On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thomas W.

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thomas W.

Postby admin » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:12 am

On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D.
by Thomas Watters M.R.A.S.
Edited After his Death by T.W. Rhys Davids, F.B.A. and S.W. Bushell, M.D., C.M.G.
With Two Maps and an Itinerary by Vincent A. Smith
Royal Asiatic Society, London
1904

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The Lumbini Pillar Inscription.

Whatever the event, in December 1896 Fuhrer met up at this Nepalese ‘Rummindei’ with the local Governor, Khadga Shamsher, ‘a man with intrigue in his bones’, who having assassinated one Prime Minister of Nepal and plotted against two others, eventually fled to British India and sanctuary.

The subsequent excavations around the pillar reportedly disclosed an Asokan inscription about a metre below ground, and level with the top of a surrounding brick enclosure.

The credit for the discovery of this inscription later prompted an official enquiry, since Fuhrer had supposedly left the site just before any excavations had begun, leaving the Governor and his ‘sappers’ to do the digging. In his official letter on the matter, Fuhrer stated that he had advised the Governor ‘that an inscription would be found if a search was made below the surface of the mound’ on which the pillar was situated. Since there was no previous historical reference to such an inscription, one wonders at Fuhrer’s remarkable prescience on this occasion. However, since this inscription provides the basis for the identification of this place with Lumbini, I propose to deal with it before passing on to other features at this site.

The appearance of this inscription in 1896 marked its first recorded appearance in history. The noted Chinese pilgrims, Fa-hsien and Yuan-chuang, make no mention of it in their accounts of the Lumbini site (though Yuan-chuang does give a detailed description of a pillar) and as Thomas Watters observed:

‘We have no records of any other pilgrims visiting this place, or of any great Buddhists residing at it, or of any human life, except that mentioned by the two pilgrims, between the Buddha’s time and the present.


In Watters’ book ‘On Yuan Chwang’s Travels in India’ (prepared from an unpublished manuscript after his death) the following statement is found with reference to the Lumbini site:

‘Yuan-chuang, as we have seen, mentions a stone pillar, but he does not say anything about an inscription on it. The Fang-chih, however, tells us that the pillar recorded the circumstances of Buddha's birth’.


The Fang-chih -– a shortened version of Yuan-chuang’s account -- does nothing of the sort, since though it also refers to a stone pillar at Lumbini, no inscription ‘recording the circumstances of Buddha’s birth’ is mentioned in this text either. Watters, a great Sinologist, was referred to by V. A. [Vincent Arthur] Smith as ‘one of the most brilliant ornaments’ of Chinese Buddhist scholarship, and it is inconceivable that he would have made this critical mistake. Indeed, when Smith asserted that the Lumbini pillar inscription ‘set at rest all doubts as to the exact site of the traditional birthplace of Gautama Buddha’, Watters acidly retorted that ‘it would be more correct to say that the inscription, if genuine, tells us what was the spot indicated to Asoka as the birthplace of the Buddha’. Note that ‘if genuine’: this shows that Watters not only had his doubts about this inscription, but that he was also prepared to voice those doubts in public. Moreover, according to Smith, ‘Mr Watters writes in a very sceptical spirit, and apparently feels doubts as to the reality of the Sakya principality in the Tarai'. From all this, it will clearly be seen that this Fang-chih ‘mistake’ was totally at variance with Watters’ ‘very sceptical spirit’ regarding these supposed Nepalese discoveries (Lumbini included); and I shall therefore charge that it was a posthumous interpolation into Watters’ original text by its editors, Rhys Davids, Bushell, and Smith. If this charge is correct –- and I am quite sure that it is -- then the reasons behind this appalling deception can only be guessed at, I need hardly add.


-- Lumbini On Trial: The Untold Story. Lumbini Is An Astonishing Fraud Begun in 1896, by T. A. Phelps


Contents: [PDF HERE]

• Preface
• Thomas Watters
• Transliteration of the Pilgrim’s Name
• Chapter 1. Title and Text
• Chapter 2. The Introduction
• Chapter 3. From Kao Chang to the Thousand Springs
• Chapter 4. Taras to Kapis
• Chapter 5. General Description of India
• Chapter 6. Lampa to Gandhara
• Chapter 7. Udyana to Kashmir
• Chapter 8. Kashmir to Rajapur
• Chapter 9. Cheh-Ka to Mathura
• Chapter 10. Sthanesvara to Kapitha
• Chapter 11. Kanyakubja to Visoka
• Chapter 12. Sravasti to Kusinara

The Chinese treatise known as the Hsi-yu-chi (or Si-yu- ki) is one of the classical Buddhist books of China, Korea, and Japan....

On the title-page of the Hsi-yu-chi it is represented as having been "translated" by Yuan-chuang and "redacted" or "compiled" by Pien-chi ([x]). But we are not to take the word for translate here in its literal sense, and all that it can be understood to convey is that the information given in the book was obtained by Yuan-chuang from foreign sources. One writer tells us that Yuan-chuang supplied the materials to Pien-chi who wrought these up into a literary treatise. Another states that Yuan-chuang communicated at intervals the facts to be recorded to Pien-chi who afterwards wove these into a connected narrative.

This Pien-chi was one of the learned Brethren appointed by T'ai Tsung to assist Yuan-chung in the work of translating the Indian books which Yuan-chuang had brought with him. It was the special duty of Pien-chi to give literary form to the translations. He was a monk of the Hui-chang ([x]) Monastery and apparently in favour at the court of the Emperor. But he became mixed up in an intrigue with one of T'ai Tsung's daughters and we cannot imagine a man of his bad character being on very intimate terms with the pilgrim. As to the Hsi-yu-chi we may doubt whether he really had much to do with its formation, and perhaps the utmost that can be claimed for him is that he may have strung together Yuan-chuang's descriptions into a connected narrative. The literary compositions of Yuan-chuang to be found in other places seem to justify us in regarding him as fully competent to write the treatise before us without any help from others...Some of the notes and comments may have been added by Pien-chi but several are evidently by a later hand....

The Hsi-yu-chi exists in several editions which present considerable variations both in the text and in the supplementary notes and explanations....

Under the guidance of the learned Doctors in Buddhism in these establishments he studied some of the great works of their religion, and soon became famous in China as a very learned and eloquent young monk. But he could not remain in China for he longed vehemently to visit the holy land of his religion, to see its far-famed shrines, and all the visible evidences of the Buddha's ministrations. He had learned, moreover, to be dissatisfied with the Chinese translations of the sacred books, and he was desirous to procure these books in their original language, and to learn the true meaning of their abstruse doctrines from orthodox pundits in India. After making enquiries and preparations he left the capital Ch'ang-an ([x]), the modern Hsi-an ([x])-foo, in the year 629, and set out secretly on his long pilgrimage....

After sixteen year's absence Yuan-chuang returned to China and arrived at Ch'ang-an in the beginning of 645, the nineteenth year of the reign of T'ang T'ai Tsung....

Now he had arrived whole and well, and had become a many days' wonder. He had been where no other had ever been, he had seen and heard what no other had ever seen and heard. Alone he had crossed trackless wastes tenanted only by fierce ghost-demons. Bravely he had climbed fabled mountains high beyond conjecture, rugged and barren, ever chilled by icy wind and cold with eternal snow. He had been to the edge of the world and had seen where all things end. Now he was safely back to his native land, and with so great a quantity of precious treasures. There were 657 sacred books of Buddhism, some of which were full of mystical charms able to put to flight the invisible powers of mischief. All these books were in strange Indian language and writing, and were made of trimmed leaves of palm or of birch-bark strung together in layers. Then there were lovely images of the Buddha and his saints in gold, and silver, and crystal, and sandalwood. There were also many curious pictures and, above all, 150 relics, true relics of the Buddha. All these relics were borne on twenty horses and escorted into the city with great pomp and ceremony.

The Emperor T'ai Tsung forgave the pilgrim for going abroad without permission, made his acquaintance and became his intimate friend. He received Yuan-chuang in an inner chamber of the palace, and there listened with unwearied interest from day to day to his stories about unknown lands and the wonders Buddha and his great disciples had wrought in them...On his petition the Emperor appointed several distinguished lay scholars and several learned monks to assist in the labour of translating, editing, and copying. In the meantime at the request of his Sovereign Yuan-chuang compiled the Records of his travels, the Hsi-yu-chi. The first draft of this work was presented to the Emperor in 646, but the book as we have it now was not actually completed until 648. It was apparently copied and circulated in Ms in its early form during the author's life and for some time after. When the Hsi-yu-chi was finished Yuan-chuang gave himself up to the task of translating, a task which was to him one of love and duty combined.... In the year 664 on the 6th day of the second month he underwent the great change.... he passed hence into Paradise....

His character as revealed to us in his Life and other books is interesting and attractive....Too prone at times to follow authority and accept ready-made conclusions he was yet self possessed and independent....

There were lengths, however, to which he could not go, and even his powerful friend the Emperor T'ai Tsung could not induce him to translate Lao-tzu's "Tao-Te-Ching" into Sanskrit or recognize Lao-tzu as in rank above the Buddha....His faith was simple and almost unquestioning, and he had an aptitude for belief which has been called credulity. But his was not that credulity which lightly believes the impossible and accepts any statement merely because it is on record and suits the convictions or prejudices of the individual. Yuan-chuang always wanted to have his own personal testimony, the witness of his own senses or at least his personal experience. It is true his faith helped his unbelief, and it was too easy to convince him where a Buddhist miracle was concerned. A hole in the ground without any natural history, a stain on a rock without any explanation apparent, any object held sacred by the old religion of the fathers, and any marvel professing to be substantiated by the narrator, was generally sufficient to drive away his doubts and bring comforting belief. But partly because our pilgrim was thus too ready to believe, though partly also for other reasons, he did not make the best use of his opportunities. He was not a good observer, a careful investigator, or a satisfactory recorder, and consequently he left very much untold which he would have done well to tell....

After Yuan-chuang's death great and marvellous things were said of him. His body, it was believed, did not see corruption and he appeared to some of his disciples in visions of the night. In his lifetime he had been called a "Present Sakyamuni", and when he was gone his followers raised him to the rank of a founder of Schools or Sects in Buddhism. In one treatise we find the establishment of three of these schools ascribed to him, and in another work he is given as the founder in China of a fourth school. This last is said to have been originated in India at Nalanda by Silabhadra one of the great Buddhist monks there with whom Yuan-chuang studied....

THE PREFACES TO THE HSI-YU-CHI.

There is only one Preface in the A, B, and C editions of the "Hsi-yu-chi", but the D edition gives two Prefaces.... This latter was apparently unknown to native editors and it was unknown to the foreign translators. This Preface is the work of Ching Po ([x]), a scholar, author, and official of the reigns of T'ang Kao Tsu and T'ai Tsung.... It is plain from this Preface that its author was an intimate friend of Yuan-chuang whose name he does not think it necessary to mention. He seems to have known or regarded Yuan-chuang as the sole author of the "Hsi-yu-chi", writing of him thus: — "he thought it no toil to reduce to order the notes which he had written down"....

The second Preface, which is in all editions except the Corean, is generally represented as having been written by one Chang Yueh ([x]). It has been translated fairly well by Julien, who has added numerous notes to explain the text and justify his renderings. He must have studied the Preface with great care and spent very many hours in his attempt to elucidate its obscurities. Yet it does not seem to have occurred to him to learn who Chang Yueh was and when he lived.

Now the Chang Yueh who bore the titles found at the head of the Preface above the name was born in 667 and died in 730, thus living in the reigns of Kao Tsung, Chung Tsung, Jui Tsung, and Hsuan Tsung. He is known in Chinese literature and history as a scholar, author, and official of good character and abilities. His Poems and Essays, especially the latter, have always been regarded as models of style, but they are not well known at present. In 689 Chang Yueh became qualified for the public service, and soon afterwards he obtained an appointment at the court of the Empress Wu Hou. But he did not prove acceptable to that ambitious, cruel and vindictive sovereign, and in 703 he was sent away to the Ling-nan Tao (the modern Kuangtung). Soon afterwards, however, he was recalled and again appointed to office at the capital. He served Hsuan Huang (Ming Huang) with acceptance, rising to high position and being ennobled as Yen kuo kung ([x]).

Now if, bearing in mind the facts of Chang Yueh's birth and career, we read with attention the Preface which bears his name we cannot fail to see that it could not have been composed by that official....according to the Chinese authorities and their translators Julien and Professor G. Schlegel, it was a schoolboy who composed this wonderful Preface, this "piece that offers a good specimen characterized by these pompous and empty praises, and presents, therefore the greatest difficulties, not only has a translator from the West, but still has every letter Chinese who would only know the ideas and the language of the school of Confucius." We may pronounce this impossible as the piece is evidently the work of a ripe scholar well read not only in Confucianism but also in Buddhism. Moreover the writer was apparently not only a contemporary but also a very intimate friend of Yuan-chuang.

