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Xuanzang
Xuanzang
(Chinese: 玄奘; pinyin: xuánzàng; Wade–Giles: Hsüan-tsang; Mandarin: [ɕɥɛ̌ntsâŋ]; fl. c. 602–664) was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator who travelled to India
India
in the seventh century and described the interaction between Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism
and Indian Buddhism
Buddhism
during the early Tang dynasty.[1][2] Born in what is now Henan
Henan
province around 602, from boyhood he took to reading religious books, including the Chinese classics and the writings of ancient sages. While residing in the city of Luoyang
Luoyang
(in Henan
Henan
in Central China), Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was ordained as a śrāmaṇera (novice monk) at the age of thirteen. Due to the political and social unrest caused by the fall of the Sui dynasty, he went to Chengdu
Chengdu
in Sichuan, where he was ordained as a bhikṣu (full monk) at the age of twenty. He later travelled throughout China in search of sacred books of Buddhism. At length, he came to Chang'an, then under the peaceful rule of Emperor Taizong of Tang, where Xuanzang
Xuanzang
developed the desire to visit India. He knew about Faxian's visit to India
India
and, like him, was concerned about the incomplete and misinterpreted nature of the Buddhist texts
Buddhist texts
that had reached China.[3] He became famous for his seventeen-year overland journey to India (including Nalanda), which is recorded in detail in the classic Chinese text Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, which in turn provided the inspiration for the novel Journey to the West
Journey to the West
written by Wu Cheng'en
Wu Cheng'en
during the Ming dynasty, around nine centuries after Xuanzang's death.[4]

Contents

1 Nomenclature, orthography and etymology 2 Early life 3 Pilgrimage 4 India 5 Return to China 6 Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism
(influence)

6.1 The Perfection of Wisdom Sutra

7 Autobiography and biography 8 Legacy

8.1 Legacy In Fiction

9 Relics 10 Works 11 See also 12 Notes 13 References

13.1 Citations 13.2 Works cited 13.3 Other sources

14 Further reading 15 External links

Nomenclature, orthography and etymology[edit]

Names Xuanzang Tang Sanzang Xuanzang
Xuanzang
Sanzang Xuanzang
Xuanzang
Dashi Tang Seng

Traditional Chinese 玄奘 唐三藏 玄奘三藏 玄奘大師 唐僧

Simplified Chinese 玄奘 唐三藏 玄奘三藏 玄奘大师 唐僧

Pinyin Xuánzàng Táng Sānzàng Xuánzàng Sānzàng Xuánzàng Dàshī Táng Sēng

Wade–Giles Hsüan-tsang T'ang San-tsang Hsüan-tsang San-tsang Hsüan-tsang Ta-shih T'ang Seng

Jyutping (Cantonese) Jyun4 Zong6 Tong4 Saam1 Zong6 Jyun4 Zong6 Saam1 Zong6 Jyun4 Zong6 Daai6 Si1 Tong4 Zang1

Vietnamese Huyền Trang Đường Tam Tạng Huyền Trang Tam Tạng Huyền Trang Đại Sư Đường Tăng

Japanese Genjō Tō-Sanzō Genjō-sanzō Genjō-daishi Tōsō

Korean Hyeonjang Dang-samjang Hyeonjang-samjang Hyeonjang-daesa Dangseung

Meaning

Tang Dynasty Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
Master Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
Master Xuanzang Great Master Xuanzang Tang Dynasty Monk

Less common romanizations of "Xuanzang" include Hyun Tsan, Hhuen Kwan, Hiouen Thsang, Hiuen Tsang, Hiuen Tsiang, Hsien-tsang, Hsyan-tsang, Hsuan Chwang, Huan Chwang, Hsuan Tsiang, Hwen Thsang, Hsüan Chwang, Hhüen Kwān, Xuan Cang, Xuan Zang, Shuen Shang, Yuan Chang, Yuan Chwang, and Yuen Chwang. Hsüan, Hüan, Huan and Chuang are also found. The sound written x in pinyin and hs in Wade–Giles, which represents the s- or sh-like [ɕ] in today's Mandarin, was previously pronounced as the h-like [x] in early Mandarin, which accounts for the archaic transliterations with h. Another form of his official style was "Yuanzang," written 元奘. It is this form that accounts for such variants as Yuan Chang, Yuan Chwang, and Yuen Chwang.[5] Tang Monk (Tang Seng) is also transliterated /Thang Seng/.[6] Another of Xuanzang's standard aliases is Sanzang Fashi (simplified Chinese: 三藏法师; traditional Chinese: 三藏法師; pinyin: Sānzàngfǎshī; literally: "Sanzang Dharma
Dharma
(or Law) Teacher"): 法 being a Chinese translation for Sanskrit
Sanskrit
"Dharma" or Pali/Pakrit Dhamma, the implied meaning being "Buddhism". "Sanzang" is the Chinese term for the Buddhist canon, or Tripiṭaka, and in some English-language fiction and English translations of Journey to the West, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
is addressed as "Tripitaka."[citation needed] Early life[edit]

