants the end (at which they aim)." They all replied, "This is an excellent design; as for ourselves, we are stained by our heavy (sins); our wisdom is not equal to the formation of such a design; but according to your opportunity look well to your own welfare, and cease not your efforts in this excellent purpose."

Having departed from the rest, he again repeated his earnest vow, and with joy devoted himself to a solitary life during the rest of his days.

On this he constructed for himself a leafy pannasālā,796 led the rivulets so as to form a pool, and at their proper seasons gathered flowers, and watered and swept and garnished the stūpa. Thus, during a succession of years he persevered without change of purpose or plan.

The kings of the neighbouring countries, hearing the history, greatly honoured him; gave up their wealth and treasure, and together founded the saṅghārāma. Then they requested (the śrāmaṇera) to take charge of the affairs of the congregation; and from that time till now there has been no interruption in the original appointment, and a śrāmaṇera has ever held the chief office in the convent.

Eastward from this convent, in the midst of a great forest, after going about 100 li, we come to a great stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the place where the prince-royal, after having passed from the city, [id (T51.2087.0903a)] put off his precious robes, loosed his necklace, and ordered his coachman797 to return home. The prince-royal in the middle of the night traversing the city, at early dawn arrived at this place,798 and then, heart and body bent on accomplishing his destiny, he said, "Here have I come out of the prison stocks. Here have I shaken off my chains." This is the place where he left for the last time his harnessed horse,799 and taking the mani gem800 from his crown, he commanded his coachman, saying, "Take this gem, and, returning, say to my father the king, now I am going away, not in inconsiderate disobedience, but to banish lust, and to destroy the power of impermanence, and to stop all the leaks of existence."

Then Chaṇḍaka (Chen-to-kia) replied, "What heart can I have to go back thus, with a horse without a rider?"" The prince having persuaded him with gentle words, his mind was opened and he returned.

To the east of the stūpa where Chaṇḍaka returned is a Jambu tree with leaves and branches fallen off but the trunk still upright. By the side of this is a little stūpa. This is the place where the prince exchanged his precious801 robe for one made of deerskin. The prince had cut off his hair and exchanged his lower garments, and although he had got rid of his collar of precious stones, yet there was one divine garment (still on his person). "This robe," he said, "is greatly in excess (of my wants); how shall I change it away?" At this time a śuddhāvāsa-deva802 transformed himself into a hunter with robes of deerskin, and holding his bow and carrying his quiver. The prince, raising his garment, addressed him thus: "I am desirous to exchange garments with you. Oh, that you would assent." The hunter said "Good!" The prince, loosing his upper garment, gave it to the hunter. The hunter having received it, resumed his Deva body, and holding the garment he had obtained, rose into the air and departed.

By the side of the stūpa commemorating this event, and not far from it, is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the spot where the prince had his head shaved. The prince taking a knife (sword) from the hands of Chaṇḍaka, himself cut off his locks. śakra, king of Devas, took the hair to his heavenly palace to offer it worship. At this time a śuddhāvāsa-deva, transforming himself into a barber, and holding his razor in his hand, advanced towards the prince. The latter hereupon addressed him, "Can you shave off the hair? Will you favour me by so doing to me?" The transformed Deva being so directed, accordingly shaved his head.

The time when the prince left the city and became a recluse is not quite fixed. Some say that Bodhisattva was then nineteen years of age; others say he was twenty-nine, and that it was on the eighth day of the second half of the month Vaiśākha, which corresponds to our fifteenth day of the third month.

To the south-east of the head-shaving stūpa, in the middle of a desert, going 180 or 190 li, we come to a Nyngrodha grove in which there is a stūpa about 30 feet high. Formerly, when Tathāgata had died and his remains had been divided, the Brāhmaṇs who had obtained none, came to the place of cremation, and taking the remnant of coals and cinders to their native country, built this stūpa over them,803 and offered their religious services to it. [id (T51.2087.0903b)] Since then wonderful signs have occurred in this place; sick persons who pray and worship here are mostly cured.

By the side of the ashes stūpa is an old saṇghārāma, where there are traces of the four former Buddhas, who walked and sat there.

On the right hand and left of this convent there are several hundred stūpas, among which is one large one built by Aśoka-rāja; although it is mostly in ruins, yet its height is still about 100 feet.

From this going north-east through a great forest, along a dangerous and difficult road, where wild oxen and herds of elephants and robbers and hunters cause incessant trouble to travellers, after leaving the forest we come to the kindom of Kiu-shi-na-k'ie-lo (Kuśinagara).


The capital804 of this country is in ruins, and its towns and villages waste and desolate. The brick foundation walls805 of the old capital are about 10 li in circuit. There are few inhabitants, and the avenues of the town are deserted and waste. At the north-east angle of the city gate806 is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the old house of Chunda (Chun-t'o);807 in the middle of it is a well which was dug at the time when he was about to make his offering (to Buddha). Although it has overflown for years and months, the water is still pure and sweet.

To the north-west of the city 3 or 4 li, crossing the Ajitavatī (O-shi-to-fa-ti)808 river, on the western bank, not far, we come to a grove of śāla trees. The śāla tree is like the Huh tree, with a greenish white bark and leaves very glistening and smooth. In this wood are four trees of an unusual height, which indicate the place where Tathāgata died.809

There is (here) a great brick vihāra, in which is a figure of the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata. He is lying with his head to the north as if asleep. By the side of this vihāra is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja; although in a ruinous state, yet it is some 200 feet in height. Before it is a stone pillar to record the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata; although there is an inscription on it, yet there is no date as to year or month.

According to the general tradition, Tathāgata was eighty years old when, on the 15th day of the second half of the month Vaiśākha, he entered Nirvāṇa. This corresponds to the 15th day of the 3d month with us. But the Sarvāstivādins say that he died on the 8th day of the second half of the month Kārtika, which is the same as the 8th day of the 9th month with us. The different schools calculate variously from the death of Buddha. Some say it is 1200 years and more since then. Others say, 1300 and more. Others say, 1500 and more. Others say that 900 years have passed, but not 1000 since the Nirvāṇa.810

By the side of the vihāra, and not far from it, is a stūpa. This denotes the place where Bodhisattva, when practising a religious life, was born as the king of a flock of pheasants (chi--S. kapiñjala), and caused a fire to be put out. Formerly there was in this place a great and shady forest, [id (T51.2087.0903c)] where beasts and birds congregated and built their nests or dwelt in caves. Suddenly a fierce wind burst from every quarter, and a violent conflagration spread on every side. At this time there was a pheasant who, moved by pity and tenderness, hastened to plunge itself in a stream of pure water, and then flying up in the air, shook the drops from its feathers (on the flames). Whereupon śakra, king of Devas, coming down, said (to the bird), "Why are you so foolish as to tire yourself, thus fluttering your wings? A great fire is raging, it is burning down the forest trees and the desert grass; what can such a tiny creature as you do to put it out?" The bird said, "And who are you?" He replied. "I am śakra, king of Devas." The bird answered, "Now śakra, king of Devas, has great power of religious merit, and every wish he has he can gratify; to deliver from this calamity and avert the evil would be as easy as opening and shutting his hand. There can be no propriety in permitting this calamity to last.811 But the fire is burning fiercely on every side, there is no time for words." And so saying he flew away again, and ascending up, sprinkled the water from his wings. Then the king of the Devas took the water in the hollow of his hand812 and poured it out on the forest and extinguished the fire; the smoke was cleared away and the living creatures saved. Therefore this stūpa is still called "the extinguishing-fire stūpa."

By the side of this, not far off, is a stūpa. On this spot Bodhisattva, when practising a religious life, being at that time a deer, saved (or, rescued)813 living creatures. In very remote times this was a great forest; a fire burst out in the wild grass that grew in it. The birds814 and beasts were sorely distressed. Before them was the barrier of a swiftly flowing river. Behind them the calamity of the raging fire which barred their escape. There was no help for it but to plunge into the water, and there drowned, they perished. This deer, moved by pity, placed his body across the stream, which lashed his sides and broke his bones, whilst he strove with all his strength to rescue the drowning creatures. A worn-out hare coming to the bank, the deer with patience bearing his pain and fatigue, got him safely across, but his strength being now worn out, he was engulfed in the water and died. The Devas collecting his bones raised this stūpa.

To the west of this place, not far off, is a stūpa. This is where Subhadra815 (Shen-hien) died (entered Nirvāṇa). Subhadra was originally a Brāhmaṇ teacher. He was 120 years of age; being so old, he had acquired in consequence much wisdom. Hearing that Buddha was about to die, he came to the two816 (sāla) trees, and asked ānanda, saying, "The Lord is about to die; pray let me ask him respecting some doubts I have, which still hamper me." ānanda replied, "The Lord is about to die; pray do not trouble him." He said, "I hear that Buddha is difficult to meet in the world, and that the true law is difficult to hear. I have some grave doubts; there is no ground for fear," On being invited, Subhadra at once entered, and first asked Buddha, "There are many different persons who call themselves masters, each having a different system of doctrine, and pretending therewith to guide the people. Is Gautama (Kiu-ta-mo)817 able to fathom their doctrine?" Buddha said, "I know their doctrine thoroughly;" and then for Subhadra's sake he preached the law.

Subhadra having heard (the sermon), his mind, pure and faithful, found deliverance, and he asked to be received into the church as a fully ordained disciple. Then Tathāgata addressed him saying, "Are you able to do so? Unbelievers and other sectaries who prepare themselves for a pure mode of life818 ought to pass a four years' novitiate, to exhibit their conduct and test their disposition; if their characters and words be unexceptionable, [id (T51.2087.0904a)] then such persons may enter my profession; but in your case, whilst living amongst men, you have observed their discipline. There should be no difficulty, then, to prevent your full ordination?"

Subhadra said, "The Lord is very pitiful and very gracious, without any partiality. Is he then willing to forego in my case the four years of the threefold preparatory discipline?"819

Buddha said, "As I before stated, this has been done whilst living among men."

Then Subhadra, leaving his home immediately, took full orders as a priest. Then applying himself with all diligence, he vigorously disciplined both body and mind, and so being freed from all doubt, in the middle of the night (of Buddha's Nirvāṇa), not long after (the interview), he obtained the fruit, and became an Arhat without any imperfection. Being thus perfected in purity, he could not bear to await Buddha's death (great Nirvāṇa), but in the midst of the congregation, entering the samādhi of "fire-limit" (Agni-dhātu), and after displaying his spiritual capabilities, he first entered Nirvāṇa. He was thus the very last convert of Tathāgata, and the first to enter Nirvāṇa. This is the same as the hare who was last saved in the story that has just been told.

Beside (the stūpa of) Subhadra's Nirvāṇ is a stūpa; this is the place where the Vajrapāṇi (Chi-kin-kang)820 fell fainting on the earth. The great merciful Lord of the World, having, according to the condition of the persons concerned, finished his work of converting the world, entered on the joy of the Nirvāṇa between the two śāla trees; with his head to the north, he there lay asleep. The Mallas, with their diamond maces and divine though secret characteristics,821 seeing Buddha about to die, were deeply affected with pity, and cried, "Tathāgata is leaving us and entering the great Nirvāṇa; thus are we without any refuge or protection to defend us; the poisonous arrow has deeply penetrated our vitals, and the fire of sorrow burns us up without remedy!" Then letting go their diamond clubs, they fell prostrate on the earth, and so remained for a long time. Then rising again, and deeply affected with compassion and love, they thus spake together, "Who shall now provide us a boat to cross over the great sea of birth and death? Who shall light a lamp to guide us through the long night of ignorance?"

By the side where the diamond (mace-holders) fell to the earth is a stūpa. This is the place where for seven days after Buddha had died they offered religious offerings. When Tathāgata was about to die, a brilliant light shone everywhere; men and Devas were assembled, and together showed their sorrow as they spake thus one to the other, "Now the great Buddha, Lord of the World, is about to die, the happiness of men is gone, the world has no reliance." Then Tathāgata, reposing on his right side upon the lion-bed, addressed the great congregation thus, "Say not Tathāgata has gone for ever (perished), because he dies; the body of the law822 endures for ever! unchangeable is this! Put away all idleness, and without delay seek for emancipation (from the world)."

Then the Bhikshus sobbing and sighing with piteous grief, Aniruddha823 bade the Bhikshus cease. "Grieve not thus," he said, "lest the Devas should deride." Then all the Mallas (Mo-la) having offered their offerings, desired to raise the golden coffin, and bring it to the place of cremation. Then Aniruddha addressed them all, and bade them stop, for the Devas desired to offer their worship during seven days.

Then the Devas (the heavenly host), holding exquisite divine flowers, discoursed through space the praises of his sacred qualities, each in full sincerity of heart offering his sacrifice or worship.

By the side of the place where the coffin was detained is a stūpa; this is where the queen Mahāmāyā824 wept for Buddha.

[id (T51.2087.0904b)] Tathāgata having departed, and his body being laid in the coffin, then Aniruddha, ascending to the heavenly mansions, addressed the queen Māyā and said, "The supremely holy Lord of Religion has now died!"

Māyā having heard of it, suppressed her sobs, and with the body of Devas came to the two śāla trees. Seeing the saṅghāṭī robe, and the pātra, and the religious staff, she embraced them as she recognised each, and then ceased awhile to act,825 till once again with loud accents she cried, "The happiness of men and gods is done! The world's eyes put out! All things are desert, without a guide!"

Then by the holy power of Tathāgata the golden coffin of itself opened; spreading abroad a glorious light, with hands conjoined, and sitting upright, he saluted his loving mother (and said), "You have come down from far; you who live so religiously need not be sad!"

ānanda, suppressing his grief, inquired and said, "What shall I say hereafter when they question me?" In answer he rejoined, "(Say this), when Buddha had already died, his loving mother Māyā, from the heavenly courts descending, came to the twin śāla trees. Then Buddha, bent on teaching the irreverent among826 men, from out his golden coffin, with hands conjoined, for her sake, preached the law."

To the north of the city, after crossing the river,827 and going 300 paces or so, there is a stūpa. This is the place where they burnt the body of Tathāgata. The earth is now of a blackish yellow, from a mixture of earth and charcoal. Whoever with true faith seeks here, and prays, is sure to find some relics of Tathāgata.

When Tathāgata died, men and Devas, moved with love, prepared a coffin made of the seven precious substances, and in a thousand napkins swathed his body; they spread both flowers and scents, they placed both canopies and coverings over it; then the host of Mallas raised the bier and forward marched, with others following and leading on. Passing the golden river (Kin-ho) to the north, they filled the coffin up with scented oil, and piled high up the odorous wood and kindled it. Then, after all was burnt, there were two napkins left--one that lay next the body, the other from the outside covering. Then they divided the śarīras for the world's sake, the hair and nails alone remained untouched by fire. By the side of the place of cremation is a stūpa; here Tathāgata, for Kāśyapa's sake, revealed his feet. When Tathāgata was in his golden coffin, and the oil poured on it and the wood piled up, the fire would not enkindle. When all the beholders were filled with fear and doubt, Aniruddha spoke, "We must await Kāśyapa."

At this time Kāśyapa, with 500 followers from out the forest, came to Kuśinagara, and asked ānanda saying, "Can I behold Tathāgata's body?" ānanda said, "Swathed in a thousand napkins, enclosed within a heavy coffin, with scented wood piled up, we are about to burn it."

At this time Buddha caused his feet to come from out the coffin. Above (or, on) the wheel sign828 lo! there were different coloured marks. Addressing ānanda then, he said, "And what are these?" Answering he said, "When first he died the tears of men and gods, moved by pity, falling upon his feet, left these marks."829

Then Kāśyapa worshipped and walked round the coffin uttering his praises. Then the scented wood caught fire of its own accord, and burnt the whole with a great conflagration.

When Tathāgata died he appeared three times from his coffin: first, when he put out his arm and asked ānanada, "(Have you) prepared the way?"830 [id (T51.2087.0904c)] secondly, when he sat up and preached the law for his mother's sake; and thirdly, when he showed his feet to the great Kāśyapa.

By the side of the place where he showed his feet is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the place where the eight kings shared the relics. In front is built a stone pillar on which is written an account of this event.

When Buddha died, and after his cremation, the kings of the eight countries with their troops (four kinds of troops) sent a right-minded Brāhman (Drona) 831 to address the Mallas of Kuṣinagara, saying, "The guide of men and gods has died in this country; we have come from far to request a share of his relics." The Mallas said, "Tathāgata has condescended to come to this land; the guide of the world is dead! the loving father of all that lives has gone! We ought to adore the relics of Buddha; your journey here has been in vain, you will not gain your end." Then the great kings having sought humbly for them and failed, sent a second message saying," As you will not accede to our request, our troops are near." Then the Brāhmaṇ addressing them said, "Reflect how the Lord, the great merciful, prepared religious merit by practising patience; through successive ages his renown will last. Your desire now to try force is not right. Divide then the relics into eight portions, so that all may worship them. Why resort to arms?"832 The Mallas, obedient to these words, divided the relics into eight parts.

Then śakra the king of gods said, "The Devas also should have a share; dispute not their right."

Anavatapta833 the Nāga also, and Muchilinda (Wen-lin), and Elāpatra (I-lo-po-ta-lo) also, deliberated and said, "We ought not to be left without a bequest; if we seek it by force it will not be well for you!" The Brāhman said, "Dispute not so!" Then he divided the relics into three portions, one for the Devas, one for the Nāgas, and one remnant for the eight kingdoms among men. This addition of Devas and Nāgas in sharing the relics was a source of great sorrow to the kings of men.834

To the south-west of the relic-dividing stūpa, going 200 li or so, we come to a great village; here lived a Brāhmaṇ of eminent wealth and celebrity, deeply learned in all pure literature, versed in the five Vidyās,835 acquainted with the three treasures (piṭakas). By the side of his home he had built a priest's house, and bad used all his wealth to adorn it with magnificence. If by chance any priests in their travels stopped on their way, he asked them to halt, and used all his means to entertain them. They might stop one night, or even throughout seven days.

After this, śaśāṅka-rāja having destroyed the religion of Buddha, the members of the priesthood were dispersed, and for many years driven away. The Brāhmaṇ nevertheless retained for them, through all, an undying regard. As he was walking he chanced to see a śramaṇa, with thick eyebrows and shaven head, holding his staff, coming along. The Brāhmaṇ hurried up to him, and meeting him asked, "Whence come you?" and besought him to enter the priest's abode and receive his charity. In the morning he gave him some rice-milk (rice balls with milk). [id (T51.2087.0905a)] The śramaṇa having taken a mouthful, thereupon returned it (i.e., the rest) to his alms-bowl with a great sigh. The Brāhmaṇ who supplied the food prostrating himself said, "Eminent sir! (bhadanta), is there any reason why you should not remain with me one night? is not the food agreeable?" The śramaṇa graciously answering said, "I pity the feeble merit possessed by the world, but let me finish my meal and I will speak to you further." After finishing his food he gathered up his robes as if to go. The Brāhmaṇ said, "Your reverence agreed to speak with me, why then are you silent?" The śramaṇa said, "I have not forgotten; but to talk with you is irksome; and the circumstance is likely to create doubt, but yet I will tell you in brief. When I sighed, it was not on account of your offering of rice; for during many hundreds of years I have not tasted such food. When Tathāgata was living in the world I was a follower of his when he dwelt in the Venuvana-vihāra, near Rājagṛīha (Ho-lo-she-ki-li-hi);836 there it was, stooping down, I washed his pātra in the pure stream of the river -- there I filled his pitcher -- there I gave him water for cleansing his mouth; but alas! the milk you now offer is not like the sweet water of old! It is because the religious merit of Devas and men has diminished that this is the case!" The Brāhmaṇ then said, "Is it possible that you yourself have ever seen Buddha?" The śramanṇa replied, "Have you never heard of Rāhula, Buddha's own son? I am he! Because I desire to protect the true law I have not yet entered Nirvāṇa."

Having spoken thus he suddenly disappeared. Then the Brāhmaṇ swept and watered the chamber he had used, and placed there a figure of him, which he reverenced as though he were present.

Going 500 li through the great forest we come to the kingdom of P'o-lo-ni-sse (Bānāras).


Includes the following countries, (1) P'o-lo-ni-sse; (2) Chen-chu; (3) Fei-she-li; (4) Fo-li-shi; (5) Ni-po-lo.


This country is about 4000 li in circuit. The capital borders (on its western side) [id (T51.2087.0905b)] the Ganges river. It is about 18 or 19 li in length and 5 or 6 li in breadth; its inner gates are like a small-toothed comb;838 it is densely populated. The families are very rich, and in the dwellings are objects of rare value. The disposition of the people is soft and humane, and they are earnestly given to study. They are mostly unbelievers, a few reverence the law of Buddha. The climate is soft, the crops abundant, the trees (fruit trees) flourishing, and the underwood thick in every place. There are about thirty saṅghārāmas and 3000 priests. They study the Little Vehicle according to the Sammatīya school (Ching-liang-pu). There are a hundred or so Deva temples with about 10,000 sectaries. They honour principally Maheśvara (Ta-tseu-tsaï). Some cut their hair off, others tie their hair in a knot, and go naked, without clothes (Nirgranthas); they cover their bodies with ashes (Pāśupatas), and by the practice of all sorts of austerities they seek to escape from birth839 and death.

In the capital there are twenty Deva temples, the towers and halls of which are of sculptured stone and carved wood. The foliage of trees combine to shade (the sites), whilst pure streams of water encircle them. The statue of the Deva Maheśvara, made of teou-shih (native copper), is somewhat less than 100 feet high. Its appearance is grave and majestic, and appears as though really living.

To the north-east of the capital, on the western side of the river Varaṇā, is a stūpa840 built by Aśoka-rāja (Wu-yau). It is about 100 feet high; in front of it is a stone pillar, it is bright and shining as a mirror; its surface is glistening and smooth as ice, and on it can be constantly seen the figure of Buddha as a shadow.

To the north-east of the river Varaṇā about 10 li or so, we come to the saṅghārāma of Lu-ye (stag desert).841 Its precincts are divided into eight portions (sections),842 connected by a surrounding wall. The storeyed towers with projecting eaves and the balconies are of very superior work. There are fifteen hundred priests in this convent who study the Little Vehicle according to the Sammatīya school. In the great enclosure is a vihāra about 200 feet high; above the roof is a golden-covered figure of the āmra (An-mo-lo -- mango) fruit. The foundations of the building are of stone, and the stairs also, but the towers and niches are of brick. The niches are arranged on the four sides in a hundred successive lines, and in each niche is a golden figure of Buddha. In the middle of the vihāra is a figure of Buddha made of teou-shih (native copper). It is the size of life, and he is represented as turning the wheel of the law (preaching).843

To the south-west of the vihāra is a stone stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. Although the foundations have given way, there are still 100 feet or more of the wall remaining. In front of the building is a stone pillar about 70 feet high. The stone is altogether as bright as jade. It is glistening, and sparkles like light; and all those who pray fervently before it see from time to time, according to their petitions, figures with good or bad signs. It was here that Tathāgata (ju-lai), having arrived at enlightenment, began to turn the wheel of the law (to preach).

By the side of this building and not far from it is a stūpa. This is the spot where ājñāta Kauṇḍinya ('O-jo-kio-ch'in-ju) and the rest, seeing Bodhisattva giving up his austerities, no longer kept his company, but coming to this place, gave themselves up to meditation.844

By the side of this is a stūpa where five hundred Pratyeka Buddhas entered at the same time into Nirvāṇa. There are, moreover, three stūpas where there are traces of the sitting and walking of the three former Buddhas. [id (T51.2087.0905c)]

By the side of this last place is a stūpa. This is the spot where Maitreya Bodhisattva received assurance of his becoming a Buddha. In old days, when Tathāgata was living in Rājagṛha (Wang-she), on the Gṛdhrakūṭa mountain,845 he spoke thus to the Bhikshus: "In future years, when this country of Jambudvīpa shall be at peace and rest, and the age of men shall amount to 80,000 years, there shall be a Brāhmaṇ called Maitreya (Sse-che). His body shall be of the colour of pure gold, bright and glistening and pure. Leaving his home, he will become a perfect Buddha, and preach the threefold846 law for the benefit of all creatures. Those who shall be saved are those who live, in whom the roots of merit have been planted through my bequeathed law.847 These all conceiving in their minds a profound respect for the three precious objects of worship, whether they be already professed disciples or not, whether they be obedient to the precepts or not, will all be led by the converting power (of his preaching) to acquire the fruit (of Bodhi)and final deliverance. Whilst declaring the threefold law for the conversion of those who have been influenced by my bequeathed law, by this means also hereafter others will be converted."848

At this time Maitreya Bodhisattva (Meï-ta-li-ye-pu-sa) hearing this declaration of Buddha, rose from his seat and addressed Buddha thus: "May I indeed become that lord called Maitreya." Then Tathāgata spoke thus: "Be it so! you shall obtain this fruit (condition), and as I have just explained, such shall be the power (influence) of your teaching."

To the west of this place there is a stūpa. This is the spot where śākya Bodhisattva (Shih-kia-p'u-sa) received an assurance (of becoming a Buddha). In the midst of the Bhadra-kalpa when men's years amounted to 20,000, Kāśyapa Buddha (Kia-she-po-fo) appeared in the world and moved the wheel of the excellent law (i.e., preached the law), opened out and changed the unclosed mind (of men), and declared this prediction to Prabhāpāla Bodhisattva (Hu-ming-p'u-sa).849 "This Bodhisattva in future ages, when the years of men shall have dwindled to 100 years, shall obtain the condition of a Buddha and be called śākya Muni."

Not far to the south of this spot are traces where the four Buddhas of a bygone age walked for exercise. The length (of the promenade) is about fifty paces and the height of the steps (stepping spots) about seven feet. It is composed of blue stones piled together. Above it is a figure of Tathāgata in the attitude of walking. It is of a singular dignity and beauty. From the flesh-knot on the top of the head there flows wonderfully a braid of hair. Spiritual signs are plainly manifested and divine prodigies wrought with power (fineness, éclat).

Within the precincts of the enclosure (of the saṅghārāma)850 there are many sacred vestiges, with vihāras and stūpas several hundred in number. We have only named two or three of these, as it would be difficult to enter into details.

To the west of the saṅghārāma enclosure is a clear lake of water about 200 paces in circuit; here Tathāgata occasionally bathed himself. To the west of this is a great tank about 180 paces round; here Tathāgata used to wash his begging-dish.

To the north of this is a lake about 150 paces round. Here Tathāgata used to wash his robes. In each of these pools is a dragon who dwells within it. The water is deep and its taste sweet; it is pure and resplendent in appearance, and neither increases nor decreases. When men of a bad character bathe here, [id (T51.2087.0906a)] the crocodiles (kin-pi-lo,--kumbhīras) come forth and kill many of them; but in case of the reverential who wash here, they need fear nothing.

By the side of the pool where Tathāgata washed his garments is a great square stone, on which are yet to be seen the trace-marks of his kashāya (kia-sha) robe. The bright lines of the tissue are of a minute and distinct character, as if carved on the stone. The faithful and pure frequently come to make their offerings here; but when the heretics and men of evil mind speak lightly of or insult the stone, the dragon-king inhabiting the pool causes the winds to rise and rain to fall.

By the side of the lake, and not far off, is a stūpa. This is where Bodhisattva, during his preparatory life, was born as a king of elephants, provided with six tusks (chhadanta).851 A hunter, desirous to obtain the tusks, put on a robe in colour like that of a religious ascetic, and taking his bow, awaited the arrival of his prey. The elephant king, from respect to the kashāya robe, immediately broke off his tusks and gave them to the hunter.

By the side of this spot, and not far from it, is a stūpa. It was here Bodhisattva, in his preparatory career, grieved to see that there was little politeness (reverence) amongst men, took the form of a bird, and joining himself to the company of a monkey and a white elephant, he asked them in this place, "Which of you saw first this Nyagrodha (Ni-ku-liu) tree?" Each having answered according to circumstances, he placed them according to their age.852 The good effects of this conduct spread itself little by little on every side; men were able to distinguish the high from the low, and the religious and lay people followed their example.

Not far from this, in a great forest, is a stūpa. It was here that Devadatta and Bodhisattva, in years gone by, were kings of deer and settled a certain matter. Formerly in this place, in the midst of a great forest, there were two herds of deer, each 500 in number. At this time the king of the country wandered about hunting through the plains and morasses. Bodhisattva, king of deer, approaching him, said, "Mahārāja! you set fire to the spaces enclosed as your hunting-ground, and shoot your arrows and kill all my followers. Before the sun rises they lie about corrupting and unfit for food. Pray let us each day offer you one deer for food, which the king will then have fresh and good, and we shall prolong our life a little day by day." The king was pleased at the proposition, and turned his chariot and went back home. So on each day a deer from the respective flocks was killed.

Now among the herd of Devadatta there was a doe big with young, and when her turn came to die she said to her lord, "Although I am ready to die, yet it is not my child's turn."

The king of the deer (i.e., Devadatta) was angry, and said, " Who is there but values life?"

The deer answered with a sigh, "But, O king, it is not humane to kill that which is unborn."853

She then told her extremity to Bodhisattva, the king of deer. He replied, "Sad indeed; the heart of the loving mother grieves (is moved) for that which is not yet alive (has no body). I today will take your place and die."

Going to the royal gate (i.e., the palace), the people who travelled along the road passed the news along and said in a loud voice, "That great king of the deer is going now towards the town." The people of the capital, the magistrates, and others, hastened to see.

The king hearing of it, was unwilling to believe the news; but when the gate-keeper assured him of the truth, then the king believed it. Then, addressing the deer-king he said, "Why have you come here?"

The deer-(king) replied, "There is a female in the herd big with young, whose turn it was to die; but my heart could not bear to think that the young, not yet born, should perish so. I have therefore come in her place." [id (T51.2087.0906b)]

The king, hearing it, sighed and said, "I have indeed the body of a man, but am as a deer. You have the body of a deer, but are as a man." Then for pity's sake he released the deer, and no longer required a daily sacrifice. Then he gave up that forest for the use of the deer, and so it was called "the forest given to the deer,"854 and hence its name, the "deer-plain" (or, wild).

Leaving this place, and going 2 or 3 li to the south-west of the saṅghārāma, there is a stūpa about 300 feet high. The foundations are broad and the building high, and adorned with all sorts of carved work and with precious substances. There are no successive stages (to this building) with niches; and although there is a standing pole erected above the cupola (fau poh855 ), yet it has no encircling bells.856 By the side of it is a little stūpa. This the spot where ājñāta Kaundinya and the other men, five in number, declined to rise to salute Buddha.857 When first Sarvārthasiddha (Sa-p'o-ho-la-t'a-si-t'o858 ) left the city to sojourn in the mountains and to hide in the valleys, forgetful of self and mindful of religion, then śuddhodana-rāja (Tsing-fan) commanded three persons of his own tribe and household, and two of his maternal uncles, saying, "My son Sarvārthasiddha has left his home to practise wisdom; alone he wanders through mountains and plains and lives apart in the forests. I order you, therefore, to follow him and find out where he dwells. You within (the family), his uncles, and you without (the family), ministers and people, exert yourselves diligently to find out where he has gone to live." The five men, after receiving the order, went together, casting along the outposts of the country. And now, during their earnest search, the thought of leaving their homes occurred to them also,859 and so they thus spake one to the other: "Is it by painful discipline or by joyful means we attain to supreme wisdom?" Two of them said, "By rest and by pleasant discipline wisdom is obtained." Three of them said, "It is by painful discipline." Whilst they yet contended without agreeing, two to three, the prince had already entered on the painful discipline of the unbelievers, considering this to be the true way to overcome sorrow; and so, like them, he took only a few grains of rice and millet to support his body.

The two men seeing him thus, said, "This discipline of the prince is opposed to the true way (of escape); intelligence is obtained by agreeable methods, but now he is practising severe discipline, he cannot be our companion." So they departed far off and lived in seclusion under the idea that they would (in their own way) attain the fruit (of enlightenment). The prince having practised austerities for six years860 without obtaining Bodhi, desired to give up his rigorous discipline, as being contrary to the truth; he then prepared himself to receive the rice-milk (offered by the girl), with a view, by this method, to obtain enlightenment.861 Then the three men (who advocated penance) hearing thereof, sighed and said, "His merit was just ripening, and now it is all dissipated! For six years enduring penance, and now in a day to lose all his merit!" On this they went together to seek for and consult with the two men. Having met them, they sat down and entered on an excited conversation. Then they spake together thus: "In old days we saw the Prince Sarvārthasiddha leave the royal palace for the desert valleys: he put off his jewels and robes, and assumed the skin doublet (of the hunter), and then, with all his might and determined will, gave himself to austerities to seek after the deep mysterious law and its perfect fruit. And now, having given all up, he has received the rice-milk of the young shepherd-girl, and ruined his purpose. We know now he can do nothing."

The two men replied, "How is it, my masters, ye have seen this so late, that this man acts as a madman? When he lived in his palace he was reverenced and powerful; but he was not able to rest in quiet, and so went wandering far off [id (T51.2087.0906c)] through mountains and woods, giving up the estate of a Chakravartin monarch to lead the life of an abject and outcast. What need we think about him more; the mention of his name but adds sorrow to sorrow."

And now Bodhisattva having bathed in the Nairañjanā river, seated himself under the Bodhi tree and perfected himself in supreme wisdom, and was named "The lord of devas and men." Then reflecting in silence, he thought who was worthy (fit) to be instructed in the way of deliverance -- "The son of Rāma, Udra by name (Yo-t'eu-lan), he is fit to receive the excellent law, as he has reached the Samādhi, which admits of no active thought."862

Then the Devas in space raised their voices and said, "Udra-Rāmaputra has been dead for seven days." Then Tathāgata sighing (said) with regret, "Why did we not meet? ready as he was to hear the excellent law and thereby to obtain quick conversion!"

Again he gave himself to consideration, and cast about through the world to seek (for some one to whom he might first preach). There is (he thought) ārāḍa Kālama ('O-lan-kia-lan), who has reached the ecstatic point "of having nothing to obtain;"863 he is fit to receive the highest reason. Then again the Devas said, "He has been dead for five864 days."

Again Tathāgata sighed, in knowledge of his incompleted merit. Once more considering who was worthy to receive his instruction, he remembered that in the "deer park" there were the five men,865 who might first receive the converting doctrine. Then Tathāgata, rising from the Bodhi tree, went forward with measured step866 and dignified mien to the "deer-park garden," shining with glory; his (circle of) hair867 reflecting its brilliant colours, and his body like gold. Gracefully he advanced to teach those five men. They, on their parts, seeing him afar off, said one to another,868 "Here comes that Sarvārthasiddha; for years and months he has sought for the sacred fruit, and has not obtained it, and now his mind is relaxed, and so he comes to seek us as disciples (or, to seek our company); let us remain silent, and not rise to meet him or pay him respect."

Tathāgata gradually approaching, his sacred appearance affecting all creatures, the five men, forgetting their vow, rose and saluted him, and then attached themselves to him with respect. Tathāgata gradually instructed them in the excellent principles (of his religion), and when the double869 season of rest was finished, they had obtained the fruit (of Bodhi).

To the east of the "deer forest" 2 or 3 li, we come to a stūpa by the side of which is a dry pool about 80 paces in circuit, one name of which is "saving life,"870 another name is "ardent master." The old traditions explain it thus: Many hundred years ago there was a solitary sage (a sorrowful or obscure master) who built by the side of this pool a hut to live in, away from the world. He practised the arts of magic, and by the extremest exercise of his spiritual power he could change broken fragments of bricks into precious stones, and could also metamorphose both men and animals into other shapes, but he was not yet able to ride upon the winds and the clouds, and to follow the rishis in mounting upwards. By inspecting figures and names that had come down from of old, he further sought into the secret arts of the rishis. From these he learned the following: "The spirit-rishis are they who possess the art of lengthening life.871 If you wish to acquire this knowledge, first of all you must fix your mind on this--viz., to build up an altar enclosure 10 feet round; then command an 'ardent master' (a hero), faithful and brave, and with clear intent, to hold in his hand a long sword and take his seat at the corner of the altar, to cover his breath, and remain silent from evening till dawn.872 He who seeks to be a rishi must sit in the middle of the altar, and, grasping a long knife, must repeat the magic formulæ and keep watch (seeing and hearing). At morning light, attaining the condition of a rishi, the sharp knife he holds will change into a sword of diamond (a gem-sword), and he will mount into the air and march through space, [id (T51.2087.0907a)] and rule over the band of rishis. Waving the sword he holds, everything he wishes will be accomplished, and he will know neither decay nor old age, nor disease nor death."873 The man having thus obtained the method (of becoming a rishi), went in search of such an "ardent master." Diligently he searched for many years, but as yet he found not the object of his desires. At length, in a certain town he encountered a man piteously wailing as he went along the way. The solitary master seeing his marks (the marks on his person),874 was rejoiced at heart, and forthwith approaching him, he inquired, "Why do you go thus lamenting, and why are you so distressed?" He said, "I was a poor and needy man, and had to labour hard to support myself. A certain master seeing this, and knowing me to be entirely trustworthy, used me (engaged me for his work) during five years, promising to pay me well for my pains. On this I patiently wrought in spite of weariness and difficulties. Just as the five years were done, one morning for some little fault I was cruelly whipped and driven away without a farthing. For this cause I am sad at heart and afflicted. Oh, who will pity me?"

The solitary master ordered him to accompany him, and coming to his cabin (wood hut), by his magic power he caused to appear some choice food, and ordered him to enter the pool and wash. Then he clothed him in new garments, and giving him 500 gold pieces, he dismissed him, saying, "When this is done, come and ask for more without fear."875 After this he frequently bestowed on him more gifts, and in secret did him other good, so that his heart was filled with gratitude. Then the "ardent master" was ready to lay down his life in return for all the kindness he had received. Knowing this, the other said to him, "I am in need of an enthusiastic person.876 During a succession of years I sought for one, till I was fortunate enough to meet with you, possessed of rare beauty and a becoming presence, different from others.877 Now, therefore, I pray you, during one night (to watch) without speaking a word."

The champion said, "I am ready to die for you, much more to sit with my breath covered."878 Whereupon he constructed an altar and undertook the rules for becoming a rishi, according to the prescribed form. Sitting down, he awaited the night. At the approach of night each attended to his particular duties. The "solitary master" recited his magic prayers; the champion held his sharp sword in his hand. About dawn suddenly he uttered a short cry, and at the same time fire descended from heaven, and flames and smoke arose on every side like clouds. The "solitary master" at once drew the champion into the lake,879 and having saved him from his danger, he said, "I bound you to silence; why then did you cry out?"

The champion said, "After receiving your orders, towards the middle of the night, darkly, as in a dream, the scene changed, and I saw rise before me all my past history. My master880 in his own person came to me, and in consolatory words addressed me; overcome with gratitude, I yet restrained myself and spoke not. Then that other man came before me; towering with rage, he slew me, and I received my ghostly body881 (I wandered as a shade or shadowy body). I beheld myself dead, and I sighed with pain, but yet I vowed through endless ages not to speak, in gratitude to you. Next I saw myself destined to be born in a great Brāhman's house in Southern India, and I felt my time come to be conceived and to be brought forth. Though all along enduring anguish, yet from gratitude to you no sound escaped me. After a while I entered on my studies, took the cap (of manhood), and I married; my parents dead, I had a child. Each day I thought of all your kindness, and endured in silence, uttering no word. My household connections and clan relatives all seeing this, were filled with shame. For more than sixty years and five I lived. At length my wife addressed me, 'You must speak; if not, I slay your son! And then I thought, 'I can beget no other child, for I am old and feeble; [id (T51.2087.0907b)] this is my only tender son.' It was to stop my wife from killing him I raised the cry."

The "solitary master" said, "All was my fault; 'twas the fascination of the devil."882 The champion, moved with gratitude, and sad because the thing had failed, fretted himself and died. Because he escaped the calamity of fire, the lake is called "Saving the Life," and because he died overpowered by gratitude, it has its other name, "The Champion's Lake."