In the A and C editions and in the old texts Chang Yueh's name does not appear on the title-page to this Preface. It is said to have been added by the editors of the Ming period when revising the Canon. Formerly there stood at the head of the Preface only the titles and rank of its author. We must now find a man who bore these titles in the Kao Tsung period, 650 to 683, and who was at the same time a scholar and author of distinction and a friend of the pilgrim. And precisely such a man we find in Yu Chih-ning ([x]), one of the brilliant scholars and statesmen who shed a glory on the reigns of the early T'ang sovereigns. ... On the death of T'ai Tsung his son and successor Kao Tsung retained Yu in favour at Court and rewarded him with well-earned honours. In 656 the Emperor appointed Yu along with some other high officials to help in the redaction of the translations which Yuan-chuang was then making from the Sanskrit books. Now about this time Yu, as we know from a letter addressed to him by Hui-li and from other sources, bore the titles which appear at the head of the Preface. He was also an Immortal of the Academy, a Wen-kuan Hsuo-shi ([x]). He was one of the scholars who had been appointed to compile the "Sui Shu" or Records of the Sui dynasty and his miscellaneous writings from forty chuan. Yu was probably a fellow-labourer with Yuan-chuang until the year 660. At that date the concubine of many charms had become all-powerful in the palace and she was the unscrupulous foe of all who even seemed to block her progress. Among these was Yu, who, accordingly, was this year sent away into official exile and apparently never returned.

We need have little hesitation then in setting down Yu Chih-ning as the author of this Preface. It was undoubtedly written while Yuan-chuang was alive, and no one except an intimate friend of Yuan-chuang could have learned all the circumstances about him, his genealogy and his intimacy with the sovereign mentioned or alluded to in the Preface. We need not suppose that this elegant composition was designed by its author to serve as a Preface to the Hsi- yu-chi. It was probably written as an independent eulogy of Yuan-chuang setting forth his praises as a man of old family, a record-beating traveller, a zealous Buddhist monk of great learning and extraordinary abilities, and a propagator of Buddhism by translations from the Sanskrit.

This Preface, according to all the translators, tells us that the pilgrim acting under Imperial orders translated 657 Sanskrit books, that is, all the Sanskrit books which he had brought home with him from the Western Lands. No one seems to have pointed out that this was an utterly impossible feat, and that Yuan-chuang did not attempt to do anything of the kind. The number of Sanskrit texts which he translated was seventy four, and these seventy four treatises (pu) made in all 1335 chuan. To accomplish this within seventeen years was a very great work for a delicate man with various calls on his time.

The translations made by Yuan-chuang are generally represented on the title-page as having been made by Imperial order and the title-page of the Hsi-yu-chi has the same intimation. We know also from the Life that it was at the special request of the Emperor T'ai Tsung that Yuan-chuang composed the latter treatise. So we should probably understand the passage in the Preface with which we are now concerned as intended to convey the following information. The pilgrim received Imperial orders to translate the 657 Sanskrit treatises, and to make the Ta-T'ang-Hsi-yu-chi in twelve chuan, giving his personal observation of the strange manners and customs of remote and isolated regions, their products and social arrangements, and the places to which the Chinese Calendar and the civilising influences of China reached....

At the beginning of Chuan I of the Records we have a long passage which, following Julien, we may call the Introduction. In a note Julien tells us that according to the editors of Pien-i-tien, this Introduction was composed by Tschang-choue (i.e. Chang Tue), author of the preface to Si-yu-ki". Another native writer ascribes the composition of this Introduction to Pien-chi. But a careful reading of the text shews us that it could not have been written by either of these and that it must be regarded as the work of the pilgrim himself. This Introduction may possibly be the missing Preface written by Yuan-chuang according to a native authority....

What our author here states to his reader is to this effect...
His Majesty ascended the throne" in accordance with Heaven, and taking advantage of the times it concentrated power to itself. [His Majesty] has made the six units of countries into one empire and this his glory fills; he is a fourth to the Three Huang and his light illumines the world. His subtle influence permeates widely and his auspicious example has a far-reaching stimulus....in founding an imperial inheritance for his posterity, in bringing order out of chaos and restoring settled government...and in raising men from mud and ashes, he had far transcended the achievements of the founders of the Chow and Han dynasties....

"In more than three-fifths of the places I traversed", all living creatures feel the genial influence [of H. Ms. reign] and every human being extols his merit. From Ch'ang-an to India the strange tribes of the sombre wastes, isolated lands and odd states, all accept the Chinese calendar and enjoy the benefits of H. Ms. fame and teaching. The praise of his great achievements in war is in everybody's mouth and the commendation of his abundant civil virtues has grown to be the highest theme... Were there not the facts here set forth I could not record the beneficial influences of His Majesty. The narrative which I have now composed is based on what I saw and heard."

This is an address well spiced with flattery in good oriental fashion.... The founder of the T'ang dynasty, it should be remembered, was neither a hero nor a man of extraordinary genius, and he came near being a prig and a hypocrite. His loyalty and honour were questioned in his lifetime, and history has given him several black marks. While sick of ambition, he was infirm of purpose, and wishing to do right he was easily swayed to do what was wrong.... But all his success in later life, and the fame of his reign were largely due to the son who succeeded him on the throne....

The splendour of T'ai Tsung's great achievements, the conspicuous merits of his administration, and the charm of his sociable affable manner made the people of his time forget his faults.... So it came that the historian, dazed by the spell and not seeing clearly, left untold some of the Emperor's misdeeds and told others without adding their due meed of blame. For this great ruler smutched his fair record by such crimes as murder and adultery. The shooting of his brothers was excusable and even justifiable, but his other murders admit of little palliation and cannot plead necessity. Though he yielded to his good impulses, again, in releasing thousands of women who had been forced into and kept in the harem of Sui Yang Ti, yet he also yielded to his bad impulses when he took his brother's widow and afterwards that maid of fourteen, Wu Chao, into his own harem. His love of wine and women in early life, his passion for war and his love of glory and empire, which possessed him to the end, were failings of which the eyes of contemporaries dazzled by the "fierce light" could not take notice....

It was during the reign of this sovereign, in the year 636, that Christianity was first introduced into China. The Nestorian missionaries, who brought it, were allowed to settle in peace and safety at the capital. This was the boon which called forth the gratitude of the Christian historian and enhanced in his view the merits of the heathen sovereign.

The author next proceeds to give a short summary of the Buddhistic teachings about this world and the system of which it forms a constituent. He begins —
Now the Saha world, the Three Thousand Great Chiliocosm, is the sphere of the spiritual influence of one Buddha. It is in the four continents (lit. "Under heavens") now illuminated by one sun and moon and within the Three Thousand Great Chiliocosm that the Buddhas, the World-honoured ones, produce their spiritual effects, are visibly born and visible enter Nirrvana, teach the way to saint and sinner...

The author next proceeds to make a few summary observations...
From the Black Range on this side (i.e. to China) all the people are Hu: and though Jungs are counted with these, yet the hordes and clans are distinct, and the boundaries of territories are defined....

"For the most part [these tribes] are settled peoples with walled cities, practising agriculture and rearing cattle. They prize the possession of property and slight humanity and public duty (lit. benevolence and righteousness). Their marriages are without ceremonies and there are no distinctions as to social position: the wife's word prevails and the husband has a subordinate position. They burn their corpses and have no fixed period of mourning. They flay (?) the face and cut off the ears: they clip their hair short and rend their garments. They slaughter the domestic animals and offer sacrifice to the manes of their dead. They wear white clothing on occasions of good luck and black clothing on unlucky occasions. This is a general summary of the manners and customs common to the tribes, but each state has its own political organization which will be described separately, and the manners and customs of India will be told in the subsequent Records."

This brief and terse account of the social characteristics common to the tribes and districts between China and India presents some rather puzzling difficulties. It is too summary, and is apparently to a large extent secondhand information obtained from rather superficial observers, not derived from the author's personal experience, and it does not quite agree with the accounts given by previous writers and travellers. Thus the pilgrim states that the tribes in question had no fixed period of mourning, that is, for deceased parents, but we learn that the people of Yenk'i observed a mourning of seven days for their parents. Nor was it the universal custom to burn the dead; for the T'ufan people, for example, buried their dead.

-- On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D., by Thomas Watters M.R.A.S.
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Re: On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thoma

Postby admin » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:24 am

PREFACE.

As will be seen from Dr. Bushell's obituary notice of Thomas Watters, republished from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1901 at the end of those few words of preface, Mr. Watters left behind him a work, ready for the press, on the travels of Yuan-Chwang in India in the 7th Century A.D. The only translation into English of the Travels and the Life of Yuan-Chwang, the one made by the late Mr. Beal, contains many mistakes. As Mr. Watters probably knew more about Chinese Buddhist Literature than any other European scholar, and had, at the same time, a very fair knowledge both of Pali and Sanskrit, he was the very person most qualified to correct those mistakes, and to write an authoritative work on the interpretation of Yuan-Chwang's most interesting and valuable records. The news that he had left such a work was therefore received with eager pleasure by all those interested in the history of India. And Mr. F. F. Arbuthnot, who had so generously revived our Oriental Translation Fund, was kind enough to undertake to pay for the cost of publishing the work in that series. I was asked by the Council to be the editor, and was fortunate enough to be able to receive the cooperation of Dr. S. W. Bushell C. M. G., late medical officer attached to our embassy at Peking.

We have thought it best to leave Mr. Watters's Ms. untouched, and to print the work as it stands. The reader is requested therefore never to lose sight of the fact that, as printed, it has not had the advantage of any such corrections or improvements as the author might have made, had it passed through the press under his supervision.

As a rule the author gives the Indian equivalents for the Chinese names of persons and places in their Sanskrit form. But occasionally he uses the Pali form, and there are cases where we find both Pali and Sanskrit forms used even on the same page. I gathered from many conversations with the author, that this apparent inconsistency was intentional. At the time when Yuan-Chwang travelled in India, not only all the most famous Buddhist teachers, but all the teachers of the school of thought especially favoured by the famous pilgrim,  the school of Vasubandhu, wrote in Sanskrit. But Pali was still understood; and the names of places that the pilgrim heard in conversation were heard in local dialects. In his transcription the pilgrim would naturally therefore reproduce, as a rule, the Sanskrit forms, but he knew the Pali forms of ancient names, and the local forms of modern ones. It is not therefore improper, in an English work on Yuan-Chwang, to use occasionally the Pali or vernacular forms of Indian names.

As regards the author's method of transliterating the name of the pilgrim I annex the copy of a letter by myself in the Journal of our society. Yuan-Chwang is the correct presentation of the present Pekinese pronunciation. What would be the correct presentation, in English letters, of the way in which the pilgrim himself pronounced it, is not known.

Full indices, by the author and ourselves, and two maps which Mr. Vincent Smith has been kind enough to undertake, will be included in the second volume, which is in the press, and which we hope to bring out in the course of next year.

With these few remarks I venture to ask for a generous and sympathetic reception of this posthumous work by an author whose untimely death was an irreparable loss to historical science, whose rare qualities of mind and the breadth of whose knowledge earned the admiration of those most qualified to judge, and whose personal qualities endeared him to all who knew him.

T. W. Rhys Davids
Nalanda, May 1904.
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Re: On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thoma

Postby admin » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:35 am

THOMAS WATTERS, 1840—1901.
by S.W. Bushell

With very much regret for the loss of an old friend, I have to notice the death of Mr. Watters, at Ealing, on January 10th. He was a member of the Council of the Society from 1897 to 1900, and a valued contributor to the Journal. The loss of a scholar who had such a wide knowledge of the vast literature of Chinese Buddhism will be deeply felt by those interested in the subject, as was amply acknowledged by Professor Rhys Davids in a few well-chosen, appreciative words addressed to the last meeting of the Society.

He was born on the 9th of February, 1840, the eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Watters, Presbyterian Minister of Newtownards, co. Down. His father died some ten years ago, after having ministered to the same congregation for fifty-six years; his mother is still living at Newtownards. It was from his father that he inherited his great love of books, and he was educated by him at home until he entered Queen's College, Belfast, in 1857. His college career was most distinguished, and he gained many prizes and scholarships during the three years. In 1861 he graduated B. A. in the Queen's University of Ireland, with first-class honours in Logic, English Literature, and Metaphysics; and in 1862 took his M. A. degree, with first-class honours, again, in the same subjects and second-class in Classics.

In 1863 he was appointed to a post in the Consular Service of China, after a competitive examination, with an honorary certificate. He proceeded at once to Peking, and subsequently served in rotation at many responsible spots in all parts of the Chinese empire. He was Acting Consul General in Corea 1887-1888, in Canton 1891-1893, and afterwards Consul in Foochow until April, 1895, when impaired health compelled him to retire finally from the Far East, after over thirty-two years' service.

But this is hardly the place to refer to Mr. Watters's official work, or to the blue-books in which it is bound up. In his private life he was always courteous, unselfish, and unassuming, a special favourite with his friends, to whose service he would devote infinite pains, whether in small matters or grave.

His early philosophical training fitted him for the study of Oriental religions and metaphysics, which always remained his chief attraction. The character of his work may be summarized in the words of an eminent French critic, who says of Mr. Watters: "A ses moindres notices sur n'importe quoi, on sentait si bien qu'elles etaient puisees en pleine source; et sur chaque chose il disait si bien juste ce qu'il voulait et ce qu'il fallait dire." [Google translate: To the slightest notice on anything, we felt so good that they were drawn from the full source; and about everything he said so just what he wanted and what to say.]