Part of a series on

Chinese Buddhism 汉传佛教 / 漢傳佛教

History

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Kushan
Empire Dharmaguptaka Silk Road
Silk Road
transmission

Major figures

Kumārajīva Xuanzang Huiyuan Zhiyi Bodhidharma Huineng Taixu Hsu Yun Hsuan Hua Nan Huai-Chin

Traditions

Chan Tiantai Huayan Pure Land Weishi Sanlun Tangmi

Texts

Chinese Buddhist canon Taishō Tripiṭaka

Architecture

Buddhist architecture
Buddhist architecture
in China

Bodhimaṇḍas

Wutai Emei Jiuhua Putuo

Culture

Buddhist Association of China Cuisine Martial arts Diyu

v t e

Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was born Chen Hui (or Chen Yi) around 602 in Chenhe Village, Goushi Town (Chinese: 緱氏鎮), Luozhou (near present-day Luoyang, Henan) and died on 5 February 664[7] in Yuhua Palace (玉華宮, in present-day Tongchuan, Shaanxi). His family was noted for its erudition for generations, and Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was the youngest of four children. His ancestor was Chen Shi (陳寔, 104-186), a minister of the Eastern Han dynasty. His great-grandfather Chen Qin (陳欽) served as the prefect of Shangdang (上黨; present-day Changzhi, Shanxi) during the Eastern Wei; his grandfather Chen Kang (陳康) was a professor in the Taixue (Imperial Academy) during the Northern Qi. His father Chen Hui (陳惠) was a conservative Confucian who served as the magistrate of Jiangling County
Jiangling County
during the Sui dynasty, but later gave up office and withdrew into seclusion to escape the political turmoil that gripped China towards the end of the Sui. According to traditional biographies, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
displayed a superb intelligence and earnestness, amazing his father by his careful observance of the Confucian rituals at the age of eight. Along with his brothers and sister, he received an early education from his father, who instructed him in classical works on filial piety and several other canonical treatises of orthodox Confucianism. Although his household was essentially Confucian, at a young age, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
expressed interest in becoming a Buddhist monk like one of his elder brothers. After the death of his father in 611, he lived with his older brother Chén Sù (Chinese: 陳素) (later known as Zhǎng jié Chinese: 長捷) for five years at Jingtu Monastery (Chinese: 淨土寺) in Luoyang, supported by the Sui state. During this time he studied Mahayana
Mahayana
as well as various early Buddhist schools, preferring the former.

Xuanzang's former residence in Chenhe Village near Luoyang, Henan.

In 618, the Sui Dynasty collapsed and Xuanzang
Xuanzang
and his brother fled to Chang'an, which had been proclaimed as the capital of the Tang dynasty, and thence southward to Chengdu, Sichuan. Here the two brothers spent two or three years in further study in the monastery of Kong Hui, including the Abhidharma-kośa Śāstra. When Xuanzang requested to take Buddhist orders at the age of thirteen, the abbot Zheng Shanguo made an exception in his case because of his precocious knowledge. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was fully ordained as a monk in 622, at the age of twenty. The myriad contradictions and discrepancies in the texts at that time prompted Xuanzang
Xuanzang
to decide to go to India
India
and study in the cradle of Buddhism. He subsequently left his brother and returned to Chang'an
Chang'an
to study foreign languages and to continue his study of Buddhism. He began his mastery of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
in 626, and probably also studied Tocharian. During this time, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
also became interested in the metaphysical Yogacara
Yogacara
school of Buddhism. Pilgrimage[edit]

An illustration of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
from Journey to the West, a fictional account of travels.