To the west of this lake there is a stūpa of "the three animals." In this place, when Bodhisattva was practising his preparatory life, he burnt his own body. At the beginning of the kalpa in this forest wild, there lived a fox, a hare, and a monkey, three creatures of different kinds but mutually affectionate. At this time śakra, king of Devas, wishing to examine into the case of those practising the life of a Bodhisattva, descended spiritually in shape as an old man. He addressed the three animals thus: "My children, two or three,883 are you at ease and without fear?" They said, "We lie upon (tread on) the rich herbage, wander through the bosky brakes, and though of different kinds we are agreed together, and are at rest and joyful." The old man said, "Hearing that you, my children, two or three, were peaceful at heart and living in sweet accord, though I am old, yet have I come from far alone, forgetting my infirmities, to visit you; but now I am pressed with hunger, what have you to offer me to eat?" They said, "Wait here awhile, and we will go ourselves in search of food." On this, with one mind and with single purpose, they searched through the different ways for food. The fox having skirted a river, drew out from thence a fresh carp fish. The monkey in the forest gathered fruits and flowers of different kinds. Then they came together to the appointed place and approached the old man. Only the hare came empty, after running to and fro both right and left. The old man spake to him and said, "As it seems to me, you are not of one mind with the fox and monkey; each of those can minister to me heartily, but the hare alone comes empty, and gives me nought to eat; the truth of what I say can easily be known." The hare, hearing these words and moved by their power, addressed the fox and monkey thus, "Heap up a great pile of wood for burning, then I will give (do) something." The fox and monkey did accordingly; running here and there, they gathered grass and wood; they piled it up, and when it was thoroughly alight the hare spake thus: "Good sir! I am a small and feeble thing; it is difficult for me to obtain you food, but my poor body may perhaps provide a meal." On this he cast himself upon the fire, and forthwith died. Then the old man reassumed his body as King śakra, collected all the bones, and after dolorous sighs addressed the fox and monkey thus: "He only could have done it (or, unprecedented event). I am deeply touched; and lest his memory should perish, I will place him in the moon's disc to dwell." Therefore through after ages all have said, "The hare is in the moon." After this event men built a stūpa on the spot.884

Leaving this country and going down the Ganges eastward 300 li or so, we come to the country of Chen-chu.


This kingdom is about 2000 li in circuit; its capital, which borders on the Ganges river, is about 10 li in circuit. The people are wealthy and prosperous; the towns and villages are close together. The soil is rich and fertile, and the land is regularly cultivated. The climate is soft and temperate, and the manners of the people are pure and honest. The disposition of the men is naturally fierce and excitable; they are believers both in heretical and true doctrine. [id (T51.2087.0907c)] There are some ten saṅghārāmas with less than 1000 followers, who all study the doctrines of the Little Vehicle. There are twenty Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of different persuasions.

In a saṅghārāma to the north-west of the capital is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. The Indian tradition886 says this stūpa contains a peck of the relics of Tathāgata. Formerly, when the Lord of the World dwelt in this place,887 during seven days he preached the excellent law for the sake of an assembly of the Devas.

Beside this place are traces where the three Buddhas of the past age walked and where they sat.

Close by is an image of Maitreya Bodhisattva: although of small dimensions, its spiritual presence is great, and its divine power is exhibited from time to time in a mysterious manner.

Going east from the chief city about 200 li, we come to a saṅghārāma called 'O-pi-t'o-kie-la-na ("Ears not pierced"--Aviddhakarṇa888 ). The circuit (encircling wall) is not great, but the ornamental work of the building is very artistic. The lakes reflect the surrounding flowers, and the eaves of the towers and pavilions (or, the tower-pavilions) touch one another in a continuous line. The priests are grave and decorous, and all their duties are properly attended to. The tradition states: Formerly there were two or three śramaṇas, passionately fond of learning, who lived in the country of Tu-ho-lo889 (Tukharā), to the north of the Snowy Mountains, and were of one mind. Each day during the intervals of worship and reciting the scriptures, they talked together in this way: "The excellent principles of religion are dark and mysterious, not to be fathomed in careless talk. The sacred relics (traces) shine with their own peculiar splendour; let us go together from place to place, and tell our faithful (believing890 ) friends what sacred relics we ourselves have seen."

On this the two or three associates, taking their religious staves,891 went forth to travel together. Arrived in India, at whatever convent gates they called, they were treated with disdain as belonging to a frontier country, and no one would take them in. They were exposed to the winds and the rains without, and within they suffered from hunger; their withered bodies and pallid faces showed their misery. At this time the king of the country in his wandering through the suburbs of the city saw these strange priests. Surprised, he asked them, "What region, mendicant masters, come you from? and why are you here with your unpierced ears892 and your soiled garments?" The śramaṇas replied, "We are men of the Tu-ho-lo country. Having received with respect the bequeathed doctrine,893 with high resolve we have spurned the common pursuits of life, and following the same plan, we have come to see and adore the sacred relics. But alas! for our little merit, all alike have cast us out; the śramaṇas of India deign not to give us shelter, and we would return to our own land, but we have not yet completed the round of our pilgrimage. Therefore, with much fatigue and troubled in heart, we follow on our way till we have finished our aim."

The king hearing these words was much affected with pity, and forthwith erected on this fortunate (excellent) site a saṇghārāma, and wrote on a linen scroll the following decree: "It is by the divine favour of the three precious ones (Buddha, Dharma, Saṅgha) that I am sole ruler of the world and the most honoured among men. Having acquired sovereignty over men, this charge has been laid on me by Buddha, to protect and cherish all who wear the garments of religion (soiled or dyed garments). I have built this saṅghārāma for the special entertainment of strangers. Let no priest with pierced ears ever dwell in this convent of mine." Because of this circumstance the place received its name. [id (T51.2087.0908a)]

Going south-east from the convent of 'O-pi-t'o-kie-la-na about 100 li, and passing to the south of the Ganges, we come to the town Mo-ho-sa-lo (Mahāsāra),894 the inhabitants of which are all Brāhmaṇs, and do not respect the law of Buddha. Seeing the śramaṇ, they first inquired as to his studies, and ascertaining his profound knowledge, they then treated him with respect.

On the north side of the Ganges895 there is a temple of (Na-lo-yen) Nārāyaṇa-deva.896 Its balconies and storied towers are wonderfully sculptured and ornamented. The images of the Devas are wrought of stone with the highest art of man. Miraculous signs, difficult to explain, are manifested here.

Going east from this temple 30 li or so, there is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. The greater part (a great half) is buried in the earth. Before it is a stone pillar about 20 feet high, on the top of which is the figure of a lion. There is an inscription cut in it (i.e., the pillar) respecting the defeat of the evil spirits. Formerly in this place there was some desert897 demons, who, relying on their great strength and (spiritual) capabilities, fed on the flesh and blood of men. They made havoc of men and did the utmost mischief. Tathāgata, in pity to living creatures, who were deprived of their natural term of days, by his spiritual power converted the demons, and led them, from reverence to him (kwai i898 ), to accept the command against murder. The demons, receiving his instruction respectfully, saluted him (by the pradakshina). Moreover, they brought a stone, requesting Buddha to sit down, desiring to hear the excellent law (from his mouth), that they might learn how to conquer their thoughts and hold themselves in check. From that time the disciples of the unbelievers have all endeavoured to remove the stone which the demons placed for a seat; but though 10,000 of them strove to do so, they would be unable to turn it. Leafy woods and clear lakes surround the foundation on the right and left, and men who approach the neighbourhood are unable to restrain a feeling of awe.

Not far from the spot where the demons were subdued there are many saṅghārāmas, mostly in ruins, but there are still some priests, who all reverence the doctrine of the Great Vehicle.

Going south-east from this 100 li or so, we come to a ruined stūpa, but still several tens of feet high. Formerly, after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, the great kings of the eight countries899 divided his relics. The Brāhmaṇ who meted out their several portions, smearing the inside of his pitcher with honey,900 after allotting them their shares, took the pitcher and returned to his country. He then scraped the remaining relics from the vessel, and raised over them a stūpa, and in honour to the vessel (pitcher) he placed it also within the stūpa, and hence the name (of Droṇa stūpa) was given it.901 Afterwards Aśoka-rāja, opening (the stūpa), took the relics and the pitcher, and in place of the old902 one built a great stūpa. To this day, on festival occasions (fast-days), it emits a great light.

Going north-east from this, and crossing the Ganges, after travelling 140 or 150 li, we come to the country of Fei-she-li (Vaiśālī).


This kingdom903 is about 5000 li in circuit.904 The soil is rich and fertile; flowers and fruits are produced in abundance. The āmra fruit (mango) and the mocha (banana) are very plentiful and much prized. The climate is agreeable and temperate. The manners of the people [id (T51.2087.0908b)] are pure and honest. They love religion and highly esteem learning. Both heretics and believers are found living together. There are several hundred saṅghārāmas, which are mostly dilapidated. The three or five905 which still remain have but few priests in them. There are several tens of Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of different kinds. The followers of the Nirgranthas are very numerous.

The capital city of Vaiśālī (or, called Vaiśālī) is to a great extent in ruins. Its old foundations are from 60 to 70 li in circuit. The royal precincts are about 4 or 5 li round: there are a few people living in it. North-westof the royal city (precincts) 5 or 6 li, is a saṅghārāma with a few disciples. They study the teaching of the Little Vehicle, according to the Sammatīya school.

By the side of it is a stūpa. It was here Tathāgata delivered the Vimalakīrti Sūtra (Pi-mo-lo-kie-king), and the son of a householder, Ratnākara,906 and others offered precious parasols (to Buddha).907 To the east of this is a stūpa. It was here śāriputra and others obtained perfect exemption (became Arhats).

To the south-east of this last spot is a stūpa; this was built by a king of Vaiśālī. After the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, a former king of this country obtained a portion of the relics of his body, and to honour them as highly as possible raised (this building).908

The records of India state: In this stūpa there was at first a quantity of relics equal to a "hoh" (ten pecks). Aśoka-rāja opening it, took away nine-tenths of the whole, leaving only one-tenth behind. Afterwards there was a king of the country who wished again to open the stūpa, but at the moment when he began to do so, the earth trembled, and he dared not proceed to open (the stūpa).

To the north-west is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja; by the side of it is a stone pillar about 50 or 60 feet high, with the figure of a lion909 on the top. To the south of the stone pillar is a tank. This was dug by a band of monkeys (Markatahrada) for Buddha's use. When he was in the world of old, Tathāgata once and again dwelt here. Not far to the south of this tank is a stūpa; it was here the monkeys, taking the alms-bowl of Tathāgata, climbed a tree and gathered him some honey.

Not far to the south is a stūpa; this is the place where the monkeys offered the honey910 to Buddha. At the north-west angle of the lake there is still a figure of a monkey.

To the north-east of the saṅghārāma 3 or 4 li is a stūpa; this is the old site of the house of Vimalakīrti (Pi-mo-lo-kie);911 various spiritual signs (manifestations) are exhibited here.

Not far from this is a spirit-dwelling912 (a chapel?), its shape like a pile of bricks. Tradition says913 this stone-pile is where the householder Vimalakīrti preached the law when he was sick.

Not far from this is a stūpa; this is the site of the old residence of Ratnākara (P'ao tsi).914

Not far from this is a stūpa; this is the old house of the lady āmra.915 It was here the aunt of Buddha and other Bhikshuṇīs obtained Nirvāṇa. [id (T51.2087.0908c)]

To the north of the saṅghārāma 3 or 4 li is a stūpa; this indicates the place where Tathāgata stopped when about to advance to Kuśinagara to die, whilst men and Kinnaras followed him.916 From this not far to the north-west is a stūpa; here Buddha for the very last time gazed upon the city of Vaiśālī.917 Not far to the south of this is a vihāra, before which is built a stūpa; this is the site of the garden of the āmra-girl,918 which she gave in charity to Buddha.

By the side of this garden is a stūpa; this is the place where Tathāgata announced his death.919 When Buddha formerly dwelt in this place, he told ānanda as follows:--"Those who obtain the four spiritual faculties are able to extend their lives to a kalpa. What is the term of years of Tathāgata then?" Thrice he asked this question, and ānanda answered not, through the fascination of Māra. Then ānanda rising from his seat, gave himself up to silent thought in a wood. At this time Māra coming to Buddha,920 asked him, saying, "Tathāgata has for a long time dwelt in the world teaching and converting. Those whom he has saved from the circling streams (of transmigration) are as numerous as the dust or the sands. This surely is the time to partake of the joy of Nirvāṇa." Tathāgata taking some grains of dust on his nail, asked Māra, saying, "Are the grains of dust on my nail equal to the dust of the whole earth or not?" He answered, "The dust of the earth is much greater." Buddha said, "Those who are saved are as the grains of earth on my nail; those not saved like the grains of the whole earth; but after three months I shall die." Māra hearing it, was rejoiced and departed.

Meantime ānanda in the wood suddenly had a strange dream, and coming to Buddha he told it to him, saying, "I was in the wood, when I beheld in my dream a large tree, whose branches and leaves in their luxuriance cast a grateful shade beneath, when suddenly a mighty wind arose which destroyed and scattered the tree and its branches without leaving a mark behind. Oh, forbid it that the lord is going to die! My heart is sad and worn, therefore I have come to ask you if it be so or not?"

Buddha answered ānanda, "I asked you before, and Māra so fascinated you that you did not then ask me to remain in the world. Māra-rāja has urged me to die soon, and I have covenanted to do so; and fixed the time. This is the meaning of your dream."921

Not far from this spot is a stūpa. This is the spot where the thousand sons beheld their father and their mother.922 Formerly there was a rishi who lived a secret life amid the crags and valleys. In the second month of spring he had been bathing himself in a pure stream of water. A roe-deer which came to drink there just after, conceived and brought forth a female child, very beautiful beyond human measure, but she had the feet of a deer. The rishi having seen it, adopted and cherished it (as his child). As time went on, on one occasion he ordered her to go and seek some fire. In so doing she came to the hut of another rishi; but wherever her feet trod there she left the impression of a lotus-flower on the ground. The other rishi having seen this, was very much surprised, and bade her walk round his hut and he would give her some fire. Having done so and got the fire, she returned. At this time Fan-yu-wang (Brahmadatta-rāja923 ) going out on a short excursion, saw the lotus-flower traces, and followed them to seek (the cause). [id (T51.2087.0909a)] Admiring her strange and wonderful appearance, he took her back in his carriage. The soothsayers casting her fortune said, "She will bear a thousand sons." Hearing this, the other women did nothing but scheme against her. Her time having been accomplished, she brought forth a lotus-flower of a thousand leaves, and on each leaf was seated a boy. The other women slandered her on its account, and saying it was "an unlucky omen," threw (the lotus) into the Ganges, and it was carried away by the current.

The king of Ujiyana (U-chi-yen), down the stream going out for an excursion, observed a yellow-cloud-covered box floating on the water and coming towards him. He took it and opened it, and there saw a thousand boys; being well nourished, when they came to perfect stature, they were of great strength. Relying on these, he extended his kingdom in every direction, and encouraged by the victories of his troops, he was on the point of extending his conquests to this country (i.e., Vaiśālī). Brahmadatta-rāja hearing of it, was much alarmed; fearing his army was not able to contend successfully with the invaders, he was at a loss what to do. At this time the deer-footed girl, knowing in her heart that these were her sons, addressed the king thus: "Now that these youthful warriors are approaching the frontier, from the highest to the lowest there is an absence of courage (heart). Your feeble wife by her thought is able to conquer those redoubtable champions." The king not yet believing her, remained overwhelmed with fear. Then the deer-girl, mounting the city wall, waited the arrival of the warriors. The thousand youths having surrounded the city with their soldiers, the deer-girl said to them, "Do not be rebellious! I am your mother; you are my sons." The thousand youths replied, "What extravagant words are these!" The deer-girl then pressing both her breasts, a thousand jets of milk flowed out therefrom, and by divine direction fell into their mouths. Then they laid aside their armour, broke their ranks, and returned to their tribe and family. The two countries mutually rejoiced, and the people rested in peace.

Not far from this spot is a stūpa. This is where Tathāgata walked for exercise, and left the traces thereof. In teaching (or, pointing to the traces) he addressed the congregation thus: "In ancient days, in this place, I returned to my family924 on seeing my mother. If you would know then, those thousand youths are the same as the thousand Buddhas of this Bhadra-kalpa."

To the east of the spot where Buddha explained this birth (jātaka) is a ruined foundation above which is built a stūpa. A bright light is from time to time reflected here. Those who ask (pray) in worship obtain their requests. The ruins of the turretted preaching-hall, where Buddha uttered the Samantamukha925 dhāraṇi and other sūtras, are still visible.

By the side of the preaching-hall, and not far from it, is a stūpa which contains the relics of the half body of ānanda.926

No far from this are several stūpas--the exact number has not yet been determined. Here a thousand Pratyeka Buddhas (To-kio) attained Nirvāṇa. Both within and without the city of Vaiśālī, and all round it, the sacred vestiges are so numerous that it would be difficult to recount them all. At every step commanding sites and old foundations are seen, which the succession of seasons and lapse of years have entirely destroyed. The forests are uprooted; the shallow lakes are dried up and stinking; nought but offensive remnants of decay can be recorded.

Going north-west of the chief city 50 or 60 li, we come to a great stūpa. [id (T51.2087.0909b)] This is where the Licchavas (Li-ch'e-p'o) took leave of Buddha.927 Tathāgata having left the city of Vaiśālī on his way to Kuśinagara, all the Licchavas, hearing that Buddha was about to die, accompanied him wailing and lamenting. The Lord of the World having observed their fond affection, and as words were useless to calm them, immediately by his spiritual power caused to appear a great river with steep sides and deep, the waves of which flowed on impetuously. Then the Licchavas were abruptly stopped on their way, moved with grief as they were. Then Tathāgata left them his pātra as a token of remembrance.

Two hundred li to the north-west of the city of Vaiśālī, or a little less, is an old and long-deserted city, with but few inhabitants. In it is a stūpa. This is the place where Buddha dwelt when, in old days, for the sake of an assembly of Bodhisattvas, men, and Devas, he recited an explanatory jātaka of himself when as a Bodhisattva he was a Chakravartin monarch of this city and called Mahādeva (Ta-tien). He was possessed of the seven treasures,928 and his rule extended over the world (the four empires). Observing the marks of decay in himself,929 and concluding in his mind about the impermanency of his body, he took a high resolve (being secretly affected by his reflections), left his throne, gave up his country, and, becoming a hermit, assumed the dark robes and gave himself to study.

Going south-east from the city 14 or 15 li, we come to a great stūpa. It was here the convocation of the seven hundred sages and saints was held.930 One hundred and ten years after the Nirvāṇa of Buddha there were in Vaiśālī some Bhikshus who broke the laws of Buddha and perverted the rules of discipline. At this time Yaśada (Ye-she-t'o) āyushmat931 was stopping in the country of Kosala (Kiao-sa-lo); Sambogha (San-pu-kia) āyushmat was dwelling in the country of Mathurā Revata (Li-po-to) āyushmat was stopping in the country of Han-jo (Kanyākubja?932 ); Sāla933 (Sha-lo) āyushmat was stopping in the country of Vaiśālī; Pujasumira (Fu-she-su-mi-lo=Kujjasobhita?) āyushmat was stopping in the country of Sha-lo-li-fo (Salaṛbhu?): all these were great Arhats, possessed of independent power, faithful to the three piṭakas, possessed of the three enlightenments (vidyās), of great renown, knowing all that should be known, all of them disciples of ānanda.

At this time Yaśada sent a message to summon the sages and saints to a convocation at the city of Vaiśālī. There was only wanting one to make up the 700, when Fu-she-su-mi-lo by the use of his divine sight saw the saints and sages assembled and deliberating about religious matters. By his miraculous power he appeared in the assembly. Then Sambogha in the midst of the assembly, baring his right breast and prostrating himself, (arose) and exclaimed with a loud voice, "Let the congregation be silent, respectfully thoughtful! In former days the great and holy King of the Law, after an illustrious career, entered Nirvāṇa. Although years and months have elapsed since then, his words and teaching still survive. But now the Bhikshus of Vaiśālī have become negligent and pervert the commandments. There are ten points in which they disobey the words of the Buddha (the ten-power daśabala). Now then, learned sirs, you know well the points of error; you are well acquainted with the teaching of the highly virtuous (bhadanta) ānanda: in deep affection to Buddha let us again declare his holy will."

Then the whole congregation were deeply affected; they summoned to the assembly the Bhikshus, and, according to [id (T51.2087.0909c)] the Vinaya, they charged them with transgression, bound afresh the rules that had been broken, and vindicated the holy law.

Going south 80 or 90 li from this place, we come to the saṅghārāma called śvetapura (Shi-fei-to-pu-lo); its massive towers, with their rounded shapes and double storeys, rise in the air. The priests are calm and respectful, and all study the Great Vehicle. By the side of this building are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked.

By the side of these is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. It was here, when Buddha was alive, that, on going southwards to the Magadha country, he turned northwards to look at Vaiśālī and left there, on the road where he stopped to breathe, traces of his visit.

Going south-east from the śvetapura saṅghārāma 30 li or so, on either (south and north) side of the Ganges river there is a stūpa,; this is the spot where the venerable ānanda divided his body between the two kingdoms. ānanda was on his father's side cousin of Tathāata. He was a disciple (śaiksha934 ) well acquainted with the doctrine (collectanea), thoroughly instructed in ordinary matters (men and things), and of masculine understanding. After Buddha's departure from the world he succeeded the great Kāśyapa in the guardianship of the true law, and became the guide and teacher of men devoted to religion (men not yet Arhats). He was dwelling in the Magadha country in a wood; as he was walking to and fro he saw a śrāmaṇera (novice) repeating in a bungling way a sūtra of Buddha, perverting and mistaking the sentences and words. ānanda having heard him, his feelings were moved towards him, and, full of pity, he approached the place where he was; he desired to point out his mistakes and direct him in the right way. The śrāmaṇera, smiling, said, "Your reverence is of great age; your interpretation of the words is a mistaken one. My teacher is a man of much enlightenment; his years (springs and autumns) are in their full maturity. I have received from him personally the true method of interpreting (the work in question); there can be no mistake." ānanda remained silent, and then went away, and with a sigh he said, "Although my years are many, yet for men's sake I was wishful to remain longer in the world, to hand down and defend the true law. But now men (all creatures) are stained with sin, and it is exceedingly difficult to instruct them. To stay longer would be useless: "I will die soon." On this, going from Magadha, he went towards the city of Vaiśālī, and was now in the middle of the Ganges in a boat, crossing the river. At this time the king of Magadha, hearing of ānanda's departure, his feelings were deeply affected towards him, and so, preparing his chariot, he hastened after him with his followers (soldiers) to ask him to return. And now his host of warriors, myriads in number, were on the southern bank of the river, when the king of Vaiśālī, hearing of ānanda's approach, was moved by a sorrowful affection, and, equipping his host, he also went with all speed to meet him. His myriads of soldiers were assembled on the opposite bank of the river (the north side), and the two armies faced each other, with their banners and accoutrements shining in the sun. ānanda, fearing lest there should be a conflict and a mutual slaughter, raised himself from the boat into mid-air, and there displayed his spiritual capabilities, and forthwith attained Nirvāṇa. He seemed as though encompassed by fire, and his bones fell in two parts, one on the south side, the other on the north side of the river. Thus the two kings each took a part, and whilst the soldiers raised their piteous cry, they all returned home and built stūpas over the relics and paid them religious worship.

Going north-east from this 500 li or so, we arrive at the country of Fo-li-shi (Vṛjji).935 [id (T51.2087.0910a)]


This kingdom is about 4000 li in circuit. From east to west it is broad, and narrow from north to south. The soil is rich and fertile; fruits and flowers are abundant. The climate is rather cold; the men are quick and hasty in disposition. Most of the people are heretics; a few believe in the law of Buddha. There are about ten saṅghārāmas; the disciples (priests) are less than 1000. They study assiduously both the Great and Little Vehicles. There are several tens of Deva temples, with a great number of unbelievers. The capital of the country is called Chen-shu-na.937 It is mostly in ruins. In the old royal precinct (citadel or inner city) there are yet some 3000 houses; it may be called either a village or a town.

To the north-east of the great river is a saṅghārāma. The priests are few, but they are studious and of a pure and dignified character.

From this going west along the side of the river, we find a stūpa about 30 feet high. To the south of it is a stretch of deep water. The great merciful Lord of the World converted here some fishermen. In days long past, when Buddha was living, there were 500 fishermen who joined in partnership to fish for and catch the finny tribes, whereupon they entangled in the river stream a great fish with eighteen heads; each head had two eyes. The fishermen desired to kill it, but Tathāgata being then in the country of Vaiśālī, with his divine sight saw what was going on, and raising within him a compassionate heart, he used this opportunity as a means for converting and directing (men). Accordingly, in order to open their minds, he said to the great congregation, "In the Vṛjji country there is a great fish; I wish to guide it (into the right way), in order to enlighten the fishermen; you therefore should embrace this opportunity."

On this the great congregation surrounding him, by their spiritual power passed through the air and came to the river-side. He sat down as usual, and forthwith addressed the fishermen: "Kill not that fish. By my spiritual power I will open the way for the exercise of expedients, and cause this great fish to know its former kind of life; and in order to this I will cause it to speak in human language and truly to exhibit human affections (feelings)." Then Tathāgata, knowing it beforehand, asked (the fish), "In your former existence, what crime did you commit that in the circle of migration you have been born in this evil way and with this hideous body?" The fish said, "Formerly, by the merit I had gained, I was born in a noble family as the Brāhmaṇ Kapitha (Kie-pi-tha). Relying on this family origin, I insulted other persons; relying on my extensive knowledge, I despised all books and rules, and with a supercilious heart I reviled the Buddhas with opprobrious words, and ridiculed the priests by comparing them to every kind of brute beast, as the ass, or the mule, or the elephant, or the horse, and every unsightly form. In return for all this I received this monstrous body of mine. Thanks, however, to some virtuous remnants during former lives, I am born during the time of a Buddha's appearance in the world, and permitted to see his sacred form, and myself to receive his sacred instruction and to confess and repent of my former misdeeds."

On this Tathāgata, according to the circumstance, instructed and converted him by wisely opening his understanding. The fish having received the law, expired, and by the power of this merit was born in heaven. On this he considered his body, and reflected by what circumstances he was thus born. [id (T51.2087.0910b)] So, knowing his former life and recollecting the circumstances of his conversion, he was moved with gratitude to Buddha, and, with all the Devas, with bended form he bowed before him and worshipped, and then having circumambulated him, he withdrew, and, standing apart, offered precious flowers and unguents in religious service. The Lord of the World having directed the fishermen to consider this, and on their account preached the law, they were all forthwith enlightened and offered him profound respect. Repenting of their faults, they destroyed their nets, burnt their boats, and having taken refuge in the law, they assumed the religious habit, and by means of the excellent doctrine they heard came out of the reach of worldly influences and obtained the holy fruit (of Arhats).

Going north-east from this spot about 100 li, we come to an old city, on the west of which is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja, in height about 100 feet. Here Buddha, when living in the world, preached the law for six months and converted the Devas. Going north 140 or 150 paces is a little stūpa; here Buddha, for the sake of the Bhikshus, established some rules of discipline. West of this not far is a stūpa containing hair and nail relics. Tathāgata formerly residing in this place, men from all the neighbouring towns and villages flocked together and burnt incense, and scattered flowers, and lighted lamps and torches in his honour.

Going north-west from this 1400 or 1500 li, crossing some mountains and entering a valley, we come to the country of Ni-po-lo (Nepāla).


This country is about 4000 li in circuit, and is situated among the Snowy Mountains. The capital city is about 20 li round. Mountains and valleys are joined together in an unbroken succession. It is adapted for the growth of cereals, and abounds with flowers and fruits. It produces red copper, the Yak and the Mingming bird (jīvañjīva). In commerce they use coins made of red copper. The climate is icy cold; the manners of the people are false and perfidious. Their temperament is hard and fierce, with little regard to truth or honour. They are unlearned, but skilful in the arts; their appearance is ungainly and revolting. There are believers and heretics mixed together. The saṅghārāma and Deva temples are closely joined. There are about 2000 priests, who study both the Great and Little Vehicle. The number of heretics and sectaries of different sorts is uncertain. The king is a Kshattriya, and belongs to the family of the Licchavas. His mind is well-informed, and he is pureand dignified in character. He has a sincere faith in the law of Buddha.

Lately there was a king called Aṁśuvarman938 (An-shu-fa-mo), who was distinguished for his learning and ingenuity. He himself had composed a work on "sounds" (śabdavidyā); he esteemed learning and respected virtue, and his reputation was spread everywhere.

To the south-east of the capital is a little stream and a lake. If we fling fire into it, flames immediately arise; other things take fire if thrown in it, and change their character.

From this going back939 to Vai_ālī, and crossing the Ganges to the south, we arrive at the country of Mo-kie-t'o (Magadha).

[id (T51.2087.0910c)]


Contains the First Part of the Account of the Country of Magadha (Mo-kie-t'o).

The country of Magadha (Mo-kie-t'o)940 is about 5000 li in circuit. The walled cities have but few inhabitants, but the towns941 are thickly populated. The soil is rich and fertile and the grain cultivation abundant. There is an unusual sort of rice grown here, the grains of which are large and scented and of an exquisite taste. It is specially remarkable for its shining colour. It is commonly called "the rice for the use of the great."942 As the ground is low and damp, the inhabited towns are built on the high uplands. After the first month of summer and before the second month of autumn, the level country is flooded, and communication can be kept up by boats. The manners of the people are simple and honest. The temperature is pleasantly hot; they esteem very much the pursuit of learning and profoundly respect the religion of Buddha. There are some fifty saṅghārāmas, with about 10,000 priests, of whom the greater number study the teaching of the Great Vehicle. There are ten Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of different persuasions, who are very numerous.

To the south of the river Ganges there is an old city about 70 li round. Although it has been long deserted, its foundation walls still survive. Formerly, when men's lives were incalculably long, it was called Kusumapura (K'u-su-mo-pu-lo),943 so called because the palace of the king had many flowers. Afterwards, when men's age reached several thousands of years, then its name was changed to Pāṭaliputra944 (Po-ch'a-li-tsu-ch'ing).

At the beginning there was a Brāhmaṇ of high talent and singular learning. Many thousands flocked to him to receive instruction. One day all the students went out on a tour of observation; one of them betrayed a feeling of unquiet and distress. His fellow-students addressed him and said, "What troubles you, friend?" He said, "I am in my full maturity (beauty) with perfect strength, and yet I go on wandering about here like a lonely shadow till years and months have passed, and my duties (manly duties)945 not performed. Thinking of this, my words are sad and my heart is afflicted."

On this his companions in sport replied, "We must seek then for your good a bride and her friends." Then they supposed two persons to represent the father and mother of the bridegroom, and two persons the father and mother of the bride,946 and as they were sitting under a Pāṭali (Po-ch'a-li) tree, they called it the tree of the son-in-law.947 Then they gathered seasonable fruits and pure water, and followed all the nuptial customs, and requested a time to be fixed. Then the father948 of the supposed bride, gathering a twig with flowers on it, gave it to the student and said, "This is your excellent partner; be graciously pleased to accept her." The student's heart was rejoiced as he took her to himself. And now, as the sun was setting, they proposed to return home; but the young student, affected by love, preferred to remain.

Then the other said, "All this was fun; pray come back with us; there are wild beasts in this forest; we are afraid they will kill you." [id (T51.2087.0911a)] But the student preferred to remain walking up and down by the side of the tree.

After sunset a strange light lit up the plain, the sound of pipes and lutes with their soft music (was heard), and the ground was covered with a sumptuous carpet. Suddenly an old man of gentle mien was seen coming, supporting himself by his staff, and there was also an old mother leading a young maiden. They were accompanied by a procession along the way, dressed in holiday attire and attended with music. The old man then pointed to the maiden and said, "This is your worship's wife (lady)." Seven days then passed in carousing and music, when the companions of the student, in doubt whether he had been destroyed by wild beasts, went forth and came to the place. They found him alone in the shade of the tree, sitting as if facing a superior guest. They asked him to return with them, but he respectfully declined.

After this he entered of his own accord the city, to pay respect to his relatives, and told them of this adventure from beginning to end. Having heard it with wonder, he returned with all his relatives and friends to the middle of the forest, and there they saw the flowering tree become a great mansion; servants of all kinds were hurrying to and fro on every side, and the old man came forward and received them with politeness, and entertained them with all kinds of dainties served up amidst the sound of music. After the usual compliments, the guests returned to the city and told to all, far and near, what had happened.

After the year was accomplished the wife gave birth to a son, when the husband said to his spouse, "I wish now to return, but yet I cannot bear to be separated from you (your bridal residence); but if I rest here I fear the exposure to wind and weather."

The wife having heard this, told her father. The old man then addressed the student and said, "Whilst living contented and happy why must you go back? I will build you a house; let there be no thought of desertion." On this his servants applied themselves to the work, and in less than a day it was finished.

When the old capital of Kusumapura949 was changed, this town was chosen, and from the circumstance of the genii building the mansion of the youth the name henceforth of the country was Pāṭaliputra pura (the city of the son of the Pāṭali tree).

To the north of the old palace of the king is a stone pillar several tens of feet high; this is the place where A_oka (Wu-yau) rāja made "a hell." In the hundredth year after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, there was a king called Aśoka ('O-shu-kia), who was the great-grandson of Bimbisāra-rāja.950 He changed his capital from Rāja-gṛha to Pāṭali (pura), and built an outside rampart to surround the old city. Since then many generations have passed, and now there only remain the old foundation walls (of the city). The saṅghārāmas, Deva temples, and stūpas which lie in ruins may be counted by hundreds. There are only two or three remaining (entire). To the north of the old palace,951 and bordering on the Ganges river, there is a little town which contains about 1000 houses.

At first when Aśoka (Wu-yau) rāja ascended the throne, he exercised a most cruel tyranny; he constituted a hell for the purpose of torturing living creatures. He surrounded it with high walls with lofty towers. He placed there specially vast furnaces of molten metal, sharp scythes, and every kind of instrument of torture like those in the infernal regions. He selected an impious man952 whom he appointed lord of the hell. At first every criminal in the empire, whatever his fault, was consigned to this place of calamity and outrage; afterwards all those who passed by the place were seized and destroyed. All who came to the place were killed [id (T51.2087.0911b)] without any chance of self-defence.

At this time a śrama_a, just entered the religious order, was passing through the suburbs begging food, when he came to hell-gate. The impious keeper of the place laid hold upon him to destroy him. The śramaṇa, filled with fear, asked for a respite to perform an act of worship and confession. Just then he saw a man bound with cords enter the prison. In a moment they cut off his hands and feet, and pounded his body in a mortar, till all the members of his body were mashed up together in confusion.

The śramaṇa having witnessed this, deeply moved with pity, arrived at the conviction of the impermanence (anitya) of all earthly things, and reached the fruit of "exemption from learning" (Arhatship). Then the infernal lictor said, "Now you must die." The śramaṇa having become an Arhat, was freed in heart from the power of birth and death, and so, though cast into a boiling caldron, it was to him as a cool lake, and on its surface there appeared a lotus flower, whereon he took his seat. The infernal lictor, terrified thereat, hastened to send a messenger to the king to tell him of the circumstance. The king having himself come and beheld the sight, raised his voice in loud praise of the miracle.

The keeper, addressing the king, said, "Mahārāja, you too must die." "And why so?" said the king. "Because of your former decree with respect to the infliction of death, that all who came to the walls of the hell should be killed; it was not said that the king might enter and escape death."

The king said, "The decree was indeed established, and cannot be altered. But when the law was made, were you excepted? You have long destroyed life. I will put an end to it," Then ordering the attendants, they seized the lictor and cast him into a boiling caldron. After his death the king departed, and levelled the walls, filled up the ditches, and put an end to the infliction of such horrible punishments.

To the south of the earth-prison (the hell), and not far off, is a stūpa. Its foundation walls are sunk, and it is in a leaning, ruinous condition. There remains, however, the crowning jewel of the cupola.953 This is made of carved stone, and has a surrounding balustrade.954 This was the first (or, one) of the 84,000 (stūpas). Aśoka-rāja erected it by the power (merit) of man955 in the middle of his royal precinct (or palace). It contains a ching (measure) of relics of Tathāgata. Spiritual indications constantly manifest themselves, and a divine light is shed round it from time to time.

After King Aśoka had destroyed the hell, he met Upagupta,956 a great Arhat, who, by the use of (proper) means,957 allured him in a right way according as the opportunity (or, springs of action, i.e., his power or capacity to believe) led, and converted him. The king addressed the Arhat and said, "Thanks to my acquired merit in former births, I have got (by promise) my kingly authority, but in consequence of my faults I did not, by meeting Buddha, obtain conversion. Now, then, I desire in all the greater degree to honour the bequeathed remains of his body by building stūpas."

The Arhat said, "My earnest desire is that the great king by his merits may be able to employ the invisible powers (the spirits) as agents in fulfilling his vow to protect the three precious ones." And then, because of the opportune occasion, he entered largely on the narrative of his offering the ball of earth, and on that account of Buddha's prediction, as the origin of his desire to build.958

The king having heard this, was overpowered, and he summoned the spirits to assemble, and commanded them, saying, "By the gracious disposal and spiritual efficacy of the guiding power of the King of the Law I have become, as the result of my good actions in former states of life, the highest amongst them. (I wish now) with especial care to prepare a means of paying religious worship to the bequeathed body of Tathāgata. Do you, then, spirits aud genii, by your combined strength and agreement of purpose, raise stūpas for the relics of Buddha throughout the whole of Jambudvīpa, to the very last house of all959 (i.e., to the extremity of the land). The mind (or purpose) is mine, the merit of completing it shall be yours. The advantage to be derived from this excellent act of religion I wish not to be confined to one person only; let each of you, then, raise [id (T51.2087.0911c)] a building in readiness (for completion), and then come and receive my further commands."

Having received these instructions, the genii commenced their meritorious work in the several quarters where they were; and having finished the task (so far), they came together to ask for further directions. Aśoka- rāja (Wu-yau-wang) having opened the stūpas of the eight countries where they were built, divided the relics, and having delivered them to the genii, he addressed the Arhat960 and said, "My desire is that the relics should be deposited in every place at the same moment exactly: although ardently desirous of this, my mind has not yet been able to perfect a plan for accomplishing it."961

The Arhat addressed the king and said, "Command the genii to go each to his appointed place and regard the sun.962 When the sun becomes obscured and its shape as if a hand covered it, then is the time: drop the relics into the stūpas." The king having received these instructions, gave orders accordingly to the genii to expect the appointed day.

Meantime the king; Aśoka, watching the sun's disc, waited for the sign; then at noon (or the day) the Arhat, by his spiritual power, stretched forth his hand and concealed the sun. At the places where the stūpas had been built for completion, all (the genii963 ) observing this event, at the same moment concluded the meritorious undertaking.

By the side of the stūpa, and not far from it, in a vihāra, is a great stone on which Tathāgata walked. There is still the impression of both his feet on it, about eighteen inches long and six inches broad; both the right and left impress have the circle-sign,964 and the ten toes are all fringed with figures of flowers (or flower scrolls) and forms of fishes, which glisten brightly in the light (morning light). In old time Tathāgata, being about to attain Nirvāṇa, was going northward to Kuśinagara, when turning round to the south and looking back at Magadha, he stood upon this stone and said to ānanda, "Now for the very last time I leave this foot-impression, being about to attain Nirvāṇa, and looking at Magadha. A hundred years hence there shall be a King Aśoka;965 he shall build here his capital and establish his court; he shall protect the three religious treasures and command the genii."

When Aśoka (Wu-yau) had ascended the throne, he changed his capital and built this town; he enclosed the stone with the impression; and as it was near the royal precinct, he paid it constant personal worship. Afterwards the kings of the neighbourhood wished to carry it off to their own country; but although the stone is not large, they could not move it at all.

Lately Saśāṅka-rāja, when he was overthrowing and destroying the law of Buddha, forthwith came to the place where that stone is, for the purpose of destroying the sacred marks. Having broken it into pieces, it came whole again, and the ornamental figures as before; then he flung it into the river Ganges, but it came back to its old place.

By the side of the stone is a stūpa, which marks the place where the four past Buddhas walked and sat down, the traces of which still remain.

By the side of the vihāra which contains the traces of Buddha, and not far from it, is a great stone pillar about thirty feet high, with a mutilated inscription on it. This, however, is the principal part of it, viz., "Aśoka-rāja with a firm principle of faith has thrice bestowed Jambudvīpa as a religious offering on Buddha, the Dharma, and the assembly, and thrice he has redeemed it with his jewels and treasure; and this is the record thereof." Such is the purport of the record.

To the north of the old palace is a large stone house. It looks outside like a great mountain, and within it is many tens of feet wide. This is the house which Aśoka-rāja commanded the genii to build for his brother who had become a recluse. Early [id (T51.2087.0912a)] in his life Aśoka had a half-brother (mother's brother) called Mahendra966 (Mo-hi-in-to-lo), who was born of a noble tribe. In dress he arrogated the style of the king; he was extravagant, wasteful, and cruel. The people were indignant, and the ministers and aged officers of the king came to him (the king), and remonstrated thus, "Your proud brother assumes a dignity as though he were some great one in comparison with others. If the government is impartial, then the country is contented; if men are agreed, then the ruler is in peace: these are the principles which have been handed down to us from our fathers. We desire that you will preserve the rules of our country, and deliver to justice those who would change them." Then Aśoka-rāja addressed his brother as he wept, and said, "I have inherited (as my rule of) government the duty of protecting and cherishing the people; how then have you, my brother, forgotten my affection and my kindness? It is impossible at the very beginning of my reign to neglect the laws. If I punish you, I fear the anger of my ancestors; on the other hand, if I excuse you, I fear the opinion of the people."