Much of his best works is, unfortunately, buried in the columns of periodicals of the Far East, such as the China Review and the Chinese Recorder, his first published book being a reprint of articles in the Chinese Recorder. The list of his books is —

"Lao-tzu. A Study in Chinese Philosophy." Hongkong, London, 1870.

"A Guide to the Tablets in the Temple of Confucius." Shanghai, 1879.

"Essays on the Chinese Language." Shanghai, 1889.

"Stories of Everyday Life in Modern China. Told in Chinese and done into English by T. Watters." London, 1896.


In our own Journal two interesting articles were contributed by him in 1898, on "The Eighteen Lohan of Chinese Buddhist Temples" and on "Kapilavastu" in the Buddhist Books."

A far more important and extensive work remains in manuscript, being a collection of critical notes on the well-known travels throughout India, in the seventh century of our era, of the celebrated Buddhist pilgrim Yuan-Chuang (Hiouen-Thsang). In this Mr. Watters discusses and identifies all the Sanskrit names of places, etc., transliterated in the original Chinese text, and adds an elaborate index of the persons mentioned in the course of the travels. The work appears to be quite ready for publication. Should means be forthcoming, its appearance in print will be eagerly looked for by all interested in Buddhist lore and in the ancient geography of India.

Mr. Watters has given his library of Chinese books, I am informed, to his friend Mr. E. H. Fraser, C.M.G., a Sinologue of light and learning and a Member of our Society, who may be trusted, I am sure, to make good use of the valuable bequest.

S. W. BUSHELL.
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Re: On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thoma

Postby admin » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:46 am

YUAN CHWANG OR HIOUEN THSANG?
by T. W. Rhys Davids

The name of the celebrated Chinese pilgrim and translator is spelt in English in the following ways (among others): —

1. M. Stanislas Julien / Hiouen Thsang.
2. Mr. Mayers1 [Readers Manual, p. 290.] / Huan Chwang.
3. Mr. Wylie / Yuen Chwang.
4. Mr. Beal / Hiuen Tsiang.
5. Prof. Legge2 [Fa Hien, p. 83, etc.] / Hsuan Chwang.
6. Prof. Bunyiu Nanjio3 [Catalogue, p. 435.] / Hhuen Kwan.


Sir Thomas Wade has been kind enough to explain this diversity in the following note: —

"The pilgrim's family name was [x], now pronounced ch'en, but more anciently ch'in. His 'style' (official or honorary title) appears to have been both written [x] 1 and [x] 2.

In modern Pekinese these would read in my transliteration (which is that here adopted by Dr. Legge) —

1 hsuan chuang.

2 yuan chuang.


The French still write for these two characters —

1 hiouen thsang,

2 youan thsang,


following the orthography of the Romish Missionaries, Premare and others, which was the one adapted to English usage by Dr. Morrison. I doubt, pace Dr. Edkins, that we are quite sure of the contemporary pronunciation, and should prefer, therefore, myself, to adhere to the French Hiouen, seeing that this has received the sanctification of Julien's well-known translation of the pilgrim's travels."

It is quite clear from the above that in the Chinese pronunciation of the first part of the name there is now nothing approaching to an English H. And of course Julien never intended to represent that sound by his transliteration. Initial H being practically silent in French, his Hiouen is really equal to Iouen, that is, to what would he expressed by Yuan in the scientific system of transliteration now being adopted for all Oriental languages. But the vowel following the initial letter is like the German U, or the French U, so that Yuan would, for Indianists, express the right pronunciation of this form of the word. It is particularly encouraging to the important cause of a generally intelligible system of transliteration to find that this is precisely the spelling adopted by Sir Thomas Wade.

This is, however, only one of two apparently equally correct Chinese forms of writing the first half of the name. The initial sound in the other form of the word is unknown in India and England. Sir Thomas Wade was kind enough to pronounce it for me; and it seems to be nearly the German ch (the palatal, not the guttural, — as in Madchen) or the Spanish x, only more sibilant. It is really first cousin to the y sound of the other form, being pronounced by a very similar position of the mouth and tongue. If it were represented by the symbol HS (though there is neither a simple h sound nor a simple s sound in it), then a lazy, careless, easy-going HS would tend to fade away into a Y.

The latter half of the name is quite simple for Indianists. Using c for our English ch and n for our English ng (n or m or m), it would be simply cwan).

Part of the confusion has arisen from the fact that some authors have taken one, and some the other, of the two Chinese forms of the name. The first four of the transliterations given above are based on Sir Thomas Wade's No. 2, the other two on his No. 1. All, except only that of Mr. Beal, appear to be in harmony with different complete systems of representing Chinese characters in English letters, each of which is capable of defence. The French, not having the sound of our English CH, for instance, have endeavoured to reproduce it by THS. This may no longer be used even by scholars; but in Julien's time reasons could be adduced in support of it.

It appears, therefore, that the apparently quite contradictory, and in some parts unpronounceable, transliterations of this name, so interesting to students of Indian history, are capable of a complete and satisfactory explanation, and that the name, or rather title, is now in Pekinese — whatever it may have been elsewhere, and in the pilgrim's time — Yuan Chwang.

T. W. Rhys Davids.
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Re: On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thoma

Postby admin » Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:17 am

CHAPTER I. THE TITLE AND TEXT.

The Chinese treatise known as the Hsi-yu-chi (or Si-yu- ki) is one of the classical Buddhist books of China, Korea, and Japan. It is preserved in the libraries attached to many of the large monasteries of these countries and it is occasionally found for sale in bookshops. The copies offered for sale are reprints of the work as it exists in some monastery, and they are generally made to the order of patrons of learning or Buddhism. These reprints are more or less inaccurate or imperfect, and one of them gives as the complete work only two of the twelve chuan which constitute the treatise.

The full title of the book is Ta-T'ang-Hsi-yu-chi ([x]), that is, "Records of Western Lands of the Great T'ang period". By the use of the qualifying term "Great T'ang" the dynasty within which the treatise was composed is indicated and this particular work is distinguished from others bearing the same general name. In some native writings we find the treatise quoted or designated by the title Hsi-yu-chuan ([x]) which also means "Records of Western Lands". But it does not appear that the work was ever published or circulated with this name. In its original state and as it exists at present the treatise is divided into twelve chuan, but we find mention of an edition brought out in the north of China in which there are only ten chuan.1 [Hsiao-yueh-tsang-chih-chin ([x]) ch. 4.]

On the title-page of the Hsi-yu-chi it is represented as having been "translated" by Yuan-chuang and "redacted" or "compiled" by Pien-chi ([x]). But we are not to take the word for translate here in its literal sense, and all that it can be understood to convey is that the information given in the book was obtained by Yuan-chuang from foreign sources. One writer tells us that Yuan-chuang supplied the materials to Pien-chi who wrought these up into a literary treatise. Another states that Yuan-chuang communicated at intervals the facts to be recorded to Pien-chi who afterwards wove these into a connected narrative.

This Pien-chi was one of the learned Brethren appointed by T'ai Tsung to assist Yuan-chung in the work of translating the Indian books which Yuan-chuang had brought with him. It was the special duty of Pien-chi to give literary form to the translations. He was a monk of the Hui-chang ([x]) Monastery and apparently in favour at the court of the Emperor. But he became mixed up in an intrigue with one of T'ai Tsung's daughters and we cannot imagine a man of his bad character being on very intimate terms with the pilgrim. As to the Hsi-yu-chi we may doubt whether he really had much to do with its formation, and perhaps the utmost that can be claimed for him is that he may have strung together Yuan-chuang's descriptions into a connected narrative. The literary compositions of Yuan-chuang to be found in other places seem to justify us in regarding him as fully competent to write the treatise before us without any help from others.
Moreover in an old catalogue of books we find the composition of a "Ta-T'ang-Hsi-yu-chi" ascribed to Yuan-chuang and a "Hsi-yu-chi" ascribed to Pien-chi in similar terms.1 [T'ung-chih-liao, the Yi-wen-liao, ch. 4 ([x]).] Further in Buddhist books of the T'ang and Sung periods we frequently find a statement to the effect that Yuan-chuang composed the Hsi-yu-chi, the word used being that which has been here rendered for the moment "redacted" or "compiled" ([x]).2 [K'ai-yuan-lu (No. 1485) ch. 8: Su-kao-seng-chuan (No. 1493), ch. 4. See also Y.'s Memorial to the Emperor in Ch. 6 of the Life on the completion of the Records which does not contain any mention or hint of assistance. Instead of the B reading [x] the other texts have [x] which is the correct form.] It is possible that the text as we have it now is for at least nine out of the twelve chuan practically that of the treatise drawn up by Yuan-chuang and presented to his sovereign. Some of the notes and comments may have been added by Pien-chi but several are evidently by a later hand. In some of the early editions these notes seem to have been incorporated in the text and there is reason for supposing that a few passages now in the text should be printed as interpolated comments.

The Hsi-yu-chi exists in several editions which present considerable variations both in the text and in the supplementary notes and explanations. For the purposes of the present Commentary copies of four editions have been used. The first of these editions is that known to scholars as the Han-shan ([x]) Hsi-yu-chi, which was brought out at private expense. This is substantially a modern Soochow reprint of the copy in one of the collections of Buddhist books appointed and decreed for Buddhist monasteries in the time of the Ming dynasty. It agrees generally with the copy in the Japanese collection of Buddhist books in the Library of the India Office, and it or a similar Ming copy seems to be the only edition of the work hitherto known to western students. The second is the edition of which a copy is preserved in the library of a large Buddhist monastery near Foochow. This represents an older form of the work, perhaps that of the Sung collection made in A.D. 1103, and it is in all respects superior to the common Ming text. The third is an old Japanese edition which has many typographical and other errors and also presents a text differing much from other editions. It is apparently a reprint of a Sung text, and is interesting in several respects, but it seems to have many faults and it is badly printed. The fourth is the edition given in the critical reprint which was recently produced in the revised collection of Buddhist books brought out in Japan. This edition is based on the text recognized in Korea and it supplies the various readings of the Sung, Yuan, and Ming editions. Some of these variations are merely different ways of writing a character but many of them give valuable corrections for the Korean text which is often at fault. 

THE TRANSLATORS.

In 1857 M. Julian published his long promised translation of the "Ta-T'ang-Hsi-yu-chi" with the title "Memoires sur les Contrees occidentales traduits du Sanscrit en Chinois, en l'an 648, par Hiouen-Thsang, et du Chinois en Francais." [Google translate: Memories on Western Counts translated from Sanskrit into Chinese, in the year 648, by Hiouen-Thsang, and Chinese in French.] This work was regarded by the learned translator as supplementary to his "Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen-Thsang et de ses voyages dans l'Inde, depuis l'an 629 jusqu'en 645" [Google translate: History of the Life of Hiouen-Thsang and of his travels in India, from the year 629 until 645.] translated by him from the Chinese and published in 1853. He had already supplemented the latter treatise by an interesting series of "Documents Geographiques" on the countries of which the book makes mention. Julien's "Memoires sur les Contrees occidentales" [Google translate: Memories on the Western Contrees] is a work of great merit, and it shows a wonderful knowledge of the Chinese language. Much use has been made of it by students of the history, geography, antiquities, and religions of India and Central Asia and on all these subjects it has been regarded as an authority. And although it is not wise to accept with unquestioning faith all the renderings and identifications of the translator yet it is not without diffidence that one dissents from or condemns his interpretation of a difficult phrase or passage either in the Life or the Records.

The only other translation of the "Hsi-yu-chi" into a western language is the English version by the late Revd. S. Beal. This was published in 1884 with the title "Buddhist Records of the Western World, Translated from the Chinese of Hiuen Tsiang (A.D. 629)". The title is characteristic of the translator, and the reader may compare it with that given by Julien to his translation. Mr. Beal's work is a translation partly "from the Chinese" and partly from the French. In it many of the careless mistakes which disfigure Julien's treatise are corrected and its notes supply the student with numerous references to old and recent western authorities.

Within the last few years the Preface to the Hsi-yu- chi attributed to Chang yueh, to be noticed presently, has attracted the attention of some western students of Chinese. In the "Museon" for November 1894 there appeared an article by M. A. Gueluy entitled "A propos d'une Preface. Apercu critique sur le Bouddhisme en Chine au 7e siecle." [Google translate: About a Preface. Critical overview of Buddhism in China in the 7th century.] This article gives M. Gueluy's criticism on Julien's translation of the Preface and a new rendering by the critic. One can scarcely treat M. Gueluy's production seriously, it is so full of fancies and fictions and shows such a slight acquaintance with Buddhism and the Chinese language.

Professor Schlegel, however, took the "A propos d'une Preface" seriously and has given us a criticism of it together with a new translation of this Preface to the Hsi-yu-chi. The Professor's treatise, which shows much industry and ingenuity, is entitled "La Loi du Parallelisme en style Chinois demontree par la Preface du Si-yu-ki." [Google translate: The Law of Parallelism in Chinese style demonstrated by the Preface to Si-yu-ki.] In this he defends some of Julien's translations against the criticism of M. Gueluy and shows how absurdly wrong is the latter's version. M. Schlegel brings numerous quotations from Chinese books to support his own renderings of the difficult passages in the Preface. Many of these renderings are apparently correct and an improvement on those by Julien, but in several instances the learned Professor seems to have missed the author's meaning. His criticisms on M. Gueluy's "A propos d'une Preface" drew from M. Gueluy a reply which is not convincing: it is entitled "L'Insuffisance du Parallelisme prouvee sur la Preface du Si-iu-ki contre la traduction de M. G. Schlegel." [Google translate: The Insufficiency of Parallelism proved in the Preface of Si-iu-ki against the translation by M. G. Schlegel.]