In 627, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
reportedly had a dream that convinced him to journey to India. Tang China and the Göktürks
Göktürks
were at war at the time and Emperor Taizong of Tang
Emperor Taizong of Tang
had prohibited foreign travel. Xuanzang persuaded some Buddhist guards at Yumen Pass
Yumen Pass
and slipped out of the empire through Liangzhou (Gansu) and Qinghai
Qinghai
in 629.[8] He subsequently travelled across the Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
to Kumul (modern Hami City), thence following the Tian Shan
Tian Shan
westward. He arrived in Turpan
Turpan
in 630. Here he met the king of Turpan, a Buddhist who equipped him further for his travels with letters of introduction and valuables to serve as funds. The hottest mountain in China, the Flaming Mountains, is located in Turpan
Turpan
and was depicted in the Journey to the West. Moving further westward, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
escaped robbers to reach Karasahr, then toured the non- Mahayana
Mahayana
monasteries of Kucha. Further west he passed Aksu before turning northwest to cross the Tian Shan's Bedel Pass into modern Kyrgyzstan. He skirted Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul
before visiting Tokmak on its northwest, and met the great Khagan of the Göktürks,[9] whose relationship to the Tang emperor was friendly at the time. After a feast, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
continued west then southwest to Tashkent, capital of modern Uzbekistan. From here, he crossed the desert further west to Samarkand. In Samarkand, which was under Persian influence, the party came across some abandoned Buddhist temples and Xuanzang
Xuanzang
impressed the local king with his preaching. Setting out again to the south, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
crossed a spur of the Pamirs and passed through the famous Iron Gates. Continuing southward, he reached the Amu Darya
Amu Darya
and Termez, where he encountered a community of more than a thousand Buddhist monks. Further east he passed through Kunduz, where he stayed for some time to witness the funeral rites of Prince Tardu,[10] who had been poisoned. Here he met the monk Dharmasimha, and on the advice of the late Tardu made the trip westward to Balkh
Balkh
(modern Afghanistan), to see the Buddhist sites and relics, especially the Nava Vihara, which he described as the westernmost vihara in the world. Here Xuanzang also found over 3,000 non- Mahayana
Mahayana
monks, including Prajnakara (般若羯羅 or 慧性),[11] a monk with whom Xuanzang
Xuanzang
studied early Buddhist scriptures. He acquired the important text of the Mahāvibhāṣa (Chinese: 大毗婆沙論) here, which he later translated into Chinese. Prajñakara then accompanied the party southward to Bamyan, where Xuanzang
Xuanzang
met the king and saw tens of non- Mahayana
Mahayana
monasteries, in addition to the two large Buddhas of Bamiyan
Buddhas of Bamiyan
carved out of the rockface. The party then resumed their travel eastward, crossing the Shibar Pass
Shibar Pass
and descending to the regional capital of Kapisi (about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of modern Kabul), which sported over 100 monasteries and 6000 monks, mostly Mahayana. This was part of the fabled old land of Gandhara. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
took part in a religious debate here, and demonstrated his knowledge of many Buddhist schools. Here he also met the first Jains and Hindu
Hindu
of his journey. He pushed on to Adinapur[12] (later named Jalalabad) and Laghman, where he considered himself to have reached India. The year was 630. India[edit]

Xuanzang
Xuanzang
Memorial Hall in Nalanda, Bihar, India.

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Xuanzang
Xuanzang
left Adinapur, which had few Buddhist monks, but many stupas and monasteries. His travels included, passing through Hunza and the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
to the east, reaching the former capital of Gandhara, Purushapura
Purushapura
(Peshawar), on the other side. Peshawar was nothing compared to its former glory, and Buddhism
Buddhism
was declining in the region. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
visited a number of stupas around Peshawar, notably the Kanishka
Kanishka
Stupa. This stupa was built just southeast of Peshawar, by a former king of the city. In 1908, it was rediscovered by D.B. Spooner with the help of Xuanzang's account. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
left Peshawar and travelled northeast to the Swat Valley. Reaching Oḍḍiyāna, he found 1,400-year-old monasteries, that had previously supported 18,000 monks. The remnant monks were of the Mahayana
Mahayana
school. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
continued northward and into the Buner Valley, before doubling back via Shahbaz Garhi
Shahbaz Garhi
to cross the Indus river at Hund. He visited Taxila which was desolate and half-ruined, and found most of its sangharamas still ruined and desolate with the state having become a dependency of Kashmir
Kashmir
with the local leaders fighting amongst themselves for power. Only a few monks remained there. He noted that it had some time previously been a subject of Kapisa. He went to Kashmir
Kashmir
in 631 where he met a talented monk Samghayasas (僧伽耶舍), and studied there. In Kashmir, he found himself in another center of Buddhist culture and describes that there were over 100 monasteries and over 5,000 monks in the area. Between 632 and early 633, he studied with various monks, including 14 months with Vinītaprabha (毘膩多缽臘婆 or 調伏光), 4 months with Candravarman (旃達羅伐摩 or 月胃), and "a winter and half a spring" with Jayagupta (闍耶毱多). During this time, Xuanzang wrote about the Fourth Buddhist council that took place nearby, ca. 100 AD, under the order of King Kanishka
Kanishka
of Kushana. He visited Chiniot
Chiniot
and Lahore
Lahore
as well and provided the earliest writings available on the ancient cities. In 634, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
arrived in Matipura (秣底補羅), known as Mandawar today.[11][13][14][15][16]