Mahendra, bowing his head, replied, "I have not guarded my conduct, and have transgressed the laws of the country; I ask only an extension of my life for seven days."

On this the king placed him in a dark dungeon, and placed over him a strict guard. He provided him with every kind of exquisite meat and every necessary article. At the end of the first day the guard cried out to him, "One day has gone; there are six days left." The sixth day having expired, as he had greatly sorrowed for his faults and had afflicted (disciplined) his body and his heart, he obtained the fruit of sanctity (became an Arhat); he mounted into the air and exhibited his miraculous powers (spiritual traces). Then separating himself from the pollution of the world, he went afar, and occupied the mountains and valleys (as a recluse).

Aśoka-rāja, going in his own person, addressed him as follows, "At first, in order to put in force the laws of the country, I desired to have you punished, but little did I think you would have attained to this highest rank of holiness.967 Having, however, reached this condition of detachment from the world, you can now return to your country."

The brother replied, "Formerly I was ensnared in the net of (worldly) affections, and my mind was occupied with love of sounds (music) and beauty; but now I have escaped all this (the dangerous city), and my mind delights in (the seclusion of) mountains and valleys. I would fain give up the world for ever (men's society) and dwell here in solitude."

The king said, "If you wish to subdue your heart in quiet, you have no need to live in the mountain fastnesses. To meet your wishes I shall construct you a dwelling."

Accordingly he summoned the genii to his presence and said to them, "On the morrow I am about to give a magnificent feast. I invite you to come together to the assembly, but you must each bring for your own seat a great stone."968 The genii having received the summons, came at the appointed time to the assembly. The king then addressed them and said, "The stones which are now arranged in order on the ground you may pile up, and, without any labour to yourselves, construct of them for me an empty house." The genii having received the order, before the day was over finished the task. Aśoka- rāja then himself went to invite his brother to fix his abode in this mountain cell.

To the north of the old palace, and to the south of "the hell," is a great stone with a hollow trough in it. Aśoka-rāja commissioned the genii as workmen to make this hollow (vase) to use for the food which he gave to the priests when he invited them to eat.

To the south-west of the old palace there is a little mountain. In the crags and surrounding valleys there are several tens of stone dwellings which Aśoka-rāja made for Upagupta and other Arhats, by the intervention of the genii.

By the side of it is an old tower, the ruins of which are a mass of heaped-up stones. There is also a pond, the gentle ripples of which play over its surface as pure as a mirror. The people far and near call it the sacred water. If anyone drinks thereof or washes in it, [id (T51.2087.0912b)] the defilement of their sins is washed away and destroyed.

To the south-west of the mountain is a collection of five stūpas. The foundations are lofty but ruinous; what remains, however, is a good height. At a distance they look like little hills. Each of them is several tens of paces in front. Men in after-days tried to build on the top of these little stūpas. The records of India state, "In old time, when Aśoka-rāja built the 84,000 stūpas, there was still remaining five measures of relics. Therefore he erected with exceptional grandeur five other stūpas, remarkable for their spiritual portents (miraculous exhibitions), with a view to indicate the fivefold spiritual body of Tathāgata.969 Some disciples of little faith talking together argued thus, 'In old time Nanda-rāja970 built these five (stūpas) as treasure-places for his wealth (seven precious substances).' In consequence of this gossip, in after-time a king of insincere faith, and excited by his covetousness, put his troops in movement, and came with his followers to dig (the stūpas). The earth shook, the mountains bent (fell), and the clouds darkened the sun, whilst from the stūpas there came a great sound like thunder. The soldiers with their leaders fell backward, and the elephants and horses took to flight. The king thus defeated, dared no longer to covet (the treasures). It is said, moreover (i.e., in the Indian records), 'With respect to the gossip of the priests there has been some doubt expressed, but we believe it to be true according to the old tradition.'"

To the south-east of the old city there is the saṅghārāma called K'iu-cha-'o-lan-mo971 (Kukkuṭārāma), which was built by Aśoka-rāja when he first became a believer in the religion of Buddha. It was a sort of first-fruit (preparation in planting the root of virtue), and a pattern of majestic construction (lofty building). He gathered there a thousand priests; a double congregation of lay people and saints made their offerings of the four necessary things, and provided gratuitously all the articles for use. This building has long been in ruins, but the foundation walls are still preserved.

By the side of the saṅghārāma is a great stūpa called 'O-mo-lo-kia (āmalaka), which is the name of a fruit used as a medicine in India. King Aśoka having fallen sick and lingering for a long time, felt that he would not recover, and so desired to offer all his possessions (gems and valuables) so as to crown his religious merit (to plant high the field of merit). The minister972 who was carrying on the government was unwilling to comply with his wish. Some time after this, as he was eating part of an āmalaka fruit, he playfully973 put the half of it (in the hand of the king) for an offering. Holding the fruit in his hand he said with a sigh to his minister, "Who now is lord of Jambudvīpa?"

The minister replied, "Only your majesty."

The king answered, "Not so! I am no longer lord; for I have only this half fruit to call my own! Alas! the wealth and honour of the world are as difficult to keep as it is to preserve the light of a lamp in the wind! My wide-spread possessions, my name and high renown, at close of life are snatched from me, and I am in the hands of a minister violent and powerful. The empire is no longer mine; this half fruit alone is left!"

Then he commanded an attendant officer to come, and he addressed him thus: "Take this half fruit and offer it in the garden (ārāma) of the cock (monastery) to the priests, and speak thus to the venerable ones, 'He who was formerly lord of Jambudvīpa, but now is master of only this half āmala fruit, bows down before the priests (chief priest). I pray you (on behalf of the king) receive this very last offering. All that I have [id (T51.2087.0912c)] is gone and lost, only this half fruit remains as my little possession. Pity the poverty of the offering, and grant that it may increase the seeds of his religious merit.'"

The Sthavira, in the midst of the priests, spake thus in reply: "Aśoka-rāja by his former deeds may hope to recover. Whilst the fever has held his person, his avaricious ministers have usurped his power and amassed wealth not their own. But this offering of half a fruit will secure the king an extension of life." The king having recovered from his sickness, gave large offerings to the priests. Moreover he ordered the manager of the affairs of the convent (Tin-see-Karmmadāna) to preserve the seeds974 of the fruit in a vessel of liquid fit for the purpose, and he erected this stūpa as a mark of gratitude for his prolonged life.975

To the north-west of āmalaka stūpa, in the middle of an old saṅghārāma, is a stūpa; it is called "establishing the sound of the ghaṇṭā (Kin-t'i)." At first there were about 100 saṅghārāmas in this city; the priests were grave and learned, and of high moral character. The scholars among the heretics were silent and dumb. But afterwards, when that generation of priest had died out, their successors were not equal to those gone before. Then the teachers of the heretics, during the interval, gave themselves to earnest study with a view to the mastery. Whereupon they summoned their partisans, numbering 1000 to 10,000, to assemble together within the priest's precincts, and then they addressed them saying, with a loud voice, "Strike loudly the ghaṇṭā and summon all the learned men; let the foolish ones also stop and dispute; if we are wrong, let them overthrow us" (or, to overthrow their errors).

They then addressed the king and asked him to decide between the weak and the strong. And now the heretical masters were men of high talent and marked learning; the priests, although numerous, were weak in their points of verbal discussion.

The heretics said, "We have got the victory; from this time forth let no saṅghārāma dare to sound the ghaṇṭā to call together a congregation." The king confirmed this result of the discussion, and, in agreement with it, bound the priests to the penalty. They on their part retired with shame and chagrin. For twelve-years the ghaṇṭā was not sounded.

At this time lived (Na-kia-'o-la-chu-na) Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva in Southern India, as a youth of high renown for scholarship. When grown up he assumed a lofty title. Giving up his home and its pleasures, he practised himself in the acquisition of the deepest and most excellent principle of learning, and arrived at the first earth (the first degree). He had a great disciple called (Ti-po) Deva, a man illustrious for wisdom and spiritual energy. This man, arousing himself to action, said, "At Vaiśālī the followers of learning (Buddhist learners) have been defeated in argument by the heretics, and now for twelve years, days, and months together, they have not sounded the ghaṇṭā. I am bold enough to wish to overturn the mountain of heresy and to light the torch of true religion."

Nāgārjuna replied, "The heretics of Vaiśālī are singularly learned; you are no match for them. I will go myself."

Deva said, "In order to trample down some rotten stems why should we overthrow a mountain? I am bold enough to think that by the instructions I have received I can silence all the heretics. But let my master assume the side of the heretics, and I will refute you according to the points of the thesis; and according as the question is decided, let my purpose to go or not be settled."

Then Nāgārjuna took the side of the heretics, and Deva set himself to overthrow his arguments. After seven days Nāgārjuna lost his superiority (was defeated), and said with a sigh, "False positions are easily lost; erroneous doctrines are defended with difficulty. You yourself can go; you will overthrow those men."

Deva Bodhisattva's early reputation being known to the heretics of Vaiśāalī, [id (T51.2087.0913a)] they forthwith called an assembly, and went at once to the king, saying, "Mahārāja! you formerly condescended to attend to us and bind the śramaṇas, not to sound the ghaṇṭā. We pray you issue an order that no foreign śramaṇa be allowed to enter the city, lest they should combine together to bring about an alteration in the former law." The king consented to their request, and gave strict orders to his officers to carry it out (to spy narrowly).

Deva having come to the city, was not able to enter it; having understood the order, he made arrangements to change his garments, and wrapped up his kashāya robe in a bundle of grass (shrubs); then tucking up his garments, he went straight on with his bundle on his back, and entered the city. Having come to the middle of the city, he threw away his grass bundle, put on his robes, and came to this saṅghārāma, intending to stop there. Knowing few people there, he had no place to lodge, and so he took up his night's rest in the Ghaṇṭā Tower, and at early dawn he struck it (the ghaṇṭā) with all his might.

The people hearing it, on investigating the matter, found that the stranger of yesternight was a travelling Bhikshu. Forthwith all the saṅghārāmas repeated the sounds (of the ghaṇṭā).

The king hearing the noise, and inquiring about it closely, could not ascertain the origin of it all; coming to this saṅghārāma, they at length charged Deva with the deed. Deva answering said, "The ghaṇṭā is struck to assemble the congregation; if it is not used for that purpose, what use is it?"

The king's people answered, "In former days the congregation of priests having been defeated in argument, it was decided the ghaṇṭā should not be sounded any more, and this is twelve years since."

Deva said, "Is it so? Nevertheless, I venture to sound afresh the drum of the law."

The messenger told the king saying, "There is a strange śramaṇa who wishes to wipe out the former disgrace (of the priests)."

Then the king assembled the men of learning (the Buddhists), and said, by way of decree, "Whoever is defeated shall die, as a proof of his inferiority."

Then the heretics came together with their flags and drums, and began to discuss together with respect to their opinions; each displayed the point of his argument to his best ability. Then Deva Bodhisattva, having mounted the preaching-throne, attending to their former arguments, and following each point, refuted them one by one. In less than one hour he refuted the sectaries, and the king and his ministers being satisfied, raised this venerable monument in honour of his extreme virtue (reverence).

To the north of the stūpa built where the ghaṇṭā was sounded is an old foundation. This was the dwelling-place of a Brāhmaṇ that was inspired by demons. At the beginning there was in this city a Brāhmaṇ who had constructed for himself a hut in a wild and desert spot far from the haunts of men; he sacrificed to demons, seeking religious merit. By the assistance of such spiritual connection he discoursed in a high tone and disputed with eagerness. The report (echo) of his eloquent discourses resounded through the world. If any one came to propose a difficult question, he answered him after letting down a curtain. Old men of learning and of high talent could not wrest from him his precedence. Officers and people were silenced in his presence, and looked on him as a saint. At this time lived Aśvaghosha Bodhisattva ('O-shi-po-kiu-sha-pu-sa).976 His wisdom embraced all subjects, and in his career he had traversed the arguments of the three Vehicles (Little, Great, and Middle Vehicle?). He constantly spoke (about the Brāhmaṇ) thus: "This Brāhmaṇ is learned without a master; he is skillful without examining the ancients; he lives apart in the gloomy desert, and arrogates a great name. It is all done by the connivance of the evil spirits and the assistance of occult powers; this is the way he does it! Men, therefore, on account of his eloquence derived from the devil, [id (T51.2087.0913b)] are unable to reply, and exalt his renown and say he is invincible. I will go to his place, and see what all this means, and expose it."

Forthwith he went to his cabin and addressed him thus: "I have long felt respect for your illustrious qualities; pray keep up your curtain whilst I venture to express my mind to you." But the Brāhmaṇ, maintaining an air of proud indifference, let down his curtain in order to reply, and to the end would not face his adversary.

Aśvaghosha feeling in his heart the presence of the evil spirits, his feelings revolted, and he finished the discussion; but as he retired he said, "I have found him out, and he shall be overthrown." Going straight-way to the king, he said, "Pray condescend to permit me to propose a subject and discuss it with that lay-doctor!"

The king, hearing the request, said with feeling, "Do you know your man? Unless well learned in the three vidyās and in the six supernatural faculties, who can discuss with him?" Giving permission, he himself ordered his chariot in order to be present during the discussion, and to decide as to the victory.

Then Aśvaghosha discoursed on the minute words of the three Piṭakas, and alluded to the great principles of the five Vidyās, and nicely divided the length and breadth of his argument with a high and various discourse. Then the Brāhmaṇ following in the argument, Aśvaghosha said, "You have lost the thread of the subject. You must follow my points consecutively."

The Brāhmaṇ then was silent and closed his mouth.

Aśvaghosha finding fault, said, "Why do you not solve the difficulty? Call the spirits to your help to give you words as quickly as you can;" and then he lifted up his curtain to see how he looked.

The Brāhmaṇ, terrified, cried out, "Stop! stop!"

Aśvaghosha, retiring, said, "This doctor has forfeited his high renown. 'A hollow fame lasts not long,' as the saying is."

The king answered and said, "Without the eminent ability of a master, who can detect the errors of the ignorant! The acumen of the person who knows men casts honour on his ancestors, and shuts out possibility of superiority among his successors. The country has a standing rule that such a person should ever be honoured and remembered."

Leaving the south-west angle of the city and going about 200 li,977 there is an old ruined saṇghārāma, by the side of which is a stūpa which from time to time reflects a divine light and displays many miracles. This place is frequented by crowds from a distance and near by, who offer up their prayers978 in worship. There are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked to and fro.

To the south-west of the old saṅghārāma about 100 li is the saṅghārāma of Tiladaka (Ti-lo-shi-kia).979 This building has four halls, belvideres of three stages, high towers, connected at intervals with double gates that open inwards (deeply). It was built by the last descendant of Bimbisāra-rāja (Pin-pi-sha-lo).980 He made much of high talent, and exalted the virtuous. Learned men from different cities and scholars from distant countries flock together in crowds, and reaching so far, abide in this saṅghārāma. There are 1000 priests in it who study the Great Vehicle. In the road facing the middle gate there are three vihāras, above which are placed the connected succession of metal rings (circles) with bells suspended in the air; below they are constructed storey above storey, from the bottom to the top. They are surrounded by railings, and the doors, windows, the pillars, beams, and staircases are all carved with gilt copper in relief, and in the intervals highly decorated. The middle vihāra contains an erect image of Buddha about thirty feet high. On the left is an image of Tāra (To-lo) Bodhisattva;981 on the right, one of Avalokitesvara (Kwan-tsz'-tsai) Bodhisattva. Each of these images is made of metallic stone; [id (T51.2087.0913c)] their spiritually composed appearance inspires a mysterious awe, and their influence is felt from far (or, spreads far). In each vihāra there is a measure of relics which emit a supernatural brilliancy, and from time to time shed forth miraculous indications.

To the south-west of the Tilaḍaka saṅghārāma about 90 li we come to a great mountain of blue-clouded (variegated) marble,982 dark and tangled with wood. Here the divine ṛishis dwell; poisonous snakes and savage dragons inhabit their dens, whilst numerous beasts and birds of prey dwell in the forests. On the top is a large and remarkable rock, on which is built a stūpa about ten feet or so high. This is the place where Buddha entered on ecstatic meditation. Of old, when Tathāgata descended as a spirit (to be born),983 he rested on this rock, and entered here the samādhi called "perfectly destroyed," and passed the night so. Then the Devas and spiritual saints offered their offerings to Tathāgata, and sounded the drums and heavenly music, and rained down great flowers. Tathāgata leaving his ecstasy, the Devas all reverenced him, and raised a stūpa composed of gold, silver, and precious stones. Now so long time has elapsed since then, that the precious substances are changed into stone. No one has visited the spot for ages; but looking at the mountain from a distance, one can see different kinds of beasts and snakes turning round it to the right. The Devas and ṛishis and spiritual saints accompany them in a body, praising and worshipping.

On the eastern summit of the mountain there is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata formerly stood for a time beholding the country of Magadha.

To the north-west of the mountain 30 li or so, on a declivity of the mountain, is a saṅghārāma; it is flanked by a high precipice, and the lofty walls and towers stand up in intervals of the rocks. The priests are about fifty in number, who all study the great Vehicle. This is the place where Guṇamati (Kiu-na-mo-ti) Bodhisattva overcame the heretic. In the early time there was in this mountain a heretic called Mādhava (Mo-ta-po), who at first followed the law of the Saṅkhyā (Seng-kie) system, and practised the acquirement of wisdom. He had studied to the bottom the doctrine of "the extreme void," as found in the orthodox and erroneous (books). His fame was great, and surpassed that of former teachers, and outweighed all then living. The king honoured him exceedingly, and named him "the treasure of the country." The ministers and people regarded him with admiration, and spoke of him as "the teacher of the household." The learned men of the neighbouring countries acknowledged his merits and honoured his virtue, and compared him to the most eminent of his predecessors; a man, verily! highly accomplished. He had as his means of subsistence two towns of the district, and the surrounding houses paid him for the privilege of building (tenant dues?).

At this time in Southern India there lived Gunamati984 Bodhisattva, who in his youth had displayed great talents and acquired in early life a brilliant reputation. By close study he had penetrated the meaning of the three Piṭakas, and investigated the four truths.985 Hearing that Mādhava discussed on the most mysterious and subtle questions, he desired to humble him by overcoming him (in argument). He ordered one of his followers to carry a letter thus written (to his adversary): "I have heard with all respect of Mādhava's virtuous ease. You must now, without thought of fatigue, take up again your ancient studies, for in three years' time I intend to overthrow your brilliant reputation."

And so in the second and third years he sent a messenger with the same tidings; and now when he was about to go to meet him, he again wrote a letter, saying: "The appointed period has expired; your studies, such as they are, I am now coming (to investigate); you ought to know the fact."

Mādhava now was alarmed, and gave orders to his disciples and to the inhabitants of the towns:986 "From this time forth give no hospitality to the śramaṇa heretics; let this order be generally known and obeyed."

At this time Guṇamati Bodhisattva, with his staff in hand, [id (T51.2087.0914a)] arrived at the town of Mādhava. The people who guarded the town, in agreement to the order, would give him no hospitality.987 The Brāhmaṇs, moreover, deriding him, said, "What moan you by your shaven head and your singluar dress? Begone from this! there is no place here for you to stop."

Guṇamati Bodhisattva desiring to overthrow the heretic, sought to remain the night in the town, and so he said with gentle words, "You, in pursuing your worldly studies, observe a pure conduct. I also, in studying higher truth, observe a pure line of conduct.988 Our life being alike,989 why do you exclude me?"

But the Brāhmaṇs would have no words with him, and only drove him from the place. Leaving the town, he went into a great forest in which savage beasts prowled about to destroy all passers-by. At this time there was a faithful brother990 who, fearing (the risk he ran from) the beast and the prickly thorns, hastened to him, staff in hand. Having met him, he said to the Bodhisattva, "In Southern India there is a Bodhisattva called Guṇamati, of far-spread renown; because this man wants to come here to discuss principles of belief, the master of the town, being afraid of him and his fame, has strictly enjoined to give no shelter to the śramaṇas, and because I am afraid lest some accident should happen to him, I have come to accompany him in his journey, and to assure him of safety (that he may rest free from fear of the other)."

Guṇamati replied, "Most kind believer, I am Guṇamati." The disciple having heard this, with the greatest reverence replied to Guṇamati thus: if what you say be true, you must go quickly (onwards)." Leaving the deep forest, they stopped awhile on the open plain; the faithful believer, following with his torch (?) and holding his bow, kept guard on the right and left. The (first) division of the night being past, he addressed Guṇamati and said, "It is better for us to go, lest men, knowing that you have come, should plot together to kill you."

Guṇamati, expressing his gratitude, said, "I dare not disobey you!" On this, following him, they came to the king's palace and said to the door-keeper, there is a śramaṇa here who has come from a distance; he prays the king to agree in condescension to permit him to discuss with Mādhava.

The king hearing the news, moved by his feelings, said, "This man is bereft of reason," and then he ordered an officer to go to the place where Mādhava was, with this royal order: "There is a foreign śramaṇa come here who seeks to discuss with you. I have now ordered the hall for the discussion to be prepared and watered; I have told those in the neighbourhood and far off to await the usual arrangements after your coming. Pray condescend to come forthwith."

Mādhava asked the messenger of the king, "This surely is the doctor Guṇamati of South India." "Yes," he said, "it is he."

Mādhava hearing this, his heart was very sad, but as he could not well avoid the difficulty, he set out for the hall of discussion, where the king, the ministers, and the people were all assembled desiring to hear this great controversy. Guṇamati first laid down the principles of his school, and continued his speech till the setting of the sun. Then Mādhava excusing himself on account of his age and infirmities, to defer his answer, asked permission to retire and meditate. He would then return and answer every objection (difficulty) in order.991 At the early morn he returned and ascended the throne, and so they went on to the sixth day, but on that day he vomited blood and died. When on the point of death he gave this command to his wife, "You have high talent; do not forget the affront paid to me." When Mādhava was dead, she concealed the fact and had no funeral ceremonies; [id (T51.2087.0914b)] and clothing herself in shining apparel, she entered forthwith the assembly where the discussion was held, and a general clamour was raised as the people said one to another, "Mādhava, who boasted of his talents, is unable to reply to Guṇamati, and so he sends his wife to make up for his deficiency."

Guṇamati, addressing the wife, said, "He who could bind you, has been bound by me."

Mādhava's wife, seeing the difficulty, retired. The king then said, "What secret words are these at which she remains silent? "

Guṇamati said, "Alas! Mādhava is dead! and his wife desires to come and discuss with me!"

The king said, "How know you this? Pray explain it to me."

Then Guṇamati said, "When the wife came her face was pale as death, and her words were toned in bitter enmity. I knew therefore that Mādhava is dead! 'Able to bind you,' is a phrase applicable to her husband."

The king having sent a messenger to verify the statement, he found it even so; then the king in gratitude said, "The law of Buddha is a mysterious one! Eminent sages succeed one another without interruption; with no personal object they guard themselves in wisdom and use their secret knowledge for the purpose of converting (transforming the world). According to the old rules of the country the praises of such a sage (or, of your virtue) should be ever celebrated."

Guṇamati replied, "Whatever poor talent I have, I reserve them for the benefit of all that lives; and when I would draw them to the truth first of all I subdue their pride, then use the influences of converting power. Now then, in this case, O king, let the descendants of Mādhava's territory for a thousand generations employ themselves in the service of a saṅghārāma. Your instructions will extend, then, from age to age, and your reputation will be immortal. Persons of a pure faith, conscious of protection, their religious merit will benefit the country for ages. They will be nourished as the priests are, and so the faithful will be encouraged to honour their virtue."

On this he founded the saṅghārāma to celebrate the victory.

At first, after the defeat of Mādhava, six Brāhmaṇs (pure-lived men), fleeing to the frontiers, told the heretics of the reverse they had suffered, and they selected men of eminent talent with a view hereafter to wipe out their disgrace.

The king having a sincere respect for Guṇamati, went in person, and addressed the following invitation to him: "Now the heretics, not measuring their strength aright, have plotted together, and dare to sound the drum of discussion. Pray, sir, condescend to crush these heretics."

Guṇamati replied, "Let those who wish to discuss come together!"

Then the learned men among the heretics were rejoiced, and said, "We shall be sure of the victory today! "The heretics then laid down their principles with energy for the purpose of opening the discussion.

Guṇamati Bodhisattva replied, "Now those heretics who fled from the difficulty they were in of obeying the king's command, these are mean men. What have I to do to discuss with and answer such persons?" Then he added, "There is a young servant here by the pulpit who has been accustomed to listen to these discussions. He is well acquainted with abstract questions from attending by my side and listening to the high language of the disputants."

Then Guṇamati, leaving the pulpit, said to the servant, "Take my place, and carry on the discussion." Then all the assembly was moved with astonishment at this extraordinary proceeding. But the servant, sitting by the pulpit, immediately proceeded to examine the difficulties proposed. His arguments were clear like the water that wells from the fountain, and his points were true as the sound of the echo. After three replies the heretics were defeated, and once more they were obliged to hide their disgrace and clip their wings. [id (T51.2087.0914c)] From this time forth the saṅghārāma enjoyed the endowment of the town and dwellings.

South-west of the convent of Guṇamati about 20 li we come to a solitary hill on which is a convent called (the saṅghārāma of) śīlabhadra (Shi-lo-po-t'o-lo).992 This is the convent which the master of śāstras after his victory caused to be built out of the funds of a village which were given up. It stands by the side of a single sharp crag like a stūpa. It contains some sacred relics of Buddha. This master of śāstras belonged to the family of the king of Samataṭa (San-mo-ta-ch'a), and was of the Brāhmaṇ caste. He loved learning and had gained a wide reputation. Travelling through the Indies to examine into and seek after religious truth, he came to this kingdom, and in the saṅghārāma of Nālanda (Na-lan-t'o) he encountered Dharmapāla Bodhisattva (Hu-fa-pu-sa). Hearing him explain the law, his understanding was opened, and he requested to become a disciple.993 He inquired into the most subtle questions,994 and investigated the way of deliverance to its conclusion; and thus having reached the highest point of intelligence, he established his fame over men of his time, even to distant countries.

There was a heretic of South India who delighted in examining profound questions and searching out hidden matters, in penetrating obscure and abstruse points of doctrine. Hearing of Dharmapāla's fame, the pride of self rose up within him, and, moved by profound envy, he passed over mountains and rivers in order to sound the drum995 and seek discussion. He said, "I am a man of Southern India. It is reported that in the king's country there is a great master of śāstras;996 I am but ignorant, yet I would wish to discuss with him."

"It is true, as you affirm," the king said; and forthwith he sent a messenger to ask Dharmapāla thus: "There is a heretic of Southern India who has come from a long distance here, and desires to discuss with you. Will you condescend to come to the hall of assembly and discuss with him?"

Dharmapāla having heard the tidings, gathered up his garments and went, whilst śīlabhadra and the inferior disciples surrounded him as he advanced. Then śīlabhadra (the chief disciple) addressed him thus: "Whither goest thou so quickly?" Dharmapāla answered, "Since the sun of wisdom went down,997 and only the lamp of the inherited doctrine burns quietly, the heretics like clouds of ants and bees have risen; therefore I am now going to crush that one in discussion."

śīlabhadra said, "As I have myself attended at various discussions, let me destroy this heretic." Dharmapāla, knowing his history, allowed him to have his way.

At this time śīlabhadra was just thirty years old. The assembly, despising his youth, feared that it would be difficult for him alone to undertake the discussion. Dharmapāla knowing that the mind of his followers was disturbed, hastened to relieve them and said, "In honouring the conspicuous talent of a person we do not say, 'He has cut his teeth' (count his years according to his teeth). As I see the case before us now, I feel sure that he will defeat the heretic; he is strong enough."

On the day of discussion (assembly for discussion) the people came together from far and near; both old and young in numbers assembled. Then the heretical teacher on his part laid open his case with great emphasis, and penetrated to the utmost the abstruse points (of his argument). śīlabhadra followed his arguments (principles), and refuted them by profound and subtle allegations. The heretic, his words being exhausted, was covered with shame and retired.

The king, in order to reward the virtue (of śīlabhadra), gave him the revenues of this town as a bequest. The master of śāstras, declining the offer, said, "A master who wears the garments of religion (dyed garments) knows how to be contented with little and to keep himself pure. What would he do with a town?"

The king in reply said, "The King of the Law has passed into the obscure (abode), and the vessel of wisdom has been engulfed in the stream. If there are no distinctions now made (between the learned and ignorant), then no encouragement is given to the scholar to press forward in the attainment of religion. Pray, of your pity, accept my offering."

The doctor, not persisting in his refusal, accepted the town [id (T51.2087.0915a)] and built this saṅghārāma, vast and magnificent, and endowed it with the revenues of the town,998 as a means of providing it with the offerings necessary for religious service.

Going to the south-west of the saṅghārāma of śīlabhadra about 40 or 50 li, and crossing the Nairañjanā999 river we come to the town of Gayā.1000 This town is naturally strong (situated amid crags or precipices). It has but few inhabitants; there are about 1000 families of Brāhmaṇs only; they are the offspring (successors) of a Rishi. The king does not regard them as vassals and the people everywhere highly respect them.

To the north of the town 30 li or so there is a pure fountain of water. The tradition handed down in India is that it is called "holy water;" all who bathe or drink thereof are cleansed from whatever defilement of sin they have.

To the south-west of the town 5 or 6 li we come to Mount Gayā (Kia-ye), with its sombre valley, streams, and steep and dangerous crags. In India the name commonly given to this is the divine (spiritual) mountain. From old days it has been the custom for the ruling sovereign when he comes to the throne, with a view to conciliate his subjects at a distance and to cause his renown to exceed previous generations, to ascend (this mountain) and declare his succession with accompanying ceremonies (religious ceremonies). On the top of the mountain is a stūpa about 100 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Divine prodigies are exhibited by it, and a sacred effulgency often shines from it. In old days Tathāgata here delivered the P'ao-yun1001 and other śūtras.

To the south-east of Mount Gayā is a stūpa. This is the spot where Kāśyapa (Kia-she-po) was born. To the south of this stūpa are two others. These are the spots where Gayākāśyapa (Kia-ye-kia-she-po) and Nadīkāśyapa (Nai-ti-kia-she-po) sacrificed as fire-worshippers.1002

To the east of the place where Gayākāśyapa sacrificed to fire, crossing a great river, we come to a mountain called Prāgbodhi (Po-lo-ki-po-ti).1003 Tathāgata, after diligently seeking for six years and not yet obtaining supreme wisdom, after this gave up his penance and accepted the rice-milk (of Sujatā). As he went to the north-east he saw this mountain that it was secluded and dark, whereupon he desired to seek enlightenment thereon. Ascending the north-east slope and coming to the top, the earth shook and the mountain quaked, whilst the mountain Deva in terror spake thus to Bodhisattva: "This mountain is not the fortunate spot for attaining supreme wisdom. If here you stop and engage in the 'Samadhi of diamond,'1004 the earth will quake and gape and the mountain be overthrown upon you."

Then Bodhisattva descended, and half-way down the south-west slope he halted. There, backed by the crag and facing a torrent, is a great stone chamber. Here he sat down cross-legged. Again the earth quaked and the mountain shook. Then a Deva of the pure abode (śuddhavāsas) cried out in space, "This is not the place for a Tathāgata to perfect supreme wisdom. From this south-west 14 or 15 li, not far from the place of penance, there is a Pippala (Pi-po-lo) tree under which is 'a diamond throne.'1005 All the past Buddhas seated on this throne have obtained true enlightenment, and so will those yet to come. Pray, then, proceed to that spot."1006

Then Bodhisattva, rising up, the dragon dwelling in the cave said, [id (T51.2087.0915b)] "This cave is pure and excellent. Here you may accomplish the holy (aim). Would that of your exceeding love you would not leave me."

Then Bodhisattva having discovered that this was not the place for accomplishing his aim, to appease the dragon, he left him his shadow and departed. The Devas going before, led the way, and accompanied him to the Bodhi tree. When Aśoka-rāja came into power, he signalised each spot up and down this mountain which Bodhisattva had passed, by erecting distinguishing posts and stūpas. These, though of different sizes, yet are alike in spiritual manifestations. Sometimes flowers fall on them from heaven; sometimes a bright light illumines the dark valleys. Every year, on the day of breaking up the season of Wass (Varskās), religious laymen from different countries ascend this mountain for the purpose of making religious offerings to the faithful. They stop one night and return.

Going south-west from Mount Prāgbodhi about 14 or 15 li, we come to the Bodhi tree. It is surrounded by a brick wall (a wall of piled bricks) of considerable height, steep and strong. It is long from east to west, and short from north to south. It is about 500 paces round. Rare trees with their renowned flowers connect their shade and cast their shadows; the delicate sha-herb1007 and different shrubs carpet the soil. The principal gate opens to the east, opposite the Nairañjanā river. The southern gate adjoins a great flowery bank. The western side is blocked up and difficult of access (steep and strong). The northern gate opens into the great saṅghārāma. Within the surrounding wall the sacred traces touch one another in all directions. Here there are stūpas, in another place vihāras. The kings, princes, and great personages throughout all Jambudvīpa, who have accepted the bequeathed teaching as handed down to them, have erected these monuments as memorials.

In the middle of the enclosure surrounding the Bodhi-tree is the diamond throne (Vajrāsana). In former days, when the Bhadra-kalpa was arriving at the period of perfection (vivarṭṭa), when the great earth arose, this (throne) also appeared. It is in the middle of the great chiliocosm; it goes down to the limits of the golden wheel (the gold circle), and upwards it is flush with the ground. It is composed of diamond. In circuit it is 100 paces or so. On this the thousand Buddhas of the Bhadra-kalpa have sat and entered the diamond Samādhi; hence the name of the diamond throne. It is the place where the Budddas attain the holy path (the sacred way of Buddhahood). It is also called the Bodhimaṇḍa. When the great earth is shaken, this place alone is unmoved. Therefore, when Tathāgata was about to reach the condition of enlightenment, and he went successively to the four angles of this enclosure, the earth shook and quaked; but afterwards coming to this spot, all was still and at rest. From the time of entering on the concluding portion of the kalpa, when the true law dies out and disappears, the earth and dust begin to cover over this spot, and it will be no longer visible.

After the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, the rulers of the different countries having learned by tradition the measurement of the diamond throne, decided the limits from north to south by two figures of Kwan-tsz'-tsai (Avalokiteśvara) Bodhisattva, there seated and looking eastward.

The old people say that "as soon as the figures of this Bodhisattva sink in the ground and disappear, the law of Buddha will come to an end." The figure at the south angle is now buried up to its breast. The Bodhi tree above the diamond throne is the same as the Pippala tree. In old days, when Buddha was alive, it was several hundred feet high. Although it has often been injured by cutting, it still is 40 or 50 feet in height. Buddha sitting under this tree reached perfect wisdom, and therefore it is called the (Samyak sambodhi) tree of knowledge (Pu-ti-Bodhi). [id (T51.2087.0915c)] The bark is of a yellowish-white colour, the leaves and twigs of a dark green. The leaves wither not either in winter or summer, but they remain shining and glistening all the year round without change. But at every successive Nirvāṇa-day (of the Buddhas) the leaves wither and fall, and then in a moment revive as before. On this day (of the Nirvāṇa?) the princes of different countries and the religious multitude from different quarters assemble by thousands and ten thousands unbidden, and bathe (the roots) with scented water and perfumed milk; whilst they raise the sounds of music and scatter flowers and perfumes, and whilst the light of day is continued by the burning torches, they offer their religious gifts.

After the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, when Aśoka-rāja began to reign, he was an unbeliever (a believer in heresy), and he desired to destroy the bequeathed traces of Buddha; so he raised an army, and himself taking the lead, he came here for the purpose of destroying (the tree). He cut through the roots; the trunk, branches, and leaves were all divided into small bits and heaped up in a pile a few tens of paces to the west of the place. Then he ordered a Brāhmaṇ who sacrificed to fire to burn them in the discharge of his religious worship. Scarcely had the smoke cleared away, when lo! a double tree burst forth from the flaming fire, and because the leaves and branches were shining like feathers, it was called the "ashes bodhi tree." Aśoka-rāja, seeing the miracle, repented of his crime. He bathed the roots (of the old tree) with perfumed milk to fertilise them, when lo! on the morning of the next day, the tree sprang up as before. The king, seeing the miraculous portent, was overpowered with deep emotion, and himself offered religious gifts, and was so overjoyed that he forgot to return (to the palace). The queen, who was an adherent of the heretics, sent secretly a messenger, who, after the first division of night, once more cut it down. Aśoka-rāja in the morning coming again to worship at the tree, seeing only the mutilated trunk, was filled with exceeding grief. With the utmost sincerity he prayed as he worshipped; he bathed the roots with perfumed milk, and in less than a day again the tree was restored. The king, moved by deep reverence at the prodigy, surrounded the tree with a stone (brick) wall above 10 feet, which still remains visible. In late times śaśāṅka-rāja (She-shang-kia), being a believer in heresy, slandered the religion of Buddha, and through envy destroyed the convents and cut down the Bodhi tree, digging it up to the very springs of the earth; but yet he did not get to the bottom of the roots. Then he burnt it with fire and sprinkled it with the juice of the sugar-cane, desiring to destroy it entirely, and not leave a trace of it behind.

Some months afterwards, the king of Magadha, called Pūrṇavarmā (Pu-la-na-fa-mo), the last of the race of Aśoka-rāja, hearing of it, sighed and said, "The sun of wisdom having set, nothing is left but the tree of Buddha, and this they now have destroyed, what source of spiritual life is there now?" He then cast his body on the ground overcome with pity; then with the milk of a thousand cows he again bathed the roots of the tree, and in a night it once more revived and grew to the height of some 10 feet. Fearing lest it should be again cut down, he surrounded it with a wall of stone 24 feet high. So the tree is now encircled with a wall about 20 feet high.

To the east of the Bodhi tree there is a vihāra about 160 or 170 feet high. Its lower foundation-wall is 20 or more paces in its face. The building (pile) is of blue tiles (bricks) covered with chunam (burnt stone, lime); all the riches in the different storeys hold golden figures.1008 The four sides of the building are covered with wonderful ornamental work; in one place figures of stringed pearls (garlands), in another figures of heavenly Rishis. The whole is surrounded by a gilded copper āmalaka fruit.1009 The eastern face adjoins [id (T51.2087.0916a)] a storeyed pavilion, the projecting eaves of which rise one over the other to the height of three distinct chambers; its projecting eaves, its pillars, beams, doors, and windows are decorated with gold and silver ornamental work, with pearls and gems let in to fill up interstices. Its sombre chambers and mysterious halls have doors in each of the three storeys. To the right and left of the outside gate are niches like chambers; in the left is a figure of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, and in the right a figure of Maitreya (T'se-shi) Bodhisattva. They are made of white silver, and are about 10 feet high. On the site of the present vihāra Aśoka-rāja at first built a small vihāra. Afterwards there was a Brāhmaṇ who reconstructed it on a larger scale. At first this Brāhmaṇ was not a believer in the law of Buddha, and sacrificed to Maheśvara. Having heard that this heavenly spirit (god) dwelt in the Snowy Mountains, he forthwith went there with his younger brother to seek by prayer (his wishes). The Deva said, "Those who pray should aim to acquire some extensive religious merit. If you who pray have not this ground (of merit), then neither can I grant what you pray for."

The Brāhmaṇ said, "What meritorious work can I set about, to enable me to obtain my desire?"

The god said, "If you wish to plant a superior root (growth) of merit, then seek a superior field (in which to acquire it). The Bodhi tree is the place for attaining the fruit of a Buddha. You should straightway return there, and by the Bodhi tree erect a large vihāra, and excavate a large tank, and devote all kinds of religious offerings (to the service). You will then surely obtain your wishes."

The Brāhmaṇs having received the divine communication, conceived a believing heart, and they both returned to the place. The elder brother built the vihāra, the younger excavated the tank, and then they prepared large religious offerings, and sought with diligence their heart's desire (vow). The result followed at once. The Brāhmaṇ became the great minister of the king. He devoted all his emoluments to the work of charity. Having finished the vihāra, he invited the most skilful artists to make a figure (likeness) of Tathāgata when he first reached the condition of Buddha. Years and months passed without result; no one answered the appeal. At length there was a Brāhmaṇ who came and addressed the congregation thus: "I will thoroughly execute (paint and mark) the excellent figure (or distinguishing points) of Tathāgata."

They replied, "For the purpose of doing this, what do you require?"

"Place in the vihāra a pile of scented earth and a lighted lamp; then when I have gone in, fasten the doors. After six months you may open them again."