THE PILGRIM.

The life of Yuan-chuang is narrated at length in the book entitled "Ta T'ang Ta Tzu-en-ssu San-tsang-fa-shih-chuan", that is "Record of the Tripitaka Master of the Great Compassion Monastery". It is this work of which Julien's "Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen Thsang" is an abstract, and of which Mr. Beal has given us a similar abstract in English. It is also the work usually cited in the following pages by the short title "the Life". From this and a few other Chinese treatises the following short summary of the ancestry and life of the pilgrim has been compiled.

The surname of the family to which he belonged was Ch'en ([x]) and his personal name was I ([x]).1 [Su-kao-seng-chuan, I. C: Shen-seng-chuan (No. 1620) ch. 6.] But he seems never to have been known in history, literature, or religion, or among his contemporaries by any other name than that written [x] (or [x]) [x] and read Hsuan (or Yuan)-chuang (or ts'ang). In modern literature the character for Yuan is commonly used in writing the pilgrim's name, and this is said to be due to the character for Hsuan entering into the personal name of the Emperor Kanghsi. But we find Yuan in the pilgrim's name before the reign of Kanghsi and we find Hsuan in it during that reign and since. This interchange of the two characters is very common and is recognized. The personal name of the Chinese envoy Wang who went to India in Yuan-chuang's time is given as Hsuan (and Yuan)-tse ([x]) and the name of another great contemporary of the pilgrim is written Fang Hsuan-ling and Fang Yuan-ling ([x]). The two characters at the T'ang period may have had the same sound, something like Yun, and our pilgrim's name was probably then pronounced Yun-ts'ang.2 [The Japanese write the name Hsuan-ts'ang but call the pilgrim Gen-jo corresponding to the Chinese Yuan-ts'ang. In Tibetan books the name is given as T'ang Ssen-tsang or T'ang Sin (or Sang), and Ssen-ts'ang is, I think, for Hsuan-ts'ang and not for San-tsang.] This was his hui ([x]) or "appellation", called in the Life also his tzu ([x]). This word hui is often used to denote the Fa-hao or "name in religion" of a Buddhist monk, and it is sometimes replaced by tu([x])-hui or "ordination name". It commonly means simply "the name of the deceased" that is, the name given to him when capped, and I do not know of any authority for Julien's rendering "nom d'enfance". [Google translate: childhood name.]

The family from which Yuan-chuang sprang is said to have been descended from the semi-mythical Huang-Ti through the great Emperor Shun, and to have originally borne the territorial designation of Shun, viz. Kuei ([x]). In very early times the seat of the family was in the district now bearing the name Kuei-te ([x])-foo in the east of Honan, and it was afterwards removed for a time to the neighbourhood of the present Ts'ao-chou in Shantung. At the time of Wu Wang, the first king of the Chow dynasty, a man known as Hu-kung-kuei-man ([x]) was regarded as the lineal representative of the Shun family.

This man was the son of O-fu ([x]) of Yu ([x]) who had served Wu Wang as his T'ao-cheng ([x]), an officer variously explained as Director of Potteries and as Superintendent of Schools. The office was apparently hereditary and Wu-Wang rewarded Man by giving him his eldest daughter in marriage while at the same time he ennobled him as How or Marquis, and endowed him with the fief of Ch'en ([x]) that he might be able to continue the services of worship to his ancestor Shun. These honours made Man one of the San-k'e ([x]) or "Three Reverends", that is, three who were faithfully diligent in the discharge of their public duties. The other K'es were according to some accounts the representatives of the ancient emperors Huang Ti and Yao, and according to other accounts the representatives of the founders of the Hsia and Yin dynasties,1 [T'ung-chih-liao, the Li ([x])-liao, ch. 3. These circumstances about Yuan-chuang's reputed ancestors are mentioned here because they are alluded to in the Preface.] Man's fief comprised the modern prefecture of Ch'en-chow in Honan together with the adjacent territory. It existed as a separate principality down to B.C. 478 when it was extinguished. The members of the reigning family were then dispersed but they retained Ch'en as their surname.

We have to come down to the end of the third century B.C. before we find a Ch'en of historical celebrity. We then meet with the famous Ch'en P'ing ([x]) a native of Yang-wu ([x]) in the present Prefecture of K'ai-feng  ([x]) of Honan. In the time of the Han dynasty this Prefecture bore the name Ch'en-liu ([x]) and this explains why Yuan-chuang is sometimes described as a Ch'en- liu man. His ancestor P'ing was an eccentric genius who, rising from extreme poverty to wealth and power, founded a great family and made himself immortal in history. His success in life and his posthumous fame were mainly due to his ready wit which never left him without an answer, and to his ingenuity in devising expedients in desperate circumstances. Of these expedients six were counted extraordinary and successful above the others, and hence came the saying in his time liu-ch'u-ch'i-chi ([x]) that is, "six times he brought out extraordinary plans". These were all employed on behalf of Liu Pang, the Han Kao Tsu of history. They were stratagems or expedients devised to meet special occasions, they were kept very secret and were all successful.

In the second century of our era we have another great man claimed as an ancestor of Yuan-chuang. This is Ch'en Shih ([x]) better known by his other name Chung-Kung ([x]), a native of Hsu ([x]) a district corresponding to the present Hsu-chow-foo in Honan. At the time of the Han dynasty Hsu was in the political division called Ying- ch'uan ([x]) and hence we find Yuan-chuang often described as a Ying-ch'uan man. This man Ch'en-Shih was called to office and served in the reign of Han Huan Ti (A. D, 147 to 167). As an official Shih was pure and upright, attentive to business and zealous for the welfare of his people. Gentle but firm and kind but strict he won the affection, confidence and esteem of the people. His fame is chiefly associated with his administration of T'ai-Ch'in ([x]) now the Yung-ch'eng ([x]) District in the Kuei-te Prefecture of Honan. Here his personal influence was great and he made the people ashamed to do wrong. The effects of his just decisions and benevolent government spread over all the country, and people flocked to him from surrounding districts. Resigning office, however, after a few years he retired to his native place. He was happy and successful also in his family, and sons and grandsons grew up before him to virtue and honour. His family was recognized to be a cluster of Te-shing ([x]) Stars of virtuous merit, and Heaven took notice of the fact and visibly responded. In later life Chung-kung refused to return to office and died at home in the year A.D. 187 in the 84th year of his age.1 [Hou Han-shu, ch. 62. ]

The next one that we have to notice in the line of descent is Ch'en Ta ([x]) the sixth from Shih. Ta lived in the 4th century A.D. in the time of the Chin ([x]) dynasty. He also was a learned man and an official of some distinction. Being appointed Magistrate of Ch'ang- ch'eng ([x]) in the present Hu-chow ([x]) Foo of Chekiang he prophesied that his posterity would sit on the throne. This prediction was fulfilled in the year 556 when the tenth from Ta the illustrious Ch'en Pa-hsien ([x]) established the Ch'en dynasty. This branch of the family was settled in Hu-chow for more than 200 years, and it was not from it, apparently, that the immediate ancestors of our pilgrim were derived.

We now come to Yuan-chuang's great-grandfather whose name was Ch'in ([x]). He was an official of the After Wei dynasty and served as Prefect of Shang-t'ang ([x]) in Shansi. The grand-father of our pilgrim, by name K'ang ([x]), being a man of distinguished learning in the Ch'i dynasty obtained the envied appointment of Professor in the National College at the capital. To this post were attached the revenues of the city of Chou-nan corresponding to the modern Lo-yang-hsien in Honan. The father of our pilgrim, by name Hui ([x]), was a man of high character. He was a handsome tall man of stately manners, learned and intelligent, and a Confucianist of the strict old-fashioned kind. True to his principles he took office at the proper time, and still true to them he gave up office and withdrew into seclusion when anarchy supplanted order. He then retired to the village Ch'en-pao-ku ([x]') at a short distance south-east from the town of Kou-shih ([x]). This town was in the Lo-chow, now Ho-nan, Prefecture of Honan, and not far from the site of the modern Yen-shih ([x]) Hsien. Yuan-chuang is sometimes called a Kou-shih man and it was probably in his father's home near this town that he was born in the year 600.

The family of Ch'en Hui was apparently a large one and Yuan-chuang was the youngest of four sons. Together with his brothers he received his early education from his father, not, of course, without the help of other teachers. We find Yuan-chuang described as a rather precocious child shewing cleverness and wisdom in his very early years. He became a boy of quick wit and good memory, a lover of learning with intelligence to make a practical use of his learning. It was noted that he cared little for the sports and gaieties which had over-powering charms for other lads and that he liked to dwell much apart. As a Confucianist he learned the Classical work on Filial Piety and the other canonical treatises of the orthodox system.

But the second son of the family entered the Buddhist church and Yuan-chuang, smitten with the love of the strange religion, followed his brother to the various monasteries at which the latter sojourned. Then he resolved also to become a Buddhist monk, and proceeded to study the sacred books of the religion with all the fervour of a youthful proselyte. When he arrived at the age of twenty he was ordained, but he continued to wander about visiting various monasteries in different parts of the country. Under the guidance of the learned Doctors in Buddhism in these establishments he studied some of the great works of their religion, and soon became famous in China as a very learned and eloquent young monk. But he could not remain in China for he longed vehemently to visit the holy land of his religion, to see its far-famed shrines, and all the visible evidences of the Buddha's ministrations. He had learned, moreover, to be dissatisfied with the Chinese translations of the sacred books, and he was desirous to procure these books in their original language, and to learn the true meaning of their abstruse doctrines from orthodox pundits in India. After making enquiries and preparations he left the capital Ch'ang-an ([x]), the modern Hsi-an ([x])- foo, in the year 629, and set out secretly on his long pilgrimage. The course of his wanderings and what he saw and heard and did are set forth in the Life and Records.

After sixteen year's absence Yuan-chuang returned to China and arrived at Ch'ang-an in the beginning of 645, the nineteenth year of the reign of T'ang T'ai Tsung. And never in the history of China did Buddhist monk receive such a joyous ovation as that with which our pilgrim was welcomed. The Emperor and his Court, the officials and merchants, and all the people made holiday. The streets were crowded with eager men and women who expressed their joy by gay banners and festive music. Nature, too, at least so it was fondly deemed, sympathised with her children that day and bade the pilgrim welcome. Not with thunders and lightnings did she greet him, but a solemn gladness filled the air and a happy flush was on the face of the sky. The pilgrim's old pine tree also by nods and waves whispered its glad recognition. This tree, on which Yuan-chuang patted a sad adieu when setting out, had, obedient to his request, bent its head westward and kept it so while the pilgrim travelled in that direction. But when his face was turned to the east and the homeward journey was begun the old pine true to its friend also turned and bowed with all its weight of leaves and branches towards the east.1 [Fo-tsu-t'uug-chi (No. 1661), ch. 29. ] This was at once the first sign of welcome and the first intimation of the pilgrim having set out on his journey home.
Now he had arrived whole and well, and had become a many days' wonder. He had been where no other had ever been, he had seen and heard what no other had ever seen and heard. Alone he had crossed trackless wastes tenanted only by fierce ghost-demons. Bravely he had climbed fabled mountains high beyond conjecture, rugged and barren, ever chilled by icy wind and cold with eternal snow. He had been to the edge of the world and had seen where all things end. Now he was safely back to his native land, and with so great a quantity of precious treasures. There were 657 sacred books of Buddhism, some of which were full of mystical charms able to put to flight the invisible powers of mischief. All these books were in strange Indian language and writing, and were made of trimmed leaves of palm or of birch-bark strung together in layers. Then there were lovely images of the Buddha and his saints in gold, and silver, and crystal, and sandalwood. There were also many curious pictures and, above all, 150 relics, true relics of the Buddha. All these relics were borne on twenty horses and escorted into the city with great pomp and ceremony.

The Emperor T'ai Tsung forgave the pilgrim for going abroad without permission, made his acquaintance and became his intimate friend. He received Yuan-chuang in an inner chamber of the palace, and there listened with unwearied interest from day to day to his stories about unknown lands and the wonders Buddha and his great disciples had wrought in them.
The Emperor tried to persuade Yuan-chuang that it was his duty to give up the religious life and to take office. But the heart of the pilgrim was fixed, and as soon as he could he withdrew to a monastery and addressed himself to the work of translating into Chinese his Indian books. On his petition the Emperor appointed several distinguished lay scholars and several learned monks to assist in the labour of translating, editing, and copying. In the meantime at the request of his Sovereign Yuan-chuang compiled the Records of his travels, the Hsi-yu-chi. The first draft of this work was presented to the Emperor in 646, but the book as we have it now was not actually completed until 648. It was apparently copied and circulated in Ms in its early form during the author's life and for some time after. When the Hsi-yu-chi was finished Yuan-chuang gave himself up to the task of translating, a task which was to him one of love and duty combined. In his intervals of leisure he gave advice and instruction to the young brethren and did various kinds of acts of merit, leading a life calm and peaceful but far from idle. In the year 664 on the 6th day of the second month he underwent the great change. He had known that the change was coming, and had made ready for his departure. He had no fears and no regrets: content with the work of his life and joyous in the hope of hereafter he passed hence into Paradise. There he waits with Maitreya until in the fullness of time the latter comes into this world. With him Yuan-chuang hoped to come back to a new life here and to do again the Buddha's work for the good of others.