Travel route of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
in India

In 634, he went east to Jalandhar
Jalandhar
in eastern Punjab, before climbing up to visit predominantly non- Mahayana
Mahayana
monasteries in the Kulu valley and turning southward again to Bairat
Bairat
and then Mathura, on the Yamuna river. Mathura had 2,000 monks of both major Buddhist branches, despite being Hindu-dominated. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
travelled up the river to Shrughna, also mentioned in the works of Udyotakara, before crossing eastward to Matipura, where he arrived in 635, having crossed the river Ganges. At Matipura Monastery, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
studied under Mitrasena.[17] From here, he headed south to Sankasya
Sankasya
(Kapitha, then onward to Kannauj, the grand capital of the Empire of Harsha
Empire of Harsha
under the northern Indian emperor Harsha. It is believed he also visited Govishan
Govishan
present day Kashipur in the Harsha
Harsha
era, in 636, Xuanzang encountered 100 monasteries of 10,000 monks (both Mahayana
Mahayana
and non-Mahayana), and was impressed by the king's patronage of both scholarship and Buddhism. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
spent time in the city studying early Buddhist scriptures, before setting off eastward again for Ayodhya
Ayodhya
(Saketa), homeland of the Yogacara
Yogacara
school. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
now moved south to Kausambi
Kausambi
(Kosam), where he had a copy made from an important local image of the Buddha. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
now returned northward to Shravasti
Shravasti
Bahraich, travelled through Terai
Terai
in the southern part of modern Nepal
Nepal
(here he found deserted Buddhist monasteries) and thence to Kapilavastu, his last stop before Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.[18]

Xuan Zang, Dunhuang
Dunhuang
cave, 9th century

In 637, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
set out from Lumbini
Lumbini
to Kusinagara, the site of Buddha's death, before heading southwest to the deer park at Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon, and where Xuanzang
Xuanzang
found 1,500 resident monks. Travelling eastward, at first via Varanasi, Xuanzang reached Vaisali, Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(Patna) and Bodh Gaya. He was then accompanied by local monks to Nalanda, the greatest Indian university of Indian state of Bihar, where he spent at least the next two years, He visited Champa Monastery, Bhagalpur.[19][20] He was in the company of several thousand scholar-monks, whom he praised. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
studied logic, grammar, Sanskrit, and the Yogacara
Yogacara
school of Buddhism
Buddhism
during his time at Nalanda. René Grousset
René Grousset
notes that it was at Nalanda (where an "azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus; the dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there, and outside groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade") that Xuanzang met the venerable Silabhadra, the monastery's superior.[21] Silabhadra had dreamt of Xuanzang's arrival and that it would help spread far and wide the Holy Law.[22] Grousset writes: "The Chinese pilgrim had finally found the omniscient master, the incomparable metaphysician who was to make known to him the ultimate secrets of the idealist systems...The founders of Mahayana
Mahayana
idealism, Asanga
Asanga
and Vasubandhu...Dignaga...Dharmapala had in turn trained Silabhadra. Silabhadra
Silabhadra
was thus in a position to make available to the Sino-Japanese world the entire heritage of Buddhist idealism, and the Siddhi Xuanzang's great philosophical treatise...is none other than the Summa of this doctrine, the fruit of seven centuries of Indian [Buddhist] thought."[23] From Nalanda, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
travelled through several kingdoms, including Pundranagara, to the capital of Pundravardhana, identified with modern Mahasthangarh, in present-day Bangladesh. There Xuanzang
Xuanzang
found 20 monasteries with over 3,000 monks studying both the Hinayana
Hinayana
and the Mahayana. One of them was the Vāśibhã Monastery (Po Shi Po), where he found over 700 Mahayana
Mahayana
monks from all over East India.[24][25] He also visited Somapura Mahavihara
Somapura Mahavihara
at Paharpur in the district of Naogaon, in modern-day Bangladesh. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
turned southward and travelled to Andhradesa
Andhradesa
to visit the Viharas at Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda. He stayed at Amaravati and studied 'Abhidhammapitakam'.[26] He observed that there were many Viharas at Amaravati and some of them were deserted. He later proceeded to Kanchi, the imperial capital of Pallavas
Pallavas
and a strong centre of Buddhism. He continued traveling to Nasik, Ajanta, Malwa, from there he went to Multan and Pravata before returning to Nalanda again.[27] At the invitation of Hindu
Hindu
king Kumar Bhaskar Varman, he went east to the ancient city of Pragjyotishpura
Pragjyotishpura
in the kingdom of Kamarupa
Kamarupa
after crossing the Karatoya and spent three months in the region.Before going to Kamarupa
Kamarupa
he visited Sylhet
Sylhet
what is now a modern city Of Bangladesh.He gives detailed account about culture and people of Sylhet. Later, the king escorted Xuanzang
Xuanzang
back to the Kannauj
Kannauj
at the request of king Harshavardhana, who was an ally of Kumar Bhaskar Varman, to attend a great Buddhist Assembly there which was attended by both of the kings as well as several other kings from neighbouring kingdoms, buddhist monks, Brahmans and Jains. King Harsha
Harsha
invited Xuanjang to Kumbh Mela in Prayag where he witnessed king Harsha's generous distribution of gifts to the poor.[28] After visiting Prayag he returned to Kannauj
Kannauj
where he was given a grand farewell by king Harsha. Traveling through the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
of the Hindu
Hindu
Kush, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
passed through Kashgar, Khotan, and Dunhuang on his way back to China. He arrived in the capital, Chang'an, on the seventh day of the first month of 645, 16 years after he left Chinese territory, and a great procession celebrated his return.[29] Return to China[edit] On his return to China in AD 645, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was greeted with much honor but he refused all high civil appointments offered by the still-reigning emperor, Emperor Taizong of Tang. Instead, he retired to a monastery and devoted his energy in translating Buddhist texts until his death in AD 664. According to his biography, he returned with, "over six hundred Mahayana
Mahayana
and Hinayana
Hinayana
texts, seven statues of the Buddha and more than a hundred sarira relics."[30] In celebration of Xuanzang's extraordinary achievement in translating the Buddhist texts, Emperor Gaozong of Tang
Emperor Gaozong of Tang
ordered renowned Tang calligrapher Chu Suiliang (褚遂良) and inscriber Wan Wenshao (萬文韶) to install two stele stones, collectively known as The Emperor’s Preface to the Sacred Teachings (雁塔聖教序), at the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda.[31] Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism
(influence)[edit]