Then the priests did as he directed. After four months, the six not being passed, the priests being astonished at the strange circumstance, opened the door to see what had happened. In the vihāra they found a beautiful figure of Buddha in a sitting position, the right foot uppermost, the left hand resting, the right hand hanging down. He was sitting facing the east, and as dignified in appearance as when alive. The throne was 4 feet 2 inches high, and 12 feet 5 inches broad. The figure was 11 feet 5 inches high; the two knees were 8 feet 8 inches apart, and the two shoulders 6 feet 2 inches. The signs and marks (of a Buddha) were perfectly drawn. The loving expression of his face was like life, only above his right breast the material was not yet completely rounded off. Having seen no man, they were satisfied that this was a miracle, and all of them were filled with strong emotion (piteously sighed) as they diligently sought to find out the secret (earnestly inquired in order to know). Now there was a śramaṇa who was passing the night there. He was of all honest and truthful heart, and being affected by the circumstance (just related), he had a dream, in which he saw the forementioned Brāhmaṇ, who addressed him thus: "I am Maitreya Bodhisattva. Fearing that [id (T51.2087.0916b)] the mind of no artist could conceive the beauty of the sacred features, therefore I myself have come to paint and delineate the figure of Buddha. His right hand hangs down1010 in token that when he was about to reach the fruit of a Buddha, and the enticing Māra came to fascinate him, then the earth-spirits came to tell him thereof. The first who came forth advanced to help Buddha to resist Māra, to whom Tathāgata said, 'Fear not! By the power of patience he must be subdued!' Māra-rāja said, 'Who will bear witness for you?' Tathāgata dropped his hand and pointed to the ground, saying, 'Here is my witness.' On this a second earth-spirit leapt forth to bear witness (to testify). Therefore the present figure is so drawn, in imitation of the old posture of Buddha."

The brethren having understood this sacred miracle (spiritual reflection), were all moved with a tender emotion, and they placed above the breast, where the work was as yet unfinished, a necklace of precious stones and jewels, whilst on the head they placed a diadem of encircling gems, exceedingly rich.

śaśāṅka-rāja having cut down the Bodhi tree, wished to destroy this image; but having seen its loving features, his mind had no rest or determination, and he returned with his retinue homewards. On his way he said to one of his officers, "We must remove that statue of Buddha and place there a figure of Maheśvara."

The officer having received the order, was moved with fear, and, sighing, said, "If I destroy the figure of Buddha, then during successive kalpas I shall reap misfortune; if I disobey the king, he will put me to a cruel death and destroy my family; in either case, whether I obey or disobey, such will be the consequences; what, then, shall I do?"

On this he called to his presence a man with a believing heart (i.e., a believer in Buddha) to help him, and sent him to build up across the chamber and before the figure of Buddha a wall of brick. The man, from a feeling of shame at the darkness, placed a burning lamp (with the concealed figure); then on the interposing wall he drew a figure of (or, he made a figure of)1011 Maheśvara-deva.

The work being finished, he reported the matter. The king hearing it, was seized with terror; his body produced sores and his flesh rotted off, and after a short while he died. Then the officer quickly ordered the intervening wall to be pulled down again, when, although several days had elapsed, the lamp was still found to be burning (unextinguished).

The figure still exists in its perfect state as it was made by the sacred art of the god. It stands in a dark chamber; lamps and torches are kept burning therein; but those who wish to see the sacred features cannot do so by coming into the chamber; they should in the morning reflect the sunlight by means of a great mirror on the interior of the room; the sacred marks may then be seen. Those who behold them find their religious emotions much increased. Tathāgata obtained complete enlightenment (Samyak sambodhi) on the eighth day of the latter half of the Indian month Vaiśākha (Fei-she-kie), which is with us the eighth day of the third month. But the Sthavira school (Shang-tso-pu) say on the fifteenth day of the second half of Vaiśākha, which corresponds with us to the fifteenth day of the third month. Tathāgata was then thirty years old, or, according to others, thirty-five years.

To the north of the Bodhi tree is a spot where Buddha walked up and down. When Tathāgata had obtained enlightenment, he did not rise from the throne, but remained perfectly quiet for seven days, lost in contemplation. Then rising, he walked up and down during seven days to the north of the tree; he walked there east and west for a distance of ten paces or so. Miraculous flowers sprang up under his foot-traces to the number of eighteen. Afterwards this space was covered in by a brick wall about three feet high. According to the old belief, these holy traces thus covered in, indicate the length or shortness of a man's life. [id (T51.2087.0916c)] First of all, having offered up a sincere prayer, then count the measurement (or, pace the distance and measure); according as the person's life is to be long or short, so will the measurement be greater or less.

On the left side of the road, to the north of the place where Buddha walked, is a large stone, on the top of which, as it stands in a great vihāra, is a figure of Buddha with his eyes raised and looking up. Here in former times Buddha sat for seven days contemplating the Bodhi tree; he did not remove his gaze from it during this period, desiring thereby to indicate his grateful feelings towards the tree by so looking at it with fixed eyes.

Not far to the west of the Bodhi tree is a large vihāra in which is a figure of Buddha made of teou-shih (brass), ornamented with rare jewels; he stands with his face to the east. Before it is a blue stone with wonderful marks upon it and strangely figured. This is (the place where) Buddha sat on a seven-gemmed throne made by śakra Deva-rāja when Brahma-rāja built a hall for him of seven precious substances, after he had arrived at complete enlightenment. Whilst he thus sat for seven days in reflection, the mysterious glory which shone from his person lit up the Bodhi tree. From the time of the holy one till the present is so long that the gems have changed into stone.

Not far to the south of the Bodhi tree is a stūpa about 100 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Bodhisattva having bathed in the Nairañjana river, proceeded towards the Bodhi tree. Then he thought, "What shall I do for a seat? I will seek for some pure rushes when the day breaks." Then śakra-rāja (Shi) transformed himself into a grass-cutter, who, with his burden on his back, went along the road. Bodhisattva addressing him said, "Can you give me the bundle of grass you are carrying on your back?"

The assumed grass-cutter, hearing the request, offered the grass with respect. Bodhisattva having received it, went onwards to the tree.

Not far to the north of this spot is a stūpa. Bodhisattva, when about to obtain enlightenment (the fruit of Buddha), saw a flock of blue birds rising up ("rohin"?)1012 according to the lucky way. Of all the good omens recognised in India this is the most so. Therefore the Devas of the pure abodes (śuddhavāsas) accommodated their proceedings to the customary modes of the world, and caused the birds thus to encircle him as spiritually (miraculously) indicating his holiness.

To the east of the Bodhi tree, on the left and right of the great road, there are two stūpas (one on each side). This is the place where Māra-rāja tempted Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva, when on the point of enlightenment, was tempted by Māra to become a Chakravarttin (Lun-wang) monarch.1013 On his refusing, he went away heavy and sorrowful. On this his daughters, asking him, went to try to entice the Bodhisattva, but by his spiritual power he changed their youthful appearance into that of decrepit old women. Then leaning together on their sticks they went away.1014

To the north-west of the Bodhi tree in a vihāra is the image of Kāśyapa Buddha. It is noted for its miraculous and sacred qualities. From time to time it emits a glorious light. The old records say, that if a man actuated by sincere faith walks round it seven times, he obtains the power of knowing the place and condition of his (former?) births.

To the north-west of the vihāra of Kāśyapa Buddha there are two brick chambers, each containing a figure of an earth-spirit. Formerly, when Buddha was on the point of obtaining enlightenment, Māra came to him, and each one (or one) [id (T51.2087.0917a)] became witness for Buddha. Men afterwards, on account of his merit, painted or carved this figure of him with all its points of excellence.

To the north-west of the wall of the Bodhi tree is a stūpa called Yuh-kin-hiang (the saffron scent, Kuṅkuma); it is about 40 feet high; it was built by a merchant chief (śreshṭhī) of the country of Tsao-kiu-ch'u (Tsaukuṭa). In old days there was a merchant-prince of this country who worshipped the heavenly spirits and sacrificed to them with a view to seek religious merit. He despised the religion of Buddha, and did not believe in the doctrine of "deeds and fruits." After a while, he took with him some merchants to engage in commercial transactions (to take goods for having or not having, i.e., for exchange). Embarking in a ship on the southern sea, a tempest arising, they lost their way, whilst the tumultuous waves encircled them. Then after three years, their provisions being gone and their mouths parched with thirst, when there was not enough to last the voyagers from morning till evening, they employed all their energies with one mind in calling on the gods to whom they sacrificed. After all their efforts no result followed (their secret desire not accomplished), when unexpectedly they saw a great mountain with steep crags and precipices and a double sun gleaming from far. Then the merchants, congratulating themselves, said, "We are fortunate indeed in encountering this great mountain; we shall here get some rest and refreshment." The merchant-master said, "It is no mountain; it is the Makara fish; the high crags and scarped precipices are but its fins and mane; the double suns are its eyes as they shine." Scarce had he finished when the sails of the ship began to draw; on which the merchant-master said to his companions, "I have heard say that Kwan-tsz-tsai Bodhisattva is able to come to the help of those in difficulties and give them rest; we ought then with all faith to call upon that name." So with one accord and voice they paid their adorations1015 and called on the name. The high mountains disappeared, the two suns were swallowed up, and suddenly they saw a śramaṇa with dignified mien and calm demeanour holding his staff, walking through the sky, and coming towards them to rescue them from shipwreck, and in consequence they were at their own country immediately.1016 Then because their faith was confirmed, and with a view not to lose the merit of their condition, they built a Stūpa and prepared their religious offerings, and they covered the Stūpa from top to bottom with saffron paste. After thus, conceiving a heart of faith, those who were like-minded resolved to pay their adoration to the sacred traces; beholding the Body tree, they had no leisure for words about returning; but now, a month having elapsed, as they were walking together, they said in conversation, "Mountains and rivers separate us from our native country, and now as to the Stūpa which we built formerly, whilst we have been here, who has watered and swept it?" On finishing these words and coming to the spot (where this Stūpa stands), they turned round in token of respect; when suddenly they saw a Stūpa rise before them, and on advancing to look at it, they saw it was exactly like the one they had built in their own country. Therefore now in India they call it the Kuṅkuma Stūpa.

At the south-east angle of the wall of the Body tree is a Stūpa by the side of a Nyagrodha (ni-ken-liu) tree. Beside it there is a vihāra in which is a sitting figure of Buddha. This is the spot where the great Brahma exhorted Buddha, when he had first acquired enlightenment, to turn the wheel of the excellent law.1017

Within the walls of the Bodhi tree at each of the four angles is a great stūpa. Formerly, when Tathāgata received the grass of good omen (Santi) [id (T51.2087.0917b)] , he walked on the four sides of the Bodhi tree from point to point; then the great earth trembled. When he came to the diamond throne, then all was quiet and peaceable again. Within the walls of the tree the sacred traces are so thick together that it would be difficult to recite each one particularly.

At the south-west of the Bodhi tree, outside the walls, there is a stūpa; this is where the old house of the two shepherd-girls stood who offered the rice-milk to Buddha. By the side of it is another stūpa where the girls boiled the rice; by the side of this stūpa Tathāgata received the rice. Outside the south gate of the Bodhi tree is a great tank about 700 paces round, the water of which is clear and pure as a mirror. Nāgas and fishes dwell there. This was the pond which was dug by the Brāhmaṇs, who were uterine brothers, at the command of Maheśvara (Ta-thseu-thsaï).

Still to the south there is a tank; formerly, when Tathāgata had just acquired perfect enlightenment, he wished to bathe; then śakra (Shi), king of Devas, for Buddha's sake, caused a pond to appear as a phantom.

On the west is a great stone where Buddha washed his robes, and then wished to dry them; on this, śakra, king of Devas, brought this rock from the great Snowy Mountains. By the side of this is a stūpa; this is where Tathāgata put on (?) the old garments offered him. Still to the south in a wood is a stūpa; this is where the poor old woman gave the old garments which Tathāgata accepted.

To the east of the pond which śakra caused to appear, in the midst of a wood, is the lake of the Nāga king Muchilinda (Mu-chi-lin-t'o). The water of this lake is of a dark blue colour, its taste is sweet and pleasant; or the west bank is a small vihāra in which is a figure of Buddha. Formerly, when Tathāgata first acquired complete enlightenment, he sat on this spot in perfect composure, and for seven days dwelt in ecstatic contemplation. Then this Muchilinda Nāga-rāja kept guard over Tathāgata; with his folds seven times round the body of Buddha, he caused many heads to appear, which overshadowed him as a parasol; therefore to the east of this lake is the dwelling of the Nāga.

To the east of the tank of Muchilinda in a vihāra standing in a wood is a figure of Buddha, which represents him as thin and withered away.

At the side of this is the place where Buddha walked up and down, about 70 paces or so long, and on each side of it is a Pippala tree.

Both in old times and now, among the better classes and the poor, those who suffer from disease are accustomed to anoint the figure with scented earth, on which they get cured in many cases. This is the place where Bodhisattva endured his penance. Here it was Tathāgata subdued the heretics and received the request of Māra, and then entered on his six years' fast, eating a grain of millet and of wheat each day; his body then became thin and withered and his face marred. The place where he walked up and down is where he took the branch of the tree (as he left the river) after his fast.

By the side of the Pippala tree which denoted the place of Buddha's fast is a stūpa; this is where Ajñāta-Kauṇḍinya and the rest, to the number of five, resided. When first the prince left his home, he wandered through the mountains and plains; he rested in forests and by wells of water. Then Suddhodana-rāja ordered five men to follow him and wait on his person. The prince having entered on his penance, then Ajñāta Kauṇḍinya and the rest gave themselves also to a diligent practice of the same.

To the south-west of this spot there is a stūpa. This is where Bodhisattva entered the Nairañjanā [id (T51.2087.0917c)] river to bathe. By the side of the river, not far off, is the place where Bodhisattva received the rice-milk.

By the side of this is a stūpa where the merchant-prince (householder) offered him the wheat and honey. Buddha was seated with his legs crossed beneath a tree, lost in contemplation, experiencing in silence the joys of emancipation. After seven days he aroused himself from his ecstasy. Then two merchant-princes travelling by the side of the wood were addressed by the Deva of the place thus: "The prince-royal of the śākya family dwells in this wood, having just reached the fruit of a Buddha. His mind fixed in contemplation, he has for forty-nine days eaten nothing. By offering him whatsoever you have (as food) you will reap great and excellent profit."

Then the two merchants offered some wheat-flour and honey from their travelling store. The World-honoured accepted and received it.

By the side of the merchant-offering place is a stūpa. This is the spot where the four Deva-rājas presented (Buddha) with a pātra. The merchant-princes having made their offering of wheat-flour and honey, the Lord thought with himself in what vessel he should receive it. Then the four Deva-rājas coming from the four quarters, each brought a golden dish and offered it. The Lord sat silently and accepted not the offerings, on the ground that such a costly dish became not the character of a hermit. The four kings casting away the golden dishes, offered silver ones; afterwards they offered vessels of crystal (po-ch'i), lapis-lazuli (liu-li), cornelian (ma-nao), amber (ku-ch'i), ruby (chin chu), and so on. The Lord of the World would accept neither of them. The four kings then returned to their palaces and brought as an offering stone pātras, of a deep blue colour and translucent. Again presenting these, the Lord, to avoid accepting one and rejecting the others, forthwith joined them all in one and accepted them thus. Putting them one within the other, he made one vessel of the four. Therefore may be seen the four borders on the outside of the rim (of the dish).

Not far from this spot is a stūpa. This is the place where Tathāgata preached the law for the sake of his mother. When Tathāgata had acquired complete enlightenment, he was termed "the teacher of gods and of men." His mother, Māyā, then came down from heaven to this place. The Lord of the World preached to her according to the occasion, for her profit and pleasure.

Beside this spot is a dry pool, on the border of which is a stūpa. This is where in former days Tathāgata displayed various spiritual changes to convert those who were capable of it.

By the side of this spot is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata converted Uravilvā-Kāśyapa (Yeu-leu-pin-lo-kia-she-po) with his two brothers and a thousand of their followers. Tathāgata, for the purpose of following out his office as "illustrious guide," according to his opportunity (or in a suitable way), caused him (i.e., Kāśyapa) to submit to his teaching. On this occasion, when 500 followers of Uravilvā-Kāśyapa had requested to receive the instruction of Buddha, then Kāśyapa said, "I too with you will give up the way of error." On this, going together, they came to the place where Buddha was. Tathāgata, addressing them, said, "Lay aside your leather garments and give up your fire-sacrificing vessels." Then the disciples, in obedience to the command, cast into the Nairañjanā river their articles of worship (service or use). When Nadī-Kāśyapa (Nai-ti-kia-she-po) saw these vessels following the current of the river, he came with his followers to visit his brother. [id (T51.2087.0918a)] Having seen his conduct and changed behaviour, he also took the yellow robes. Gayā-Kāśyapa also, with two hundred followers, hearing of his brother's change of religion, came to the place where Buddha was, and prayed to be allowed to practise a life of purity.

To the north-west of the spot where the Kāśyapa brothers were converted is a stūpa. This is the place where Tathāgata overcame the fiery Nāga to which Kāśyapa sacrificed. Tathāgata, when about to convert these men, first subdued the object of their worship, and rested in the house of the fiery Nāga of the Brahmachārins. After the middle of the night the Nāga vomited forth fire and smoke. Buddha having entered Samadhi, likewise raised the brilliancy of fire, and the house-cell seemed to be filled with fiery flames. The Brahmachārins, fearing that the fire was destroying Buddha, all ran together to the spot with piteous cries, commiserating his fate. On this Uravilvā-Kāśyapa addressed his followers and said, "As I now gather (see), this is not a fire, but the śramaṇa subduing the fiery Nāga." Tathāgata having got the fiery dragon firmly fixed in his alms-bowl, on the morrow came forth holding it in his hand, and showed it to the disciples of the unbelievers. By the side of this monument is a stūpa, where 500 Pratyeka Buddhas at the same time entered Nirvāṇa.

To the south of the tank of Muchilinda Nāga is a stūpa. This indicates the spot where Kāśyapa went to save Buddha during an inundation. The Kāśyapa brothers still opposing the divine method,1018 all who lived far off or near reverenced their virtue, and submitted themselves to their teaching. The Lord of the World, in his character as guide of those in error, being very intent on their conversion, raised and spread abroad the thick clouds and caused the torrents to fall. The fierce waves surrounded the place where Buddha dwelt; but he alone was free from the flood. At this time Kāśyapa, seeing the clouds and rain, calling his disciples, said, "The place where the Shaman dwells must be engulfed in the tide!"

Embarking in a boat to go to his deliverance, he saw the Lord of the World walking on the water as on land; and as he advanced down the stream, the waters divided and left the ground visible. Kāśyapa having seen (the miracle), his heart was subdued, and he returned.1019

Outside the eastern gate of the wall of the Bodhi tree, 2 or 3 li distant, there is the house of the blind Nāga. This Nāga, by the accumulated effect of his deeds during former existences, was born blind, as a punishment, in his present birth. Tathāgata going on from Mount Prāgbodhi, desired to reach the Bodhi tree. As he passed this abode, the eyes of the Nāga were suddenly opened, and he saw Bodhisattva going on to the tree of intelligence (Bodhi). Then addressing Bodhisattva, he said, "O virtuous master! erelong you will become perfectly enlightened! My eyes indeed have long remained in darkness; but when a Buddha appears in the world, then I have my sight restored. During the Bhadra-kalpa, when the three past Buddhas appeared in the world, then I obtained light and saw (for a while); and now when thou, O virtuous one! didst approach this spot, my eyes suddenly opened; therefore I know that you shall become a Buddha."

By the side of the eastern gate of the wall of the Bodhi tree is a stūpa. This is where Māra-rāja tried to frighten Bodhisattva. When first Māra-rāja knew that Bodhisattva was about to obtain perfect enlightenment, having failed to confuse him by his enticements or to terrify him by his arts, he summoned his host of spirits and arranged his demon army, and arrayed his soldiers, armed with their weapons, [id (T51.2087.0918b)] as if to destroy the Bodhisattva. On this the winds arose and the rains descended, the thunders rolled in space and the lightning gleamed, as it lit up the darkness; flames of fire and clouds of smoke burst forth; sand and hailstones fell like lances, and were as arrows flying from the bow. Whereupon the Bodhisattva entered the samādhi of "great love," and changed the weapons of the host to lotus flowers. Māra's army, smitten by fear, retreated fast and disappeared.

Not far from this are two stūpas built by śakra, king of Devas, and by Brahma-rāja.

Outside the northern gate of the wall of the Bodhi tree is the Mahābodhi saṅghārāma. It was built by a former king of Siṁhala (Ceylon). This edifice has six halls, with towers of observation (temple towers) of three storeys; it is surrounded by a wall of defence thirty or forty feet high. The utmost skill of the artist has been employed; the ornamentation is in the richest colours (red and blue). The statue of Buddha is cast of gold and silver, decorated with gems and precious stones. The stūpas are high and large in proportion, and beautifully ornamented; they contain relics of Buddha. The bone relics are as great as the fingers of the hand, shining and smooth, of a pure white colour and translucent. The flesh relics are like the great true pearl, of a bluish-red tint. Every year on the day of the full moon of (the month when) Tathāgata displayed great spiritual changes, they take these relics out for public exhibition.1020 On these occasions sometimes a bright light is diffused, sometimes it rains flowers. The priests of this convent are more than 1000 men; they study the Great Vehicle and belong to the Sthavira (Shang-tso-pu) school. They carefully observe the Dharma Vinaya, and their conduct is pure and correct.

In old days there was a king of Ceylon, which is a country of the southern sea, who was truthful and a believer in the law of Buddha. It happened that his brother, who had become a disciple of Buddha (a houseless one), thinking on the holy traces of Buddha, went forth to wander through India. At all the convents he visited, he was treated with disdain as a foreigner (a frontier countryman). On this he returned to his own country. The king in person went out to a distance to meet him, but the śramaṇa was so affected that he could not speak. The king said, "What has so afflicted you as to cause this excessive grief?" The śramaṇa replied, "I, relying on the dignity of your Majesty's kingdom, went forth to visit the world, and to find my way through distant regions and strange cities. For many years all my travels, during heat and cold, have been attended with outrage, and my words have been met with insults and sarcasm. Having endured these afflictions, how can I be light-hearted?"

The king said, "If these things are so, what is to be done?"

He replied, "In truth, I wish your Majesty in the field of merit would undertake to build convents throughout all India. You would thus signalise the holy traces, and gain for yourself a great name; you would show your gratitude for the advantage derived from your predecessors, and hand down the merit thereof to your successors."

He replied, "This is an excellent plan; how have I but just heard of it?"

Then he gave in tribute to the king of India all the jewels of his country. The king having received them as tribute, from a principle of duty and affection to his distant ally, he sent messengers to say, "What can I now do in return for the decree?"

The minister said, "The king of Siṁhala salutes the king of India (Mahā śrī rāja). The reputation of the Mahā-rāja has spread far and wide, and your benefits have reached to distant regions. The śramaṇas of this inferior country desire to obey your instructions and to accept your transforming influences. Having wandered through your superior country in visiting the sacred traces, I called at various convents [id (T51.2087.0918c)] and found great difficulty in getting entertainment, and so, fatigued and very much worn by affronts, I returned home. I have therefore formed a plan for the benefit of future travellers; I desire to build in all the Indies a convent for the entertainment of such strangers, who may have a place of rest between their journey there and back. Thus the two countries will be bound together and travellers be refreshed."

The king said, "I permit your royal master to take (for this purpose) one of the places in which Tathāgata has left the traces of his holy teaching."

On this the messenger returned home, having taken leave of the king, and gave an account of his interview. The ministers received him with distinction and assembled the śramaṇas and deliberated as to the foundation of a convent. The śramaṇas said, "The (Bodhi) tree is the place where all the past Buddhas have obtained the holy fruit and where the future ones will obtain it. There is no better place than this for carrying out the project."

Then, sending all the jewels of the country; they built this convent to entertain priests of this country (Ceylon), and he caused to be engraved this proclamation on copper, "To help all without distinction is the highest teaching of all the Buddhas; to exercise mercy as occasion offers is the illustrious doctrine of former saints. And now I, unworthy descendant in the royal line, have undertaken to found this saṅghārāma, to enclose the sacred traces, and to hand down their renown to future ages, and to spread their benefits among the people. The priests of my country will thus obtain independence, and be treated as members of the fraternity of this country. Let this privilege be handed down from generation to generation without interruption."

For this cause this convent entertains many priests of Ceylon. To the south of the Bodhi tree 10 li or so, the sacred traces are so numerous that they cannot be each named. Every year when the Bhikshus break up their yearly rest of the rains, religious persons come here from every quarter in thousands and myriads, and during seven days and nights they scatter flowers, burn incense, and sound music as they wander through the district1021 and pay their worship and present their offerings. The priests of India, according to the holy instruction of Buddha, on the first day of the first half of the month śrāvaṇa enters on Wass. With us this is the sixteenth day of the fifth month; they give up their retreat on the fifteenth day of the second half of the month āśvayuja, which is with us the fifteenth day of the eighth month.

In India the names of the months depend on the stars, and from ancient days till now there has been no change in this. But as the different schools have translated the accounts according to the dialects of the countries without distinguishing one from the other, mistakes have arisen, and as a consequence contradictions are apparent in the division of the seasons. Hence it is in some places they enter on Wass on the sixteenth day of the fourth month, and break up on the fifteenth day of the seventh month.

[id (T51.2087.0919a)]


The Second Part of the Country Magadha.

To the east of the Bodhi tree, crossing the Nairañjanā (Ni-len-shan-na) river, in the middle of a wood, is a stūpa. To the north of this is a pool. This is the spot where a perfume elephant (Gandhahastī)1022 waited on his mother. Formerly when Tathāgata was practising discipline as a Bodhisattva, he was born as the offspring of a perfume-elephant, and lived in the mountains of the north. Wandering forth, he came to the border of this pool. His mother being blind, he gathered for her the sweet lotus roots, and drew pure water for her use, and cherished her with devotion and filial care. At this time there was a man who had changed his home,1023 who wandered here and there in the wood without knowing his way, and in his distress raised piteous cries. The elephant-cub heard him and pitied him; leading him on, he showed him his way to the road. The man having got back, forthwith went to the king and said, "I know of a wood1024 in which a perfume-elephant lives and roams. It is a very valuable animal. You had better go and take it."

The king, assenting to his words, went with his soldiers to capture it, the man leading the way. Then pointing to the elephant to show it to the king, immediately both his arms fell off as if cut by a sword. The king, though he saw this miracle, yet captured the elephant-cub, and bound it with cords, and returned to his palace. The young elephant having been bound (in order to tame it), for a long time would neither eat nor drink. The stable-keeper stated the matter to the king, who, on his part, came to see for himself, and asking the elephant the reason.1025 "Lo!" he answered and said, "my mother is blind, and now for days together is without food or drink, and here I am bound in a dreary dungeon. How can I take my food with relish!" The king, pitying his feelings and resolution, therefore ordered him to be set free.

By the side of this (pool) is a stūpa, before which is built a stone pillar. In this place the Buddha Kaśyapa (Kia-she-po) long ago sat in meditation. By its side are traces where the four past Buddhas sat down and walked.

To the east of this spot, crossing the Mo-ho1026 (Mahī) river, we come to a great forest in which is a stone pillar. This is the place where a heretic entered a condition of ecstasy and made a wicked vow. In old days there was a heretic called Udra-Rāmaputtra (U-teou-lan-tseu). In mind he soared above the vapoury clouds, whilst he left his body among the wilds and marshes. Here in this sacred forest, restraining his spirit, he left his traces.1027 Having acquired the five supernatural faculties,1028 he reached the highest condition of Dhyāna, and the king of Magadha greatly respected him. Each day at noon he invited him to his palace to eat. Udra-Rāmaputtra, mounting through space, walking in the air, came and went without hindrance.

The king of Magadha, expecting the moment of his arrival, kept watch for him, and, on his coming, respectfully placed for him his seat. The king being about to go forth on a tour, wished to put this affair in charge of some one during his absence, [id (T51.2087.0919b)] but he found no one in his inner palace whom he could select, capable of undertaking his commands.1029 But (amongst his attendants) there was a little pet girl of modest appearance and well-mannered, so that in the whole palace none of his followers (wise folk) was able to excel her.1030 The king of Magadha summoned this one, and said to her, "I am going some distance on a tour of observation, and I desire to put you in charge of an important business; you must, on your part, give all your mind to do thoroughly as I direct in the matter. It relates to that celebrated Rishi Udra-Rāmaputtra, whom I have for a long time treated with reverence and respect. Now when he comes here at the appointed time to dine, do you pay him the same attention that I do." Having left these instructions, the king forthwith gave notice of his absence (non-attendance)

The little girl, according to her instructions, waited in expectation as usual. The great Rishi having come, she received him, and placed a seat for him. Udra-Rāmaputtra having touched the young female, felt within him the impure risings of earthly passion (of the world of desire), and so he lost his spiritual capabilities. Having finished his meal, he spoke of going, but he was unable to rise in the air. Then feeling ashamed, he prevaricated, and addressing the maiden said, "I am able, as the result of the discipline I practise, to enter Samādhi, and then, my mind at rest, I can ascend into the air, and come and go without a moment's delay. I have heard long ago, however, that the people of the country desire to see me. In agreement with the rule of the olden time, our utmost aim should be to benefit all that lives. How shall I regard only my own benefit and forget to benefit others? I desire, therefore, on this occasion, to go through the gate and walk on the ground, to bring happiness and profit to all those who see me going."

The royal maiden hearing this, straightway spread the news far and wide. Then the people began with all their hearts to water and sweep the roads, and thousands upon thousands awaited to see him come. Udra-Rāma-puttra, stepping from the royal palace, proceeded on foot to that religious forest. Then sitting down in silence, he entered Samādhi. Then his mind, quickly escaping outside, was yet limited within the boundaries of the forest.1031 And now (as it wandered through the woods) the birds began to scream and flutter about, and as it approached the pond, the fishes began to jump and splash, till at last his feelings being wrought up, and his mind becoming confused, he lost his spiritual capabilities. Giving up his attempt at ecstasy,1032 he was filled with anger and resentment, and he made this wicked vow "May I hereafter be born as a fierce and wicked beast, with the body of a fox and the wings of a bird, that I may seize and devour living creatures. May my body be 3000 li long, and the outspread of my wings each way 1500 li; then rushing into the forest, I will devour the birds, and entering the rivers, I will eat the fish."

When he had made this vow his heart grew gradually at rest, and by earnest endeavours he resumed his former state of ecstasy. Not long after this he died, and was born in the first of the Bhuvāni heavens,1033 where his years would be 80,000 kalpas. Tathāgata left this record of him: "The years of his life in that heaven being ended, then he will reap the fruit of his old vow and possess this ignoble body. From the streams of the evil ways of birth he may not yet expect to emerge."1034

To the east of Mahī river we enter a great wild forest, and going 100 li or so, we come to the Ki'u-ki'u-cha-po-to-shan (Kukkuṭapādagiri, the Cock's-foot Mountain). It is also called Kiu-liu-po-to-shan (Gurupādāḥ giri1035 ). The sides of this mountain are high and rugged, the valleys and gorges are impenetrable. Tumultuous torrents rush down its sides, thick forests envelope the valleys, whilst tangled shrubs grow along its cavernous heights. Soaring upwards into the air are three sharp peaks; their tops are surrounded by the vapours of heaven, and their shapes lost in the clouds. Behind these bills the venerable Mahā-Kāśyapa dwells wrapped in a condition of Nirvāṇa. People do not dare to utter his name, and therefore they speak of the "Guru-pādāḥ" (the venerable teacher.)1036 Mahā-Kāśyapa [id (T51.2087.0919c)] was a śrāvaka and a disciple (or a Srāvaka disciple) perfectly possessed of the six supernatural faculties and the eight enfranchisements1037 (ashtau vimokshas).1038 Tathāgata, his work of conversion being done, and just on the point of attaining Nirvāṇa, addressed Kāśyapa and said, "Through many1039 kalpas I have undergone (diligently borne) painful penances for the sake of all that lives, seeking the highest form of religion. What I have all along prayed for (desired) I have now obtained to the full. Now, as I am desirous to die (enter Mahānirvāṇa), I lay on you the charge of the Dharma Piṭaka. Keep and disseminate (this doctrine) without loss or diminution. The golden-tissued Kashāya robe given me by my foster-mother (mother's sister)1040 I bid you keep and deliver to Maitreya (T'se-ohi) when he has completed the condition of Buddha.1041 All those who engage in the profession of my bequeathed law, whether they be Bhikshus, Bhikshunīs, Upāsakas, or Upāsikas, must first (i.e., before this be accomplished) cross over and escape the stream of transmigration."

Kāśyapa having received this commission to undertake to preserve the true law, summoned an assembly1042 (council or convocation). This done, he continued twenty years (in charge of the order), and then, in disgust at the impermanence of the world, and desiring to die, he went towards Cock's-foot Mountain. Ascending the north side of the mountain, he proceeded along the winding path, and came to the south-west ridge. Here the crags and precipices prevented him going on. Forcing his way through the tangled brushwood, he struck the rock with his staff, and thus opened away. He then passed on, having divided the rock, and ascended till he was again stopped by the rocks interlacing one another. He again opened a passage through, and came out on the mountain peak on the north-east side. Then having emerged from the defiles, he proceeded to the middle point of the three peaks. There he took the Kashāya garment (chīvara) of Buddha, and as he stood he expressed an ardent vow. On this the three peaks covered him over; this is the reason why now these three rise up into the air. In future ages, when Maitreya shall have come and declared the three-fold law,1043 finding the countless persons opposed to him by pride, he will lead them to this mountain, and coming to the place where Kāśyapa is, in a moment (the snapping of the finger) Maitreya will cause it to open of itself, and all those people, having seen Kāśyapa, will only be more proud and obstinate. Then Kāśyapa, delivering the robe, and having paid profound reverence, will ascend into the air and exhibit all sorts of spiritual changes, emitting fire and vapour from his body. Then he will enter Nirvāṇa. At this time the people, witnessing these miracles, will dismiss their pride, and opening their minds, will obtain the fruit (of holiness). Now, therefore, on the top of the mountain is a stūpa built. On quiet evenings those looking from a distance see sometimes a bright light as it were of a torch; but if they ascend the mountain there is nothing to be observed.1044 [id (T51.2087.0920a)]

Going to the north-east of the Cock's-foot Mountain about 100 li, we come to the mountain called Buddhavana (Fo-to-fa-na), with its peaks and cliffs lofty and precipitous. Among its steep mountain cliffs is a stone chamber where Buddha once descending stayed; by its side is a large stone where śakra (Shih), king of Devas, and Brahma-rāja (Fan-wang) pounded some ox-head (gośīrsha)1045 sandal-wood, and anointed Tathāgata with the same. The scent (of this) is still to be perceived on the stone. Here also five hundred Arhats secretly dwell1046 in a spiritual manner, and here those who are influenced by religious desire to meet with them sometimes see them, on one occasion under the form of Samaṇeras just entering the village to beg food, at other times as withdrawing (to their cells), on some occasions manifesting traces of their spiritual power in ways difficult to describe in detail.

Going about 30 li to the east, amongst wild valleys of the Buddhavana (Fo-to-fa-na) mountain, we come to the wood called Yashṭivana (Ye-sse-chi).1047 The bamboos that grow here are large; they cover the hill and extend through the valley. In former days there was a Brāhmaṇ, who hearing that the body of śākya Buddha (Shih-kia-fo) was sixteen feet in height, was perplexed with doubt and would not credit it. Then taking a bamboo sixteen feet long, he desired to measure the height of Buddha; the body constantly overtopped the bamboo and exceeded the sixteen feet. So going on increasing, he could not find the right measurement. He then threw the bamboo on the ground and departed; but because of this it stood upright and took root.

In the midst of this wood is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata displayed for seven days great spiritual wonders (miracles) for the sake of the Devas, and preached the mysterious and excellent law.

In the forest of the staff (Yashṭivana) not long since there was an Upāsaka named Jayasena (She-ye-si-na), a Kshattriya of Western India. He was exceedingly simple-minded and moderate. He amused himself amid the forests and hills, dwelling in a sort of fairyland whilst his mind wandered amid the limits of truth (true limits). He had deeply studied the mysteries both of orthodox and other treatises (inside and outside books). His language and observations were pure, and his arguments elevated; his presence was quiet and dignified. The śramaṇas, Brāhmaṇas, heretics of different schools, the king of the country, the great ministers and householders, and persons of rank came together to visit him and personally to ask him questions. His pupils occupied sixteen apartments;1048 and although nearly seventy years of age, he read with them diligently and without cessation, and applied their minds only to the study of Buddhist sūtras, rejecting all other engagements. Thus night and day he gave up body and mind to this pursuit alone.

It is a custom in India to make little stūpas of powdered scent made into a paste; their height is about six or seven inches, and they place inside them some written extract from a sūtra; this they call a dharma-śarira1049 (fa-shi-li). When the number of these has become large, they then build a great stūpa, and collect all the others within it, and continually offer to it religious offerings. This then was the occupation of Jaya-sena (Ching-kian); with his mouth he declared the excellent law, and led and encouraged his students, whilst with his hand he constructed these stūpas. Thus he acquired the highest and most excellent religious merit. In the evening, again, he would walk up and down worshipping and repeating his prayers, or silently sit down in meditation. For eating or sleeping he had little time, and relaxed none of his discipline night or day. Even after he was an hundred years old his mind and body were in full activity. During thirty years he had made seven kotis of these dharma-śarīra stūpas, and for every koti that he made he built a great stūpa and placed them in it. When full, [id (T51.2087.0920b)] he presented his religious offerings and invited the priests; whilst they, on their part, offered him their congratulations.1050 On these occasions a divine light shone around and spiritual wonders (miracles) exhibited themselves; and from that time forth the miraculous light has continued to be seen.

South-west of the Yashṭivana1051 about 10 li or so, on the south side of a great mountain, are two warm springs;1052 the water is very hot. In old days, Tathāgata caused this water to appear, and washed himself therein. The pure flow of these waters still lasts without diminution. Men far and near flock here to bathe, after which those who have suffered from disease or chronic affections are often healed. By the side of the springs is a stūpa, to mark the place where Tathāgata walked for exercise.

To the south-east of the Yashṭivana about six or seven li we come to a great mountain. Before a cross-ridge1053 of this mountain is a stūpa. Here in old days Tathāgata explained the law during the three months of rain for the benefit of men and Devas. Then Bimbisāra-rāja (Pin-pi-so-lo) wished to come to hear the law. He cut away the mountain, and piled up the stones to make steps in order to ascend. The width is about twenty paces and the length 3 or 4 li.1054

To the north of the great mountain 3 or 4 li is a solitary hill. Formerly the Rishi Vyāsa1055 (Kwang-po) lived here in solitude. By excavating the side of the mountain he formed a house. Some portions of the foundations are still visible. His disciples still hand down his teaching, and the celebrity of his bequeathed doctrine still remains.

To the north-east of the solitary hill 4 or 5 li there is a small hill, also standing alone. In the side of this hill (has been excavated) a stone chamber. In length and breadth1056 it is enough to seat 1000 persons or so. In this place Tathāgata, when living in the world, repeated the law for three months. Above the stone chamber is a great and remarkable rock, on which śakra, king of Devas, and Brahma-rāja pounded some ox-head sandal-wood, and with the dust sprinkled the body of Tathāgata. The surface of the stone still emits the scent of the perfume.

At the south-west angle of the stone house there is a lofty cavern which the Indians call the palace of the Aśuras ('O-su-lo). Formerly there was a good-natured fellow who was deeply versed in the use of magic formulae. He engaged with some companions, fourteen altogether, to covenant with one another to enter this lofty cavern. After going about 30 or [id (T51.2087.0920c)] 40 li, suddenly the whole place waslighted up with great brilliancy, and they saw a walled city before them, with towers and look-outs all of silver and gold and lapis-lazuli (lieu-li). The men having advanced to it, there were some young maidens who stationed themselves at the gates, and with joyful laughing faces greeted them and paid them reverence. Going on a little farther they came to the inner city-gates, where there were two slave-girls holding each of them a golden vessel full of flowers and scents. Advancing with these, they waited the approach of the visitors, and then said, "You must first bathe yourselves in yonder tank, and then anoint yourselves with the perfumes and crown yourselves with the flowers, and then you may enter the city. Do not hasten to enter yet; only that master of magic can come in at once." Then the other thirteen men went down at once to bathe. Having entered the tank, they all at once became confused, and forgot all that had taken place, and were (found) sitting in the middle of a rice field distant from this due north, over a level country about 30 or 40 li.