In personal appearance Yuan-chuang, like his father, was a tall handsome man with beautiful eyes and a good complexion. He had a serious but benevolent expression and a sedate and rather stately manner. His character as revealed to us in his Life and other books is interesting and attractive. He had a rare combination of moral and intellectual qualities and traits common to Chinese set off by a strongly marked individuality. We find him tender and affectionate to his parents and brothers, clinging to them in his youth and lovingly mindful of them in his old age. He was zealous and enthusiastic, painstaking and persevering, but without any sense of humour and without any inventive genius. His capacity for work was very great and his craving for knowledge and love of learning were an absorbing passion. Too prone at times to follow authority and accept ready-made conclusions he was yet self possessed and independent. A Confucianist by inheritance and early training, far seen in native lore and possessing good abilities, he became an uncompromising Buddhist. Yet he never broke wholly with the native system which he learned from his father and early teachers. The splendours of India and the glories of its religion did not weaken or shake his love for China and his admiration for its old ways of domestic, social, and political life. When he was more than sixty years of age he wished to pay the duty of filial piety at his parents' tombs. Unable to discover these he sought out his married sister Mrs. Chang, and by her help he found them. Then, distressed at the bad state in which the tombs were at the time, he obtained leave from the Emperor to have the remains of his parents transferred to a happy ground and reinterred with honourable burial. Though the man had long ago become a devoted son of Sakyamuni he still owned a loving duty to his earthly parents.

As a Buddhist monk Yuan-chuang was very rigorous in keeping the rules of his order and strict in all the observances of his religion. But his creed was broad, his piety never became ascetic, and he was by nature tolerant. There were lengths, however, to which he could not go, and even his powerful friend the Emperor T'ai Tsung could not induce him to translate Lao-tzu's "Tao-Te-Ching" into Sanskrit or recognize Lao-tzu as in rank above the Buddha. Modest and self-denying for himself Yuan-chuang was always zealous for the dignity of his order and bold for the honour of its founder. He was brave to a marvel, and faced without fear the unknown perils of the visible world and the unimagined terrors of unseen beings. Strong of will and resolute of purpose, confident in himself and the mission on which he was engaged, he also owned dependence on other and higher beings. He bowed in prayer and adoration to these and sued to them for help and protection in all times of despair and distress. His faith was simple and almost unquestioning, and he had an aptitude for belief which has been called credulity. But his was not that credulity which lightly believes the impossible and accepts any statement merely because it is on record and suits the convictions or prejudices of the individual. Yuan-chuang always wanted to have his own personal testimony, the witness of his own senses or at least his personal experience. It is true his faith helped his unbelief, and it was too easy to convince him where a Buddhist miracle was concerned. A hole in the ground without any natural history, a stain on a rock without any explanation apparent, any object held sacred by the old religion of the fathers, and any marvel professing to be substantiated by the narrator, was generally sufficient to drive away his doubts and bring comforting belief. But partly because our pilgrim was thus too ready to believe, though partly also for other reasons, he did not make the best use of his opportunities. He was not a good observer, a careful investigator, or a satisfactory recorder, and consequently he left very much untold which he would have done well to tell.

We must remember, however, that Yuan-chuang in his travels cared little for other things and wanted to know only Buddha and Buddhism. His perfect faith in these, his devotion to them and his enthusiasm for them were remarkable to his contemporaries, but to us they are still more extraordinary. For the Buddhism to which Yuan-chuang adhered, the system which he studied, revered, and propagated, differed very much from the religion taught by Gautama Buddha. That knew little or nothing of Yoga and powerful magical formulae used with solemn invocations. It was not on Prajnaparamita and the abstract subtleties of a vague and fruitless philosophy, nor on dream-lands of delight beyond the tomb, nor on P'usas like Kuan-shi- yin who supplant the Buddhas, that the great founder of the religion preached and discoursed to his disciples. But Yuan-chuang apparently saw no inconsistency in believing in these while holding to the simple original system. Yet he regarded those monks who adhered entirely to the "Small Vehicle" as wrong in doctrine and practice, and he tried to convert such to his own belief wherever he met them or came into correspondence with them.

After Yuan-chuang's death great and marvellous things were said of him. His body, it was believed, did not see corruption and he appeared to some of his disciples in visions of the night. In his lifetime he had been called a "Present Sakyamuni", and when he was gone his followers raised him to the rank of a founder of Schools or Sects in Buddhism. In one treatise we find the establishment of three of these schools ascribed to him, and in another work he is given as the founder in China of a fourth school. This last is said to have been originated in India at Nalanda by Silabhadra one of the great Buddhist monks there with whom Yuan-chuang studied.1 [Chen-ming-mu-t'u ([x]) last page: Fo-tsu-t'ung-chi, I.e. where Yuan-chuang is the founder of the Tzu-en-tsung ([x]) in China, and this is the Fa-hsiang ([x])- tsung of the San-kuo-fa-chuan ([x]) and other works: See also Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio's "Short History of the Twelve Buddhist Sects" p. 33.]

In some Buddhist temples we find images of our pilgrim to which a minor degree of worship is occasionally offered. These images usually represent the pilgrim seated clothed in his monk's robes and capped, with his right hand raised and holding his alms-bowl in his left.


THE PREFACES TO THE HSI-YU-CHI.

There is only one Preface in the A, B, and C editions of the "Hsi-yu-chi", but the D edition gives two Prefaces. The second of these is common to all, while the first is apparently only in D and the Corean edition. This latter was apparently unknown to native editors and it was unknown to the foreign translators. This Preface is the work of Ching Po ([x]), a scholar, author, and official of the reigns of T'ang Kao Tsu and T'ai Tsung. Ching Po was well read in the history of his country and was in his lifetime an authority on subjects connected therewith. He was the chief compiler and redactor of the "Chin Shu ([x]), an important treatise which bears on its title-page the name of T'ang T'ai Tsung as author. Ching Po's name is also associated with other historical works, and notably with two which give an official account of the rise of the T'ang dynasty and of the great events which marked the early years of T'ai Tsung. It is plain from this Preface that its author was an intimate friend of Yuan-chuang whose name he does not think it necessary to mention. He seems to have known or regarded Yuan- chuang as the sole author of the "Hsi-yu-chi", writing of him thus: — "he thought it no toil to reduce to order the notes which he had written down". Ching Po must have written this Preface before 649, as in that year he was sent away from the capital to a provincial appointment and died on the way. The praises which he gives Yuan-chuang and their common master, the Emperor, are very liberal, and he knew them both well.

The second Preface, which is in all editions except the Corean, is generally represented as having been written by one Chang Yueh ([x]). It has been translated fairly well by Julien, who has added numerous notes to explain the text and justify his renderings. He must have studied the Preface with great care and spent very many hours in his attempt to elucidate its obscurities. Yet it does not seem to have occurred to him to learn who Chang Yueh was and when he lived.

Now the Chang Yueh who bore the titles found at the head of the Preface above the name was born in 667 and died in 730, thus living in the reigns of Kao Tsung, Chung Tsung, Jui Tsung, and Hsuan Tsung. He is known in Chinese literature and history as a scholar, author, and official of good character and abilities. His Poems and Essays, especially the latter, have always been regarded as models of style, but they are not well known at present. In 689 Chang Yueh became qualified for the public service, and soon afterwards he obtained an appointment at the court of the Empress Wu Hou. But he did not prove acceptable to that ambitious, cruel and vindictive sovereign, and in 703 he was sent away to the Ling-nan Tao (the modern Kuangtung). Soon afterwards, however, he was recalled and again appointed to office at the capital. He served Hsuan Huang (Ming Huang) with acceptance, rising to high position and being ennobled as Yen kuo kung ([x]).

Now if, bearing in mind the facts of Chang Yueh's birth and career, we read with attention the Preface which bears his name we cannot fail to see that it could not have been composed by that official. Passing by other arguments, let us take the following statement in the Preface — "the reigning sovereign when heir-apparent composed the "Shu-sheng-chi" ([x]), or Memoir on the transmission of Buddhism, in 579 words." Now the sovereign who wrote the "Shu-sheng-chi" was, as we know from the Seventh Book of the Life and other sources, Kao Tsung. That Emperor died in 683 when Chang Yueh was only sixteen years of age and the Preface must have been written before that date. So, according to the Chinese authorities and their translators Julien and Professor G. Schlegel, it was a schoolboy who composed this wonderful Preface, this "morceau qui offre un specimen bien caracterise de ces eloges pompeux et vides, et presente, par consequent les plus grandes difficultes, non-seulement a un traducteur de l'Occident, mais encore a tout lettre Chinois qui ne connaitrait que les idees et la langue de l'ecole de Confucius." [Google translate: piece that offers a good specimen characterized by these pompous and empty praises, and presents, therefore the greatest difficulties, not only has a translator from the West, but still has every letter Chinese who would only know the ideas and the language of the school of Confucius.] We may pronounce this impossible as the morceau [piece] is evidently the work of a ripe scholar well read not only in Confucianism but also in Buddhism. Moreover the writer was apparently not only a contemporary but also a very intimate friend of Yuan-chuang. Who then was the author?

In the A and C editions and in the old texts Chang Yueh's name does not appear on the title-page to this Preface. It is said to have been added by the editors of the Ming period when revising the Canon. Formerly there stood at the head of the Preface only the titles and rank of its author. We must now find a man who bore these titles in the Kao Tsung period, 650 to 683, and who was at the same time a scholar and author of distinction and a friend of the pilgrim. And precisely such a man we find in Yu Chih-ning ([x]), one of the brilliant scholars and statesmen who shed a glory on the reigns of the early T'ang sovereigns. Yu was a good and faithful servant to T'ai Tsung who held him in high esteem and took his counsel even when it was not very palatable. On the death of T'ai Tsung his son and successor Kao Tsung retained Yu in favour at Court and rewarded him with well-earned honours. In 656 the Emperor appointed Yu along with some other high officials to help in the redaction of the translations which Yuan-chuang was then making from the Sanskrit books. Now about this time Yu, as we know from a letter addressed to him by Hui-li and from other sources, bore the titles which appear at the head of the Preface. He was also an Immortal of the Academy, a Wen-kuan Hsuo-shi ([x]). He was one of the scholars who had been appointed to compile the "Sui Shu" or Records of the Sui dynasty and his miscellaneous writings from forty chuan. Yu was probably a fellow-labourer with Yuan-chuang until the year 660. At that date the concubine of many charms had become all-powerful in the palace and she was the unscrupulous foe of all who even seemed to block her progress. Among these was Yu, who, accordingly; was this year sent away into official exile and apparently never returned.

We need have little hesitation then in setting down Yu Chih-ning as the author of this Preface. It was undoubtedly written while Yuan-chuang was alive, and no one except an intimate friend of Yuan-chuang could have learned all the circumstances about him, his genealogy and his intimacy with the sovereign mentioned or alluded to in the Preface. We need not suppose that this elegant composition was designed by its author to serve as a Preface to the Hsi- yu-chi. It was probably written as an independent eulogy of Yuan-chuang setting forth his praises as a man of old family, a record-beating traveller, a zealous Buddhist monk of great learning and extraordinary abilities, and a propagator of Buddhism by translations from the Sanskrit.1 [Life, ch. 8: Ku-chin-i-ching-t'u-chi (No. 1487) last page: Postscript to Y.'s "Ch'eng-wei-chih-lun" (No. 1197) where Yu Chih-ning is styled as in the heading to the Preface. ]


This Preface, according to all the translators, tells us that the pilgrim acting under Imperial orders translated 657 Sanskrit books, that is, all the Sanskrit books which he had brought home with him from the Western Lands. No one seems to have pointed out that this was an utterly impossible feat, and that Yuan-chuang did not attempt to do anything of the kind. The number of Sanskrit texts which he translated was seventy four, and these seventy four treatises (pu) made in all 1335 chuan. To accomplish this within seventeen years was a very great work for a delicate man with various calls on his time.1 [See Life vh. 10. Julien's translation of this passage cannot be used. B. Nanjio'd Catalogue p. 435. Mr Nanjio makes the total 75, but he counts the Chin-kang-ching twice. ]

The translations made by Yuan-chuang are generally represented on the title-page as having been made by Imperial order and the title-page of the Hsi-yu-chi has the same intimation. We know also from the Life that it was at the special request of the Emperor T'ai Tsung that Yuan-chuang composed the latter treatise. So we should probably understand the passage in the Preface with which we are now concerned as intended to convey the following information. The pilgrim received Imperial orders to translate the 657 Sanskrit treatises, and to make the Ta-T'ang-Hsi-yu-chi in twelve chuan, giving his personal observation of the strange manners and customs of remote and isolated regions, their products and social arrangements, and the places to which the Chinese Calendar and the civilising influences of China reached.2 [See Life ch. 6. The term here rendered "civilizing influences of China" is sheng-chiao ([x]). This term is often used by Buddhist writers as a synonym for "Buddhist religion". ]


Then the number 657 given here and in other places as the total of the Sanskrit treatises (pu) does not agree with the items detailed in the various editions of the Life and the A, B, and D texts of the Records. In the C text of the Records, however the items make up this total. They are as follows: —  

WORKS TRANSLATED BY YUAN CHUANG.