Statue of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
at the Great Wild Goose Pagoda
Great Wild Goose Pagoda
in Xi'an

During Xuanzang's travels, he studied with many famous Buddhist masters, especially at the famous center of Buddhist learning at Nalanda. When he returned, he brought with him some 657 Sanskrit texts. With the emperor's support, he set up a large translation bureau in Chang'an
Chang'an
(present-day Xi'an), drawing students and collaborators from all over East Asia. He is credited with the translation of some 1,330 fascicles of scriptures into Chinese. His strongest personal interest in Buddhism
Buddhism
was in the field of Yogācāra (瑜伽行派), or Consciousness-only (唯識). The force of his own study, translation and commentary of the texts of these traditions initiated the development of the Faxiang
Faxiang
school (法相宗) in East Asia. Although the school itself did not thrive for a long time, its theories regarding perception, consciousness, Karma, rebirth, etc. found their way into the doctrines of other more successful schools. Xuanzang's closest and most eminent student was Kuiji
Kuiji
(窺基) who became recognized as the first patriarch of the Faxiang
Faxiang
school. Xuanzang's logic, as described by Kuiji, was often misunderstood by scholars of Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism
because they lack the necessary background in Indian logic.[32] Another important disciple was the Korean monk Woncheuk. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was known for his extensive but careful translations of Indian Buddhist texts
Buddhist texts
to Chinese, which have enabled subsequent recoveries of lost Indian Buddhist texts
Buddhist texts
from the translated Chinese copies. He is credited with writing or compiling the Cheng Weishi Lun as a commentary on these texts. His translation of the Heart Sutra became and remains the standard in all East Asian Buddhist sects; as well, this translation of the Heart Sutra
Heart Sutra
was generally admired within the traditional Chinese gentry and is still widely respected as numerous renowned past and present Chinese calligraphers have penned its texts as their artworks.[33] He also founded the short-lived but influential Faxiang
Faxiang
school of Buddhism. Additionally, he was known for recording the events of the reign of the northern Indian emperor, Harsha. The Perfection of Wisdom Sutra[edit]

Statue of Xuanzang. Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an.

Xuanzang
Xuanzang
returned to China with three copies of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra.[34] Xuanzang, with a team of disciple translators, commenced translating the voluminous work in 660 CE, using all three versions to ensure the integrity of the source documentation.[34] Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was being encouraged by a number of his disciple translators to render an abridged version. After a suite of dreams quickened his decision, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
determined to render an unabridged, complete volume, faithful to the original of 600 chapters.[35] Autobiography and biography[edit] In 646, under the Emperor's request, Xuanzang
Xuanzang
completed his book Great Tang Records on the Western Regions (大唐西域記), which has become one of the primary sources for the study of medieval Central Asia and India.[36] This book was first translated into French by the Sinologist Stanislas Julien
Stanislas Julien
in 1857. There was also a biography of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
written by the monk Huili (慧立). Both books were first translated into English by Samuel Beal, in 1884 and 1911 respectively.[37][38] An English translation with copious notes by Thomas Watters was edited by T.W. Rhys Davids and S.W. Bushell, and published posthumously in London in 1905. Legacy[edit]

Xuanzang
Xuanzang
Temple in Taiwan

Statue of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
at Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang

A half-monk at thirteen restless to find the truth one night I saw in my dream

an azure pool a blue lotus dazzling red flowers

thick mango groves wrinkled face of a Bhikchhu I set out for Yintu

secretly escaping the Middle Kingdom at night, like the young Siddhartha against the Emperor’s diktats

I travelled alone for years a fakir along the Silk Road hungry, naked but blessed...