By the side of the stone house there is a wooden way (a road made with timber)1057 about 10 paces wide and about 4 or 5 li. Formerly Bimbisāra-rāja, when about to go to the place where Buddha was, cut out a passage through the rock, opened up the valleys, levelled the precipices, and led a way across the river-courses, built up walls of stone, and bored through the opposing crags, and made ladders up the heights to reach the place where Buddha was located.

From this spot proceeding eastward through the mountains about 60 li, we arrive at the city Kuśāgāra-pura (Kiu-she-kie-lo-pu-lo), or "the royal city of best grass (lucky grass)." This is the central point of the kingdom of Magadha.1058 Here the former kings of the country fixed their capital. It produces much of the most excellent, scented, fortunate grass, and therefore it is called "the city of the superior grass." High mountains surround it on each side, and form as it were its external walls.1059 On the west it is approached through a narrow pass, on the north there is a passage through the mountains. The town is extended from east to west and narrow from north to south. It is about 150 li in circuit. The remaining foundations of the wall of the inner city are about 30 li in circuit. The trees called Kie-ni-kia (Kanakas) border all the roads, their flowers exhale a delicious perfume, and their colour is of a bright golden hue. In the spring months the forests are all of a golden colour.

Outside the north gate of the palace city is a stūpa. Here Devadatta (Ti-p'o-to-lo) and Ajātaśatru-rāja (Wi-sing-yun), having agreed together as friends, liberated the drunken elephant for the purpose of killing Tathāgata. But Tathāgata miraculously caused five lions to proceed from his finger-ends; on this the drunken elephant was subdued and stood still before him.1060

To the north-east of this spot is a stūpa. This is where śāriputra (She-li-tseu) heard Aśvajita ('O-shi-p'o-shi) the Bhikshu declare the law, and by that means reached the fruit (of an Arhat). At first śāriputra was a layman; he was a man of distinguished ability and refinement, and was highly esteemed by those of his own time. At this time, with other students, he accepted the traditional teaching as delivered to him. On one occasion, being about to enter the great city of Rājagṛha, the Bhikshu Aśvajita (Ma-shing) was also just going his round of begging. Then śāriputra, seeing him at a distance, addressed his disciples, saying, "Yonder man who comes, so full of dignity and nobleness, if he has not reached the fruit of sanctity (Arhatship), how is he thus composed and quiet? Let us stop awhile and observe him as he approaches." Now as Aśvajita Bhikshu had reached the condition of an Arhat, his mind was self-possessed, his face composed and of an agreeable refinement; thus, holding his religious staff, he came along with a dignified air. Then śāriputra said, "Venerable sir! are yon at ease and happy? Pray, who is your master, and what the system you profess, that you are so gladsome and contented?"

Aśvajita answering him said, "Know you not the royal prince, the son of Suddhodana-rāja, who gave up the condition of a Chakravarttin monarch, and from pity to the six kinds of creatures for six years endured penance and reached the condition of Sambodhi, the state of perfect omniscience? This is my master! As to his law, it has respect to a condition including the absence of existence, without nonentity;1061 it is difficult to define; only Buddhas with Buddhas can fathom it; how much less can foolish and blind mortals, [id (T51.2087.0921a)] such as I, explain its principles. But for your sake I will recite a stanza in praise of the law of Buddha."1062 śāriputra having heard it, obtained forthwith the fruit of Arhatship.

To the north of this place, not far off, there is a very deep ditch, by the side of which is built a stūpa; this is the spot where śrīgupta (She-li-kio-to) wished to destroy Buddha by means of fire concealed in the ditch and poisoned rice. Now śrīgupta (Shing-mi) greatly honoured (believed in) the heretics, and his mind was deeply possessed by false views. All the Brahmachārins said, "The men of the country greatly honour Gautama (Kiao-ta-mo), and in consequence he causes our disciples to be without support. Invite him then to your house to eat, and before the door make a great ditch and fill it with fire, and cover it over slightly with wooden planks to conceal the fire; moreover, poison the food, so that if he escape the fire (fiery ditch), he will take the poison."

śrīgupta, according to his directions, caused the poison to be prepared, and then all the people in the town, knowing the evil and destructive design of śrīgupta against the Lord of the World, entreated Buddha not to go to the house. The Lord said, "Be not distressed; the body of Tathāgata cannot be hurt by such means as these." He therefore accepted the invitation and went. When his foot trod on the threshold of the door the fire in the pit became a tank of pure water with lotus flowers on its surface.

śrīgupta having witnessed this, being filled with shame and fear lest his project should fail, said to his followers, "He has by his magical power escaped the fire; but there is yet the poisoned food!" The Lord having eaten the rice, began to declare the excellent law, on which śrīgupta, having attended to it, himself became a disciple.

To the north-east of this fiery ditch of śrīgupta (Shing- mi), at a bend of the city, is a stūpa; this is where Jīvaka (Shi-fo-kia),1063 the great physician, built a preaching-hall for Buddha. All round the walls he planted flowers and fruit trees. The traces of the foundation-walls and the decayed roots of the trees are still visible. Tathāgata, when he was in the world, often stopped here. By the side of this place are the remains of the house of Jīvaka, and the hollow of an old well also exists there still.

To the north-east of the palace city going 14 or 15 li, we come to the mountain Gṛdhrakūṭa (Ki-li-tho-kiu-ch'a). Touching the southern slope of the northern mountain, it rises as a solitary peak to a great height, on which vultures make their abode. It appears like a high tower on which the azure tints of the sky are reflected, the colours of the mountain and the heaven being commingled.

When Tathāgata had guided the world for some fifty years, he dwelt much in this mountain, and delivered the excellent law in its developed form (kwang).1064 Bimbisāra-rāja, for the purpose of hearing the law, raised a number of men to accompany him from the foot of the mountain to its summit. They levelled the valleys and spanned the precipices, and with the stones made a staircase about ten paces wide and 5 or 6 li long. In the middle of the road there are two small stūpas, one called "Dismounting from the chariot" (Hia-shing), because the king, when he got here, went forward on foot. The other is called "Sending back the crowd" (T'ui-fan), because the king, separating the common folk, would not allow them to proceed with him. The summit of this mountain is long from the east to the west and narrow from north to south. There is a brick vihāra on the borders of a steep precipice at the western end of the mountain. It is high [id (T51.2087.0921b)] and wide and beautifully constructed. The door opens to the east. Here Tathāgata often stopped in old days and preached the law. There is now a figure of him preaching the law of the same size as life.

To the east of the vihāra is a long stone, on which Tathāgata trod as he walked up and down for exercise. By the side of it is a great stone about fourteen or fifteen feet high and thirty paces round. This is the place where Devadatta1065 flung a stone from a distance to strike Buddha.

South of this, below the precipice, is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata, when alive in old time, delivered the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra.1066

To the south of the vihāra, by the side of a mountain cliff, is a great stone house. In this Tathāgata, when dwelling in the world long ago, entered Samādhi.

To the north-west of the stone house and in front of it is a great and extraordinary stone. This is the place where ānanda (O-nan) was frightened by Māra. When the venerable ānanda had entered Samādhi in this place, Māra-rāja, assuming the form of a vulture, in the middle of the night, during the dark portion of the month, took his place on this rock, and flapping his wings and uttering loud screams, tried to frighten the venerable one.1067 ānanda, filled with fear, was at a loss to know what to do; then Tathāgata, by his spiritual power, seeing his state, stretched out his hand to compose him. He pierced the stone wall and patted the head of ānanda, and with his words of great love he spoke to him thus: "You need not fear the assumed form which Māra has taken." ānanda in consequence recovered his composure, and remained with his heart and body at rest and in peace.

Although years and months have elapsed since then, yet the bird traces on the stone and the hole in the rock1068 still remain visible.

By the side of the vihāra there are several stone houses,1069 where śāriputra and other great Arhats entered Samādhi. In front of the stone house of śāriputra is a great well, dry and waterless. The hollow (shaft) still remains.

To the north-east of the vihāra, in the middle of a rocky stream, is a large and flat stone. Here Tathāgata dried his Kashāya garment. The traces of the tissue of the robe still remain, as though they were cut out on the rock.

By the side of this, and upon a rock, is a foot-trace of Buddha. Although the "wheel" outline is somewhat obscure, yet it can be distinctly traced.

On the top of the northern mountain is a stūpa. From this point Tathāgata beheld the town of Magadha,1070 and for seven days explained the law.

To the west of the north gate of the mountain city is the mountain called Pi-pu-lo (Vipula-giri).1071 According to the common report of the country it is said, "On the northern side of the south-western crags of this mountain there were formerly five hundred warm springs; now there are only some ten or so; but some of these are warm and others cold, but none of them hot." These springs have their origin to the south of the Snowy Mountains from the Anavatapta (Wu-jeh-no-c'hi) lake,1072 and flowing underground, burst forth here. The water is very sweet and pure, and the taste is like that of the water of the lake. The streams (from the lake) are five hundred in number (branches), and as they pass by the lesser underground fire-abodes (hells), the power of the flames ascending causes the water to be hot. At the mouths of the various hot springs there are placed carved stones, sometimes shaped like lions, and at other times as the heads of white elephants; sometimes stone conduits are constructed, through which the water flows on high (aqueducts), whilst below there are stone basins, in which the water collects like a pond. [id (T51.2087.0921c)] Here people of every region come, and from every city, to bathe; those who suffer from any disease are often cured. On the right and left of the warm springs1073 are many stūpas and the remains of vihāras close together. In all these places the four past Buddhas have sat and walked, and the traces of their so doing are still left. These spots being surrounded by mountains and supplied with water, men of conspicuous virtue and wisdom take up their abode here, and there are many hermits who live here also in peace and solitude.

To the west of the hot springs is the Pippala (Pi-po-lo) stone house.1074 When the Lord of the World was alive in olden times, he constantly dwelt here. The deep cavern which is behind the walls of this house is the palace abode of an Asura (or, the Asuras). Many Bhikshus who practise Samādhi dwell here. Often we may see strange forms, as of Nāgas, serpents, and lions, come forth from it. Those who see these things lose their reason and become dazed. Nevertheless, this wonderful place (excellent land) is one in which holy saints dwell, and occupying the spot consecrated by such sacred traces, they forget the calamities and evils that threaten them.

Not long ago there was a Bhikshu of a pure and upright life, whose mind was enamoured of solitude and quiet; he desired to practise Samādhi concealed in this house. Some one protested and said, "Go not there! Many calamities happen there, and strange things causing death are frequent. It is difficult to practise Samādhi in such a spot, and there is constant fear of death. You ought to remember what has happened before time, if you would not reap the fruits of after-repentance." The Bhikshu said, "Not so! My determination is to seek the fruit of Buddha and to conquer the Deva Māra. If these are the dangers of which you speak, what need to name them?" Then he took his pilgrim's staff and proceeded to the house. There he reared an altar and began to recite his magic protective sentences. After the tenth day, a maiden came forth from the cave and addressed the Bhikshu, saying, "Sir of the coloured robes! you observe the precepts, and, with full purpose, you adopt the refuge (found in Buddha); you aspire after (prepare) wisdom, and practise Samādhi, and to promote in yourself spiritual power, so that you may be an illustrious guide of men, you dwell here and alarm me and my fellows! But how is this in agreement with the doctrine of Tathāgata?" The Bhikshu said, "I practise a pure life, following the holy teaching (of Buddha). I conceal myself among the mountains and dells to avoid the tumult of life. In suddenly bringing a charge against me, I ask where is my fault?" She replied, "Your reverence! when you recite your prayers, the sound causes fire to burst into (my house) from without, and burns my abode; it afflicts me and my family! I pray you, pity us, and do not say your charmed prayers any more !"

The Bhikshu said, "I repeat my prayers to defend myself, and not to hurt any living thing. In former days, a religious person (a disciple) occupied this place and practised Samādhi with a view to obtain the holy fruit and to help the miserable;1075 then with unearthly sights he was frightened to death and gave up his life. This was your doing. What have you to say?"

She replied, "Oppressed with a weight of guilt, my wisdom is small indeed; but from this time forth I will bar my house and keep the partition (between it and this chamber). Do you, venerable one, on your part, I pray, repeat no more spiritual formulae."

On this the Bhikshu prepared himself in Samādhi, and from that time rested in quiet, none hurting him.

On the top of Mount Vipula (Pi-pu-lo) is a stūpa. This is where in old times Tathāgata repeated the law. At the present time naked heretics (Nirgranthas) frequent this place in great numbers; they practise penance night and day without intermission, and from morn till night [id (T51.2087.0922a)] walk round (the stūpa) and contemplate it with respect.

To the left of the northern gate of the mountain city (Girivjaja, Shan-shing), going east, on the north side of the southern crag (precipice or cliff), going 2 or 3 li, we come to a great stone house in which Devadatta formerly entered Samādhi.

Not far to the east of this stone house, on the top of a flat stone, there are coloured spots like blood. By the side of this rock a stūpa has been built. This is the place where a Bhikshu practising Samādhi wounded himself and obtained the fruit of holiness.

There was formerly a Bhikshu who diligently exerted himself in mind and body, and secluded himself in the practice of Samādhi. Years and months elapsed, and he had not obtained the holy fruit. Retiring from the spot, he upbraided himself, and then he added with a sigh, "I despair of obtaining the fruit of Arhatship (freedom from learning). What use to keep this body, the source of impediment from its very character." Having spoken thus, he mounted on this stone and gashed his throat. Forthwith he reached the fruit of an Arhat, and ascended into the air and exhibited spiritual changes; finally, his body was consumed by fire, and he reached Nirvāṇa.1076 Because of his noble resolution they have built (this stūpa) as a memorial. To the east of this place, above a rocky crag, there is a stone stūpa. This is the place where a Bhikshu practising Samādhi threw himself down and obtained the fruit. Formerly, when Buddha was alive, there was a Bhikshu who sat quietly in a mountain wild, practising the mode of Samādhi leading to Arhatship. For a long time he had exercised the utmost zeal without result. Night and day he restrained his thoughts, nor ever gave up his quiet composure. Tathāgata, knowing that his senses were fit for the acquirement (of emancipation), went to the place for the purpose of converting him (perfecting him). In a moment1077 he transported himself from the garden of bamboos (Veṇuvana) to this mountainside, and there calling him,1078 stood standing awaiting him.

At this time the Bhikshu, seeing from a distance the holy congregation, his heart and body ravished with joy, he cast himself down from the mountain. But by his purity of heart and respectful faith for Buddha's teaching before he reached the ground he gained the fruit of Arhatship. The Lord of the World then spoke and said, "You ought to know the opportunity." Immediately he ascended into the air and exhibited spiritual transformation. To show his pure faith they have raised this memorial.

Going about one li from the north gate of the mountain city we come to the Karaṇḍaveṇuvana (Kia-lan-t'o-chuh-yuen),1079 where now the stone foundation and the brick walls of a vihāra exist. The door faces the east. Tathāgata, when in the world, frequently dwelt here, and preached the law for the guidance and conversion of men and to rescue the people. They have now made a figure of Tathāgata the size of life. In early days there was in this town a great householder (gṛhapati) called Karaṇḍa; at this time he had gained much renown by giving to the heretics a large bamboo garden. Then coming to see Tathāgata and hearing his law, he was animated by a true faith. He then regretted that the multitude of unbelievers should dwell in that place. "And now," he said, "the leader of gods and men has no place in which to lodge." Then the spirits and demons, affected by his faithfulness, drove away the heretics, and addressing them said, "Karaṇḍa, the householder, is going to erect a vihāra here for the Buddha; you must get away quickly, lest calamity befall you!"

The heretics, with hatred in their heart and mortified in spirit, went away; thereupon the householder built this vihāra. [id (T51.2087.0922b)] When it was finished he went himself to invite Buddha. Thereon Tathāgata received the gift.

To the east of the Karaṇḍaveṇuvana is a stūpa which was built by Ajātaśatru-rāja. After the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata the kings divided the relics (she-li); the king Ajātaśatru returned then with his share, and from a feeling of extreme reverence built (a stūpa) and offered his religious offerings to it. When Aśoka-rāja (Wu-yau) became a believer, he opened it and took the relics, and in his turn built another stūpa. This building constantly emits miraculous light.

By the side of the stūpa of Ajātaśatru-rāja is another stūpa which encloses the relics of half of the body of ānanda. Formerly, when the saint was about to reach Nirvāṇa, he left the country of Magadha and proceeded to the town of Vaiśālī (Fei-she-li). As these two countries disputed (about him) and began to raise troops, the venerable one, from pity, divided his body into two parts. The king of Magadha, receiving his share, returned and offered to it his religious homage, and immediately prepared in this renowned land, with great honour, to raise a stūpa. By the side of this building is a place where Buddha walked up and down.

Not far from this is a stūpa. This is the place where śāriputra and Mudgalaputra dwelt during the rainy season.

To the south-west of the bamboo garden (Veṇuvana) about 5 or 6 li, on the north side of the southern mountain, is a great bamboo forest. In the middle of it is a large stone house. Here the venerable Kāśyapa with 999 great Arhats, after Tathāgata's Nirvāṇa, called a convocation (for the purpose of settling) the three Piṭakas.1080 Before it is the old foundation-wall. King Ajātaśatru made this hall1081 for the sake of accommodating the great Arhats who assembled to settle the Dharma-piṭaka.

At first, when Mahā Kāśyapa was seated in silent (study) in the desert (mountain forests), suddenly a bright light burst forth, and he perceived the earth shaking. Then he said, "What fortunate change of events is there, that this miracle should occur?" Then exerting his divine sight, he saw the Lord Buddha between the two trees entering Nirvāṇa. Forthwith he ordered his followers to accompany him to the city of Kuśinagara (Ku-shi). On the way they met a Brāhmaṇ holding in his hands a divine flower. Kāśyapa, addressing him, said, "Whence come you? Know you where our great teacher is at present?" The Brāhmaṇ replied and said, "I have but just come from yonder city of Kuśinagara, where I saw your great master just entered into Nirvāṇa. A vast multitude of heavenly beings were around him offering their gifts in worship, and this flower, which I hold, I brought thence."

Kāśyapa having heard these words said to his followers, "The sun of wisdom has quenched his rays. The world is now in darkness. The illustrious guide has left us and gone, and all flesh must fall into calamity."

Then the careless Bhikshus said one to another with satisfaction, "Tathāgata has gone to rest. This is good for us, for now, if we transgress, who is there to reprove or restrain us?"

Then Kāśyapa, having heard this, was deeply moved and afflicted, and he resolved to assemble (collect) the treasure of the law (Dharma-piṭaka) and bring to punishment the transgressors. Accordingly he proceeded to the two trees, and regarding Buddha, he offered worship.

And now the King of the Law having gone from the world, [id (T51.2087.0922c)] both men and Devas were left without a guide, and the great Arhats, moreover, were cleaving to (the idea of their) Nirvāṇa. Then the great Kāśyapa reflected thus: "To secure obedience to the teaching of Buddha, we ought to collect the Dharma-piṭaka." On this he ascended Mount Sumeru and sounded the great gong (ghaṇṭā), and spake thus: "Now then, in the town of Rājagṛha there is going to be a religious assembly.1082 Let all those who have obtained the fruit (of arhatship) hasten to the spot."

In connection with the sounding of the gong the direction of Kāśyapa spread far and wide through the great chiliocosm, and all those possessed of spiritual capabilities, hearing the instructions, assembled in convocation. At this time Kāśyapa addressed the assembly and said, "Tathāgata having died (attained to extinction or Nirvāṇa), the world is empty. We ought to collect the Dharma-piṭaka, in token of our gratitude to Buddha. Now then, being about to accomplish this, there should be profound composure (quiet). How can this be done in the midst of such a vast multitude? Those who have acquired the three species of knowledge (trividyā), who have obtained the six supernatural faculties (shaḍabhijñās), who have kept the law without failure, whose powers of discrimination (dialectic) are clear, such superior persons as these may stop and form the assembly. Those who are learners with only limited fruit, let such depart to their homes."

On this 999 men were left; but he excluded ānanda, as being yet a learner. Then the great Kāśyapa, calling him, addressed him thus: "You are not yet free from defects; you must leave the holy assembly." He replied, "During many years I have followed Tathāgata as his attendant; every assembly that has been held for considering the law, I have joined; but now, as you are going to hold an assembly after his death (wai), I find myself excluded; the King of the Law having died, I have lost my dependence and helper."

Kāśyapa said, "Do not cherish your sorrow! You were a personal attendant on Buddha indeed, and you therefore heard much and so you loved (much), and therefore you are not free from all the ties that bind (the soul or affections)."

ānanda, with words of submission, retired and came to a desert place, desiring to reach a condition "beyond learning;" he strove for this without intermission, but with no result. At length, wearied out, he desired one day to lie down. Scarcely had his head reached the pillow1083 when lo! he obtained he condition of an Arhat.

He then went to the assembly, and knocking at the door, announced his arrival. Kāśyapa then asked him, saying, "Have you got rid of all ties? In that case exercise your spiritual power and enter without the door being opened!" ānanda, in compliance with the order, entered through the keyhole,1084 and having paid reverence to the priesthood, retired and sat down.

At this time fifteen days of the summer rest (Varshāvasāna) had elapsed. On this Kāśyapa rising, said, "Consider well and listen! Let ānanda, who ever heard the words of Tathāgata, collect by singing through1085 the Sūtra-piṭaka. Let Upāli (Yeu-po-li), who clearly understands the rules of discipline (Vinaya), and is well known to all who know, collect the Vinaya-piṭaka; and I, Kāśyapa, will collect the Abhidharma-piṭaka." The three months of rain1086 being past, the collection of the Tripiṭaka was finished. As the great Kāśyapa was the president (Sthavira) among the priests, it is called the Sthavira (Chang-tso-pu) convocation.1087

North-west of the place where the great Kāśyapa held the convocation is a stūpa. This is where ānanda, being forbidden by the priests to take part in the assembly, came and sat down in silence and reached the fruit (position) of an Arhat. [id (T51.2087.0923a)] After this he joined the assembly.

Going west from this point 20 li or so, is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the spot where the "great assembly" (Mahāsaṅgha) formed their collection of books (or, held their assembly). Those who had not been permitted to join Kāśyapa's assembly, whether learners or those above learning (Arhats), to the number of 100,000 men, came together to this spot and said, "Whilst Tathāgata was alive we all had a common master, but now the King of the Law is dead it is different. We too wish to show our gratitude to Buddha, and we also will hold an assembly for collecting the scriptures." On this the common folk with the holy disciples came to the assembly (all assembled), the foolish and wise alike flocked together and collected the Sūtra-piṭaka, the Vinaya-piṭaka, the Abhidharma-piṭaka, the miscellaneous Piṭaka (Khuddakanikāya),1088 and the Dhāraṇī-piṭaka. Thus they distinguished five Piṭakas. And because in this assembly both common folk and holy personages were mixed together, it was called "the assembly of the great congregation" (Mahāsaṅgha).1089

To the north of the Veṇuvana Vihāra about 200 paces we come to the Karaṇḍa lake (Karaṇḍahrada). When Tathāgata was in the world he preached often here. The water was pure and clear, and possessed of the eight qualities.1090 After the Nirvāṇa of Buddha it dried up and disappeared.

To the north-west of the Karaṇḍahrada, at a distance of 2 or 3 li, is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. It is about 60 feet high; by the side of it is a stone pillar on which is a record engraved relating to the foundation of the stūpa. It is about 50 feet high, and on the top has the figure of an elephant.

To the north-east of the stone pillar, not far,we come to the town of Rājagṛha1091 (Ho-lo-shi-ki-li-hi). The outer walls of this city have been destroyed, and there are no remnants of them left; the inner city (walls),1092 although in a ruined state, still have some elevation from the ground, and are about 20 li in circuit. In the first case, Bimbisāra-rāja established his residence in Kuśāgāra; in this place the houses of the people, being close together, were frequently burned with fire and destroyed. When one house was in flames, it was impossible to prevent the whole neighbourhood sharing in the calamity, and consequently the whole was burned up. Then the people made loud complaints, and were unable to rest quietly in their dwellings. The king said, "By my demerit the lower people are afflicted; what deed of goodness (meritorious virtue) can I do in order to be exempt from such calamities?" His ministers said, "Mahārāja, your virtuous government spreads peace and harmony, your righteous rule causes light and progress. It is by want of due attention on the part of the people that these calamities of fire occur. It is necessary to make a severe law to prevent such occurrences hereafter. If a fire breaks out, the origin must be diligently sought for, and to punish the principal guilty person, let him be driven into the cold forest. Now this cold forest (śītavana) is the place of corpses abandoned (cast out) there. Everyone esteems it an unlucky place, and the people of the land avoid going there and passing through it. Let him be banished there as a cast-out corpse. From dread of this fate, the people will become careful and guard (against the outbreak of fire)." The king said, "It is well; let this announcement be made, and let the people attend to it."

And now it happened that the king's palace was the first to be burned with fire. Then he said to his ministers, "I myself must be banished;" and he gave up the government to his eldest son in his own place. [id (T51.2087.0923b)] "I wish to maintain the laws of the country (he said); I therefore myself am going into exile."

At this time the king of Vaiśālī hearing that Bimbisāra-rāja was dwelling alone in the "cold forest," raised an army and put it in movement to invade (make a foray) when nothing was ready (to resist him). The lords of the marches (frontiers), hearing of it, built a town,1093 and as the king was the first to inhabit it, it was called "the royal city" (Rājagṛha). Then the ministers and the people all flocked there with their families.

It is also said that Ajātaśatru-rāja first founded this city, and the heir-apparent of Ajātaśatru having come to the throne, he also appointed it to be the capital, and so it continued till the time of Aśoka-rāja, who changed the capital to Pātaliputra, and gave the city of Rājagṛha to the Brāhmaṇs, so that now in the city there are no common folk to be seen, but only Brāhmaṇs to the number of a thousand families.

At the south-west angle of the royal precincts1094 are two small saṅghārāmas; the priests who come and go, and are strangers in the place, lodge here. Here also Buddha, when alive, delivered the law (preached). North-west from this is a stūpa; this is the site of an old village where the householder Jyotishka1095 (Ch'u-ti-se-kia) was born.

Outside the south gate of the city, on the left of the road, is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata preached and converted Rāhula (Lo-hu-lo).1096

Going north from this 30 li or so, we come to Nālanda saṅghārāma.1097 The old accounts of the country say that to the south of this saṅghārāma, in the middle of an āmra ('An-mo-lo) grove, there is a tank. The Nāga of this tank is called Nālanda.1098 By the side of it is built the saṅghārāma, which therefore takes the name (of the Nāga). But the truth is that Tathāgata in old days practised the life of a Bodhisattva here, and became the king of a great country, and established his capital in this land. Moved by pity for living things, he delighted in continually relieving them. In remembrance of this Virtue he was called1099 "charity without intermission;" and the saṅghārāma was called in perpetuation of this name. The site was originally an āmra garden. Five hundred merchants bought it for ten kotis of gold pieces and gave it to Buddha. Buddha preached the law here during three months, and the merchants and others obtained tne fruit of holiness. Not long after the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, a former king of this country named śakrāditya (Shi-kia-lo-'o-t'ie-to) respected and esteemed the (system of the) one Vehicle,1100 and honoured very highly the three treasures.1101 Having selected by augury a lucky spot, he built this saṅghārāma. When he began the work he wounded, in digging, the body of the Nāga. At this time there was a distinguished soothsayer belonging to the heretical sect of the Nirgranthas. He having seen the occurrence, left this record: "This is a very superior site. If you build here a saṅghārāma, it must of necessity become highly renowned. Throughout the five Indies it will be a model. For a period of a thousand years it will flourish still. Students of all degrees will here easily accomplish their studies. But many will spit blood because of this wound given to the Nāga."

His son, Buddhagupta-rāja (Fo-t'o-kio-to), who succeeded him, continued to labour at the excellent undertaking of his father. To the south of this he built another saṅghārāma.

Tathāgatagupta-rāja (Ta-tha-kie-to-kio-lo) vigorously practised the former rules (of his ancestors), and he built east from this another saṅghārāma. [id (T51.2087.0923c)]

Balāditya-rāja (P'o-lo-'o-tie-lo) succeeded to the empire. On the north-east side he built a saṅghārāma. The work being done, he called together an assembly for congratulation. He respected equally the obscure and the renowned, and invited common folk and men of religion (holiness) without distinction. The priests of all India came together for the distance of 10,000 li. After all were seated and at rest, two priests arrived. They led them up the three-storeyed pavilion. Then they asked them, saying, "The king, when about to call the assembly, first asked men of all degrees (common and holy). From what quarter do your reverences come so late?" They said, "We are from the country of China. Our teacher1102 was sick. Having nourished him, we set out to accept the king's far-off invitation.1103 This is the reason why we have arrived so late."

The assembly hearing this, were filled with astonishment, and proceeded at once to inform the king. The king knowing that they were holy persons, went himself to interrogate them. He mounted the pavilion, but he knew not where they had gone.1104 The king then was affected by a profound faith; he gave up his country and became a recluse. Having done so, he placed himself as the lowest of the priests, but his heart was always uneasy and ill at rest. "Formerly (he said) I was a king, and the highest among the honourable; but now I have become a recluse, I am degraded to the bottom of the priesthood." Forthwith he went to the priests, and said words to the above effect. On this the saṅgha resolved that they who had not received the full orders should be classed according to their natural years of life.1105 This saṅghārāma is the only one in which this law exists.

This king's son, called Vajra (Fa-she-lo), came to the throne in succession, and was possessed of a heart firm in the faith. He again built on the west side of the convent a saṅghārāma.

After this a king of Central India built to the north of this a great saṅghārāma. Moreover, he built round these edifices a high wall with one gate,1106 A long succession of kings continued the work of building, using all the skill of the sculptor, till the whole is truly marvellous to behold. The king1107 said, "In the hall of the monarch who first began the saṅghārāma I will place a figure of Buddha, and I will feed forty priests of the congregation every day to show my gratitude to the founder."

The priests, to the number of several thousands, are men of the highest ability and talent. Their distinction is very great at the present time, and there are many hundreds whose fame has rapidly spread through distant regions. Their conduct is pure and unblamable. They follow in sincerity the precepts of the moral law. The rules of this convent are severe, and all the priests are bound to observe them. The countries of India respect them and follow them. The day is not sufficient for asking and answering profound questions. From morning till night they engage in discussion; the old and the young mutually help one another. Those who cannot discuss questions out of the Tripiṭaka are little esteemed, and are obliged to hide themselves for shame. Learned men from different cities, on this account, who desire to acquire quickly a renown in discussion, come here in multitudes to settle their doubts, and then the streams (of their wisdom) spread far and wide. For this reason some persons usurp the name (of Nālanda students), and in going to and fro receive honour in consequence. If men of other quarters desire to enter and take part in the discussions, the keeper of the gate proposes some hard questions; many are unable to answer, and retire. One must have studied deeply both old and new (books) before getting admission. Those students, therefore, who come here as strangers, have to show their ability by hard discussion; those who fail compared with those who succeed are as seven or eight to ten. The other two or three of moderate talent, when they come to discuss in turn in the assembly, are sure to be humbled, and to forfeit their renown. But with respect to those of conspicuous talent [id (T51.2087.0924a)] of solid learning, great ability, illustrious virtue, distinguished men, these connect (their high names) with the succession (of celebrities belonging to the college) such as Dharmapāla (Hu-fa)1108 and Chandrapāla (Hu-yueh),1109 who excited by their bequeathed teaching the thoughtless and worldly; Guṇamati (Tih-hwui)1110 and Sthiramati (Kin-hwui),1111 the streams of whose superior teaching spread abroad even now; Prabhamitra (Kwang-yeu),1112 with his clear discourses; Jinamitra (Shing-yeu),1113 with his exalted eloquence; the pattern and fame (sayings and doings) of Jñānachandra (Chi-yueh)1114 reflect his brilliant activity; śigrabuddha (?) (Ming-min), and śīlabhadra (Kiaï-hien),1115 and other eminent men whose names are lost. These illustrious personages, known to all, excelled in their attainments (virtue) all their distinguished predecessors, and passed the bounds of the ancients in their learning. Each of these composed some tens of treatises and commentaries which were widely diffused, and which for their perspicuity are passed down to the present time.

The sacred relics on the four sides of the convent are hundreds in number. For brevity's sake we will recount two or three. On the western side of the saṅghārāma, at no great distance, is a vihāra. Here Tathāgata in old days stopped for three months and largely expounded the excellent law for the good of the Devas.

To the south 100 paces or so is a small stūpa. This is the place where a Bhikshu from a distant region saw Buddha. Formerly there was a Bhikshu who came from a distant region. Arriving at this spot, he met the multitude of disciples accompanying Buddha, and was affected inwardly with a feeling of reverence, and so prostrated himself on the ground, at the same time uttering a strong desire that he might obtain the position of a Chakravarttī monarch. Tathāgata having seen him, spoke to his followers thus: "That Bhikshu ought much to be pitied. The power (character) of his religious merit is deep and distant;1116 his faith is strong. If he were to seek the fruit of Buddha, not long hence he would obtain it; but now that he has earnestly prayed to become a Chakravarttī king, he will in future ages receive this reward: as many grains of dust as there are from the spot where he has thrown himself on the earth down to the very middle of the gold wheel,1117 so many Chakravarttī kings will there be for reward;1118 but having fixed his mind on earthly joys, the fruit of holiness is far off."1119

On this southern side is a standing figure of Kwan-tsz'-tsai (Avalokiteśvara) Bodhisattva. Sometimes he is seen holding a vessel of perfume going to the vihāra of Buddha and turning round to the right.

To the south of this statue is a stūpa, in which are remains of Buddha's hair and nails cut during three months. Those persons afflicted with children's complaints,1120 coming here and turning round religiously, are mostly healed.

To the west of this, outside the wall, and by the side of a tank, is a stūpa. This is where a heretic, holding a sparrow in his hand, asked Buddha questions relating to death and birth.

To the south-east about 50 paces, within the walls, is an extraordinary tree, about eight or nine feet in height, of which the trunk is twofold. When Tathāgata of old time was in the world, he flung his tooth-cleaner (dantakāshṭha) on the ground here, where it took root. Although many months and years have elapsed since then, the tree neither decreases nor increases.1121

Next to the east there is a great vihāra about 200 feet in height. Here Tathāgata, residing for four months, explained various excellent laws.

After this, to the north 100 paces or so, is a vihāra in which is a figure of Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva. The disciples of pure faith, who offer their religious gifts, do not all see the place he occupies alike; it is not fixed.1122 Sometimes he (i.e., the figure) seems to be standing by the side of the door; sometimes he goes out in front of the eaves. Religious people, both clerics and laics, from all parts come together in numbers to offer their gifts.

To the north of this vihāra is a great vihāra, in height about 300 feet, [id (T51.2087.0924b)] which was built by Balāditya-rāja (Po-lo-'o-tie-to-wang). With respect to its magnificence, its dimensions, and the statue of Buddha placed in it, it resembles (is the same as) the great vihāra built under the Bodhi tree.1123

To the north-east of this is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata in days gone by explained the excellent law for seven days.

To the north-west is a place where the four past Buddhas sat down.

To the south of this is a vihāra of brass1124 built by śīlāditya-rāja. Although it is not yet finished, yet its intended measurement, when finished (to plan), will be 100 feet.1125

Next to the eastward 200 paces or so, outside the walls, is a figure of Buddha standing upright and made of copper. Its height is about 80 feet. A pavilion of six stages is required to cover it. It was formerly made by Pūrṇavarma-rāja (Mwan-cheu).

To the north of this statue 2 or 3 li, in a vihāra constructed of brick, is a figure of Tāra Bodhisattva (To-lo-p'u-sa). This figure is of great height, and its spiritual appearance very striking. Every fast-day of the year large offerings are made to it. The kings and ministers and great people of the neighbouring countries offer exquisite perfumes and flowers, holding gem-covered flags and canopies, whilst instruments of metal and stone resound in turns, mingled with the harmony of flutes and harps. These religious assemblies last for seven days.

Within the southern gate of the wall is a large well. Formerly, when Buddha was alive, a great company of merchants parched with thirst came here to the spot where Buddha was. The Lord of the World, pointing to this place, said, "You will find water there." The chief of the merchants, piercing the earth with the end of the axle of his cart, immediately water rushed out from the ground. Having drunk and heard the law, they all obtained the fruit of holiness.

Going south-west 8 or 9 li from the saṅghārāma, we come to the village of Kulika (Kiu-li-kia). In it is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. This is where the venerable Mudgalaputra (Mo-te-kia-lo-tseu) was born. By the side of the village is a stūpa. This is where the Venerable One reached complete Nirvāṇa,1126 and in it are placed the remains of his bequeathed body. The venerable (Mahāmudgalaputra) was of a great Brāhmaṇ family, and was an intimate friend of śāriputra when they were young. This śāriputra was renowned for the clearness of his dialectic skill; the other for his persevering and deep penetration. Their gifts and wisdom were alike, and moving or standing they were always together.1127 Their aims and desires from beginning to end were just the same. They had together left the world from distaste to its pleasures, and as hermits had followed Sañjaya (Shen-she-ye) as their master.1128 śāriputra having met Aśvajita (Ma-shing) the Arhat, hearing the law, understood its holy (meaning).1129 On returning he repeated what he had heard for the sake of the venerable (Mudgalaputra). On this he understood the meaning of the law and reached the first fruit.1130 then with 250 followers he went to the place where Buddha was. The Lord of the World, seeing him at a distance, pointing him out, said to his disciples, "That one coming here will be the first among my followers in the exercise of spiritual faculties (miraculous powers)." Having reached the place where Buddha was, he requested to enter the law (the society). The Lord replying, said, "Welcome, O Bhikshu; carefully practise a pure life, and you shall escape the limits of sorrow." Hearing this, [id (T51.2087.0924c)] his hair fell off, and his common robes were changed into others. Observing in their purity the sections of the rules of moral discipline, and being in his exterior behaviour faultless, after seven days, getting rid of all the bonds of sin, he reached the condition of an Arhat and the supernatural powers.

East of the old village of Mudgalaputra, going 3 or 4 li, we come to a stūpa. This is the place where Bimbisāra-rāja went to have an interview with Buddha. When Tathāgata first obtained the fruit of a Buddha, knowing that the hearts of the people of the Magadha were waiting for him athirst, he accepted the invitation of Bimbisāra-rāja, and early in the morning, putting on his robes, he took his begging-dish, and with a thousand Bhikshus around him, on the right hand and the left (he advanced). In front and behind these there were a number of aged Brāhmaṇs who went with twisted hair (jālina), and being desirous of the law, wore their dyed garments (cīvara). Followed by such a throng, he entered the city of Rāja-gṛha.

Then Lord śakra (Ti-shih), king of Devas, changing his appearance into that of a Mānava (Ma-na-p'o) youth,1131 with a crown upon his head and his hair bound up, in his left band holding a golden pitcher and in his right a precious staff, he walked above the earth four fingers high, leading Buddha along the road in front, in the midst of the vast assembly. Then the king of the Magadha country, Bimbisāra (Pin-pi-so-lo) by name, accompanied by all the Brāhmaṇ householders within the land, and the merchants (ku-sse), 100,000 myriads in all, going before and behind, leading and following, proceeded from the city of Rājagṛha to meet and escort the holy congregation.

South-east from the spot where Bimbasāra-rāja met Buddha, at a distance of about 20 li, we come to the town of Kālapināka (Kia-lo-pi-na-kia). In this town is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. This is the place where śāriputra, the venerable one, was born. The well1132 of the place still exists. By the side of the place1133 is a stūpa. This is where the venerable one obtained Nirvāṇa; the relics of his body, therefore, are enshrined therein. He also was of a high Brāhmaṇ family. His father was a man of great learning and erudition; he penetrated thoroughly the most intricate questions. There were no books he had not thoroughly investigated. His wife had a dream and told it to her husband. "Last night," said she, "during my sleep my dreams were troubled by a strange man1134 whose body was covered with armour; in his hand he held a diamond mace with which he broke the mountains; departing, he stood at the foot of one particular mountain." "This dream," the husband said, "is extremely good. You will bear a son of deep learning; he will be honoured in the world, and will attack the treatises of all the masters and break down their teaching (schools). Being led to consider, he will become the disciple of one who is more than human."1135

And so in due course she conceived a child. All at once she was greatly enlightened. She discoursed in high and powerful language, and her words were not to be overthrown. When the venerable one began to be eight years old, his reputation was spread in every direction. His natural disposition was pure and simple, his heart loving and compassionate. He broke through all impediments in his way, and perfected his wisdom. He formed a friendship when young with Mudgalaputra, and being deeply disgusted with the world, and having no system to adopt as a refuge, he went with Mudgalaputra to the heretic Sañjaya's abode, and practised (his mode of salvation). Then they said together, "This is not the system of final deliverance,1136 nor is it able to rescue us from the trammels of sorrow. Let us each seek for an illustrious guide. He who first obtains sweet dew,1137 let him make the taste common to the other."1138

At this time the great Arhat [id (T51.2087.0925a)] Aśvajita, holding in his hand his proper measure bowl (pātra), was entering the city begging for food.