Mahayanist sutras / 224 pu
Mahayanist sastras / 192 pu
Sthavira sutras, sastras and Vinaya / 14 pu
Mahasangika sutras, sastras and Vinaya / 15 pu
Mahisasaka sutras, sastras and Vinaya / 22 pu
Sammitiya sutras, sastras and Vinaya / 15 pu
Kasyapiya sutras, sastras and Vinaya / 17 pu
Dharmagupta sutras, Vinaya, sastras / 42 pu
Sarvastivadin sutras, Vinaya, sastras / 67 pu
Yin-lun (Treatises on the science of Inference) / 36 pu
Sheng-lun (Etymological treatises) / 13 pu
Total: 657 pu
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Re: On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D. by Thoma

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CHAPTER II.

THE INTRODUCTION.


At the beginning of Chuan I of the Records we have a long passage which, following Julien, we may call the Introduction. In a note Julien tells us that "suivant les editeurs du Pien-i-tien, cette Introduction a ete compose par Tschang-choue (i.e. Chang Tue), auteur de la preface du Si-yu-ki". [Google translate: according to the editors of Pien-i-tien, this Introduction was composed by Tschang-choue (i.e. Chang Tue), author of the preface to Si-yu-ki".] Another native writer ascribes the composition of this Introduction to Pien-chi. But a careful reading of the text shews us that it could not have been written by either of these and that it must be regarded as the work of the pilgrim himself. This Introduction may possibly be the missing Preface written by Yuan-chuang according to a native authority.

The Introduction begins — "By going back over the measures of the [Three] Huang and examining from this distance of time the records of the [Five] Ti we learn the beginnings of the reigns of Pao-hsi (Fu-hsi) and Hsien-Yuan (Huang Ti) by whom the people were brought under civil government and the country was marked off into natural divisions. And [we learn how] Tao of T'ang receiving astronomical knowledge (lit. "Celestial revolutions") his light spread everywhere, and how Shun of Yu being entrusted with the earthly arrangements his excellent influences extended to all the empire. From these down only the archives of recorded events have been transmitted. To hear of the virtuous in a far off past, to merely learn from word-recording historians — what are these compared with the seasonable meeting with a time of ideal government and the good fortune living under a sovereign who reigns without ruling?"


The original of the last two sentences of this passage is rendered by Julien thus. "Depuis cette epoque (i.e., the time of Yao and Shun) jusqu'a nos jours c'est en vain qu'on consulte les annales ou sont consignes les evenements, que l'on ecoute les opinions emanees des anciens sages, que l'on interroge les historiens qui recueillaient les paroles memorables. Il en est bien autrement lorsqu'on vit sous une dynastie vertueuse et qu'on est soumis a un prince qui pratique le non-agir." [Google translate: Since that time (i.e., the time of Yao and Shun) until today it is in vain that we consult the annals or are recorded the events, that we listen to the opinions emanating from the elders wise, that we question the historians who collected the memorable words. It is quite different when lives under a virtuous dynasty and is subject to a prince who practices non-action.] The text is here given, [x] and it will be seen that Julien's translation is hasty and inaccurate and that it does an injustice to the author. No Chinese scholar, Buddhist or Confucianist, would ever write in this disparaging way of the books of national history including the "Springs and Autumns" of Confucius, the commentaries on that treatise, and later works. What our author here states to his reader is to this effect. In the records of the very early times we find the institution of government officials to guide and teach the people ([x]), the first mapping out of the empire into natural divisions with corresponding star-clusters ([x]), the adaptation of astronomical learning to practical uses, and the first systematic reclamation of land and distribution of the country into political divisions. These great and beneficial achievements of the early sovereigns are mentioned only with the view of comparing the Emperor on the throne with these glorified remote predecessors. From the time of Yao and Shun down, according to our author, the annals of the empire contained only dry records of ordinary events.

All this is only the prelude to the generous panegyric which our author proceeds to lavish on the T'ang, dynasty or rather on the sovereign reigning at the time, viz. T'ai Tsung.
A rough and tentative translation of this eulogy is now given and the reader can compare it with Julien's version.

"As to our great Tang dynasty, it assumed empire1 [The term here rendered "assumed empire" is yu-chi ([x]) which J. translates by "gouverne". But the context seems to show that the term is to be taken here, as commonly, in the sense of "begin to reign", "accede to empire" Thus the phrase sheng-tien- tzu-yu-chi-yi-lai means "since His Majesty ascended the throne".] in accordance with Heaven, and taking advantage of the times it concentrated power to itself. [His Majesty] has made the six units of countries into one empire and this his glory fills; he is a fourth to the Three Huang and his light illumines the world. His subtle influence permeates widely and his auspicious example has a far-reaching stimulus. Combining Heaven's covering with Earth's containing powers he unites in himself the rousing force of wind and the refreshing action of rain. As to Eastern barbarians bringing tribute and "Western barbarians submitting themselves"1 [This is a quotation from the Yu-Kung of the Shu-Ching where it is used of the western tribes submitting to the regulations of the emperor Yu. The Hsi Jung or "western barbarians" of this passage are described as Tibetan tribes living in the neighbourhood of the Koko Nor.] in founding an imperial inheritance for his posterity,2 [The text is Chuang-ye-ch'ui-t'ung ([x]). This is a stock phrase of Chinese literature and occurs, for example, in the 17th ch. of the Shih-Chi as a popular quotation. It or a part of it is often used of T'ang Kao Tsu and his successor although properly it applies only to the former. One writer amplifies the meaning of the expression thus— "Kao Tsu laid the foundation ([x]) and established the patrimony ([x]) and T-ai Tsung enlarged and gave peace to the empire". (Ta T'ang-nei-tien-lu ch. 5. Bun. No. 1485).] in bringing order out of chaos and restoring settled government,3 [The original is poh-luan-fan-cheng [x]). Here the word poh, we are told, is to be taken in the sense of regulate or reduce to order, and cheng denotes settled government. The phrase is applied to the Ch'un-Ch'iu of Confucius by Kung-yang at the end of his commentary on that classic. It occurs also in the Han-Shu (ch. 22) where the commentator explains it as meaning "to exterminate disorder and restore a right state of affairs". One of T'ai Tsung's Ministers is represented as applying the phrase to that emperor in a conversation with him, saying to His Majesty that "in bringing order out of anarchy and restoring good government (poh- luan-fan-cheng) and in raising men from mud and ashes" he had far transcended the achievements of the founders of the Chow and Han dynasties.] he certainly surpasses former kings and sums up in himself all that previous dynasties had attained. That there is a uniformity of culture4 [The Chinese is t'ung-wen-kung-kuei ([x]) which means to "have the same writing and go in the same rut". There is apparently a reference to Ch. 6 of the "Chung-yung" where we read, in Legge's translation. — "Now, over the empire, carriages have all wheels of the same size: all writing is with the same characters; and for conduct there are the same rules.'' (Life and Teachings of Confucius p. 312.) So also of the uniformity which Ch'in Shih Huang Ti produced it was said Ch'e-t'-ung-kuei-shu-t'ung-wen-tzu ([x]), "carriages went in the same ruts and books were in one writing" (Shih-chi ch. 6).] over all the empire is the marvellous result of his perfect government. If I did not mention them in these Records I should not have wherewith to praise his great institutions and if I did not publish them abroad I could not shed light on his abundant merits.

In my mention of the natural characteristics of the people in any place which I visited, though I did not investigate local peculiarities of custom, yet I am to be believed. Beyond the Five [Ti] and the Three [JSiuing] (or, according to another interpretation, "In more than three-fifths of the places I traversed") all living creatures feel the genial influence [of H. Ms. reign] and every human being extols his merit. From Ch'ang-an to India the strange tribes of the sombre wastes, isolated lands and odd states, all accept the Chinese calendar and enjoy the benefits of H. Ms. fame and teaching. The praise of his great achievements in war is in everybody's mouth and the commendation of his abundant civil virtues has grown to be the highest theme.
1 [The pilgrim's report of his Imperial Master's fame in India will be illustrated when we come to chuan 5 and 10 of the Records.] Examine the public records and they have no mention of anything like this, and I am of opinion that there is no similar instance in private genealogies. Were there not the facts here set forth I could not record the beneficial influences of His Majesty. The narrative which I have now composed is based on what I saw and heard."


[x]


This is an address well spiced with flattery in good oriental fashion. We may perhaps regard it as a sort of Dedication to the pilgrim's great friend and patron, the second Emperor of the T'ang dynasty. For though, as has been seen, the writer uses the term Ta T'ang, yet the context shews he had in his mind only, or chiefly, T'ai Tsung. The founder of the T'ang dynasty, it should be remembered, was neither a hero nor a man of extraordinary genius, and he came near being a prig and a hypocrite. His loyalty and honour were questioned in his lifetime, and history has given him several black marks. While sick of ambition, he was infirm of purpose, and wishing to do right he was easily swayed to do what was wrong. He had undoubted abilities, a happy knack of turning events to his advantage, and a plausible manner with friends and foes. But all his success in later life, and the fame of his reign were largely due to the son who succeeded him on the throne. This son, T'ai Tsung, meets us several times in the pilgrim's wanderings, and it will help us to understand and appreciate the passage now before us and the references to him in other parts of the work, if we recall some particulars of his life and character.

The Li family, from which the founder of the T'ang dynasty sprang, claimed to have a long and illustrious line of ancestors, many of whom had deserved well of the State. The founder himself, whose name was Yuan ([x]), was born at Ch'ang-an, and was related to the family of the reigning dynasty, the Sui. He was a hereditary nobleman with the title T'ang Kung, and he served with distinction under Sui Yang Ti (601 to 616). But that despot could not brook Yuan, who was gaining favour with army and people, and he tried to get rid of him.

At this time the two eldest sons of Li Yuan were also in the public service, and it is with the younger of these that we are now concerned. This boy, who seems to have been extraordinary from a very early stage of his life, was born in the year 597. When he was four years of age a mysterious stranger, dressed like a professional scholar, came one day to Li Yuan's house. Professing to be able to read fortunes, this stranger recognised Yuan as destined to greatness. Then taking the little child, he read fate's characters in his face, and predicted that the child would rise to power and that he would "save the age and give peace to the people" — Chi-shih-an-min ([x]). The father, perhaps finding the prophecy jump with his thoughts, and wishing to prick lagging destiny, gave to his son a name, Shih-min, which recalled the prediction.

But fate made no delay, and Li Shih-min while only a boy, on the summons of Sui Yang Ti, entered the public service as a military officer. He soon found, however, that to propagate a tottering dynasty was not his destined work. The whole country, moreover, was now in a dreadful state of violence and disorder. Hydra-headed rebellion wasted the land, and the monster who sat on the throne was hated and rejected even by his own kindred. The districts of the Empire which marched with the lands of the barbarians were the prey of these ruthless savages who again and again, swooping with harpy-flight on town and country, made life in such places impossible. But when the people fled thence into the central parts of the Empire, they found neither peace nor safety, for the line of confusion and the plummet of stones were stretched out in the land. Over all the country, life and property were at the mercy of powerful rebels and bands of marauders and murderers. The good found safety in flight or concealment, and only the lawless and violent prevailed. So Li Shih-min, like others, saw that the Decree had passed and that the collapse of the Sui dynasty was imminent. He now resolved to help those who wished to hasten that event, and joined the conspiracy which succeeded in effecting the dethronement of Yang Ti. Then Shih-min's father, Li Yuan, became Emperor in 618 to the satisfaction of most, and the Empire began to have peace again. It was Shih- min who placed his father on the throne and won the Empire for him. During all Kao Tsu's reign, also, Shih- min took a very active and prominent part in public affairs. He fought many hard battles, and won great and splendid victories, thereby extending and consolidating the newly- won Empire. For he was wise and daring in counsel and brave and skilful in battle. He was much beloved by his father who rewarded his services with many honours. Among these was the title Ch'in ([x]) "Wang, Prince of Ch'in, a title by which he is still remembered. In 626 Kao Tsu resigned, appointing Shih-min his successor. The latter, the T'ang T'ai Tsung of history, mounted the throne with apparent reluctance, but with eager delight and earnest purpose, and he reigned "with unrivalled splendour" until his death in 649.