“ ”

"Hiuen Tsang: A Poem by Abhay K.[39]

Xuanzang's work, the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, is the longest and most detailed account of the countries of Central and South Asia that has been bestowed upon posterity by a Chinese Buddhist pilgrim. While his main purpose was to obtain Buddhist books and to receive instruction on Buddhism
Buddhism
while in India, he ended up doing much more. He has preserved the records of political and social aspects of the lands he visited. His record of the places visited by him in Bengal — mainly Raktamrittika near Karnasuvarna, Pundranagara
Pundranagara
and its environs, Samatata
Samatata
, Tamralipti and Harikela— have been very helpful in the recording of the archaeological history of Bengal
Bengal
what is now . His account has also shed welcome light on the history of 7th century Bengal, especially the Gauda kingdom under Shashanka, although at times he can be quite partisan. Xuanzang
Xuanzang
obtained and translated 657 Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Buddhist works. He received the best education on Buddhism
Buddhism
he could find throughout India. Much of this activity is detailed in the companion volume to Xiyu Ji, the Biography of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
written by Huili, entitled the Life of Xuanzang. His version of the Heart Sutra
Heart Sutra
is the basis for all Chinese commentaries on the sutra, and recitations throughout China, Korea and Japan.[40] His style was, by Chinese standards, cumbersome and overly literal, and marked by scholarly innovations in terminology; usually, where another version by the earlier translator Kumārajīva
Kumārajīva
exists, Kumārajīva's is more popular.[40] Legacy In Fiction[edit] Xuanzang's journey along the so-called Silk Road, and the legends that grew up around it, inspired the Ming novel Journey to the West, one of the great classics of Chinese literature. The fictional counterpart Tang Sanzang
Tang Sanzang
is the reincarnation of the Golden Cicada, a disciple of Gautama Buddha, and is protected on his journey by three powerful disciples. One of them, the monkey, was a popular favorite and profoundly influenced Chinese culture and contemporary Japanese manga and anime (including the popular Dragon Ball and Saiyuki series), and became well known in the West by Arthur Waley's translation and later the cult TV series Monkey. In the Yuan Dynasty, there was also a play by Wu Changling (吳昌齡) about Xuanzang
Xuanzang
obtaining scriptures. Relics[edit] A skull relic purported to be that of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
was held in the Temple of Great Compassion, Tianjin
Tianjin
until 1956 when it was taken to Nalanda
Nalanda
- allegedly by the Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
- and presented to India. The relic was in the Patna Museum
Patna Museum
for a long time but was moved to a newly built memorial hall in Nalanda
Nalanda
in 2007.[41] The Wenshu Monastery in Chengdu, Sichuan
Sichuan
province also claims to have part of Xuanzang's skull. Part of Xuanzang's remains were taken from Nanjing
Nanjing
by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
in 1942, and are now enshrined at Yakushi-ji
Yakushi-ji
in Nara, Japan.[42] Works[edit]

Watters, Thomas (1904). On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. Vol.1. Royal Asiatic Society, London.  Volume 2. Reprint. Hesperides Press, 1996. ISBN 978-1-4067-1387-9. Beal, Samuel (1884). Si-Yu-Ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World, by Hiuen Tsiang. 2 vols. Translated by Samuel Beal. London. 1884. Reprint: Delhi. Oriental Books Reprint Corporation. 1969. Vol. 1, Vol. 2 Julien, Stanislas, (1857/1858). Mémoires sur les contrées occidentales, L'Imprimerie impériale, Paris. Vol.1 Vol.2 Li, Rongxi (translator) (1995). The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. Berkeley, California. ISBN 1-886439-02-8

See also[edit]

Sino-Indian relations Silk Road
Silk Road
transmission of Buddhism Buddhism
Buddhism
in China Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Chinese Translation Theory Chinese exploration Faxian Yijing Zhang Qian Hyecho Ibn Battuta Marco Polo

Notes[edit]

^ There is some dispute over the Chinese character for Xuanzang's given name at birth. Historical records provide two different Chinese characters, 褘 and 禕, both are similar in writing except that the former has one more stroke than the latter. Their pronunciations in pinyin are also different: the former is pronounced as Huī while the latter is pronounced as Yī. See here and here. (Both sources are in Chinese.)

