Hsüan-tsang


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Hsüan-tsang

(shüän-dzäng), 605?–664, Chinese Buddhist scholar and translator. He early entered monastic life and later traveled in China, teaching and studying. Between 629 and 645 he made a pilgrimage to India in search of authentic scriptures. He studied at TaxilaTaxila
, archaeological site of three successive cities, near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There between the 7th cent. B.C. and the 7th cent. A.D. was a flourishing city, famous as an ancient seat of learning. It was occupied (326 B.C.
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 and NalandaNalanda
, Buddhist monastic center in what is now Baragaon, Bihar state, E central India. Often referred to as a university, Nalanda was, from the 4th to the 12 cent. A.D., the most renowned center of Buddhist learning in India.
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, the most celebrated center of Buddhist learning in India, and also visited Kashmir and the major Buddhist holy places. Pious, learned, and fluent in Sanskrit, he was honored by the Indian rulers whom he met, including the Emperor Harsha. After returning to China he translated the texts he had brought back with him and wrote his memoirs. His disciple K'uei-chi is known as the founder of the Fa-hsiang school of Buddhism, the Chinese branch of YogacaraYogacara
[Skt.,=yoga practice], philosophical school of Mahayana Buddhism, also known as the Vijnanavada or Consciousness School. The founders of this school in India were Maitreya (270–350), his disciple Asanga (c.
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.

Bibliography

See his Si-yu-ki; Buddhist Records of the Western World (2 vol., tr. 1884, repr. 1969); A. Waley, The Real Tripitaka (1952); T. Loatters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India (1961); K. Ch'en, Buddhism in China (1964); R. Bernstein, Ultimate Journey (2001).