śāriputra seeing his dignified exterior and his quiet and becoming manner, forthwith asked him, "Who is your master?" He answered, "The prince of the śākya tribe, disgusted with the world, becoming a hermit, has reached perfect wisdom. This one is my master." Sāriputra added, "And what doctrine does he teach? May I find a way to hear it?" He said, "I have but just received instruction, and have not yet penetrated the deep doctrine." śāriputra said, "Pray tell me (repeat) what you have heard." Then Aśvajita, so far as he could, explained it and spoke. śāriputra having heard it, immediately reached the first fruit, and went forthwith with 250 of his followers, to the place where Buddha was dwelling.

The Lord of the World, seeing him afar off, pointing to him and addressing his followers, said, "Yonder comes one who will be most distinguished for wisdom among my disciples." Having reached the place, he bent his head in worship and asked to be permitted to follow the teaching of Buddha. The Lord said to him, "Welcome, O Bhikshu."

Having heard these words, he was forthwith ordained.1139 Half a month after, hearing Buddha preach the law on account of a Brāhmaṇ1140 called "Long-nails" (Dīrghanakha), together with other discourses,1141 and understanding them with a lively emotion, he obtained the fruit of an Arhat. After this, ānanda hearing Buddha speak about his Nirvāṇa, it was noised abroad and talked about (by the disciples). Each one was affected with grief. śāriputra was doubly touched with sorrow, and could not endure the thought of seeing Buddha die. Accordingly, he asked the Lord that he might die first. The lord said, "Take advantage of your opportunity."

He then bade adieu to the disciples and came to his native village. His followers, the śrāmaneras, spread the news everywhere through the towns and villages. Ajātaśatru-rāja and his people hastened together as the wind, and assembled in clouds to the assembly, whilst śāriputra repeated at large the teaching of the law. Having heard it, they went away. In the middle of the following night, with fixed (correct) thought, and mind restrained, he entered the Samādhi called "final extinction." After awhile, having risen out of it, he died.

Four or five li to the south-east of the town Kālapināka1142 is a stūpa. This is the spot where a disciple of śāriputra reached Nirvāṇa. It is otherwise said, "When Kāśyapa Buddha was in the world, then three koṭis of great Arhats entered the condition of complete Nirvāṇa in this place."

Going 30 li or so to the east of this last-named stūpa, we come to Indraśailaguhā mountain (In-t'o-lo-shi-lo-kia-ho-shan).1143 The precipices and valleys of this mountain are dark and gloomy. Flowering trees grow thickly together like forests. The summit has two peaks, which rise up sharply and by themselves. On the south side of the western peak1144 between the crags is a great stone house,1145 wide but not high. Here Tathāgata in old time was stopping when śakra, king of Devas, wrote on the stone matters relating to forty-two doubts which he had, and asked Buddha respecting them.1146

Then Buddha explained the matters. The traces of these figures still exist. Persons now try to imitate by comparison these ancient holy figures (figure forms).1147 Those who enter the cave to worship are seized with a sort of religious trepidation.

On the top of the mountain ridge are traces where the four former [id (T51.2087.0925b)] Buddhas sat and walked, still remaining. On the top of the eastern peak is a saṅghārāma; the common account is this: when the priests who dwell here look across in the middle of the night at the western peak, where the stone chamber is, they see before the image of Buddha lamps and torches constantly burning.

Before the saṅghārāma on the eastern peak of the Indraśailaguhā mountain is a stūpa which is called Haṅsa (Keng-sha).1148 Formerly the priests of this saṅghārāma studied the doctrine of the Little Vehicle, that is, the Little Vehicle of the "gradual doctrine."1149 They allowed therefore the use of the three pure articles of food, and they followed this rule without fail. Now afterwards, when it was not time to seek for the three pure articles of food, there was a Bhikshu who was walking up and down; suddenly he saw a flock of wild geese flying over him in the air. Then he said in a jocose way, "To-day the congregation of priests has not food sufficient, Mahāsattvas! now is your opportunity." No sooner had he finished, than a goose, stopping its flight, fell down before the priest and died. The Bhikshu having seen this, told it to the priests, who, hearing it, were affected with pity, and said one to the other, "Tathāgata framed his law as a guide and encouragement (suitable to) the powers (springs) of each person;1150 now we, following 'the gradual doctrine,' are using a foolish guide. The Great Vehicle is the true doctrine. We ought to change our former practice, and follow more closely the sacred directions. This goose falling down is, in truth, a true lesson for us, and we ought to make known its virtue by handing down the story to other ages, the most distant." On this they built a stūpa to hand down to future ages the action they bad witnessed, and they buried the dead goose beneath it.

Going 150 or 160 li to the north-east of the Indraśila-guhā mountain, we come to the Kapotika (pigeon) convent.1151 There are about 200 priests, who study the principles of the Sarvāstavāda school of Buddhism.

To the east is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Formerly Buddha residing in this place, declared the law for one night to the great congregation. At this time there was a bird-catcher who was laying his snares for the feathered tribe in this wood. Having caught nothing for a whole day, he spoke thus, "My bad luck to-day is owing to a trick somewhere." Therefore he came to the place where Buddha was, and said in a high voice, "Your speaking the law to-day, O Tathāgata, has caused me to catch nothing in all my nets. My wife and my children at home are hungry; what expedient shall I try to help them?" Then Tathāgata replied, "If you will light a fire, I will give you something to eat."

Then Tathāgata made to appear a large dove, which fell in the fire and died. Then the bird-catcher taking it, carried it to his wife and children, and they ate it together. Then he went back to the place where Buddha was, on which, by the use of expedients, he framed his discourse so as to convert the bird-catcher. Having heard the discourse, he repented of his fault and was renewed in heart. Then he left his home, and practising wisdom, reached the holy fruit, and because of this the saṅghārāma was called Kapotika.

To the south of this 2 or 3 li we come to a solitary hill,1152 [id (T51.2087.0925c)] which is of great height, and covered with forests and jungle. Celebrated flowers and pure fountains of water cover its sides and flow through its hollows. On this hill are many vihāras and religious shrines, sculptured with the highest art. In the exact middle of the vihāra is a figure of Kwan-tsz-tsai Bodhisattva. Although it is of small size, yet its spiritual appearance is of an affecting character. In its hand it holds a lotus flower; on its head is a figure of Buddha.

There are always a number of persons here who abstain from food desiring to obtain a view of the Bodhisattva. For seven days, and fourteen days, and even for a whole month (do they fast). Those who are properly affected see this Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva with its beautiful1153 marks, and thoroughly adorned with all its majesty and glory. It comes forth from the middle of the statue, and addresses kind words to these men.

In old days the king of the Siṁhala country, in the early morning reflecting his face in a mirror, was not able to see himself, but he saw in the middle of a Tāla wood, on the top of a little mountain in the Magadha country of Jambudvīpa, a figure of this Bodhisattva. The king, deeply affected at the benevolent appearance of the figure, diligently searched after it. Having come to this mountain,1154 he found in fact a figure resembling the one he had seen. On this he built a vihāra and offered to it religious gifts. After this the king still recollecting the fame of the circumstance, according to his example, built vihāras and spiritual shrines. Flowers and incense with the sound of music are constantly offered here.

Going south-east from this shrine on the solitary mountain about 40 li, we come to a convent with about fifty priests,1155 who study the teaching of the Little Vehicle. Before the saṅghārāma is a great stūpa, where many miracles are displayed. Here Buddha in former days preached for Brahma-deva's sake and others during seven days. By the side of it are traces where the three Buddhas of the past age sat and walked. To the north-east of the saṅghārāma about 70 li, on the south side of the Ganges river, we come to a large village, thickly populated.1156 There are many Deva temples here, all of them admirably adorned.

Not far to the south-east is a great stūpa. Here Buddha for a night preached the law. Going east from this we enter the desert mountains; and going 100 li or so, we come to the convent of the village of Lo-in-ni-lo.1157

Before this is a great stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Buddha formerly preached the law for three months. To the north of this 2 or 3 li is a large tank about 30 li round. During the four seasons of the year a lotus of each of the four colours opens its petals.

Going east we enter a great forest wild, and after 200 li or so we come to the country of I-lan-na-po-fa-to (Hiraṇyaparvata).

[id (T51.2087.0926a)]


Contains an account of seventeen countries, viz., (1) I-lan-na-po-fa-to; (2) Chen-po; (3) Kie-chu-hoh-kai-lo; (4) Pun-na-fa-tan-na; (5) Kia-mo lu-po; (6) San-mo-ta-cha; (7) Tan-mo-lae-ti; (8) Kie-lo-na-su-fa-la-na; (9) U-cha; (10) Kong-u-t'o; (11) Kie-ling-kia; (12) Kiau-sa-lo; (13) 'An-ta-lo; (14) To-na-kie-tse-hia; (15) Chu-li-ye; (16) Ta-lo-pi-ch'a; (17) Mo-lo-kin-cha.


THIS country is about 3000 li in circuit. The capital of the country is 20 li or so round, and is bounded on the north by the river Ganges.1159 It is regularly cultivated, and is rich in its produce. Flowers and fruits also are abundant. The climate is agreeable in its temperature. The manners of the people are simple and honest. There are ten saṅghārāmas, with about 4000 priests. Most of them study the Little Vehicle of the Sammatīya (Ching-liang-pu) school. There are some twelve Deva temples, occupied by various sectaries.

Lately the king of a border country deposed the ruler of this country, and holds in his power the capital. He is benevolent to the priests, and has built in the city two saṅghārāmas, each holding something less than 1000 priests. Both of them are attached to the Sarvāstivādin school of the Little Vehicle.

By the side of the capital and bordering on the Ganges river is the Hiraṇya (I-lan-na) mountain, from which is belched forth masses of smoke and vapour which obscure the light of the sun and moon. From old time till now ṛishis and saints have come here in succession to repose their spirits. Now there is a Deva temple here, in which they still follow their rules handed down to them. In old days Tathāgata also dwelt here, and for the sake of the Devas preached at large the excellent law.

To the south of the capital is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata preached for three months. By the side of it are traces of the three Buddhas of the past age, who sat and walked here.

To the west of this last-named spot, at no great distance, is a stūpa. This denotes the spot where the Bhikshu śrutaviṁśatikoṭi1160 (Shi-lu-to-p'in-she-ti-ku-chi) was born. Formerly there was in this town [id (T51.2087.0926b)] a rich householder (gṛhapati), honoured and powerful. Late in life he had an heir born to his estate. Then he gave as a reward to the person who told him the news 200 lakhs of gold pieces. Hence the name given to his son was śūtraviṁśatikoṭi (Wen-urh-pih-yih). From the time of his birth till he grew up his feet never touched the ground. For this reason there grew on the bottom of his feet hairs a foot long, shining and soft, and of a yellow gold colour. He loved this child tenderly, and procured for him objects of the rarest beauty. From his house to the Snowy Mountains he had established a succession of rest-houses from which his servants continually went from one to the other. Whatever valuable medicines were wanted, they communicated the same to each other in order, and so procured them without loss of time, so rich was this family. The world-honoured one, knowing the root of piety in this man was about to develop, ordered Mudgalaputra to go there and to instruct him. Having arrived outside the gate, he had no way to introduce himself (to pass through). Now the householder's family (or simply the householder) worshipped Sūrya-deva. Every morning when the sun rose he turned towards it in adoration. At this time Mudgalaputra, by his spiritual power, caused himself to appear in the disc of the sun and to come down thence and stand in the interior. The householder's son took him to be Sūrya-deva, and so offered him perfumed food (rice) and worshipped him.1161 The scent of the rice, so exquisite was it, reached even to Rājagṛha. At this time Bimbisāra-rāja, astonished at the wonderful perfume, sent messengers to ask from door to door whence it came. At length he found that it came from the Veṇuvana-vihāra, where Mudgalaputra had just arrived from the abode of the (rich) householder. The king finding out that the son of the householder had such miraculous (food), sent for him to come to court. The householder, receiving the order, considered with himself what was the easiest mode of transport; a galley (boat with banks of oars) is liable to accidents from wind and waves; a chariot is liable to accident from the frightened elephants running away. On this he constructed from his own house to Rājagṛha a canal basin, and filled it full of mustard seed.1162 Then placing gently on it a lordly boat furnished with ropes with which to draw it along, he went thus to Rājagṛha.

First going to pay his respects to the Lord of the World, he (i.e., Buddha) addressed him and said, "Bimbasāra-rāja has sent for you, no doubt desiring to see the hair beneath your feet. When the king desires to see it, you must sit cross legged with your feet turned up. If you stretch out your feet towards the king, the laws of the country exact death."1163

The householder's son, having received the instruction of Buddha, went. He was then led into the palace and presented (to the king). The king desiring to see the hair, he sat cross-legged with his feet turned up. The king, approving of his politeness, formed a great liking for him. Having paid his final respects, he then returned to the place where Buddha was.

Tathāgata at that time was preaching the law and teaching by parables. Hearing the discourse and being moved by it, his mind was opened, and he forthwith became a disciple. Then he applied himself with all his power to severe thought, with a view to obtain the fruit (of Arhatship). He walked incessantly up and down,1164 until his feet were blood-stained.

The Lord of the World addressed him, saying, "You, dear youth, when living as a layman, did you know how to play the lute?"1165 He said, "I knew." "Well, then," said Buddha, "I will draw a comparison derived from this. The cords being too tight, then the sounds were not in cadence; when they were too loose, then the sounds had neither harmony nor charm; but when not tight and not slack, then the sounds were harmonious. So in the preparation for a religious life, the case is the same; too severe, then the body is wearied and the mind listless; too remiss, then the feelings are pampered and the will weakened."1166

Having received this instruction from Buddha, [id (T51.2087.0926c)] he moved round him in a respectful way,1167 and by these means he shortly obtained the fruit of Arhatship.

On the western frontier of the country, to the south of the river Ganges, we come to a small solitary mountain, with a double peak rising high.1168 Formerly Buddha in this place rested during the three months of rain, and subdued the Yaksha Vakula (Yo-c'ha Po-khu-lo).1169

Below a corner of the south-east side of the mountain is a great stone. On this are marks caused by Buddha sitting thereon. The marks are about an inch deep, five feet two inches long, and two feet one inch wide. Above them is built a stūpa.

Again to the south is the impression on a stone where Buddha set down his kiun-chi-kia (kuṇḍikā or watervessel). In depth the lines are about an inch, and are like a flower with eight buds (or petals).1170

Not far to the south-east of this spot are the foot-traces of the Yaksha Vakula. They are about one foot five or six inches long, seven or eight inches wide, and in depth less than two inches. Behind these traces of the Yaksha is a stone figure of Buddha in sitting posture, about six or seven feet high.

Next, to the west, not far off, is a place where Buddha walked for exercise.

Above this mountain top is the old residence of the Yaksha.

Next, to the north is a foot-trace of Buddha, a foot and eight inches long, and perhaps six inches wide, and half an inch deep. Above it is a stūpa erected. Formerly when Buddha subdued the Yaksha, he commanded him not to kill men nor eat their flesh. Having respectfully received the law of Buddha, he was bom in heaven.

To the west of this are six or seven hot springs. The water is exceedingly hot.1171

To the south the country is bounded by great mountain forests in which are many wild elephants of great size.

Leaving this kingdom, going down the river Ganges, on its south bank eastwards, after 300 li or so, we come to the country of Chen-po (Champā).


This country (Champā) is about 4000 li in circuit. The capital is backed to the north by the river Ganges, it is about 40 li round. The soil is level and fertile (fat or loamy); it is regularly cultivated and productive; the temperature is mild and warm (moderately hot); the manners of the people simple and honest. There are several tens of saṅghārāmas, mostly in ruins, with about 200 priests. They follow the teaching of the Little Vehicle. There are some twenty Deva temples, which sectaries of every kind frequent. The walls of the capital are built of brick, and are several "tens of feet" high. The foundations of the wall are raised on a lofty embankment, so that by their high escarpment, they can defy (stop) the attack of enemies. In old times at the beginning of the kalpa, when things (men and things) first began, they (i.e. people) inhabited dens and caves of the desert. There was no knowledge of dwelling-houses. After this, a Devī (divine woman) descending in consequence of her previous conduct, was located amongst them. As she sported in the streams of the Ganges, she was affected by a spiritual power, and conceiving, she brought forth four sons, who divided between them the government of Jambudvīpa. Each took possession of a district, founded a capital, built towns, and marked out the limits of the frontiers. This was the capital of the country of one of them, and the first of all the cities of Jambudvīpa.

To the east of the city 140 or 150 li, on the south of the river Ganges, is a solitary detached rock,1173 craggy and steep, and surrounded by water. On the top of the peak is a Deva temple; the divine spirits exhibit many miracles (spiritual indications) here. By piercing the rock, houses have been made; by leading the streams (through each), there is a continual flow of water. [id (T51.2087.0927a)] There are wonderful trees (forming) flowering woods; the large rocks and dangerous precipices are the resort of men of wisdom and virtue; those who go there to see the place are reluctant to return.

In the midst of the desert wilds, that form the southern boundary of the country, are wild elephants and savage beasts that roam in herds.

From this country going eastwards 400 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Kie-chu-hoh-khi-lo (Kajūghira).


This kingdom1174 is about 2000 li or so in circuit. The soil is level and loamy; it is regularly cultivated, and produces abundant crops; the temperature is warm; the people are simple in their habits. They greatly esteem men of high talent, and honour learning and the arts. There are six or seven saṅghārāmas with about 300 priests; and there are some ten Deva temples frequented by sectaries of all sorts. During the last few centuries the royal line has died out, and the country has been ruled by a neighbouring state, so that the towns are desolate, and most of the people are found scattered in villages and hamlets. On this account, śīlāditya-rāja, when roaming through Eastern India, built a palace in this place, in which he arranged the affairs of his different states. It was built of branches and boughs for a temporary residence, and burnt on his departure. On the southern frontiers of the country are many wild elephants.

On the northern frontiers, not far from the Ganges river, is a high and large tower made of bricks and stone. Its foundation, wide and lofty, is ornamented with rare sculptures. On the four faces of the tower are sculptured figures of the saints, Devas, and Buddhas in separate compartments.

Going from this country eastward, and crossing the Ganges, after about 600 li we come to the kingdom of Pun-na-fa-tan-na (Puṇḍravarddhana).



This country is about 4000 li in circuit. Its capital is about 30 li round. It is thickly populated. The tanks and public offices and flowering woods are regularly connected at intervals.1176 The soil is flat and loamy, and rich in all kinds of grain-produce. The Panasa1177 (Pan-na-so) fruit, though plentiful, is highly esteemed. The fruit is as large as a pumpkin.1178 When it is ripe it is of a yellowish-red colour. When divided, it has in the middle many tens of little fruits of the size of a pigeon's egg; breaking these, there comes forth a juice of a yellowish-red colour and of delicious flavour. The fruit sometimes collects on the tree-branches as other clustering fruits, but sometimes at the tree-roots, as in the case of the earth-growing fu ling.1179 The climate (of this country) is temperate; the people esteem learning. There are about twenty saṅghārāmas, with some 3000 priests; they study both the Little and Great Vehicle. There are some hundred Deva temples, where sectaries of different schools congregate. The naked Nirgranthas are the most numerous.

To the west of the capital 20 li or so is the Po-chi-p'o saṅghārāma.1180 Its courts are light and roomy; its towers and pavilions are very lofty. The priests are about 700 in number; they study the law according to the Great Vehicle. Many renowned priests from Eastern India dwell here.

Not far from this is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata, in old days, preached the law for three months for the sake of the Devas. Occasionally, on fast-days, [id (T51.2087.0927b)] there is a bright light visible around it.

By the side of this, again, is a place where the four past Buddhas walked for exercise and sat down. The bequeathed traces are still visible.

Not far from this there is a vihāra in which is a statue of Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva. Nothing is hid from its divine discernment; its spiritual perception is most accurate; men far and near consult (this being) with fasting and prayers.

From this going east 900 li or so, crossing the great river, we come to the country of Kia-mo-lu-po (Kāmarūpa).


The country of Kāmarūpa1181 is about 10,000 li in circuit. The capital town is about 30 li. The land lies low, but is rich, and is regularly cultivated. They cultivate the Panasa fruit and the Na-lo-ki-lo (Nārīkela)1182 fruit. These trees, though numerous, are nevertheless much valued and esteemed. Water led from the river or from banked-up lakes (reservoirs) flows round the towns. The climate is soft and temperate. The manners of the people simple and honest. The men are of small stature, and their complexion a dark yellow. Their language differs a little from that of Mid-India. Their nature is very impetuous and wild; their memories are retentive, and they are earnest in study. They adore and sacrifice to the Devas, and have no faith in Buddha; hence from the time when Buddha appeared in the world even down to the present time there never as yet has been built one saṅghārāma as a place for the priests to assemble. Such disciples as there are are of a pure faith, say their prayers (repeat the name of Buddha) secretly, and that is all. There are as many as 100 Deva temples, and different sectaries to the number of several myriads. The present king belongs to the old line (tso yan) of Nārāyaṇa-deva. He is of the Brāhmaṇ caste. His name is Bhāśkaravarman,1183 his title Kumāra (Keu-mo-lo). From the time that this family seized the land and assumed the government till the present king, there have elapsed a thousand successions (generations). The king is fond of learning, and the people are so likewise in imitation of him. Men of high talent from distant regions aspiring after office (?) visit his dominions as strangers. Though he has no faith in Buddha, yet he much respects śramaṇas of learning. When he first heard that a śramaṇa from China1184 had come to Magadha to the Nālanda saṅghārāma from such a distance, to study with diligence the profound law of Buddha, he sent a message of invitation by those who reported it as often as three times, but yet the śramaṇa (i.e., Hiuen Tsiang) had not obeyed it. Then śīlabhadra (Shi-io-po-t'o-lo), master of śāstras, said, "You desire to show your gratitude to Buddha; then you should propagate the true law; this is your duty. You need not fear the long journey. Kumāra-rāja's family respect the teaching of the heretics, and now he invites a śramaṇa to visit him. This is good indeed! We judge from this that he is changing his principles, and desires to acquire merit (or, from merit acquired) to benefit others. You formerly conceived a great heart, and made a vow with yourself to travel alone through different lands regardless of life, to seek for the law for the good of the world.1185 Forgetful of your own country, you should be ready to meet death; indifferent to renown or failure, you should labour to open the door for the spread of the holy doctrine, to lead onwards the crowds who are deceived by false teaching, to consider others first, yourself afterwards; forgetful of renown, to think only of religion (enlarge the law)."

On this, with no further excuses, he hastened in company with the messengers to present himself to the king. Kumāra-rāja said, "Although I am without talents myself, I have always been fond of men of conspicuous learning. Hearing, then, of your fame and distinction, I ventured to ask you here to visit me."

He replied, "I have only moderate wisdom, [id (T51.2087.0927c)] and I am confused to think that you should have heard of my poor reputation."

Kumāra-rāja said, "Well, indeed! from regard for the law and love of learning to regard oneself as of no account, and to travel abroad regardless of so great dangers, to wander through strange countries! This is the result of the transforming power of the king's government, and the exceeding learning, as is reported, of the country. Now, through the kingdoms of India there are many persons who sing about the victories of the Tsin king of the Mahāchina country. I have long heard of this. And is it true that this is your honourable birthplace?"

He said, "It is so. These songs celebrate the virtues of my sovereign."

He replied, "I could not think that your worthy self was of this country. I have ever had an esteem for its manners and laws. Long have I looked towards the east, but the intervening mountains and rivers have prevented me from personally visiting it."

In answer I said, "My great sovereign's holy qualities are far renowned, and the transforming power of his virtue reaches to remote districts. People from strange countries pay respect at the door of his palace, and call themselves his servants."

Kumāra-rāja said, "If his dominion is so great (covering thus his subjects), my heart strongly desires to bear my tribute to his court. But now śīlāditya-rāja is in the country of Kajūghira (Kie-chu-hoh-khi-lo), about to distribute large alms and to plant deeply the root of merit and wisdom. The śramans and Brāhmaṇs of the five Indies, renowned for their learning, must needs come together. He has now sent for me. I pray you go with me!"

On this they went together.

On the east this country is bounded by a line of hills, so that there is no great city (capital) to the kingdom. Their frontiers, therefore, are contiguous to the barbarians of the south-west (of China). These tribes are, in fact, akin to those of the Man1186 people in their customs. On inquiry I ascertained that after a two months' journey we reach the south-western frontiers of the province of Sz'chuen (Shuh). But the mountains and rivers present obstacles, and the pestilential air, the poisonous vapours, the fatal snakes, the destructive vegetation, all these causes of death prevail.

On the south-east of this country herds of wild elephants roam about in numbers; therefore, in this district they use them principally in war.

Going from this 1200 or 1300 li to the south, we come to the country of San-mo-ta-cha (Samataṭa).


This country1187 is about 3000 li in circuit and borders on the great sea. The land lies low and is rich. The capital is about 20 li round. It is regularly cultivated, and is rich in crops, and the flowers and fruits grow everywhere. The climate is soft and the habits of the people agreeable. The men are hardy by nature, small of stature, and of black complexion; they are fond of learning, and exercise themselves diligently in the acquirement of it. There are professors (believers) both of false and true doctrines. There are thirty or so saṅghārāmas with about 2000 priests. They are all of the Sthavira (Shang-tso-pu) school. There are some hundred Deva temples, in which sectaries of all kinds live. The naked ascetics called Nirgranthas (Ni-kien) are most numerous.

Not far out of the city is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. In this place Tathāgata in former days preached the deep and mysterious law for seven days for the good of the Devas. By the side of it are traces where the four Buddhas sat and walked for exercise.

Not far from this, in a saṅghārāma, is a figure of Buddha of green jade. It is eight feet high, with the marks on its person perfectly shown, and with a spiritual power which is exercised from time to time.

Going north-east from this [id (T51.2087.0928a)] to the borders of the ocean, we come to the kingdom of śrīkshetra (Shi-li-ch'a-ta-lo ).1188

Farther on to the south-east, on the borders of the ocean, we come to the country of Kāmalaṅkā (Kia-mo-lang-kia);1189 still to the east is the kingdom of Dvārapati (To-lo-po-ti);1190 still to the east is the country of Īśānapura (I-shang-na-pu-lo); still to the east is the country of Mahāchampā (Mo-ho-chen-po), which is the same as Lin-i. Next to the south-west is the country called Yamanadvīpa1191 (Yavanadvīpa -- Yen-nio-na-cheu). These six countries are so hemmed in by mountains and rivers that they are inaccessible;1192 but their limits and the character of the people and country could be learned by inquiry.

From Samataṭa going west 900 li or so, we reach the country of Tan-mo-li-ti (Tāmralipti).



This country is 1400 or 1500 li in circuit, the capital about 10 li. It borders on the sea. The ground is low and rich; it is regularly cultivated, and produces flowers and fruits in abundance. The temperature is hot. The manners of the people are quick and hasty. The men are hardy and brave. There are both heretics and believers. There are about ten saṅghārāmas, with about 1000 priests. The Deva temples are fifty in number, in which various sectaries dwell mixed together. The coast of this country is formed by (or in) a recess of the sea; the water and the land embracing each other.1194 Wonderful articles of value and gems are collected here in abundance, and therefore the people of the country are in general very rich.

By the side of the city is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja; by the side of it are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked.

Going from this north-west 700 li or so, we come to the country Kie-lo-na-su-fa-la-na (Karṇasuvarṇa).



This kingdom is about 1400 or 1500 li in circuit; the capital is about 20 li. It is thickly populated. The householders are very (rich and in ease). The land lies low and is loamy. It is regularly cultivated, and produces an abundance of flowers, with valuables numerous and various. The climate is agreeable; the manners of the people honest and amiable. They love learning exceedingly, and apply themselves to it with earnestness. There are believers and heretics alike amongst them. There are ten saṅghārāmas or so, with about 2000 priests. They study the Little Vehicle of the Sammatīya (Ching-tiang-pu) school. There are fifty Deva temples. The heretics are very numerous. Besides these there are three saṅghārāmas in which they do not use thickened milk (ü lok), following the directions of Devadatta (Ti-p'o-ta-to).1196

By the side of the capital is the saṅghārāma called Lo-to-wei-chi (Raktaviṭi),1197 the halls of which are light and spacious, the storeyed towers very lofty. In this establishment congregate all the most distinguished, learned, and celebrated men of the kingdom. They strive to promote each other's advancement by exhortations, and to perfect their character.1198 At first the people of this country did not believe in Buddha; at this time1199 there was a heretic of Southern India who wore over his belly copper-plates and on his head a lighted torch. With lofty steps, staff in hand, he came to this country. Sounding aloud the drum of discussion, he sought an adversary in controversy. Then a man said to him, "Why are your head and your body so strangely (arrayed)?" He said, "My wisdom is so great, [id (T51.2087.0928b)] I fear my belly will burst, and because I am moved with pity for the ignorant multitude who live in darkness, therefore I carry this light on my head."

After ten days, no one was found to question him. Among all the learned and professed scholars there was not a single person to discuss with him. The king said, "Alas! what ignorance1200 prevails in my territories, that no one should be able to challenge the difficult propositions1201 of this stranger. What a disgrace to the country! We must scheme and seek through the most obscure retreats."

Then one said to him, "In the forest there is a strange man who names himself a śramaṇa, he is most diligent in study. He is now living apart in silence and obscurity, and so he has lived for a long time; who so well able by his united virtue to controvert this irreligious man as he?" 1202

The king hearing this, went himself to invite him to come. The śramaṇa replying, said, "I am a man of South India; I stop here on my travels merely as a stranger. My abilities are small and commonplace; I fear lest you should not know it, but yet I will come according to your wish, though I am by no means certain as to the character of the discussion. If, however, I am not defeated, I will ask you to erect a saṅghārāma, and summon the fraternity to glorify and extol the law of Buddha." The king said, "I accept your terms, nor could I dare to forget your virtue."1203

Then the śramaṇa, having accepted the king's invitation, proceeded to the arena of controversy. Then the heretic went through (chanted) some 30,000 words of his school. His arguments were profound, his illustrations (figures or writing) ample; his whole discourse, both as to names and qualities, was captivating to sight and hearing.

The śramaṇa, after listening, at once fathomed his meaning; no word or argument deceived him. With a few hundred words he discriminated and explained every difficulty, and then he asked (the heretic) as to the teaching (the principles) of his school. The words of the heretic were confused and his arguments devoid of force, and so his lips were closed and he could not reply. Thus he lost his reputation, and, covered with confusion, retired.

The king, deeply reverencing the priest, founded this convent; and from that time and afterwards the teaching of the law widely extended (through the kingdom).1204

By the side of the saṅghārāma, and not far off, is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. When Tathāgata was alive in the world he preached here for seven days, explaining (the law) and guiding (men). By the side of it is a vihāra; here there are traces where the four past Buddhas sat down and walked. There are several other stūpas in places where Buddha explained the excellent law.1205 These were built by Aśoka-rāja.

Going from this 700 li or so in a south-westerly direction, we come to the country of U-cha.


This country1206 is 7000 li or so in circuit, the capital city1207 is about 20 li round. The soil is rich and fertile, and it produces abundance of grain, and every kind of fruit is grown more than in other countries. It would be difficult to name the strange shrubs and the famed flowers that grow here. The climate is hot; the people are uncivilised, tall of stature, and of a yellowish black complexion. Their words and language (pronunciation) differ from Central India. They love learning and apply themselves to it without intermission. Most of them believe in the law of Buddha. There are some hundred saṅghārāmas, with 10,000 priests. They all study the Great Vehicle. There are fifty Deva temples in which sectaries of all sorts make their abodes. The stūpas, to the number of ten or so, point out spots where Buddha preached. They were all founded by Aśoka-rāja.

In a great mountain on the south-west frontiers1208 of the country is a saṅghārāma called Pushpagiri (Pu-se-po-k'i-li); the stone stūpa belonging to it exhibits very many spiritual wonders (miracles). On fast-days it emits a bright light. For this cause believers from far and near flock together here and present as offerings beautifully embroidered (flower) canopies (umbrellas); they place these underneath the vase1209 at the top of the cupola,1210 and let them stand there fixed as needles in the stone. To the north-west of this, in a convent on the mountain, is a stūpa where the same wonders occur as in the former case. These two stūpas were built by the demons,1211 and hence are derived the extraordinary miracles. [id (T51.2087.0928c)]

On the south-east frontiers of the country, on the borders of the ocean, is the town Charitra (Che-li-ta-lo),1212 about 20 li round. Here it is merchants depart for distant countries, and strangers come and go and stop here on their way. The walls of the city are strong and lofty. Here are found all sorts of rare and precious articles.

Outside the city there are five convents1213 one after the other; their storeyed towers are very high, and carved with figures of saints exquisitely done.

Going south 20,000 li or so is the country of Siṁhala (Seng-kia-lo). In the still night, looking far off, we see the surmounting precious stone of the tooth-stūpa of Buddha brilliantly shining and scintillating as a bright torch burning in the air.

From this going south-west about 1200 li through great forests, we come to the kingdom of Kong-u-t'o (Konyodha).


This kingdom1214 is about 1000 li in circuit; the capital is 20 li round. It borders on a bay (angle of the sea). The ranges of mountains are high and precipitous. The ground is low and moist. It is regularly cultivated and productive. The temperature is hot, the disposition of the people brave and impulsive. The men are tall of stature and black complexioned and dirty. They have some degree of politeness and are tolerably honest. With respect to their written characters, they are the same as those of Mid-India, but their language and mode of pronunciation are quite different. They greatly respect the teaching of heretics and do not believe in the law of Buddha. There are some hundred Deva temples, and there are perhaps 10,000 unbelievers of different sects.

Within the limits of this country there are several tens of small towns which border on the mountains and are built contiguous to the sea.1215 The cities themselves are strong and high; the soldiers are brave and daring; they rule by force the neighbouring provinces, so that no one can resist them. This country, bordering on the sea, abounds in many rare and valuable articles. They use cowrie shells and pearls in commercial transactions. The great greenish-blue1216 elephant comes from this country. They harness it to their conveyances and make very long journeys.

From this going south-west, we enter a vast desert, jungle, and forests, the trees of which mount to heaven and hide the sun. Going 1400 or 1500 li, we come to the country of Kie-ling-kia (Kaliṅga).


This country1217 is 5000 li or so in circuit; its capital is 20 li or so round. It is regularly cultivated and is productive. Flowers and fruits are very abundant. The forests and jungle are continuous for many hundred li. It produces the great tawny1218 wild elephant, which are much prized by neighbouring provinces, The climate is burning; the disposition of the people vehement and impetuous. [id (T51.2087.0929a)] Though the men are mostly rough and uncivilised, they still keep their word and are trustworthy. The language is light and tripping,1219 and their pronunciation distinct and correct. But in both particulars, that is, as to words and sounds, they are very different from Mid-India. There are a few who believe in the true law, but most of them are attached to heresy. There are ten saṅghārāmas, with about 500 priests, who study the Great Vehicle according to the teaching of the Sthavira school. There are some 100 Deva temples with very many unbelievers of different sorts, the most numerous being the Nirgranthas1220 (Ni-kin followers).

In old days the kingdom of Kaliṅga had a very dense population. Their shoulders rubbed one with the other, and the axles of their chariot wheels grided together, and when they raised their arm-sleeves a perfect tent was formed.1221 There was a Rishi possessed of the five supernatural powers,1222 who lived (perched) on a high precipice,1223 cherishing his pure (thoughts). Being put to shame (insulted) because he had gradually lost his magic powers, he cursed the people with a wicked imprecation, and caused all dwelling in the country, both young and old, to perish; wise and ignorant alike died, and the population disappeared. After many ages the country was gradually repeopled by emigrants, but yet it is not properly inhabited. This is why at the present time there are so few who dwell here.

Not far from the south of the capital there is a stūpa about a hundred feet high; this was built by Aśoka-rāja. By the side of it there are traces where the four past Buddhas sat down and walked.

Near the northern frontier of this country is a great mountain precipice,1224 on the top of which is a stone stūpa about a hundred feet high. Here, at the beginning of the kalpa, when the years of men's lives were boundless, a Pratyeka1225 Buddha reached Nirvāṇa.

From this going north-west through forests and mountains about 1800 li, we come to the country of Kiao-sa-lo (Kosala).


This country1226 is about 5000 li in circuit; the frontiers consist of encircling mountain crags; forests and jungle are found together in succession. The capital1227 is about 40 li round; the soil is rich and fertile, and yields abundant crops. The towns and villages are close together. The population is very dense. The men are tall and black complexioned. The disposition of the people is hard and violent; they are brave and impetuous. There are both heretics and believers here. They are earnest in study and of a high intelligence. The king is of the Kshattriya race; he greatly honours the law of Buddha, and his virtue and love are far renowned. There are about one hundred saṅghārāmas, and somewhat less than 10,000 priests; they all alike study the teaching of the Great Vehicle. There are about seventy Deva temples, frequented by heretics of different persuasions.

Not far to the south of the city is an old saṅghārāma, by the side of which is a stūpa that was built by Aśoka-rāja. In this place Tathāgata, of old, calling an assembly, exhibited his supernatural power and subdued the unbelievers. Afterwards Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva (Long-meng-p'u-sa) dwelt in the saṅghārāma. The king of the country was then called Sadvaha.1228 He greatly prized and esteemed Nāgārjuna, and provided him with a city-gate hut.1229

At this time Ti-p'o (Deva) Bodhisattva coming from the country of Chi-sse-tseu (Ceylon), sought to hold a discussion with him. Addressing the gate-keeper he said, "Be good enough to announce me." Accordingly the gate-keeper entered and told Nāgārjuna. [id (T51.2087.0929b)] He, recognising his reputation, filled up a pātra with water and commanded his disciple to hold the water before this Deva. Deva, seeing the water, was silent, and dropped a needle into it. The disciple held the pātra, and with some anxiety and doubt returned to Nāgārjuna. "What did he say," he asked. The disciple replied, "He was silent and said nothing; he only dropped a needle into the water."

Nāgārjuna said, "What wisdom! Who like this man! To know the springs of action (motives), this is the privilege of a god! to penetrate subtle principles is the privilege of an inferior saint.1230 Such full wisdom as this entitles him to be allowed to enter forthwith." He (the disciple) replied, "What a saying is this! is this then the sublime eloquence (skill) of silence?"

"This water," he (Nāgārjuna) went on to say, "is shaped according to the form of the vessel that holds it; it is pure or dirty according to the character of things (in it); it fills up every interstice; in point of clearness and comprehensiveness1231 he, on beholding the water, compared it to the wisdom which I have acquired by study. Dropping into it a needle, he pierced it, as it were, to the bottom. Show this extraordinary man in here at once, and let him be presented."

Now the manner and appearance of Nāgārjuna were imposing, and inspired all with respect. In discussion all were awed by it, and submitted (bowed the head). Deva being aware of his excellent characteristics, had long desired to consult him, and he wished to become his disciple. But now as he approached he felt troubled in mind, and he was abashed and timid. Mounting the hall, he sat down awkwardly and talked darkly; but at the end of the day his words were clear and lofty. Nāgārjuna said, "Your learning exceeds that of the world and your fine distinctions shine brighter than the former (teachers). I am but an old and infirm man; but having met with one so learned and distinguished, surely it is for the purpose of spreading the truth and for transmitting without interruption the torch of the law, and propagating the teaching of religion. Truly this is one who may sit on the upper seat to expound dark sayings and discourse with precision."

Deva hearing these words, his heart conceived a degree of self-confidence, and being about to open the storehouse of wisdom, he first began to roam through the garden of dialectic and handle fine sentences; then having looked up for some indication of approval (confirmation of his argument), he encountered the imposing look of the master; his words escaped him; his mouth was closed; and leaving his seat, he made some excuse, and asked to be instructed.

Nāgārjuna said, "Sit down again; I will communicate to you the truest and most profound principles which the king of the law himself verily handed down (taught for transmission)." Deva then prostrated himself on the ground, and adored with all his heart, and said, "Both now and for ever I will dare to listen to your instructions."

Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva was well practised in the art of compounding medicines; by taking a preparation (pill or cake), he nourished the years of life for many hundreds of years,1232 so that neither the mind nor appearance decayed. Sadvaha-rāja had partaken of this mysterious medicine, and his years were already several hundred in number. The king had a young son who one day addressed his mother thus, "When shall I succeed to the royal estate?" His mother said, "There seems to me to be no chance of that yet; your father the king is now several hundred years old, his sons and grandsons are many of them dead and gone through old age. This is the result of the religious power of Nāgārjuna, and the intimate knowledge he has of compounding medicines. The day the Bodhisattva dies the king will also succumb. Now the wisdom of this Nāgārjuna is great and extensive, and his love and compassion very deep; he would give up for the benefit of living creatures his body and life. You ought, therefore, to go, and when you meet him, ask him to give you his head. If you do this, then you will get your desire."