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ Wriggins, Sally (27 November 2003). The Silk Road
Silk Road
Journey With Xuanzang
Xuanzang
(1 ed.). Washington DC: Westview press (Penguin). ISBN 0813365996.  ^ Upinder Singh (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education. p. 563.  ^ Wriggins, Sally (27 November 2003). The Silk Road
Silk Road
Journey With Xuanzang. New York: Westview (Penguin). ISBN 0813365996.  ^ Cao Shibang (2006). "Fact vs. Fiction: From Record of the Western Regions to Journey to the West". In Wang Chichhung. Dust in the Wind: Retracing Dharma
Dharma
Master Xuanzang's Western Pilgrimage. p. 62. Retrieved 2 February 2014.  ^ Rhys Davids, T. W. (1904). On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India 629–645 A.D. London: Royal Asiatic Society. pp. xi–xii.  ^ Christie 123, 126, 130, and 141 ^ Wriggins 1996, pp. 7, 193 ^ "Note sur la chronologie du voyage de Xuanzang." Étienne de la Vaissière. Journal Asiatique, Vol. 298, 1. (2010), pp. 157-168.[1] Eh? Liangzhou, Gansu, Qinghai
Qinghai
and Gobi are all east of Yumen. ^ Tong Yabghu Qaghan
Tong Yabghu Qaghan
or possibly his son ^ Baumer,Hist Cent Asia,2,200 says Tardush Shad (see Shad (prince)), eldest son of Tong Yabghu Qaghan
Tong Yabghu Qaghan
advanced as far as the Indus. In 630 his son Ishbara Yabghu had his new wife poison him, 'which Xuanzang witnessed'. ^ a b "玄奘法師年譜". ccbs.ntu.edu.tw. Retrieved 13 December 2016.  ^ Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and monthly record (Great Britain) Volume 1, page 43 (Science) 1879. ^ John Marshall. A Guide to Taxila. Cambridge University Press. pp. 39, 46.  ^ Elizabeth Errington, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis. Persepolis to the Punjab: Exploring Ancient Iran, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan. British Museum Press. p. 134. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Stephen Gosch, Peter Stearns. Premodern Travel in World History. Routledge. p. 89.  ^ trans. by Samuel Beal. Si-yu-ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World. Motilal Banarasidass.  ^ Men and Thought in Ancient India
India
by Radhakumud Mookerji, 1912 edition published by McMillan and Co., reprinted by Motilal Banarasidass (1996) page 169 ^ Nakamura, Hajime (2000). Gotama Buddha. Kosei. pp. 47, 53–54. ISBN 4-333-01893-5.  ^ https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/exhibit/fgKCLo03OYLgIg ^ http://monastic-asia.wikidot.com/champa ^ René Grousset. In the Footsteps of the Buddha. JA Underwood (trans) Orion Press. New York. 1971. p159-160. ^ Rene Grousset. In the Footsteps of the Buddha. JA Underwood (trans) Orion Press. New York. 1971.p161 ^ Rene Grousset. In the Footsteps of the Buddha. JA Underwood (trans) Orion Press. New York. 1971 p161 ^ Watters II (1996), pp. 164-165. ^ Li (1996), pp. 298-299 ^ "Xuan Zang stayed in Vijayawada to study Buddhist scriptures".  ^ Xuanzang
Xuanzang
Pilgrimage Route Google Maps, retrieved July 17, 2016 ^ Assembly at Prayag Ancient Indian History and Culure by Sailendra Nath Sen, page 260, ISBN 81-224-1198-3, 2nd ed. 1999, New Age International(P) Limited Publishers ^ Wriggins 186-188. ^ Strong 2007, p. 188. ^ "The Emperor's Preface to the Sacred Teachings". Vincent's Calligraphy. Retrieved 2017-02-24.  ^ See Eli Franco, "Xuanzang's proof of idealism." Horin 11 (2004): 199-212. ^ " Heart Sutra
Heart Sutra
Buddhism". Vincent's Calligraphy. Retrieved 2017-03-16.  ^ a b Wriggins 1996, pg.206 ^ Wriggins 1996, pg. 207 ^ Deeg, Max (2007). „Has Xuanzang
Xuanzang
really been in Mathurā? : Interpretatio Sinica or Interpretatio Occidentalia — How to Critically Read the Records of the Chinese Pilgrim.“ - In: 東アジアの宗教と文化 : 西脇常記教授退休記念論集 = Essays on East Asian religion and culture: Festschrift in honour of Nishiwaki Tsuneki on the occasion of his 65th birthday / クリスティアン・ウィッテルン, 石立善編集 = ed. by Christian Wittern und Shi Lishan. - 京都 [Kyōto] : 西脇常記教授退休記念論集編集委員會 ; 京都大���人文科學研究所 ; Christian Wittern, 2007, pp. 35 - 73. See p. 35 ^ Beal 1884 ^ Beal 1911 ^ Hiuen Tsang Asia Literary Review, 3 May 2017 ^ a b Nattier 1992, pg. 188 ^ of famous Chinese monk moved to new memorial hall in N India China.com, Xinhua, February 11, 2007 ^ Arai, Kiyomi. "Yakushiji offers peace of mind." (originally from Yomiuri Shinbun). Buddhist Channel Website. 25 September 2008. Accessed 23 May 2009.

