By James Legge; Fa-Hien
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Additional resources for A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms. Being an account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline.
The symbol of the state is an elephant fording a river. Popularly, its abbreviated form P*d-sd is used in China for any idol or image ; here the name has its proper signification. 8諸 天 ， ‘ all the thien/ or simply *the th ie n ’ taken as plural. But in Chinese the character called thien ( 天 ) denotes heaven, or Heaven, and is interchanged with T t and Shang Tt, meaning God. With the Buddhists it denotes the devas or Brahmanic gods, or all the inhabitants of the six devalokas. The usage shows the antagonism between Buddhism and Brahmanism, and still more that between it and Confucianism.
The use of the character too ( 度 ) ，as here, in the sense of 1 to convert/ is entirely Buddhistic. The six pSram it 玟s are the six virtues which carry men across ( 度 ) the great sea of life and death, as the sphere of transmigration to n irvin a. With regard to the particular conversion here, Eitel (p. 11) says the NdgaJs name was A p a tila , the guardian deity of the Subhavastu river, and that he was converted by S^kyamuni shortly before the death of the latter. 8 In Chinese Na-k*eeh, an ancient kingdom and city on the southern bank of the Cabul river, about thirty miles west of Jellalabad.
But if Rhys Davids be correct, as I think he is, in fixing the date of Buddha's death a8 T H E TRA VELS OF F A -H IE N . to this account we m ay say that the diffusion of our great doctrines (in the east) began from (the setting up of) this image. If it had not been through that M aitreya1, the great spiritual m aster2 (who is to be) the successor of the S ik y a , who could have caused the “ Three Precious O nes8’’ to be proclaimed so far，and the people of those border lands to know our Law? W p know o f a truth that the opening of (the way for such) a mysterious propagation is not the work of man ; and so the dream of the emperor Ming of H an4 had its proper cause,’ C H A P T E R V III.
A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms. Being an account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. by James Legge; Fa-Hien