The king's son, obedient to his mother's instructions, went to the gate of the convent. The doorkeeper, [id (T51.2087.0929c)] alarmed, ran away,1233 and so he entered at once. Then Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva was chanting as he walked up and down. Seeing the king's son he stopped, and said, "It is evening time now; why do you at such a time come so hastily to the priests' quarters? has some accident happened, or are .you afraid of some calamity that you have hastened here at such a time?"

He answered, "I was considering with my dear mother the words of different śāstras, and the examples (therein given) of sages who had forsaken (given up) the world, and I was led to remark on the great value set on life by all creatures, and that the scriptures, in their examples given of sacrifice, had not enforced this duty of giving up life readily for the sake of those who desired it. Then my dear mother said, 'Not so; the Sugatas (shen shi) of the ten regions, the Tathāgatas of the three ages, whilst living in the world and giving their hearts to the object, have obtained the fruit. They diligently sought the way of Buddha; practising the precepts, exercising patience, they gave up their bodies to feed wild beasts, cut their flesh to deliver the dove. Thus Rāja Chandraprabha1234 (Yueh-kwang) gave up his head to the Brāhmaṇ; Maitribāla (Ts'e li) rāja fed the hungry Yaksha with his blood. To recite every similar example would be difficult, but in searching through the history of previous sages, what age is there that affords not examples? And so Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva is now actuated by similar high principles; as for myself, I have sought a man who for my advantage would give me his head, but have never yet found such a person for years. If I had wished to act with violence and take the life of a man (commit murder), the crime would have been great and entailed dreadful consequences. To have taken the life of an innocent child would have been infamous and disgraced my character. But the Bodhisattva diligently practises the holy way and aspires after a while to the fruit of Buddha. His love extends to all beings and his goodness knows no bounds. He esteems life as a bubble, his body as decaying wood. He would not contradict his purpose in refusing such a gift, if requested."

Nāgārjuna said, "Your comparisons and your words are true. I seek the holy fruit of a Buddha. I have learnt that a Buddha is able to give up all things, regarding the body as an echo, a bubble, passing through the four forms of life,1235 continually coming and going in the six ways.1236 My constant vow has been not to oppose the desires of living things. But there is one difficulty in the way of the king's son, and what is that? If I were to give up my life your father also would die. Think well of this, for who could then deliver him?"

Nāgārjuna, irresolute, walked to and fro, seeking for something to end his life with; then taking a dry reed leaf, he cut his neck as if with a sword, and his head fell from his body.

Having seen this, he (the royal prince) fled precipitately and returned. The guardian of the gate informed the king of the event from first to last, who whilst listening was so affected that he died.

To the south-west about 300 li we came to the Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li (Brahmaragiri) mountain.1237 The solitary peak of this mountain towers above the rest, and stands out with its mighty precipices as a solid mass of rock without approaches or intervening valleys. The king, Sadvaha, for the sake of Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva, tunnelled out this rock through the middle, and built and fixed therein (in the middle) a saṅghārāma; at a distance of some 10 li, by tunnelling, he opened a covered way (an approach). Thus by standing under the rock (not knowing the way in) we see the cliff excavated throughout, and in the midst of long galleries (corridors) with eaves for walking under and high towers (turrets), the storeyed building reaching to the height of five stages, each stage with four halls with vihāras enclosed (united).1238 In each vihāra was a statue of Buddha cast in gold, of the size of life, wrought (cast) with consummate art and singularly adorned and specially ornamented with gold and precious stones. From the high peak of the mountain [id (T51.2087.0930a)] descending streamlets, like small cascades, flow through the different storeys, winding round the side galleries, and then discharging themselves without. Scattered light-holes illumine the interior (inner chambers).1239 ,

When first Sadvaha-rāja excavated this saṅghārāma, the men (engaged in it) were exhausted and the king's treasures emptied. His undertaking being only half accomplished, his heart was heavily oppressed. Nāgārjuna addressing him said, "For what reason is the king so sad of countenance?" The king replied, "I had formed in the course of reflection a great purpose.1240 I ventured to undertake a meritorious work of exceeding excellence which might endure firm till the coming of Maitreya, but now before "it is completed my means are exhausted. So I sit disconsolate day by day awaiting the dawn, cast down at heart."

Nāgārjuna said, "Afflict not yourself thus; the returns consequent on the high aims of a lofty religious purposeare not to be foiled: your great resolve shall without fail be accomplished. Return then to your palace; you shall have abundance of joy. Tomorrow, after you have gone forth to roam through and observe the wild country round (the mountain wilds), then return to me and quietly discuss about the buildings." The king having received these instructions left him after proper salutation (turning to the right).

Then Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva, by moistening all the great stones with a divine and superior decoction (medicine or mixture), changed them into gold. The king going forth and seeing the gold, his heart and his mouth mutually congratulated each other.1241 Returning, he went to Nāgārjuna and said, "Today as I roamed abroad, by the influence of the divine spirits (genii) in the desert, I beheld piles of gold." Nāgārjuna said, "It was not by the influence of the genii, but by the power of your great sincerity; as you have this gold, use it therefore for your present necessities, and fulfill your excellent work." So the king acted and finished his undertaking, and still he had a surplus. On this he placed in each of the five stages four great golden figures. The surplus still remaining he devoted to replenish the necessitous (deficient) branches of the exchequer.

Then he summoned 1000 priests to dwell (in the building he had constructed), and there to worship and pray. Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva placed in it all the authoritative works of instruction spoken by śākya Buddha, and all the explanatory compilations (commentaries) of the Bodhisattvas, and the exceptional collection of the miscellaneous school.1242 Therefore in the first (uppermost) storey they placed only the figure of Buddha, and the sūtras and śāstras; in the fifth stage from the top (i.e., in the lowest), they placed the Brāhmaṇs (pure men) to dwell, with all necessary things provided for them; in the three middle storeys they placed the priests and their disciples. The old records state that when Sadvaha-rāja had finished, he calculated that the salt consumed by the workmen cost nine koṭis of gold pieces. Afterwards the priests having got angry and quarrelled, they went to the king to get the question settled. Then the Brāhmaṇs said amongst themselves, "The Buddhist priests have raised a quarrel on some question of words." Then these wicked men consulting together, waiting for the occasion, destroyed the saṅghārāma, and afterwards strongly barricaded the place in order to keep the priests out.

From that time no priests of Buddha have lived there. Looking at the mountain caves (or heights) from a distance, it is impossible to find the way into them (the caves). In these times, when they (the Brāhmaṇs) introduce a physician into their abodes to treat any sickness, they put a veil over his face on going in and coming out, so that he may not know the way.

From this, going through a great forest south, after 900 li or so, we come to the country of 'An-ta-lo (Andhra).


This country is about 3000 li in circuit; the capital is about 20 li round. [id (T51.2087.0930b)] It is called P'ing-k'i-lo (Vingila?)1243 The soil is rich and fertile; it is regularly cultivated, and produces abundance of cereals. The temperature is hot, and the manners of the people fierce and impulsive. The language and arrangement of sentences differ from Mid-India, but with reference to the shapes of the letters, they are nearly the same. There are twenty saṅghārāmas with about 3000 priests. There are also thirty Deva temples with many heretics.

Not far from Viṅgila (?) is a great saṅghārāma with storeyed towers and balconies beautifully carved and ornamented. There is here a figure of Buddha, the sacred features of which have been portrayed with the utmost power of the artist. Before this convent is a stone stūpa which is several hundred feet high; both the one and the other were built by the Arhat 'O-che-lo (Achala).1244

To the south-west of the saṅghārāma of the Arhat 'O-che-lo not a great way is a stūpa which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata in old days preached the law, and exhibited his great spiritual powers, and converted numberless persons.

Going 20 li or so to the south-west of the saṅghārāma built by Achala (So-hing), we reach a solitary mountain on the top of which is a stone stūpa. Here Jina1245 Bodhisattva composed the In-ming-lun (Nyāyadvāra-tāraka śāstra or Hetuvidyā śāstra?).1246 This Bodhisattva, after Buddha had left the world, received the doctrine and assumed the vestments (of a disciple). His wisdom and his desires (prayers or vows) were vast. The power of his great wisdom was deep and solid. Pitying the world, which was without any support (reliance), he designed to spread the sacred doctrine. Having weighed1247 the character of the Hetuvidyā śāstra, its words so deep, its reasonings so wide, and (having considered) that students vainly endeavoured to overcome its difficulties in their course of study, he retired into the lonely mountains and gave himself to meditation to investigate it so as to compose a useful compendium, that might overcome the difficulties (obscurities) of the work, its abstruse doctrines and complicated sentences. At this time the mountains and valleys shook and reverberated; the vapour and clouds changed their appearance, and the spirit of the mountain, carrying the Bodhisattva to a height of several hundred feet, then repeated (chanted) these words, "In former days the Lord of the World virtuously controlled and led the people; prompted by his compassionate heart, he delivered the Hetuvidyā śāstra,1248 and arranged in due order its exact reasonings and its extremely deep and refined words. But after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata its great principles became obscured; but now Jina Bodhisattva, whose merit and wisdom are so extensive, understanding to the bottom the sacred well, will cause the Hetuvidyā śāstra to spread abroad its power (to add its weight) during the present day."

Then the Bodhisattva caused a bright light to shine and illumine the dark places (of the world), on which the king of the country conceived a deep reverence as he saw the sign of this brilliancy, and being in doubt whether he (i.e., Bodhisattva) had not entered the Vajrasamādhi (or, diamond Samādhi); then he asked the Bodhisattva to obtain the fruit of "no further birth."1249

Jina said, "I have entered Samādhi from a desire to explain a profound sūtra; my heart awaits perfect enlightenment (samyak sambodhi), but has no desire for this fruit that admits of no rebirth."

The king said, "The fruit of 'no-birth' is the aim of all the saints. To cut yourself off from the three worlds, and to plunge into the knowledge of the 'three vidyās,' how grand such an aim!1250 May you soon attain it!"

Then Jina Bodhisattva, pleased at the request of the king, conceived the desire to reach the holy fruit which "exempts from learning."1251

At this time Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva (Miu-ki-ts'iang-p'u-sa), knowing [id (T51.2087.0930c)] his purpose, was moved with pity. Wishing to arouse him to the truth and to awaken him in a moment, he came and said, "Alas! how have you given up your great purpose, and only fixed your mind on your own personal profit, with narrow aims, giving up the purpose of saving all! If you would really do good, you ought to transmit and explain the rules of the Yu-kia-sse-ti-lun (Yogachārya-bhūmi śāstra) of Maitreya Bodhisattva. By that you may lead and direct students, and cause them to receive great advantage."

Jina Bodhisattva receiving these directions, respectfully assented and saluted the saint. Then having given himself to profound study, he developed the teaching of the Hetuvidyā śāstra; but still fearing that the students thereof would dread its subtle reasonings and its precise style, he composed the Hetuvidyā śāstra,1252 exemplifying the great principles and explaining the subtle language, in order to guide the learners. After that he explained fully the Yoga discipline.

From this going through the desert forest south1253 1000 li or so, we come to To-na-kie-tse-kia (Dhanakataka).1254


This country is about 6000 li in circuit, and the capital1255 some 40 li round. The soil is rich and fertile, and is regularly cultivated, affording abundant harvests. There is much desert country, and the towns are thinly populated. The climate is hot. The complexion of the people is a yellowish black, and they are by nature fierce and impulsive. They greatly esteem learning. The convents (saṅghārāmas) are numerous, but are mostly deserted and ruined; of those preserved there are about twenty, with 1000 or so priests. They all study the law of the Great Vehicle. There are 100 Deva temples, and the people who frequent them are numerous and of different beliefs.

To the east of the capital (the city) bordering on (leaning against)1256 a mountain is a convent called the Pūrvaśilā (Fo-p'o-shi-lo-seng).1257 To the west of the city leaning against (maintained by) a mountain is a convent called Avaraśilā.1258 These were (or, this was) built by a former king to do honour to (for the sake of) Buddha. He hollowed the valley, made a road, opened the mountain crags, constructed pavilions and long (or, lateral) galleries; wide chambers supported the heights and connected the caverns.1259 The divine spirits respectfully defended (this place); both saints and sages wandered here and reposed. During the thousand years following the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, every year there were a thousand laymen1260 and priests who dwelt here together during the rainy season. When the time was expired, all who had1261 reached the condition of Arhats mounted into the air and fled away. After the thousand years the lay men and saints dwelt together; but for the last hundred years there have been no priests (dwelling here) in consequence of the spirit of the mountain changing his shape, and appearing sometimes as a wolf, sometimes as a monkey, and frightening the disciples; for this reason the place has become deserted and wild, with no priests to dwell there.

To the south1262 of the city a little way is a great mountain cavern. It is here the master of śāstras P'o-pi-feï-kia (Bhāvaviveka)1263 remains in the palace of the Asuras ('O-ssu-lo), awaiting the arrival of Maitreya Bodhisattva as perfect Buddha.1264 This master of śāstras was widely renowned for his elegant scholarship and for the depth of his vast attainments (virtue). Externally he was a disciple of Kapila1265 (Sāṅkhya), but inwardly he was fully possessed of the learning of Nāgārjuna. Having heard that Dharmapāla (Hu-fa-p'u-sa) of Magadha was spreading abroad the teaching of the law, and was making many thousand disciples, [id (T51.2087.0931a)] he desired to discuss with him. He took his religious staff in hand and went. Coming to Pāṭaliputra (Po-ch'a-li) he ascertained that Dharmapāla Bodhisattva was dwelling at the Bodhi tree. Then the master of śāstras ordered his disciples thus: "Go you to the place where Dharmapāla resides near the Bodhi tree, and say to him in my name, 'Bodhisattva (i.e., Dharmapāla) publishes abroad the doctrine (of Buddha) bequeathed to the world: he leads and directs the ignorant. His followers look up to him with respect and humility, and so it has been for many days; nevertheless his vow and past determination have borne no fruit! Vain is it to worship and visit the Bodhi tree. Swear to accomplish your object, and then you will be in the end guide of gods and men.'"1266

Dharmapāla Bodhisattva answered the messenger thus: "The lives of men (or, generations of men) are like a phantom; the body is as a bubble. The whole day I exert myself; I have no time for controversy; you may therefore depart -- there can be no meeting."

The master of śāstras having returned to his own country, led a pure (quiet) life and reflected thus: "In the absence of1267 Maitreya as a Buddha, who is there that can satisfy my doubts?" Then in front of the figure of the Bodhisattva Kwan-tsz'-tsai,1268 he recited in order the Sin-to'-lo-ni (Hṛdaya-dhāraṇi),1269 abstaining from food and drink. After three years Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva appeared to him with a very beautiful1270 body, and addressed the master of śāstras thus: "What is your purpose (will)?" He said, "May I keep my body till Maitreya comes." Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva said, "Man's life is subject to many accidents, The world is as a bubble or a phantom. You should aim at the highest resolve to be born in the Tushita heaven, and there, even now,1271 to see him face to face and worship."

The master of śāstras said, "My purpose is fixed; my mind cannot be changed,"1272 Bodhisattva said, "If it is so, you must go to the country of Dhanakaṭaka, to the south of the city, where in a mountain cavern a diamond-holding (Vajrapāṇi) spirit dwells, and, there with the utmost sincerity reciting the Chi-king-kang-t'o-lo-ni (Vajrapāṇidhāraṇī), you ought to obtain your wish."

On this the master of śāstras went and recited (the dhāraṇi). After three years the spirit said to him, "What is your desire, exhibiting such earnest diligence?" The master of śāstras said, "I desire that my body may endure till Maitreya comes, and Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva directed me to come here to request the fulfillment (of my desire). Does this rest with you, divine being? "

The spirit then revealed to him a formula and said, "There is an Asura's palace in this mountain; if you ask according to the rule given you, the walls will open, and then you may enter and wait there till you see (Maitreya)," "But," said the master of śāstras, "dwelling in the dark, how shall I be able to see or know when the Buddha appears?" Vajrapāṇi said, "When Maitreya comes into the world, I will then advertise you of it." The master of śāstras having received his instructions, applied himself with earnestness to repeat the sentences, and for three years, without any change of mind, he repeated the words to a nicety (mustard-seed).1273 Then knocking at the rock-cavern, it opened out its deep and vast recesses. Then an innumerable multitude appeared before him looking about them, but forgetful of the way to return. The master of śāstras passed through the door, and addressing the multitude said, "Long have I prayed and worshipped with a view to obtain an opportunity to see Maitreya. Now, thanks to the aid of a spiritual being, my vow is accomplished. Let us therefore enter here, and together await the revelation of this Buddha."

Those who heard this were stupified, and dared not pass the threshold. They said, "This is a den of serpents; [id (T51.2087.0931b)] we shall all be killed." Thrice he addressed them, and then only six persons were content to enter with him. The master of śāstras turning himself and advancing, then all the multitude followed him with their gaze as he entered. After doing so the stone walls closed behind them, and then those left without chided themselves for neglecting his words addressed to them.

From this going south-west 1000 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Chu-li-ye (Chulya).


The country of Chulya (Chola) is about 2400 or 2500 li in circuit; the capital is about 10 li round. It is deserted and wild, a succession of marshes and jungle. The population is very small, and troops of brigands go through the country openly. The climate is hot; the manners of the people dissolute and cruel. The disposition of the men is naturally fierce; they are attached to heretical teaching. The saṅghārārama are ruined and dirty as well as the priests. There are some tens of Deva temples, and many Nirgrantha heretics.

At a little distance south-east of the city is a stūpa built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata in old time dwelt, and exhibited his spiritual power, and preached the sublime law, and defeated the heretics, delivering both men and Devas.

Not far to the west of the city there is an old saṅghārāma. This was the place where Ti-p'o (Deva) Bodhisattva discussed with an Arhat. In the first instance, Deva Bodhisattva heard that in this convent there was an Arhat called Uttara (Wu-ta-lo) who possessed the six supernatural powers (shaḍabhijñās), and the eight vimokshas (means of deliverance); forthwith he came from a distance to observe his manner as a model. Having arrived at the convent, he asked the Arhat for a night's lodging. Now in the place where the Arhat lived (in his cell) there was only one bed. Having entered, in the absence of a mat, he spread some rushes on the ground, and showing it to him, begged him to be seated. Having taken the seat, the Arhat entered into samādhi, and came out of it after midnight. Then Deva proposed to him his doubts, and prayed him to answer them. The Arhat took up each difficulty and explained it. Deva, closely examining each word, pressed his difficulties in the way of cross-examination, till after the seventh round of discussion the Arhat closed his mouth and declined (was unable) to reply. Then using secretly his divine faculties, he passed into the Tushita heaven, and there questioned Maitreya. Maitreya gave the required explanations, but because of their character he added, "This is the celebrated Deva who for a succession of kalpas has practised religion, and in the middle of the Bhadra-kalpa ought to attain the condition of Buddha. You do not know this.1274 You should greatly honour him and pay him reverence."

In a moment he returned to his seat, and once more entered on a clear explanation (of the difficulties), which he expressed in great precision and language. Deva addressing him said, "This is the explanation of the holy wisdom of Maitreya Bodhisattva. It is not possible for you, reverend sir, to have discovered such profound answers." Then the Arhat said, "It is so, in truth; the will of Tathāgata." On this, rising from his mat, he offered him worship and profound reverence and praise.

Going from this south, we enter a wild forest district, and passing 1500 or 1600 li, we come to the country of Ta-lo-pi-ch'a (Drāviḍa).


This country is about 6000 li in circuit; the capital of the country is called [id (T51.2087.0931c)] Kāñchīpura (Kin-chi-pu-lo),1275 and is about 30 li round. The soil is fertile and regularly cultivated, and produces abundance of grain. There are also many flowers and fruits. It produces precious gems and other articles. The climate is hot, the character of the people courageous. They are deeply attached to the principles of honesty and truth, and highly esteem learning; in respect of their language and written characters, they differ but little from those of Mid-India. There are some hundred of saṅghārāmas and 10,000 priests. They all study the teaching of the Sthavira (Chang-tso-pu) school belonging to the Great Vehicle. There are some eighty Deva temples, and many heretics called Nirgranthas. Tathāgata in olden days, when living in the world, frequented this country much; he preached the law here and converted men, and therefore Aśoka-rāja built stūpas over all the sacred spots where these traces exist. The city of Kāñchīpura is the native place of Dharmapāla Bodhisattva.1276 He was the eldest son of a great minister of the country. From his childhood he exhibited much cleverness, and as he grew up it increased and extended. When he became a young man,1277 the king and queen condescended to entertain him at a (marriage) feast. On the evening of the day his heart was oppressed with sorrow, and being exceedingly afflicted, he placed himself before a statue of Buddha and engaged in earnest prayer (supplication). Moved by his extreme sincerity, the spirits removed him to a distance, and there he hid himself. After going many hundred li from this spot he came to a mountain convent, and sat down in the hall of Buddha. A priest happening to open the door, and seeing this youth, was in doubt whether he was a robber or not. After interrogating him on the point, the Bodhisattva completely unbosomed himself and told him the cause; moreover he asked permission to become a disciple. The priests were much astonished at the wonderful event, and forthwith granted his request. The king ordered search to be made for him in every direction, and at length finding out that Bodhisattva had removed to a distance from the world, driven1278 by the spirit (or, spirits), then he redoubled his deep reverence and admiration for him. From the time that Dharmapāla assumed the robes of a recluse, he applied himself with unflagging earnestness to learning. Concerning his brilliant reputation we have spoken in the previous records.1279

To the south of the city not a great way is a large saṅghārāma, in which men of the same sort, renowned for talent and learning, assemble and stop. There is a stūpa about 100 feet high which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata, dwelling in old days, repeated the law and subdued the heretics, and converted both men and Devas in great number.

Going 3000 li or so south from this, we come to the country of Mo-lo-kiu-ch'a (Malakūṭa).


This country1280 is about 5000 li in circuit; the capital is about 40 li. The land and fields are impregnated with salt, and the produce of the earth is not abundant. All the valuables that are collected in the neighbouring islets are brought to this country and analysed. The temperature is very hot. The men are dark complexioned. They are firm and impetuous in disposition. Some follow the true doctrine, others are given to heresy. They do not esteem learning much, but are wholly given to commercial gain. There are the ruins of many old convents, but only the walls are preserved, and there are few religious followers. There are many hundred Deva temples, and a multitude of heretics, mostly belonging to the Nirgranthas.

Not far to the east of this city is an old saṅghārāma of which the vestibule and court are covered with wild shrubs; the foundation walls only survive. [id (T51.2087.0932a)] This was built by Mahendra, the younger brother of Aśoka-rāja.

To the east of this is a stūpa, the lofty walls of which are buried in the earth, and only the crowning part of the cupola remains. This was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here Tathāgata in old days preached the law and exhibited his miraculous powers, and converted endless people. To preserve the traces of this event, this memorial tower was built. For years past it has exhibited spiritual signs, and what is wished for in its presence is sometimes obtained.

On the south of this country, bordering the sea, are the Mo-la-ye (Malaya) mountains,1281 remarkable for their high peaks and precipices, their deep valleys and mountan torrents. Here is found the white sandal-wood tree and the Chan-t'an-ni-p'o (Chandaneva)1282 tree. These two are much alike, and the latter can only be distinguished by going in the height of summer to the top of some hill, and then looking at a distance great serpents may be seen entwining it; thus it is known. Its wood is naturally cold, and therefore serpents twine round it. After having noted the tree, they shoot an arrow into it to mark it.1283 In the winter, after the snakes have gone, the tree is cut down. The tree from which Kie-pu-lo (Karpūra) scent is procured,1284 is in trunk like the pine, but different leaves and flowers and fruit. When the tree is first cut down and sappy, it has no smell; but when the wood gets dry, it forms into veins and splits; then in the middle is the scent, in appearance like mica, of the colour of frozen snow. This is what is called (in Chinese) "long-nao-hiang", the dragon-brain scent.

To the east of the Malaya mountains is Mount Po-ta-lo-kia (Potalaka)1285 The passes of this mountain are very dangerous; its sides are precipitous, and its valleys rugged. On the top of the mountain is a lake; its waters are clear as a mirror. From a hollow proceeds a great river which encircles the mountain as it flows down twenty times and then enters the southern sea. By the side of the lake is a rock-palace of the Devas. Here Avalokiteśvara1286 in coming and going takes his abode. Those who strongly desire to see this Bodhisattva do not regard their lives, but, crossing the water (fording the streams), climb the mountain forgetful of its difficulties and dangers; of those who make the attempt there are very few who reach the summit. But even of those who dwell below the mountain, if they earnestly pray and beg to behold the god, sometimes he appears as Tsz'-tsaï-t'ien (Īśvāra-deva), sometimes under the form of a yogi (a Pāṁśupata); he addresses them with benevolent words and then they obtain their wishes according to their desires.

Going north-east from this mountain, on the border1287 of the sea, is a town;1288 this is the place from which they start for the southern sea and the country of Sang-kia-lo (Ceylon). It is said commonly by the people that embarking from this port and going south-east about 3000 li we come to the country of Siṁhala.

[id (T51.2087.0932b)]


Contains an account of twenty-three kingdoms, viz., (1) Sang-kia-lo; (2) Kong-kien-na-pu-lo; (3) Mo-ho-la-c'ha ; (4) Po-lu-kie-che-p'o; (5) Mo-la-p'o; (6) O-c'ha-li; (7) Kie-ch'a; (8) Fa-la-pi; (9) 'O-nan-t'o-pu-lo; (10) Su-la-ch'a; (11) Kiu-che-lo; (12) U-she-yen-na; (13) Chi-kie-t'o; (14) Mo-hi-chi-fa-lo-pu-lo; (15) Sin-to; (16) Mo-lo-san-pu-lu; (17) Po-fa-to; (18) O-tien-p'o-chi-lo; (19) Long-kie-lo; (20) Po-la-sse; (21) Pi-to-shi-lo; (22) 'O-fan-c'ha; (23) Fa-la-na.


The kingdom of Siṁhala is about 7000 li in circuit;1290 the capital is about 40 li round. The soil is rich and fertile; the climate is hot; the ground is regularly cultivated; flowers and fruits are produced in abundance. The population is numerous; their family possessions are rich in revenues. The stature of the men is small. They are black complexioned1291 and fierce by nature. They love learning and esteem virtue. They greatly honour religious excellence, and labour in the acquisition of religious merit. This country was originally (called) Pāo-chu1292 (Ratnadvīpa), because of the precious gems found there. It was occupied by evil spirits.1293

After this there was a king of a country of Southern India, whose daughter was affianced in a neighbouring country. On a fortunate day, having paid a complimentary visit, she was returning when a lion met her on the way. The servants of the guard left her and fled from the danger. Resting alone in her car, her heart was resigned to death. At this time the lion king, taking the woman on his back, went away and entered a lone valley in the deep mountains.1294 He caught the deer and gathered the fruits according to their season, with which to nourish her. In the course of time she brought into the world a boy and a girl. In form and features they resembled human beings, but in disposition they were like the beast tribes.

The youth gradually grew up, and was possessed of great bodily strength, so that he could subdue the wildest beasts. When he came to man's estate,1295 the wisdom of his manhood also came, and he asked his mother, saying, " What am I to be called? My father is a savage beast, and my mother is a human creature. But as you differ in kind, how can you have lived together?" Then the mother related the old story, and told it [id (T51.2087.0932c)] to her son. Her son, replying, said, "Men and beasts are of different kinds. We ought to hasten away from this." The mother replied, " I should have fled long ago, but I cannot help myself." Then the son from that time forth stopped at home whenever his father, the lion, roamed forth through the mountain passes, with a view to escape the difficult (position in which they were placed). And now on a certain occasion, his father having gone forth, he proceeded to carry away his mother and sister to a village inhabited by men. The mother then said, "You ought, both of you, to keep this matter secret, and say nothing about the first transaction, for if people were to come to hear of it, they would lightly esteem us."

On this she returned to her father's country, but it no longer belonged to her family, and the sacrifices of her ancestors had all died out. Having taken refuge in the town, all the men addressed her, saying, " From what kingdom do you come?" She said, "I belong to this country. Having wandered through strange places, we have come back, mother and son together (to our home)."

Then the village people were moved with pity, and provided them with necessary food. And now the lion king returning to his place, saw no one there. Thinking with affection of his son and daughter, he was moved with rage, and went away through the mountains and valleys, and roamed through the towns and villages, roaring frightfully and destroying the people, slaughtering and mangling every living thing. The town-folk went forth, therefore, to pursue and capture him, in order to kill him. They beat the drums, sounded the conch, and with their bows and spears formed a large company; but yet they lagged behind (delayed) in order to escape danger. Then the king, fearing that their courage was little,1296 organised a band of hunters to capture the lion. He himself went with an army consisting of the four kinds of troops, amounting to tens of thousands, and beat through the woods and jungle, and traversed the mountains and valleys (in search of their prey). The lion raising his terrible roar, men and beasts flee in consternation.

Not being captured in the hunt, the king again made a proclamation, and promised that whoever captured the lion and freed the country from the affliction should be largely rewarded and his reputation widely published.

The son, hearing the royal decree, spake to his mother and said, "We have suffered much from hunger and cold. I certainly will answer to the appeal. Perhaps we may thus get enough to support us."

The mother said, "You ought not to think of it; for though he is a beast, yet he is still your father. What though we be wretched through want? this is no reason why you should encourage a wicked and murderous thought."1297

The son said, "Men and beasts are of a different kind. What room is there for the question of propriety in such a matter as this? Why should such a thought interfere with my plan?" So seizing a knife and concealing it in his sleeve, he went forth to answer to the appeal. On this a thousand people and ten thousand horsemen assembled in crowds (like the clouds and vapour). The lion lay hid in the forest, and no one dared to approach him. On this the son forthwith advanced to him, and the father, tame and crouching, forgot in his sense of loving affection all his previous hate. Then he (the son) plunged the knife into the middle of his bowels, but he still exhibited the same love and tenderness, and was free from all anger or revengeful feeling even when his belly was ripped up, and he died in agony.1298

The king then said, "Who is this man who has done such a wonderful deed?" Allured by promises of reward on the one hand, and alarmed by fear of punishment on the other, if he kept back anything, he at last revealed the whole from beginning to end, and told the touching story without reserve. The king said, "Thou wretch! if thou wouldest kill thy father, how much more those not related to thee! Your deserts indeed are great for delivering my people from the savage cruelty of a beast whose (passions) it is difficult to assuage, and whose hateful tempers are easily aroused; but to kill your own father, this is a rebellious (unnatural) disposition. I will reward your good deed largely, [id (T51.2087.0933a)] but you shall be banished from the country as the punishment of your crime. Thus the laws will not be infringed and the king's words not violated." On this he prepared two large ships (boats) in which he stored much provision (cured rice or other grain). The mother he detained in the kingdom, and provided her with all necessary things as the reward of the service done. The son and daughter each were placed in a separate boat, and abandoned to the chance of the waves and the wind. The boat in which the son was embarked, driven over the sea, came to this Ratnadvīpa. Seeing it abounded in precious gems, he took up his abode here.

Afterwards merchants seeking for gems frequently came to the island. He then killed the merchant chief and detained his children. Thus he extended his race. His sons and grandsons becoming numerous, they proceeded to elect a king and ministers and to divide the people into classes. They then built a city and erected towns, and seized on the territory by force; and because their original founder got his name by catching a lion,1299 they called the country (after his name) Siṁhala.

The boat in which the girl was embarked was driven over the sea till it reached Persia (Po-la-sse), the abode of the western demons, who by intercourse with her engendered a clan of women-children, and therefore the country is now called the Country of the Western Women; -- this is the reason.

The men of the Siṁha kingdom are small in stature and black-complexioned; they have square chins and high foreheads; they are naturally fierce and impetuous, and cruelly savage without hesitation. This is from their inherited disposition as descended from a beast; but another version of the story is that they are very brave and courageous.

The records of the Buddhist religion say: In the middle of a great iron city of this Ratnadvīpa (P'ao-chu) was the dwelling of the Rākshasī women (Lo-t'sa). On the towers of this city they erected two high flagstaffs with lucky or unlucky signals, which they exhibited according to circumstances1300 (to allure mariners), when merchants came to the island (Ratnadvīpa). Then they changed themselves into beautiful women, holding flowers and scents, and with the sound of music1301 they went forth to meet them, and caressingly invited them to enter the iron city; then having shared with them all sorts of pleasure, they shut them up in an iron prison, and devoured them at their leisure.

At this time there was a great merchant of Jambudvīpa called Sang -kia (Siṁha) whose son was called Sang -kia-la (Siṁhala). His father having grown old, he was deputed to take charge of the house (family); he embarked, therefore, with 500 merchants to seek for precious stones; driven by the winds and waves, they came to Ratnadvīpa.

Then the Rākshasīs, displaying the lucky signal, began to wave it, and went forth with scents and flowers and the sound of music to meet them, and invite them to enter the iron city. The prince of the merchants accordingly, matched with the queen of the Rākshasīs, gave himself up to pleasure and indulgence. The other merchants also selected each one a companion, and so, in the course of time, a son was born to each. After this, the Rākshasīs, feeling tired of their old partners' love, (were preparing to) shut them up in the iron prison, and to seek new companions among other merchants.

At this time, Sang -kia-la, moved in the night by an evil dream, and impressed with a sense of its bad augury, sought some mode of escape, and coming to the iron stronghold, he heard the sounds of piteous cries within. Forthwith he climbed a great tree, and questioned them, saying, "Who are you thus bound, and why these miserable cries?" They replied, "Do you not know then that the women who occupy this place are all Rākshasīs? In former days, they allured us to enter the city with festive sounds of music, but when you arrived, they shut us up in this prison, and are gradually devouring our flesh. Now [id (T51.2087.0933b)] we are half eaten up; your turn too will soon come."

Then Sang -kia-la (Siṁhala) said, "By what device then may we escape this danger?" They replied, and said, "We hear that on the sea-board there is a divine horse,1302 and whoever prays with supreme faith he will safely carry him across."

Siṁhala haying heard this, secretly told the merchants his companions to assemble altogether on the sea-shore and there to offer up fervent prayers for deliverance. Then the divine horse came and addressed the men and said, "Each one of you grasp my hairy coat and look not behind; then will I deliver you and transport you across the sea out of danger's way. I will conduct you back to Jambudvīpa, to your happy homes (country)."

Then the merchants, obeying his directions, did each one implicitly as commanded. They seized the hairy coat (of the divine horse). Then he mounted aloft, traversed through the clouds, and passed the sea to the other side.

Then the Rākshasīs, perceiving all at once their husbands had escaped, spake one to another in surprise, and asked where they had gone. Then, taking each her child, they traversed to and fro the air. Perceiving, then, that the merchants had just left the shore, they issued a general order to unite in their flight to follow them. Not an hour had passed but they encountered them, and then, with mingled joy and tears, they came, and for a time restraining their grief they said, "We thought ourselves happy when first we met you, and made it our care to provide you homes, and for long have loved and cherished you, but now you are departing and deserting your wives and children, leaving them desolate. Who can bear the terrible grief that afflicts us! We pray you stay your departure and turn again with us to the city."

But the minds of the merchants were as yet unwilling to consent. The Rākshasīs, seeing their words had no effect, had recourse to seductive blandishments, and by their conduct excited the feelings of the merchants; in consequence of which, being unable to suppress their tender emotions, their steadfastness forsook them, and, hesitating to go on, they paused, and at length returned in company with the Rākshasīs. The women, saluting and congratulating each other, closely holding to the men, went back.

Now the wisdom of Siṁhala was deep, and his firm purpose remained unchanged, and so he succeeded in traversing the ocean, and thus escaped the danger.

Then the queen of the Rākshasīs returned alone to the iron city; on which the other women addressing her said, "You are without wisdom or astuteness, and so you are abandoned by your husband; since you have so little cleverness or capacity you cannot dwell here." On this the Rākshasī queen, taking her child, hastened her flight after Siṁhala. She indulged before him in excessive blandishments and entreated him tenderly to return. But Siṁhala repeated with his mouth some spiritual charms, and with his hand brandishing a sword, he said, "You are a Rākshasī and I am a man, men and demons belong to different classes, there can be no union between such; if you trouble me further with your entreaties I will take your life."

The Rākshasī woman, knowing the uselessness of further parley, darted through the air and disappeared. Coming to Siṁhala's house, she addressed his father Siṁha, and said, "I am a king's daughter belonging to such and such a country. Siṁhala took me as his wife, and I have borne him a son. Having collected gems and goods, we were returning to my lord's country when the ship, driven by the winds and the sea, was lost, and only I, my child, and Siṁhala were saved. After crossing rivers and mountains with great difficulty, [id (T51.2087.0933c)] hungry and worn out, I said a word displeasing to my husband, and I found myself deserted, and as he left me he let fall bitter words and raged on me as if he were a Rākshasa.1303 If I attempt to return, my native country is a very long distance off; if I stop, then I am left alone in a strange place: staying or returning I am without support. I have, therefore, dared to tell you the true state of things."

Siṁhala said, "If your words be true, you have done right." Then she entered the king's house to dwell there. Not long after Siṁhala came, and his father addressing him said, "How is it you esteemed riches and gems so much and made so little of your wife and child?" Siṁhala said, "This is a Rākshasī." Then he related the whole previous history to his father and mother; then his relatives angry on account of the whole affair, turned on her to drive her away; on which the Rākshasī went to the king and entreated him. The king wished to punish Siṁhala, but Siṁhala said, "The delusive influence of Rākshasī is very great."

Moreover, the king, regarding his son's words as untrue, and being moved in his mind (feelings) by her fascination, addressed Siṁhala and said, "Since you have decided to reject this woman, I will now protect her in my after-palace." Siṁhala said, "I fear she will cause you some misfortune, for the Rākshasas eat only flesh and blood."

But the king would not listen to Siṁhala's words, and accordingly took her as his wife. In the middle of the night following this, flying away, she returned to Ratnadvīpa, and calling together 500 Rākshasa demon women, they all came to the king's palace, and there, by means of destructive charms and sorceries, they killed all living things within the building and devoured their flesh and drank their blood, whilst they carried off the rest of the corpses and with them returned to the "island of gems."

The next day, early, all the ministers were assembled at the king's gates, which they found fast closed, and not able to be opened. After waiting a long time, and not hearing any sounds of voices within, they burst open the doors and gates, and pressed forward together (into the house). Coming to the palace hall, they found no living thing therein but only gnawed bones. The officers looking at one another in astonishment, then bent down their heads in their confusion, and uttered lamentable cries. Being unable to fathom the cause of the calamity that had happened, Siṁhala related to them from beginning to end the whole story. The ministers and people then saw from whence the evil came.

On this, the ministers of the country, the aged men and different officers, inquired in order as to the best person to appoint to the high dignity (of the throne). All looked in the direction of Siṁhala, (so conspicuous for) religious merit and wisdom. Then speaking together, they said, "With respect to a ruler, the selection is no trivial matter; he needs to be devout and wise, and at the same time of quick natural parts. If he be not good and wise, he would not be able to give lustre to the succession; if he have no natural parts (skill or tact), how could he direct the affairs of state? Now this Siṁhala appears to be such a man: he discovered in a dream the origin of the calamity;1304 by the effect of his virtue he encountered the divine horse, and he has loyally warned the king of his danger. By his prudence he has preserved himself; the succession should be his."

The result of the deliberation being known, the people joyfully raised him to the honourable position of king. Siṁhala was desirous of declining the honour, but was not able to do so. Then keeping to the middle course, he respectfully saluted the different officers of state, and forthwith accepted the kingly estate. On this, he corrected the former abuses, and promoted to honour the good and virtuous; then he made the following decree, "My old merchant friends are in the country of the Rākshasīs, but whether alive or dead I cannot tell. But in either case I will set out to rescue them from their danger; we must equip an army. To avert calamities [id (T51.2087.0934a)] and to help the unfortunate, this is the merit of a kingdom; to preserve treasures of precious stones and jewels, is the advantage of a state."

On this he arrayed his troops and embarked. Then on the top of the iron city the evil flag was agitated.1305

Then the Rākshasīs seeing it, were filled with fear, and putting in practice their seducing arts, went forth to lead and cajole them. But the king, thoroughly understanding their false artifices, commanded the soldiers to recite some charmed words and to exhibit their martial bearing. Then the Rākshasīs were driven back, and fled precipitately to rocky islets of the sea; others were swallowed up and drowned in the waves. On this they destroyed the iron city and broke down the iron prison; they delivered the captive merchants, obtained large stores of jewels and precious stones, and then summoning the people to change their abodes, he (Siṁhala) founded his capital in the "island of gems," built towns, and so found himself at the head of a kingdom. Because of the king's name the country was called Siṁhala. This name is also connected with the Jātakas, relating to śākya Tathāgata.