Works cited[edit]

Bernstein, Richard (2001). Ultimate Journey: Retracing the Path of an Ancient Buddhist Monk (Xuanzang) who crossed Asia in Search of Enlightenment. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. ISBN 0-375-40009-5. Christie, Anthony (1968). Chinese Mythology. Feltham, Middlesex: Hamlyn Publishing. ISBN 0600006379. Gordon, Stewart. When Asia was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks who created the "Riches of the East" Da Capo Press, Perseus Books, 2008. ISBN 0-306-81556-7. Nattier, Jan. "The Heart Sutra: A Chinese Apocryphal Text?". Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies Vol. 15 (2), p. 153-223. (1992) PDF Saran, Mishi (2005). Chasing the Monk’s Shadow: A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-306439-8 Sun Shuyun (2003). Ten Thousand Miles without a Cloud (retracing Xuanzang's journeys). Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-00-712974-2 Waley, Arthur (1952). The Real Tripitaka, and Other Pieces. London: G. Allen and Unwin. Wriggins, Sally Hovey. Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim on the Silk Road. Westview Press, 1996. Revised and updated as The Silk Road
Silk Road
Journey With Xuanzang. Westview Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8133-6599-6. Wriggins, Sally Hovey (2004). The Silk Road
Silk Road
Journey with Xuanzang. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-6599-6. Yu, Anthony C. (ed. and trans.) (1980 [1977]). The Journey to the West. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-97150-6 (fiction)

Other sources[edit]

Beal, Samuel, trans. (1911). The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang. Translated from the Chinese of Shaman (monk) Hwui Li. London. 1911. Reprint Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi. 1973. Julien, Stanislas (1853). Histoire de la vie de Hiouen-Thsang, par Hui Li et Yen-Tsung, Paris. Li, Rongxi, trans. (1995). A Biography of the Tripiṭaka
Tripiṭaka
Master of the Great Ci’en Monastery of the Great Tang Dynasty. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. Berkeley, California. ISBN 1-886439-00-1 Li, Yongshi, trans. (1959). The Life of Hsuan Tsang by Huili. Chinese Buddhist Association, Beijing.

Watters, Thomas (1904–05). On Yuan Chwang’s Travels in India. London, Royal Asiatic Society. Reprint, Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1973.

Further reading[edit]

Bhat, R. B., & Wu, C. (2014). Xuan Zhang's mission to the West with Monkey King. New Delhi : Aditya Prakashan, 2014. Sen, T. (2006). The Travel Records of Chinese Pilgrims Faxian, Xuanzang, and Yijing, Education About Asia 11 (3), 24-33 Weerawardane, Prasani (2009). Journey to the West: Dusty Roads, Stormy Seas and Transcendence, biblioasia 5 (2), 14-18 Kahar Barat (2000). The Uygur-Turkic Biography of the Seventh-Century Chinese Buddhist Pilgrim Xuanzang: Ninth and Tenth Chapters. Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies. ISBN 978-0-933070-46-2.  Jain, Sandhya, & Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India
India
they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books.

External links[edit]

Media related to Xuanzang
Xuanzang
at Wikimedia Commons Hiuen Tsang A Poem on Xuanzang
Xuanzang
in Asia Literary Review by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K. A Tour of Hiuen Tsang Museum Nalanda
Nalanda
A Video Tour of Xuanzang
Xuanzang
Museum Nalanda Xuanzang
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Memorial, Nava Nalanda
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Mahavihara on Google Cultural Institute Details of Xuanzang's life and works Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy History of San Zang A narration of Xuan Zang's journey to India. "大慈恩寺三藏法师传 (全文)". Archived from the original on 13 February 2005.  Chinese text of The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang, by Shaman (monk) Hwui Li (Hui Li) (沙门慧立) Verses Delineating the Eight Consciousnesses
Eight Consciousnesses
by Tripitaka Master Xuanzang
Xuanzang
of the Tang Dynasty, translation and explanation by Ronald Epstein (1986)

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