This reign is perhaps the most celebrated in all the history of China, and T'ai Tsung is still regarded as one of her greatest and wisest rulers. From the moment he mounted the throne, he set himself to govern the people for their welfare, and began by enabling them to live in confidence and security. No ruler before ever wove so quickly and deftly into a fair web of peace and order such tangled threads of wild lawlessness. Only four years had he been in power, when over all the country the people had returned to settled lives, and the fame of his greatness and goodness had brought back hope and happiness. He crushed internal rebellion and reduced all parts of the Empire to his sway. He broke the power of the hereditary foes of China on her frontiers and made them willing and appreciative vassals. He introduced a new and improved distribution of the Empire into Provinces, each of these again divided and sub-divided to suit natural or artificial requirements. In the civil list he inaugurated great reforms, and he succeeded in calling into active service for the State some of the best men China has produced. His ministers, native historians tell us, administered the government with combined ability and honesty, such as had never been known before. In the military organisation also he made improvements, and above all he reformed the penal code and the administration of justice, tempering its severity. Learning of all kinds was fostered and promoted by him with an intelligent earnestness and a personal sympathy. He knew himself how to write and he made some permanent contributions to the native literature. In astronomy he made reforms and he tried to restore that science and astrology to their high estate, that is, as branches of practical learning. Solicitous above all things for the welfare of his people, he set them an example of plain living and frugality. His influence was immense, and his fame and character were known not only over all the Empire but also in countries far beyond its limits. He had an impulsive affectionate disposition, and his loving services to his father and mother are household stories. He was also social and genial in his intercourse with his statesmen, whose criticism he invited and whose censures he accepted.

The splendour of T'ai Tsung's great achievements, the conspicuous merits of his administration, and the charm of his sociable affable manner made the people of his time forget his faults. Even long after his death, when the story of his life came to be told, the spell was in the dull dry records, and passed over him who wrought those into history. So it came that the historian, dazed by the spell and not seeing clearly, left untold some of the Emperor's misdeeds and told others without adding their due meed of blame. For this great ruler smutched his fair record by such crimes as murder and adultery. The shooting of his brothers was excusable and even justifiable, but his other murders admit of little palliation and cannot plead necessity. Though he yielded to his good impulses, again, in releasing thousands of women who had been forced into and kept in the harem of Sui Yang Ti, yet he also yielded to his bad impulses when he took his brother's widow and afterwards that maid of fourteen, Wu Chao, into his own harem. His love of wine and women in early life, his passion for war and his love of glory and empire, which possessed him to the end, were failings of which the eyes of contemporaries dazzled by the "fierce light" could not take notice.

But when the crimes and failings of T'ai Tsung are all told, they still leave him a great man and a ruler of rare excellence.
His genius gave life to all his laws and institutions, and his personal influence was felt in every department of government. Nor was it until long after his death that it was found how much the good reforms he made owed to his personal presence and action. Happy in the character he bore among contemporaries, he became still greater with their successors, and there is almost a perfect unanimity of consent to count him great and good. Indeed the native panegyrists generally write of him as above all who preceded him, except those semi-mythical sovereigns who moulded man from the brute. The Chinese youth and patriots love and praise T'ai Tsung for the great feats he achieved in battle and his hard won victories which restored the country to its old splendour and supremacy. The native student praises him for the success he had in preserving the valuable literature then extant but in danger of being lost, and for the great encouragement he gave to learning. The Buddhist praises him for the patronage he extended to his religion, and the friendly interest he took in its affairs. The Taoist praises him for his exaltation of that dim personage, a reputed ancestor of the Emperor, the fore-father of Taoism. Even the western Christian joins the chorus of praise, and to him the "virtuous T'ai Tsung" is a prince nearly perfect ("Princeps omnibus fere numeris absolutus" [Google translate: leader the absolute numbers in almost all the ...]). It was during the reign of this sovereign, in the year 636, that Christianity was first introduced into China. The Nestorian missionaries, who brought it, were allowed to settle in peace and safety at the capital. This was the boon which called forth the gratitude of the Christian historian and enhanced in his view the merits of the heathen sovereign.

The author next proceeds to give a short summary of the Buddhistic teachings about this world and the system of which it forms a constituent. He begins —


"Now the Saha world, the Three Thousand Great Chiliocosm, is the sphere of the spiritual influence of one Buddha. It is in the four continents (lit. "Under heavens") now illuminated by one sun and moon and within the Three Thousand Great Chiliocosm that the Buddhas, the World-honoured ones, produce their spiritual effects, are visibly born and visible enter Nirrvana, teach the way to saint and sinner."


For the words in italics the original is hsien-sheng-hsien- mie ([x]) which Julien renders "tantot ils apparaissent, tantot ils s'eteignent". [Google translate: sometimes they appear, sometimes they go out.] This does not seem to express the author's meaning and is not quite correct. All the Buddhas, the writer tells us, exercise their spiritual sovereignty ("send down their transforming influence") in one or other of the four great divisions of the habitable world; in one of these each Buddha becomes incarnate as a man, teaches saints and common people, and passes into Nirvana.

Our author proceeds —

"In the ocean, resting on a gold disk, is the mountain Sumeru composed of four precious substances: along its middle the sun and moon revolve and on it the Devas sojourn."


The phrase for "revolve along its middle" is hui-po ([x] (or [x]) [x] (or [x])). Here the word po in the first form does not seem to have any appropriate meaning, and the second form which means "to stop" or "anchor" is also unsatisfactory. From a paraphrase of the passage, however, we learn the meaning of the phrase, the words of the paraphrase being "the sun and moon revolve along its waist" ([x]). The word po in this sense of "waisting" a hill is still used in the colloquial of some parts of China, but there does not seem to be any certain character to represent it in writing. In some books we find the word written [x] po, as by Fa-hsien, for example. Instead of hui-po in the above passage the D text has Chao-hui ([x]), "to illuminate in revolving", a reading which agrees with statements about Sumeru in other Buddhist writings.1 [In the Fo-shuo-li-shih-a-p'i-tan-lun ch. 1 (No. 1297) the sun and moon are described as making their revolutions at a height of 40000 Yojanas above the earth and half-way up Mount Sumeru, and a similar statement is made in the Yu-ka-shih-ti-lun ch. 2 (No. 1170).]

Around the Sumeru Mountain, our author continues, are seven mountains and seven seas and the water of the seas between the mountains has the "eight virtues": outside the seven Gold Mountains is the Salt Sea. In the sea (or ocean) there are, speaking summarily, four habitable Islands, viz-Pi-t'i-ha Island in the east, Chan-pu Island in the south, Ku-to-ni in the west, and Kou-lo Island in the north. The influence of a Gold-wheel king extends over these four Islands, a Silver-wheel king rules over all except the north one, a Copper-wheel king rules over the South and East Islands, and an Iron-wheel king bears sway only over Chan-pu Island. When a "Wheel-king" is about to arise a gold, silver, copper, or iron wheel, according to the Karma of the man, appears for him in the air and gives him his title while indicating the extent of his dominion.

In the centre of Chan-pu Island (Jambudvipa), south of the Perfume Mountain and north of the Great Snow Mountain is the A-na-p'o-ta-to (Anavatapta) Lake above 800 li in circuit. Its banks are adorned with gold, silver, lapis-lazuli, and crystal: all its sand are golden and it is pure and clear. The p'usa Ta-ti (Great-land) having by the force of his prayer become a dragon-king lives in the depths of the Lake and sends forth its pure cold water for Jambudvipa. Thus from the silver east side through the Ox Mouth flows the Ganges which after going once round the Lake flows into the south-east sea: from its gold south side through the Elephant Mouth flows the Sin-tu (Indus) which, after flowing round the Lake enters the south-west sea: from the lapis-lazuli west side through the Horse Mouth the Fo-chu (Oxus) flows passing round the Lake and then on into the north-west sea: from the crystal north side through the Lion Mouth flows the Si-to (Sita) river which goes round the Lake and then on the north-east sea. Another theory is that the Sita flows underground until it emerges at the Chi-shih ("Heaped up stones") Mountain and that it is the source of the [Yellow] River of China.


The seven mountains here represented as surrounding Sumeru are supposed to form seven concentric circles with seas separating them. These seven rows of mountains are golden, and we read in other accounts of the Buddhist cosmogony of seven circles of iron mountains surrounding the habitable world.

The names of the four great Islands of this passage are not all known as divisions of the world to orthodox Indian writers, but they are found in Buddhist treatises. Our pilgrim calls the first chou or Dvipa (Island) P'i-t'i- ha restored as Videha. This name is properly used to designate a particular district in India corresponding to the modern Tirhut in Behar. But here it is the Purva- Videha, (in Pali Pubbavideho), the Eastern Continent or great Island of Buddhist cosmogony. Our pilgrim in his translation of a Sastra renders the word Videha by Sheng- shen ([x]) or "Superior body", and the Tibetan rendering is Lus-hp'ags with a similar meaning. But the old transcriptions for the name of the East Island as given in a note to our text are Fu-p'o-t'i ([x]) and Fu-yu-ti ([x]) which seem to point to an original like Pubbadik or "East Region". It is the Fu-p'o-t'i of this note which is given as the name in the "Fo-shuo-ch'u-chia-kung- te-ching" translated in the 4th century A.D. (No. 776).

The second dvipa is Chan-pu, Jambu, as in most other works. But the character read Chan should perhaps be read Yen, and this would agree with the other transcriptions given in the note, viz.-Yen-fon-t'i ([x]) and Yen ([x])-fou, the former appearing in the sutra just quoted.

Our pilgrim in the sastra referred to translates his Ku-Po-ni, the name of the West Island, by Niu-huo or "Cattle goods", that is, cattle used as a medium of exchange. The name has been restored as Godhana or Godhanya, the Gaudana of the Lalitavistara, but Godhani or Godani would be nearer the transcription. Other names given by the annotator are Ku-yi(ya)-ni and Kou-ka-ni, the former of these appears in the old sutra already quoted, and it agrees with the Pali form Apara-goyanam.

The North Island is the Kurudvipa, the Uttara-Kuru of other writers: it is also the Yu-tan-yueh (viet) of the sutra already quoted and of many other Buddhist texts. This Yu-tan-viet may perhaps represent a word like Uttamavat.1 [See Yuan-chuang's A-pi -ta-mo-tsang-hsien-lun ch. 16 (Bun. No. 1266) and his A-pi-ta-mo-ku-she-lun ch. 11 (No. 1267): Chang-a- han-ching ch. 18 (No. 545). For the four Wheel-kings see Yuan-chuang's A-pi-ta-mo-shun-cheng-li-lun ch. 32 (No. 1265).]

The A-na-p'o-ta-to (Anavatapta) Lake is here, we have seen, described as being in the middle of Jambudvipa to the south of the Perfume (that is Fragrance-intoxicating or Gandhamadana) Mountain, and north of the Great Snow (Himavat) Mountain. This is the situation ascribed to the Lake in certain sastras, but in the Chang-a-han- ching and some other authorities it is on the summit of the Great Snow Mountain. In a note to our text we are told that the Chinese translation of the name is Wu-je-nao ([x] or "Without heat-trouble". This is the rendering used by Yuan-chuang in his translations and it is the term commonly employed by Chinese writers and translators, butthe word Anavatapta means simply "unheated". It is said to have been the name of the Dragon-king of the Lake and to have been given to him because he was exempt from the fiery heat, the violent storms, and the fear of the garudas which plagued other dragons.1 [Chang-a-han-ching 1. c.] Our pilgrim's statement that the Ganges, Indus, Oxus, and Sita (or Sita) all have their origin in this Lake is found in several Buddhist scriptures: one of these as translated by Yuan- chuang used the very words of our passage,2 [Abhi-ta-vib. ch. 5 (No. 1263). See also Nos. 1266, 1267 1. c.] but in two of them there are differences as to the directions in which the rivers proceed.3 [Chang-a-han-ching 1. c: Hsin-ti-kuan-ching ch. 4 (No. 955): Abhi. vib-lun ch. 2 (No. 1264).] Nagasena speaks of the water of this Lake, which he calls Anotatta daha, as flowing into the Ganges.4 [Milindapanho ed. Trenckner p. 286.] In the early Chinese versions of Buddhist works the name is given, as in the note to our text, A-nu-ta ([x]) which evidently represents the Pali form Anotatta. Then the pilgrim mentions a supposition that the Sita had a subterranean course for a distance and that where it emerged, at the Chi-shih ([x]) "Accumulated-rocks" Mountain, it was the source of the Yellow River. The Chi-shih-shan of this theory is the Chi-shih of the Yu-kung chapter of the Shu-Ching. This Chi-shih was the place at which, according to some, the Yellow River had its source and it was a district in what is now the western part of Kansuh Province. But the term Chi-shih is also used in the sense of "mountain" as a synonym of shan.

It has been stated by some western writers that our pilgrim confuses the Anavatapta Lake with the Sarikul of the Pamirs, but this is not correct. Some other Chinese writers seem to make this mistake but Yuan-chuang does not. Then the Anavatapta Lake has been identified with the Manasarowar Lake of Tibet, but this cannot be accepted. We must regard the "Unheated" Lake as a thing of fairyland, as in the Earthly Paradise or Garden of Eden. It is expressly stated that the Lake could be reached only by those who had supernatural powers, the faculty of transporting themselves at will by magic.1 [Nos. 1266, 1267 1. c.] The Buddha and his arhats visited it on several occasions passing through the air from India to it in the twinkling of an eye or the raising of an arm, and down to the time of Asoka great Buddhist saints came to lodge on its banks.2 [Divyav. p. 399.] Here was that wonderful incense the burning of which yielded a wide-spreading perfume which released all the world from the consequences of sin.3 [Hua-yen-ching ch. 67 (No. 88).] Here too was a goodly palace, and all about were strange trees and flowers through which breathed fragrant airs and birds with plaintive songs made harmony.4 [Chang-a-han-ching l. c.]