The kingdom of Siṁhala formerly was addicted to immoral religious worship, but after the first hundred years following Buddha's death the younger brother of Aśokarāja, Mahendra by name, giving up worldly desires,sought with ardour the fruit of Arhatship. He gained possession of the six supernatural powers and the eight means of liberation; and having the power of instant locomotion, he came to this country. He spread the knowledge of the true law and widely diffused the bequeathed doctrine. From his time there has fallen on the people a believing heart, and they have constructed 100 convents, containing some 20,000 priests. They principally follow the teaching of Buddha, according to the dharma of the Sthavira (Shang-ts'o-pu) school of the Mahāyāna sect.1306 When 200 years had elapsed,1307 through discussion, the one school was divided into two. The former, called the Mahāvihāravāsinas1308 (Mo-ho-pi-ho-lo-chu-pu), was opposed to the Great Vehicle and adhered to the teaching of the Little Vehicle; the other was called Abhayagirivāsinas ('O-p'o-ye-k'i-li-chu-pu);1309 they studied both vehicles, and widely diffused the Tripiṭakas. The priests attended to the moral rules, and were distinguished for their power of abstraction and their wisdom.1310 Their correct conduct was an example for subsequent ages; their manners grave and imposing.

By the side of the king's palace is the vihāra of Buddha's tooth, several hundred feet high, brilliant with jewels and ornamented with rare gems. Above the vihāra is placed an upright pole on which, is fixed a great Padmarāja (ruby) jewel.1311 This gem constantly sheds a brilliant light, which is visible night and day for a long distance, and afar off appears like a bright star. The king three times a day washes the tooth of Buddha with perfumed water,1312 sometimes with powdered perfumes. Whether washing or burning, the whole ceremony is attended with a service of the most precious jewels.

(The country of Siṁhala,1313 formerly called the Kingdom of Lions, is also called the Sorrowless Kingdom;1314 it is the same as South India. This country is celebrated for its precious gems; it is also called Ratnadvīpa. Formerly, when śākyamuni Buddha took an apparitional body called Siṁhala, all the people, and priests, in honour of his character, made him king,1315 and therefore the country was called Siṁhala. By his mighty spiritual power he destroyed the great iron city and subdued the Rākshasī women, and rescued the miserable and distressed, and then founded a city, and built towns, and converted this district. In order to disseminate the true doctrine, he left a tooth to be kept in this land, firm as a diamond, indestructible through ages. It ever scatters its light like the stars or the moon in the sky, or, as brilliant as the sun, it lights up the night. All those who fast and pray in its presence obtain answers, like the echo (answers the voice). If the country is visited by calamity, or famine, or other plague, by use of earnest religious prayer, some spiritual manifestation ever removes the evil. It is now called Si-lan-mount,1316 but formerly Siṁhala country.

By the side of the king's palace is the vihāra of Buddha's tooth,1317 which is decorated with every kind of gem, the splendour of which dazzles the sight like that of the sun. For successive generations worship has been respectfully offered to this relic, but the present king of the country, called A-li-fun-nai-'rh (Alibunar' ?), a man of So-li (Choḷa),1318 is strongly attached to the religion of the heretics and does not honour the law of Buddha; he is cruel and tyrannical, and opposed to all that is good. The people of the country, however, still cherish the tooth of Buddha.1319 )

By the side of the vihāra of Buddha's tooth is a little vihāra which is also ornamented with every kind of precious stone. In it is a golden statue of Buddha; it was cast by a former king of the country, and is of the size of life. He afterwards ornamented the head-dress (the ushṇisha) with a precious gem.

In course of time there was a robber who formed the design to carry off the precious stone, but as it was guarded by a double door and a surrounding balustrade, the thief resolved to tunnel out an entrance underneath the obstacles, and so to enter the vihāra and take the jewel. Accordingly he did so, but on attempting to seize the gem, the figure gradually raised itself higher, and outreached the grasp of the thief. He, then, finding his efforts of no avail, in departing [id (T51.2087.0934b)] sighed out thus, "Formerly when Tathāgata was practising the life of a Bodhisattva, he cherished in himself a great heart and vowed that for the sake of the four kinds of living things he would of his compassion give up everything, from his own life down to his country and its towns. But now the statue which stands in his place (bequeathed) grudges to give up the precious stone. His words, weighed against this, do not seem to illustrate his ancient conduct." On this the statue lowered its head and let him take the gem. The thief having got it, went to the merchants to sell it; on which they all exclaimed and said, "This is the gem which our former king placed on the head-dress of the golden statue of Buddha. Where have you got it from, that you want to sell it surreptitiously to us?" Then they took him to the king and stated the case. The king then asked him from whom he had procured the gem, on which the thief said, "Buddha himself gave it to me. I am no robber." The king not believing him, ordered a messenger to be sent immediately to ascertain the truth. On arriving he found the head of the statue still bent down. The king seeing the miracle, his heart was affected by a sincere and firm faith. He would not punish the man, but bought the gem again from him, and ornamented with it the head-dress of the statue. Because the head of the figure was thus bent on that occasion, it remains so until now.

By the side of the king's palace there is built a large kitchen, in which daily is measured out food for eight thousand priests. The meal-time having come, the priests arrive with their pātras to receive their allowance.1320 Having received and eaten it, they return, all of them, to their several abodes. Ever since the teaching of Buddha reached this country, the king has established this charity, and his successors have continued it down to our times. But during the last ten years or so the country has been in confusion, and there has been no established ruler to attend to this business.

In a bay on the coast of the country the land is rich in gems and precious stones.1321 The king himself goes (there) to perform religious services, on which the spirits present him with rare and valuable objects. The inhabitants of the capital come, seeking to share in the gain, and invoke the spirits for that purpose. What they obtain is different according to their religious merit. They pay a tax on the pearls they find, according to their quantity.

On the south-east corner of the country is Mount Laṅkā.1322 Its high crags and deep valleys are occupied by spirits that come and go; it was here that Tathāgata formerly delivered the Ling-kia-king (Laṅkā Sūtra or Laṅkāvatāra).1323

Passing seawards to the south of this country some thousands of li, we arrive at the island of Narakira (Na-lo-ki-lo). The people of this island1324 are small of stature, about three feet high; their bodies are those of men, but they have the beaks of birds; they: grow no grain, but live only on cocoa-nuts.

Crossing the sea westward from this island several thousands of li, on the eastern cliff of a solitary island is a stone figure of Buddha more than 100 feet high. It is sitting facing the east. In the head-ornament (ushṇīsha) is a stone called Yueh-ngai-chu (Chandrakānta). When the moon begins to wane, water immediately runs down from this in a stream along the sides of the mountain, and along the ravines of the precipices.1325

At one time there was a band of merchants who were driven by the winds and waves during a storm, till they reached this solitary island. The sea-water being salt, they were unable to drink it, and were parched with thirst for a long time. But now on the fifteenth day, when the moon was full, from the head of the image water began to trickle forth, and they obtained deliverance. They all thought [id (T51.2087.0934c)] that a miracle had been wrought, and were affected with a profound faith; they determined then to delay on the island. Some days having elapsed, as soon as the moon began to be hidden behind the high steeps, the water did not flow out. Then the merchant-chief said, "It cannot have been specially on our account that the water ran down. I have heard that there is a pearl 'loved by the moon,' when the moon's rays shine full on it, then the water begins to flow from it. The gem on the top of the statue of Buddha must be one of this sort." Then having climbed the mountain to examine the case, they saw that it was a Chandrakānta pearl in the head-ornament of the figure. This is the origin of the story as it was told by those men.

Crossing the sea many thousand li to the west of this country, we come to a large island renowned for its precious stones (or Mahāratnadvīpa); it is not inhabited, except by spirits. Seen from a distance on a calm night, a light seems to shine from mountains and valleys. Merchants going there are much surprised to find nothing can be procured.

Leaving the country of Ta-lo-pi-ch'a (Drāvida) and travelling northwards,1326 we enter a forest wild, in which are a succession of deserted towns, or rather little villages.1327 Brigands, in concert together, wound and capture (or delay) travellers. After going 2000 li or so we come to Kong-kien-na-pu-lo (Koṅkanāpura).1328


This country is about 5000 li in circuit. The capital is 3000 li or so round. The land is rich and fertile; it is regularly cultivated, and produces large crops. The climate is hot; the disposition of the people ardent and quick. Their complexion is black, and their manners fierce and uncultivated. They love learning, and esteem virtue and talent. There are about 100 saṅghārāmas, with some 10,000 priests (followers). They study both the Great and the Little Vehicle. They also highly reverence the Devas, and there are several hundred temples in which many sectaries dwell together.

By the side of the royal palace is a great saṅghārāma with some 300 priests, who are all men of distinction. This convent has a great vihāra, a hundred feet and more in height. In it is a precious tiara belonging to Sarvārthasiddha (Yih-tsai-i-sh'ing) the prince. It is somewhat less than two feet in height, and is ornamented with gems and precious stones. It is kept in a jewelled casket. On fast-days it is brought out and placed on a high throne. They offer to it flowers and incense, on which occasions it is lit up with radiance.

By the side of the city is a great saṅghārāma in which is a vihāra about 50 feet high. In this is a figure of Maitreya Bodhisattva carved out of sandal-wood. It is about ten feet high. This also on fast-days reflects a bright light. It is the work of the Arhat Wen-'rh-pih-i (śrutaviṁśatikoṭi).1329

To the north of the city not far is a forest of Tāla trees about 30 li round. The leaves (of this tree) are long and broad, their colour shining and glistening. In all the countries of India these leaves are everywhere used for writing on. In the forest is a stūpa. Here the four former Buddhas sat down and walked for exercise, and traces of them still remain. Beside this is a stūpa containing the bequeathed relics of the Arhat Sacute;rutaviṁśatikoṭi. [id (T51.2087.0935a)]

Not far to the east of the city is a stūpa which has sunk down into the ground from its foundations, but is still about thirty feet high. The old tradition says, this stūpa is a relic of Tathāgata, and on religious days (holy days) it exhibits a miraculous light. In old days, when Tathūgata was in the world, he preached in this place, and exhibited his miraculous powers and converted a multitude of men.

Not far to the south-west of the city is a stūpa about a hundred feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Here the Arhat śrutaviṁśatikoṭi exhibited great miraculous powers and converted a great many people. By the side of it is a saṅghārāma, of which only the foundations remain. This was built by the fore-named Arhat.

From this going north-west, we enter a great forest wild, where savage beasts and bands of robbers inflict injury on travellers. Going thus 2400 or 2500 li, we come to the country of Mo-ho-la-ch'a (Mahārāshṭra).1330


This country is about 5000 li in circuit. The capital1331 borders on the west on a great river. It is about 30 li round. The soil is rich and fertile; it is regularly cultivated and very productive. The climate is hot; the disposition of the people is honest and simple; they are tall of stature, and of a stern, vindictive character. To their benefactors they are grateful; to their enemies relentless. If they are insulted, they will risk their life to avenge themselves. If they are asked to help one in distress, they will forget themselves in their haste to render assistance. If they are going to seek revenge, they first give their enemy warning; then, each being armed, they attack each other with lances (spears). When one turns to flee, the other pursues him, but they do not kill a man down (a person who submits). If a general loses a battle, they do not inflict punishment, but present him with woman's clothes, and so he is driven to seek death for himself. The country provides for a band of champions to the number of several hundred. Each time they are about to engage in conflict they intoxicate themselves with wine, and then one man with lance in hand will meet ten thousand and challenge them in fight. If one of these champions meets a man and kills him, the laws of the country do not punish him. Every time they go forth they beat drums before them. Moreover, they inebriate many hundred heads of elephants, and, taking them out to fight, they themselves first drink their wine, and then rushing forward in mass, they trample everything down, so that no enemy can stand before them.

The king, in consequence of his possessing these men and elephants, treats his neighbours with contempt. He is of the Kshattriya caste, and his name is Pulakeśi (Pu-lo-ki-she). His plans and undertakings are wide-spread, and his beneficent actions are felt over a great distance. His subjects obey him with perfect submission. At the present time śīlāditya1332 Mahārāja has conquered the nations from east to west, and carried his arms to remote districts, but the people of this country alone have not submitted to him. He has gathered troops from the five Indies, and summoned the best leaders from all countries, and himself gone at the head of his army to punish and subdue these people, but he has not yet conquered their troops.

So much for their habits. The men are fond of learning, and study both heretical and orthodox (books). There are about 100 saṅghārāmas, with 5000 or so priests. They practise both the Great and Small Vehicle. There are about 100 Deva temples, in which very many heretics of different persuasions dwell. [id (T51.2087.0935b)]

Within and without the capital are five stūpas to mark the spots where the four past Buddhas walked and sat. They were built by Aśoka-rāja. There are, besides these, other stūpas made of brick or stone, so many that it would be difficult to name them all.

Not far to the south of the city is a saṅghārāma in which is a stone image of Kwan-tsz'-tsai Bodhisattva. Its spiritual powers extend (far and wide), so that many of those who have secretly prayed to it have obtained their wishes.

On the eastern frontier of the country is a great mountain with towering crags and a continuous stretch of piled-up rocks and scarped precipice. In this there is a saṅghārāma constructed, in a dark valley. Its lofty halls and deep side-aisles stretch through the (or open into the) face of the rocks. Storey above storey they are backed by the crag and face the valley (watercourse).1333

This convent was built by the Arhat āchāra (O-che-lo).1334 This Arhat was a man of Western India. His mother having died, he looked to see in what condition she was reborn. He saw that she had received a woman's body in this kingdom. The Arhat accordingly came here with a view to convert her, according to her capabilities of receiving the truth. Having entered a village to beg food, he came to the house where his mother had been born. A young girl came forth with food to give him. At this moment the milk came from her breasts and trickled down. Her friends having seen this considered it an unlucky sign, but the Arhat recounted the history of her birth. The girl thus attained the holy fruit (of Arhatship). The Arhat, moved with gratitude1335 for her who had borne and cherished him, and remembering the end of such (good) works, from a desire to requite her, built this saṅghārāma. The great vihāra of the convent is about 100 feet or so in height; in the middle is a stone figure of Buddha about 70 feet or so high. Above it is a stone canopy of seven stages, towering upwards apparently without support. The space between each canopy1336 is about three feet. According to the old report, this is held in its place by the force of the vow of the Arhat. They also say it is by the force of his miraculous powers; others say by the virtue of some magical compound; but no trustworthy account has yet explained the reason of the wonder. On the four sides of the vihāra, on the stone walls, are painted1337 different scenes in the life of Tathāgata's preparatory life as a Bodhisattva: the wondrous signs of good fortune which attended his acquirement of the holy fruit (of a Buddha), and the spiritual manifestations accompanying his Nirvāṇa. These scenes have been cut out with the greatest accuracy and fineness.1338 On the outside of the gate of the saṅghārāma, on the north and south side, at the right hand and the left, there is a stone elephant.1339 The common report says that sometimes these elephants utter a great cry and the earth shakes throughout. In old days Jina (or Channa) Bodhisattva1340 often stopped in this saṅghārāma.

Going from this 1000 li or so to the west,1341 and crossing the Nai-mo-t'o (Narmadā) river, we arrive at the kingdom of Po-lu-kie-che-p'o (Bharukachheva; Barygaza or Bharoch).1342


This kingdom is 2400 or 2500 li in circuit. Its capital is 20 li round. The soil is impregnated with salt. Trees and shrubs are scarce and scattered. They boil the seawater to get the salt, and their sole profit is from the sea. The climate is warm. The air is always agitated with gusts of wind. Their ways are cold and indifferent; [id (T51.2087.0935c)] the disposition of the people crooked and perverse. They do not cultivate study, and are wedded to error and true doctrine alike. There are some ten saṅghārāmas, with about 300 believers. They adhere to the Great Vehicle and the Sthavira school. There are also about ten Deva temples, in which sectaries of various kinds congregate.

Going from this1343 north-west about 2000 li, we come to the country of Mo-la-po (Mālava).1344


This country is about 6000 li in circuit. The capital is some 30 li round. It is defended (or supported) by the Mahī river on the south and east.1345 The soil is rich and fertile, and produces abundant harvests. Shrubs and trees are numerous and flourishing. Flowers and fruit are met with in great quantities. The soil is suitable in an especial manner for winter wheat. They mostly eat biscuits and (or, made of) parched corn-flour. The disposition of the men is virtuous and docile, and they are in general of remarkable intelligence. Their language is elegant and clear, and their learning is wide and profound.

Two countries in India, on the borders, are remarkable for the great learning of the people, viz., Mālava on the south-west, and Magadha on the north-east. In this they esteem virtue and respect politeness (humanity). They are of an intelligent mind and exceedingly studious; nevertheless the men of this country are given to heretical belief as well as the true faith, and so live together. There are about 100 saṅghārāmas in which some 2000 priests dwell.1346 They study the Little Vehicle, and belong to the Sammatīya school. There are 100 Deva temples of different kinds. The heretics are very numerous, but principally the Pāśupatas (the cinder-covering heretics).

The records of the country state: Sixty years before this1347 flourished śīlāditya, a man of eminent wisdom and great learning; his skill in literature was profound. He cherished and protected the four kinds of creatures,1348 and deeply respected the three treasures.1349 From the time of his birth to his last hour, his face never crimsoned with anger, nor did his hands ever injure a living thing. His elephants and horses drank water that had been strained, after which he gave it them, lest any creature living in the water should be injured. Such were his love and humanity. During the fifty years and more of his reign, the wild beasts became familiar with men, and the people did not injure or slay them. By the side of his palace he built a vihāra. He exhausted the skill of the artists, and used every kind of ornament in decorating it. In it he put images of the seven Buddhas,1350 Lords of the World. Every year he convoked an assembly called Moksha mahāparishad, and summoned the priests of the four quarters. He offered them "the four things" in religious charity; he also gave them sets of three garments used in their religious services, and also bestowed on them the seven precious substances and jewels in wonderful variety. This meritorious custom has continued in practice without interruption till now.

To the north-west of the capital about 200 li, we come to the town of the Brāhmaṇs.1351 By the side of it is a hollow ditch; into this the winter and summer streams flow continually, but though through decades of days the water runs into the hollow, yet it never seems to increase in quantity. By the side of it again is a little stūpa. The old traditions of the country say: Formerly a Brāhmaṇ of an exceedingly haughty mind1352 fell alive into this pit and went down to hell. In old days there was a Brāhmaṇ born in this town, who was acquainted with all things, and of learning beyond all the eminent men of his time. He had penetrated the secrets and dark sayings of books sacred and profane. He was acquainted with the calculations of astronomy as if they were in his hand; his fame was wide-spread and his behaviour without blemish. The king very highly esteemed him, and the people of the country made much of him. He had some 1000 disciples, who appreciated his doctrine [id (T51.2087.0936a)] and respected his character. He constantly said of himself, "I am come into the world for the purpose of publishing abroad the holy doctrine and to guide the people. Among the former sages, or those who have arrived at wisdom after them, there is none to compare with me. Maheśvaradeva, Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇadeva, Buddha-lokanātha, men everywhere worship these, and publish abroad their doctrine, represent them in their effigies, and pay them worship and honour. But now I am greater than they in character, and my fame exceeds that of all living. Why should they then be so notorious, for they have done no wonderful thing."

Accordingly, he made out of red sandal-wood figures of Maheśvaradeva, Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇadeva, Buddha-lokanātha, and placed them as feet to his chair, and wherever he went as a rule he took this chair with him, showing his pride and self-conceit.

Now at this time there was in Western India a Bhikshu, Bhadraruchi (Po-t'o-lo-liu-chi) by name; he had thoroughly exhausted the Hetuvidyā (śāstra) and deeply investigated the sense of different discourses (treatises).1353 He was of excellent repute, and the perfume of his exceeding goodness (morality) spread in every direction. He had few desires and was contented with his lot, seeking nothing in the world. Hearing (of the Brāhmaṇ) he sighed and said, "Alas! how sad. This age (time) has no (one worthy to be called a) man; and so it permits that foolish master to dare to act as he does in defiance of virtue."

On this, he took his staff, and travelling afar, he came to this country. Whilst dwelling therein his mind was made up and he acquainted the king with it. The king, seeing his dirty clothes, conceived no reverence for him; but, in consideration of his high purpose, he forced himself to give him honour (to treat him with respect), and so he arranged the chair of discussion and called the Brāhmaṇ. The Brāhmaṇ hearing it smiled and said, "What man is this who has dared to conceive such an idea (to cherish this determination)."

His disciples having come together, and many (hundred) thousands of listeners being arranged before and behind the discussion-arena to attend as hearers, then Bhadraruchi, with his ancient robes and tattered clothes, arranging some grass on the ground, sat down. Then the Brāhmaṇ, sitting on his chair which he carried with him, began to revile the true law and to praise the teaching of the heretical schools.

The Bhikshu, with a clear distinction, like the running of water, encircled his arguments in order. Then the Brāhmaṇ after a while yielded, and confessed himself conquered.

The king replying said, "For a long time you have assumed a false reputation; you have deceived the sovereign and affected the multitude with delusion. Our old rescripts say, 'He who is defeated in discussion ought to suffer death.'" Then he prepared to have a heated plate of iron to make him sit thereon; the Brāhmaṇ thereupon, overpowered by fear, fell down to entreat pardon (deliverance).

Then Bhadraruchi, pitying the Brāhmaṇ, came and requested the king, saying, "Mahārāja! your virtue extends far and wide; the sound of your praises resounds through the public ways. Then let your goodness extend even to protect this man: give not way to a cruel design. Pass over his want of success and let him go his way." Then the king ordered him to be placed on an ass and to be proclaimed through all the towns and villages (as an impostor).

The Brāhmaṇ, nettled by his defeat, was so affected that he vomited blood. The Bhikshu having heard of it, went to condole with him, and said, "Your learning embraces subjects religious and profane; your renown is spread through all parts; in questions of distinction, or the contrary, success or defeat must be borne; but after all, what is there of reality in fame?" The Brāhmaṇ, filled with rage, roundly abused the Bhikshu, calumniated the system or the Great Vehicle, and treated with contumely the holy ones who had gone before; but the sound of his words had scarcely been lost before the earth opened and swallowed him up alive; and this is the origin of the traces still left in the ditch.

Going south-west we come to a bay of the sea,1354 then going 2400 or 2500 li north-west we come to the kingdom of 'O-ch'a-li (Aṭali). [id (T51.2087.0936b)]

'O-CH'A-LI (AṬALI).1355

This country is about 6000 li in circuit; the capital of the country is about 20 li or so in circuit. The population is dense; the quality of gems and precious substances stored up is very great; the produce of the land is sufficient for all purposes, yet commerce is their principal occupation. The soil is salt and sandy, the fruits and flowers are not plentiful. The country produces the "hu-tsian" tree. The leaves of this tree are like those of the Sz'chuen pepper (Shuh tsiau); it also produces the "hiun-lu" perfume tree, the leaf of which is like the "thang-li".1356 The climate is warm, windy, and dusty. The disposition of the people is cold and indifferent. They esteem riches and despise virtue. Respecting their letters, language, and the manners and figures of the people, these are much the same as in the country of Mālava. The greater part of the people have no faith in the virtue of religious merit; as to those who do believe, they worship principally the spirits of heaven, and their temples are some thousand in number, in which sectaries of different characters congregate.

Going north-west from the country of Mālava, after passing over 300 li1357 or so, we come to the country of K'ie-ch'a (Kachha).


This country is 3000 li or so in circuit, the capital about 20 li. The population is dense. The establishments wealthy. There is no king (great ruler) amongst them; the country is an appanage of Mālava, and the climate, products of the soil, and manners of the people are very similar in both countries. There are some ten saṅghārāmas, with about 1000 priests, who study alike the Great and the Little Vehicle. There are also several tens of Deva temples with very many unbelievers (sectaries).

From this going north1359 1000 li or so, we come to Fa-la-pi (Valabhī).


This country is 6000 li or so in circuit, the capital about 30. The character of the soil, the climate, and manners of the people are like those of the kingdom of Mālava. The population is very dense; the establishments rich. There are some hundred houses (families) or so, who possess a hundred lākhs. The rare and valuable products of distant regions are here stored in great quantities. There are some hundred saṅghārāmas, with about 6000 priests. Most of them study the Little Vehicle.1360 according to the Sammatīya school. There are several hundred Deva temples with very many sectaries of different sorts.

When Tathāgata lived in the world, he often travelled through this country. Hence Aśoka-rāja raised monuments or built stūpas in all those places where Buddha rested. Scattered among these are spots where the three past Buddhas sat down, or walked, or preached the law. The present king is of the Kshattriya caste, as they all are. He is the nephew of śilāditya-rāja of Mālava, and son-in-law of the son of śilāditya, the present king of Kanyākubja. His name is Dhruvapaṭa (T'u-lu-p'o-po-tu).1361 He is of a lively and hasty disposition, his wisdom and statecraft are shallow. Quite recently he has attached himself sincerely to faith in the three "precious ones." Yearly he summons a great assembly, and for seven days gives away most valuable gems, exquisite meats, and on the priests he bestows in charity the three garments and medicaments, or their equivalent in value, and precious articles made of rare and costly gems of the seven sorts. Having given these in charity, he redeems them at twice their price. He esteems virtue (or the virtuous) and honours the good; he reverences those who are noted for their wisdom.1362 [id (T51.2087.0936c)] The great priests who come from distant regions he particularly honours and respects.

Not far from the city is a great saṅghārāma which was built by the Arhat āchāra ('O-che-lo);1363 here the Bodhisattvas Guṇamati and Sthiramati1364 (Kien-hwui) fixed their residences during their travels and composed treatises which have gained a high renown.

From this going north-west 700 li or so, we come to 'O-nan-to-pu-lo (ānandapura).


This country is about 2000 li in circuit, the capital about 20. The population is dense; the establishments rich. There is no chief ruler, but it is an appanage of Mālava.1365 The produce, climate, and literature and laws are the same as those of Mālava. There are some ten saṅghārāmas with less than 1000 priests; they study the Little Vehicle of the Sammatīya school. There are several tens of Deva temples, and sectaries of different kinds frequent them.

Going west from Valabhī 500 li or so, we come to the country of Su-la-ch'a (Surāshṭra).


This country is 4000 li or so in circuit, the capital about 30 li. On the west the chief town borders on the Mahī river; the population is dense, and the various establishments (families) are rich. The country is dependent on Valabhī. The soil is impregnated with salt; flowers and fruit are rare. Although the climate is equable, yet there is no cessation of tempests. The manners of the people are careless and indifferent; their disposition light and frivolous. They do not love learning and are attached both to the true faith and also to heretical doctrine. There are some fifty saṅghārāmas in this kingdom, with about 3000 priests; they mostly belong to the Sthavira school of the Great Vehicle. There are a hundred or so Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of various sorts. As this country is on the western sea route, the men all derive their livelihood from the sea and engage in commerce and exchange of commodities.

Not far from the city is a mountain called Yuh-chen-to (Ujjanta),1367 on the top of which is a saṅghārāma. The cells and galleries have mostly been excavated from the mountain-side. The mountain is covered with thick jungle and forest trees, whilst streams flow round its limits. Here saints and sages roam and rest, and Rishis endued with spiritual faculties congregate here and stay.

Going north from the country of Valabhī 1800 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Kiu-che-lo (Gurjjara).


This country1368 is 5000 li or so in circuit, the capital, which is called Pi-lo-mo-lo,1369 is 30 li or so round. The produce of the soil and the manners of the people resemble those of Surāshṭra. The population is dense; the establishments are rich and well supplied with materials (wealth). They mostly are unbelievers; a few are attached to the law of Buddha. There is one saṅghārāma, with about a hundred priests; they are attached to the teaching of the Little Vehicle and the school of the Sarvāstivādas. There are several tens of Deva temples, in which sectaries of various denominations dwell. The king is of the Kshattriya caste. He is just twenty years old; he is distinguished for wisdom, and he is courageous. He is a deep believer in the law of Buddha; and highly honours men of distinguished ability.

From this going south-east 2800 li or so, we come to the country of U-she-yen-na (Ujjayanī). [id (T51.2087.0937a)]


This country1370 is about 6000 li in circuit: the capital is some 30 li round. The produce and manners of the people are like those of the country of Surāshṭra. The population is dense and the establishments wealthy. There are several tens of convents, but they are mostly in ruins; some three or five are preserved. There are some 300 priests; they study the doctrines both of the Great and the Little Vehicle. There are several tens of Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of various kinds. The king belongs to the Brāhmaṇ caste. He is well versed in heretical books, and believes not in the true law.

Not far from the city is a stūpa; this is the place where Aśoka-rāja made the hell (of punishment).

Going north-east from this 1000 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Chi-ki-to.


This country is about 4000 li in circuit; the capital is some 15 or 16 li round. The soil is celebrated for its fertility; it is regularly cultivated ana yields abundant crops; it is specially adapted for beans and barley; it produces abundance of flowers and fruits. The climate is temperate; the people are naturally virtuous and docile; most of them believe in heretical doctrine, a few honour the law of Buddha. There are several tens of saṅghārāmas with few priests. There are about ten Deva temples, which some thousand followers frequent. The king is of the Brāhmaṇ caste. He firmly believes in the (three) precious ones; he honours and rewards those who are distinguished for virtue. Very many learned men from distant countries congregate in this place.

Going from here north 900 li or so, we come to the kingdom of Mo-hi-shi-fa-lo-pu-lo (Maheśvarapura).


This kingdom is about 3000 li in circuit; the capital city is some 30 li round. The produce of the soil and the manners of the people are like those of the kingdom of Ujjayanī They greatly esteem the heretics and do not reverence the law of Buddha. There are several tens of Deva temples, and the sectaries principally belong to the Pāśupatas. The king is of the Brāhmaṇ caste; he places but little faith in the doctrine of Buddha.

From this, going in a backward direction to the country of Kiu-che-lo (Gurjjara) and then proceeding northward through wild deserts and dangerous defiles about 1900 li, crossing the great river Sin-tu, we come to the kingdom of Sin-tu (Sindh).


This country is about 7000 li in circuit; the capital city, called P'i-shan-p'o-pu-lo,1371 is about 30 li round. The soil is favourable for the growth of cereals and produces abundance of wheat and millet; It also abounds in gold and silver and native copper. It is suitable for the breeding of oxen, sheep, camels, mules, and other kinds of beasts. The camels are small in size and have only one hump. They find here a great quantity of salt, which is red like cinnabar; also white salt, black salt and rock salt. In different places, both far and near, this salt is used for medicine. The disposition of the men is hard and impulsive; but they are honest and upright. They quarrel and are much given to contradiction. They study without aiming to excel; they have faith in the law of Buddha. There are several hundred saṅghārāmas, occupied by about 10,000 priests. They study the Little Vehicle according to the Sammatīya school. As a rule, they are indolent and given to indulgence and debauchery. Those who are very earnest as followers of the virtue of the sages [id (T51.2087.0937b)] live alone in desert places, dwelling far off in the mountains and the forests. There night and day they exert themselves in aiming after the acquirement of the holy fruit (of Arhatship). There are about thirty Deva temples, in which sectaries of various kinds congregate.

The king is of the śūdra (Shu-t'o-lo) caste. He is by nature honest and sincere, and he reverences the law of Buddha.

When Tathāgata was in the world, he frequently passed through this country, therefore Aśoka-rāja has founded several tens of stūpas in places where the sacred traces of his presence were found. Upagupta,1372 the great Arhat, sojourned very frequently in this kingdom, explaining the law and convincing and guiding men. The places where he stopped and the traces he left are all commemorated by the building of saṅghārāmas or the erection of stūpas. These buildings are seen everywhere; we can only speak of them briefly.

By the side of the river Sindh, along the flat marshy lowlands for some thousand li, there are several hundreds of thousands (a very great many) of families settled. They are of an unfeeling and hasty temper, and are given to bloodshed only. They give themselves exclusively to tending cattle, and from this derive their livelihood. They have no masters, and, whether men or women, have neither rich nor poor; they shave their heads and wear the Kashāya robes of Bhikshus, whom they resemble outwardly, whilst they engage themselves in the ordinary affairs of lay life. They hold to their narrow (little) views and attack the Great Vehicle.

The old reports state that formerly these people were extremely hasty (impatient), and only practised violence and cruelty. At this time there was an Arhat, who, pitying their perversity, and desiring to convert them, mounted in the air and came amongst them. He exhibited his miraculous powers and displayed his wonderful capabilities. Thus he led the people to believe and accept the doctrine, and gradually he taught them in words; all of them joyfully accepted his teaching and respectfully prayed him to direct them in their religious life. The Arhat perceiving that the hearts of the people had become submissive, delivered to them the three "Refuges" and restrained their cruel tendencies; they entirely gave up "taking life," they shaved their heads, and assumed the soiled robes of a Bhikshu, and obediently walked according to the doctrine of religion. Since then, generations have passed by and the changed times have weakened their virtue, but as for the rest, they retain their old customs. But though they wear the robes of religion, they live without any moral rules, and their sons and grandsons continue to live as worldly people, without any regard to their religious profession.

Going from this eastward 900 li or so, crossing the Sindh river and proceeding along the eastern bank, we come to the kingdom of Mu-lo-san-pu-lu.


This country1373 is about 4000 li in circuit; the capital town is some 30 li round. It is thickly populated. The establishments are wealthy. This country is in dependence on the kingdom of Cheka (Tse-kia). The soil is rich and fertile. The climate is soft and agreeable; the manners of the people are simple and honest; they love learning and honour the virtuous. The greater part sacrifice to the spirits; few believe in the law of Buddha. There are about ten saṅghārāmas, mostly in ruins; there are a few priests, who study indeed, but without any wish to excel. There are eight Deva temples, in which sectaries of various classes dwell. There is a temple dedicated to the sun,1374 very magnificent and profusely decorated. The image of the Sun-deva is cast in yellow gold and ornamented with rare gems. Its divine insight is mysteriously manifested and its spiritual power made plain to all. Women play their music, light their torches, offer their flowers and perfumes to honour it. This custom has been continued from the very first. The kings and high families of the five Indies never fail to make their offerings of gems and precious stones (to this Deva). They have founded a house of mercy (happiness) [id (T51.2087.0937c)] , in which they provide food, and drink, and medicines for the poor and sick, affording succour and sustenance. Men from all countries come here to offer up their prayers; there are always some thousands doing so. On the four sides of the temple are tanks with flowering groves where one can wander about without restraint.

From this going north-east 700 li or so, we come to the country of Po-fa-to.


This country is 5000 li or so in circuit, its capital is about 20 li. It is thickly populated, and depends on the country of Cheka (Tse-kia). A great deal of dry-ground rice is here grown. The soil is also fit for beans and wheat. The climate is temperate, the disposition of the people honest and upright. They are naturally quick and hasty; their language is low and common. They are well versed in composition and literature. There are heretics and believers in common. There are some ten saṅghārāmas with about 1000 priests; they study both the Great and Little Vehicle. There are four stūpas built by Aśoka-rāja. There are also some twenty Deva temples frequented by sectaries of different sorts.

By the side of the chief town is a great saṅghārāma with about 100 priests in it; they study the teaching of the Great Vehicle. It was here that Jinaputra, a master of śāstras,1376 composed the Yogāchāryabhūmi śāstrakārikā; here also Bhadraruchi and Guṇaprabha, masters of śāstras, embraced the religious life. This great saṅghārāma has been destroyed by fire, and is now waste and ruined.

Leaving the Sindh country, and going south-west 1500 or 1600 li, we come to the kingdom of 'O-tien-p'o-chi-lo (Atyanabakela).


This country is about 5000 li in circuit. The chief town is called Khie-tsi-shi-fa-lo, and is about 30 li round. It lies on the river Sindh, and borders on the ocean. The houses are richly ornamented, and mostly possess rare and costly substances. Lately there has been no ruler; it is under the protection of Sindh. The soil is low and damp and the ground is impregnated with salt. It is covered with wild shrubs, and is mostly waste land: it is little cultivated, yet it produces some sorts of grain, but principally beans and wheat, of which there is a great quantity. The climate is rather cold and subject to violent storms of wind. It is fit for raising oxen, sheep, camels, asses, and other kinds of beasts. The disposition of the people is violent and hasty. They have no love for learning. Their language differs slightly from that of Mid-India. The people are generally honest and sincere. They deeply reverence the three precious objects of worship. There are about eighty saṅghārāmas with some 5000 priests. They mostly study the Little Vehicle according to the Sammatīya school. There are ten Deva temples, mostly occupied by heretics belonging to the Pāśupatas.

In the capital town is a temple of Ta-tsz'-tsai-tien (Maheśvara Deva). The temple is ornamented with rich sculptures, and the image of the Deva is possessed of great spiritual powers. The Pāśupata heretics dwell in this temple. In old days Tathāgata often travelled through this country to preach the law and convert men, leading the multitude and benefiting the people. On this account Aśoka-rāja built stūpas on the spots consecrated by the sacred traces, six in number.

Going west from this less than 2000 li, we come to the country of Long-kie-lo (Laṅgala).


This country1377 is several thousand li from east to west and from north to south. The capital [id (T51.2087.0938a)] is about 30 li round. It is named Su-nu-li-chi-fa-lo (Sūnurīśvara?).1378 The soil is rich and fertile, and yields abundant harvests. The climate and the manners of the people are like those of 'O-tin-p'o-chi-lo. The population is dense. It possesses abundance of precious gems and stones. It borders on the ocean. It is on the route to the kingdom of the western women.1379 It has no chief ruler. The people occupy a long valley, and are not dependent on one another. They are under the government of Persia. The letters are much the same as those of India: their language is a little different. There are believers and heretics living together amongst them. There are some hundred saṅghārāmas, and perhaps 6000 priests, who study the teaching of both the Little and Great Vehicle. There are several hundred Deva temples. The heretics called Pāśupatas are exceedingly numerous. In the city is a temple to Maheśvara-Deva: it is richly adorned and sculptured. The Pāśupata heretics here offer their religious worship.

From this going north-west, we come to the kingdom of Po-la-sse (Persia).


This kingdom1380 is several myriad of lis in circuit. Its chief town, called Su-la-sa-t'ang-na (Surasthāna), is about 40 li in circuit. The valleys are extensive, and so the climate differs in character, but in general it is warm. They draw the water up to irrigate the fields. The people are rich and affluent. The country produces gold, silver, copper, rock-crystal (sphāṭika), rare pearls, and various precious substances. Their artists know how to weave fine brocaded silks, woollen stuffs, carpets, and so on. They have many "shen" horses and camels. In commerce they use large silver pieces. They are by nature violent and impulsive, and in their behaviour they practise neither decorum nor justice. Their writing and their language are different from other countries. They care not for learning, but give themselves entirely to works of art. All that they make the neighbouring countries value very much. Their marriage-customs are merely promiscuous intercourse. When dead their corpses are mostly abandoned. In stature they are tall: they tie up their hair (arrange their head-dress) and go uncovered. Their robes are either of skin, or wool, or felt, or figured silk. Each family is subject to a tax of four pieces of silver per man. The Deva temples are very numerous. Dinava1381 (Ti-na-po) is principally worshipped by the heretics. There are two or three saṅghārāmas, with several hundred priests, who principally study the teaching of the Little Vehicle according to the Sarvāstavādin school. The pātra of śākya Buddha is in this (country), in the king's palace.1382

On the eastern frontiers of the country is the town of Ho-mo (Ormus?). The city inside is not great, but the external walls are in circuit about 60 li or so. The people who inhabit it are all very rich. To the north-west this country borders on the kingdom of Fo-lin,1383 which resembles the kingdom of Persia in point of soil, and manners, and customs; but they differ in point of language and appearance of the inhabitants. These also possess a quantity of valuable gems, and are very rich.

To the south-west of Fo-lin, in an island of the sea, is the kingdom of the western women:1384 here there are only women, with no men; they possess a large quantity of gems and precious stones, which they exchange in Fo-lin. Therefore the king of Fo-lin sends certain men to live with them for a time. If they should have male children, they are not allowed to bring them up.

On leaving the kingdom of 'O-tien-p'o-chi-lo, and going north 700 li or so, we come to the country of Pi-to-shi-lo.


This kingdom is about 3000 li round; the capital is some 20 li in circuit. [id (T51.2087.0938b)] The population is dense. They have no chief ruler, but they depend on the country of Sin-tu. The soil is salt and sandy; the country is subject to a cold tempestuous wind. A great quantity of beans and wheat is grown. Flowers and fruits are scarce. The manners of the people are fierce and rough. Their language slightly differs from that of Mid-India. They do not love learning, but as far as they know they have a sincere faith. There are some fifty saṅghārāmas with about 3000 priests; they study the