I have not discovered the source from which the pilgrim obtained his information that the dragon-king of the Anavatapta Lake was the Ta-ti or "Great-land" p'usa [Bodhisattva]. As the words of the text show, this p'usa was not the Buddha in one of his preparatory births, but a p'usa still living as the Naga-raja of the Lake. In the D text instead of Ta-ti we have Pa-Ti or "Eight-lands". This reading seems to point to some Mahayanist p'usa who had attained to eight-lands, that is eight of the ten stages to perfection.

The pilgrim next goes on to tell of the Four Lords (or Sovereigns) who divide Jambudvipa when no one has the fate to be universal sovereign over that Island, and of the lands and peoples over which these Lords rule. In the south is the Elephant-Lord whose territory has a hot moist climate with people energetic, devoted to study and addicted to magical arts, wearing garments which cross the body and leave the right shoulder bare: their hair is made into a topknot in the middle and hangs down on the sides: they associate in towns and live in houses of several storeys. In the west is the Lord of Precious Substances who rules over the sea abounding in pearls, whose subjects are rude and covetous, wear short coats fastened to the left, cut their hair short and have long mustachios; they live in towns also and are traders. The Horse-Lord rules in the north: his country is very cold, yielding horses, and with inhabitants of a wild fierce nature who commit murder without remorse, they live in felt tents and are migratory herdsmen. In the East (that is, in China) is the Man-Lord, who has a well-peopled territory with a genial climate where all good manners and social virtues prevail, and the people are attached to the soil. Of these four territories it is only the East country that holds the south direction in respect, the other three regions making the east their quarter of reverence. The East country (China) excels the other regions in its political organization. The system of religion which teaches purification of the heart and release from the bonds [of folly] and which instructs how to escape from birth and death flourishes in the country of the Elephant-Lord (India).

All these matters are set forth in authoritative writings (lit.- canonical treatises and official declarations) and are learned from local hearsay. From a wide study of the modern and the old and a minute examination of what is seen and heard we learn that Buddha arose in the west region and his religion spread to the east country (China), and that in the translation [from Sanskrit into Chinese] words have been wrongly used and idioms misapplied. By a misuse of words the meaning is lost and by wrong phrases the doctrine is perverted. Hence it is said — "What is necessary is to have correct terms" and to set value on the absence of faulty expressions.


Now mankind differ in the quality of their natural dispositions and in their speech, the difference being partly due to local climatic circumstances and partly caused by continued use. As to varieties of physical scenery and natural products in the country of the Man-Lord (China), and as to the differences in the customs and dispositions of its people, these are all described in our national records. The peoples of the Horse-Lord and the districts of the Lord of Precious Substances are detailed in our historical teachings, and a general account of them can be given. But as to the country of the Elephant-Lord (India) our ancient literature is without a description of it. We have the statement (made by Chang-Ch'ien) that "the land has much heat and moisture", and this other "the people are fond of benevolence and compassion"; such mention may occur in topographies but we cannot have thorough information. Whether caused by the alternate flourishing and depression of good government, or as the natural result of secular changes, the fact is that with reference to those who, knowing the due season for giving in allegiance and enjoying the benefits of [Chinese] civilisation, came to the Emperor's Court, who passing danger after danger sought admittance at the Yu-men [Pass], and bearing tribute of native rarities bowed before the Palace Gate, we cannot relate their experiences. For this reason as I travelled far in quest of truth (that is, the Buddhist religion) in the intervals of my studies I kept notes of natural characteristics.


Julien in his translation of this passage gives the Sanskrit equivalents for Horse-Lord, Elephant-Lord, and Man-Lord; and tells us that a word meaning "Parasol-Lord" is found in a certain authority instead of the Precious-substances-Lord of our text. Throughout the passage, however, the pilgrim seems to be writing as a Chinese Buddhist scholar not drawing from Indian sources but from his own knowledge and experience. His information was acquired partly from Chinese books, and he perhaps learned something from the Brethren in Kashmir and other places outside of India. To him as a Chinese the people of China were men (jen), all outlying countries being peopled by Man and Yi and Hu and Jung, although as a good Buddhist he admitted the extension of the term jen to the inhabitants of other lands.

Our author, in writing the paragraph of this passage about Buddhism, evidently had in his memory certain observations which are to be found in the 88th Chapter of the "Hou Han Shu". These observations with the notes appended give us some help in finding out the meaning of several of the expressions in the text. For his statement here about the faults of previous translators the author has been blamed by native critics. These maintain that the transcriptions of Indian words given by Yuan-chuang's predecessors are not necessarily wrong merely because they differ from those given by him. The foreign sounds, they say, which the previous translators heard may not have been those which our pilgrim heard, and, moreover, Chinese characters under the influence of time and place, may have changed both meaning and pronunciation. As to mistakes of interpretation, there are doubtless many to be found in the early translations, but in this matter Yuan-chuang also is far from perfect.

In the next paragraph Julien apparently understood his author to state that there existed documents in their own countries on the peoples of the Horse Lord (i.e., the northern tribes) and those of the Lord of Precious substances (i.e., the nations to the south-west of China). But the writer has in his mind here only Chinese literature. So also his fang-chih ([x]) are not "des descriptions locales" [Google translate: local descriptions] of India. They are the books of travel or topographies of Chinese literature. The term is applied to such treatises as the "Hsi-yu-chi" which in fact is called a fang-chih. Our author states that Chinese topographies have little about India, and that consequently he had no native authorities to quote or refer to. Other writers of the same period make similar complaints; and there was some reason for the complaint. Even the information communicated by the pilgrims who had preceded Yuan-chuang had not been incorporated in the national histories.

The word here rendered by "good government" is tao ([x]) which Julien translated "la droite voie". [Google translate: the right way.] We might also render it by "the Buddhist religion", an interpretation which seems to be favoured by other passages on this subject. But the terms applied to the word here, viz. hsing tsang ([x]), seem to require that we should render it by some such Confucian expression as "true principles" or "good government". In the last sentences of this passage Julien seems to have misunderstood his author whom he makes write about "peoples" and "all the nations". There is nothing in the text which corresponds to or requires these expressions, and the writer evidently still refers to Indian countries, the envoys from which to China had been few and little known. In the Later Han period there was one, in the reign of Ho Ti (A.D. 89 to 105); during the Liu Sung period there were two, one in 428 and one in 466; and there were none, apparently, after this last date down to the Sui period. Now of the travels of these envoys the Chinese records had not preserved any particulars; and the references to India and the neighbouring countries in the histories of the Han and other dynasties down to the T'ang period are very meagre. It was because the records were thus imperfect, and information was unobtainable, that the pilgrim took notes of the topography and ethnology of the districts which he visited in the course of his pilgrimage.

The author next proceeds to make a few summary observations the text of which is here reproduced for the purpose of comparison. [x]. In Julian's rendering the beginning of the passage runs thus — "A partir des montagnes noires, on ne rencontre que des moeurs sauvages. Quoique les peuples barbares aient ete reunis ensemble, cependant leurs differentes races ont ete tracees avec soin." [Google translate: From black mountains, one meets only savage manners. Although the barbarian peoples were united together, however, their different races have been carefully traced.] But this does not seem to give the author's meaning which is rather something like this —

"From the Black Range on this side (i.e. to China) all the people are Hu: and though Jungs are counted with these, yet the hordes and clans are distinct, and the boundaries of territories are defined."


Now if we turn to the last section of Chuan I we learn what is meant by the "Black Range". We find that the frontier country on the route to India was Kapisa, which was surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains. One great range bounded it on the east, west, and south sides, separating it from "North India". This was called the Hei Ling, or Black Range, a name which translates the native term Siah-koh, though it is also used to render another native term, Kara Tagh, with the same meaning. From China to the mountains of Kapisa along the pilgrim's route the inhabitants, he tells us, were all Hu. These Hu are described by some writers as the descendants of early Jung settlers. But Yuan-chuang, who uses Hu as a collective designation for all the settled nations and tribes through which he passed on his way to and from India, seems to consider the Jung as a race distinct from the Hu proper. Other writers also make this distinction, regarding the Jung as of the Tibetan stock and the Hu as of Turkic kindred. But the distinction is not generally observed, and we can only say that the Hu include the Jung, who were not supposed, however, to be found beyond the Ts'ung Ling westward. In early Chinese history, e.g. in the Yu kung of the "Shu Ching" we find Jung occupying the country about the Koko Nor. They were then pastoral tribes, rearing cattle and wearing clothing prepared from the skins of their animals. Afterwards they spread to Hami and to Turfan and the Ts'ung Ling, becoming mainly agricultural peoples.

Instead of Jung ([x]) in the text here the C text has Shu ([x]) which the editors explain as soldier, the Shu jen being the Chinese troops stationed in the Hu Countries. But this reading, which does not seem to be a good one, was perhaps originally due to a copyist's error.

The pilgrim's description proceeds — "For the most part [these tribes] are settled peoples with walled cities, practising agriculture and rearing cattle. They prize the possession of property and slight humanity and public duty (lit. benevolence and righteousness). Their marriages are without ceremonies and there are no distinctions as to social position: the wife's word prevails and the husband has a subordinate position. They burn their corpses and have no fixed period of mourning. They flay (?) the face and cut off the ears: they clip their hair short and rend their garments. They slaughter the domestic animals and offer sacrifice to the manes of their dead. They wear white clothing on occasions of good luck and black clothing on unlucky occasions. This is a general summary of the manners and customs common to the tribes, but each state has its own political organization which will be described separately, and the manners and customs of India will be told in the subsequent Records."


This brief and terse account of the social characteristics common to the tribes and districts between China and India presents some rather puzzling difficulties. It is too summary, and is apparently to a large extent secondhand information obtained from rather superficial observers, not derived from the author's personal experience, and it does not quite agree with the accounts given by previous writers and travellers. Thus the pilgrim states that the tribes in question had no fixed period of mourning, that is, for deceased parents, but we learn that the people of Yenk'i observed a mourning of seven days for their parents. Nor was it the universal custom to burn the dead; for the T'ufan people, for example, buried their dead.1 [Wei-Shu ch. 102: T'ang-shu ch. 216: Ma T. 1. ch. 334.]

All the part of the passage which I have put in italics is taken by Julien to refer to the mourning customs of the tribes, and this seems to be the natural and proper interpretation. But it is beset with difficulties. The original for "they flay the face and cut off the ears" is rendered by Julien — "Ils se font des incisious sur la figure et se mutilent les oreilles." [Google translate: They make incisors in the face and mutilate their ears.] The word for "flay" or "make cuts in" is in the D text li ([x]) which does not seem to give any sense, and in the other texts it is li ([x]) which is an unknown character but is explained as meaning to "flay". Julien evidently regarded the latter character as identical with li ([x]) which is the word used in the T'ang-Shu.2 [Ch. 217.] This last character means originally to inscribe or delineate and also to blacken and to flay. As an act of filial mourning for a dead parent the T'ufan people, we are told, blackened (tai [x]) their faces, and among some tribes it apparently was the custom to tear or gash the face at the funeral of a parent or chief. But to flay or brand the face and to cut off an ear were acts of punishment which were perhaps common to all the tribes in question.

Then "to cut the hair short" was an act of filial mourning in T'ufan, but in the first foreign countries which the pilgrim reached it was the universal custom for the men, and it was done, we learn elsewhere, to set off the head.3 [Wei-Shu l. c.] In Khoten, however, the hair was cut off and the face disfigured as acts of mourning at a funeral.1 [Ka-lan-chi ch. 5.] We find it recorded moreover that when the death of T'ang T'ai Tsung was announced, the barbarians sojourning at the capital expressed their sorrow by wailing, cutting off their hair, gashing? (li [x]) their faces, and cutting their ears, until the blood washed the ground.2 [T'ung-chien-kang-mu ch. 40. ]


Then as to the phrase "rend their garments", the words lie-ch'ang ([x]) would seem to be susceptible of no other interpretation, and the pilgrim tells us afterwards that the people of India "rent their garments and tore out their hair" as expressions of mourning. The rending of the garments, however, was not a custom common to the tribes between India and China, and it could not have been practised by them generally on account of the material which was in general use for their clothing. Some native scholars explain the words lie-ch'ang here as meaning "they wear clothes without folds and seams", that is, their garments are strips or single pieces. Something like this was the style of the outer articles of a Chinaman's dress in the T'ang period and it was probably adopted by some of the foreign tribes to which Chinese influence reached. We still see survivals of it on the streets in Korea.

As to the slaughter of domestic animals, this was practised at funerals by the T'ufan people but not by all the other tribes. The Turks, who also gashed their faces in mourning, slew sheep and horses in front of the tent in which the body of a deceased parent was placed pending the completion of arrangements for burial. It is to be noted, however, that the T'ufan people and the Turks are not said to have slain their domestic animals in sacrifice to the manes of their deceased parents.3 [See Ma T. 1. ch. 334, 343.] These animals were killed, we are expressly told in the case of the T'ufan people, that they might be at the service of the departed one, as the human beings who were slain, or killed themselves, on the death of a relative or chief went to serve the deceased in the other world. Julien makes our pilgrim here state that the tribes slew their domestic animals to make offerings to their dead. This is perhaps more than is in the text which is simply that they "slaughter their domestic animals, and offer sacrifice to the manes".
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