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Yuan-chwang's Record

Bodhgaya to Rajgir

A stupa to the east of Niranjana
To the east of the Bodhi tree, crossing the Nairanjana (Ni-len-shan-na) river, in the middle of a wood, is a stupa.

A pool of Gandhahasti
To the north of this is a pool. This is the spot where a perfume elephant (Gandhahasti) waited on his mother. Formerly when Tathagata was practising discipline as a Bodhisattva, he was born as the offspring of a perfume elephant, and lived in the mountains of the north. Wandering forth, he came to the border of this pool. His mother being blind, he gathered for her the sweet lotus roots, and drew pure water for her use, and cherished her with devotion and filial care. At this time there was a man who had changed his home, who wandered here and there in the wood without knowing his way, and in his distress raised piteous cries. The elephant-cub heard him and pitied him; leading him on, he showed him his way to the road. The man having got back, forthwith went to the king and said, "I know of a wood in which a perfume-elephant lives and roams. It is a very valuable animal. You had better go and take it." The king, assenting to his words, went with his soldiers to capture it, the man leading the way. Then pointing to the elephant to show it to the king, immediately both his arms fell off as if cut by a sword. The king, though he saw this miracle, yet captured the elephant-cub, and bound it with cords, and returned to his palace. The young elephant having been bound (in order to tame it), for a long time would neither eat nor drink. The stable-keeper stated the matter to the king, who, on his part, came to see for himself, and asking the elephant the reason. "Lo!" he answered and said, "my mother is blind, and now for days together is without food or drink, and here I am bound in a dreary dungeon. How can I take my food with relish!" The king, pitying his feelings and resolution, therefore ordered him to be set free.

A stupa and a stone pillar
By the side of this (pool) is a stupa, before which is built a stone pillar. In this place the Buddha Kashyap a (Kia-she-po) long ago sat in meditation. By its side are traces where the four past Buddhas sat down and walked.

A stone pillar at the eastern bank of Mahi River
To the east of this spot, crossing the Mo-ho (Mahi) river, we come to a great forest in which is a stone pillar. This is the place where a heretic entered a condition of ecstasy and made a wicked vow. In old days there was a heretic called Udra-Ramaputtra (U-teou-lan-tseu). In mind he soared above the vapoury clouds, whilst he left his body among the wilds and marshes. Here in this sacred forest, restraining his spirit, he left his traces. Having acquired the five supernatural faculties, he reached the highest condition of Dhyana, and the king of Magadha greatly respected him. Each day at noon he invited him to his palace to eat. Udra-Ramaputtra, mounting through space, walking in the air, came and went without hindrance. The king of Magadha, expecting the moment of his arrival, kept watch for him, and, on his coming, respect- fully placed for him his seat. The king being about to go forth on a tour, wished to put this affair in charge of someone during his absence, but he found no one in his inner palace whom he could select, capable of undertaking his commands. But (amongst his attendants), there was a little pet girl of modest appearance and well-mannered, so that in the whole palace none of his followers (wise folk) was able to excel her. The king of Magadha summoned this one, and said to her, "I am going some distance on a tour of observation, and I desire to put you in charge of an important business; you must, on your part, give all your mind to do thoroughly as I direct in the matter. It relates to that celebrated Rishi Udra-Ramaputtra, whom I have for a long time treated with reverence and respect. Now when he comes here at the appointed time to dine, do you pay him the same attention that I do." Having left these instructions, the king forthwith gave notice of his absence (non-attendance). The little girl, according to her instructions, waited in expectation as usual. The great Rishi having come, she received him, and placed a seat for him. Udra-Rama-puttra having touched the young female, felt within him the impure risings of earthly passion (of the world of desire), and so he lost his spiritual capabilities. Having finished his meal, he spoke of going, but he was unable to rise in the air. Then feeling ashamed, he prevaricated, and addressing the maiden said, "I am able, as the result of the discipline I practise, to enter Samadhi, and then, my mind at rest, I can ascend into the air, and come and go without a moment's delay. I have heard long ago, however, that the people of the country desire to see me. In agreement with the rule of the olden time, our utmost aim should be to benefit all that lives. How shall I regard only my own benefit and forget to benefit others? I desire, therefore, on this occasion, to go through the gate and walk on the ground, to bring happiness and profit to all those who see me going." The royal maiden hearing this, straightway spread the news far and wide. Then the people began with all their hearts to water and sweep the roads, and thousands upon thousands awaited to see him come. Udra-Kama-puttra, stepping from the royal palace, proceeded on foot to that religious forest. Then sitting down in silence, he entered Samadhi. Then his mind, quickly escaping outside, was yet limited within the boundaries of the forest. And now (as it wandered through the woods) the birds began to scream and flutter about, and as it approached the pond, the fishes began to jump and splash, till at last his feelings being wrought up, and his mind becoming confused, he lost his spiritual capabilities. Giving up his attempt at ecstasy, he was filled with anger and resentment, and he made this wicked vow, "May I hereafter be born as a fierce and wicked beast, with the body of a fox and the wings of a bird, that I may seize and devour living creatures. May my body be 3000 li long, and the outspread of my wings each way 1500 li; then rushing into the forest, I will devour the birds, and entering the rivers, I will eat the fish." When he had made this vow his heart grew gradually at rest, and by earnest endeavours he resumed his former state of ecstasy. Not long after this he died, and was born in the first of the Bhuvani heavens, 12 where his years would be 80,000 kalpas. Tathagata left this record of him: "The years of his life in that heaven being ended, then he will reap the fruit of his old vow and possess this ignoble body. From the streams of the evil ways of birth he may not yet expect to emerge." Kukkutapadagiri(Maha-Kayapa's mountain) To the east of Mahi River we enter a great wild forest, and going 100 li or so, we come to the Ki'u-ki'u-cha- po-to-shan (Kukkutapadagiri, the Cock's-foot Mountain). It is also called Kiu-liu-po-to-shan (Gurupadah giri). The sides of this mountain are high and rugged, the valleys and gorges are impenetrable. Tumultuous torrents rush down its sides, thick forests envelope the valleys, whilst tangled shrubs grow along its cavernous heights. Soaring upwards into the air are three sharp peaks; their tops are surrounded by the vapours of heaven, and their shapes lost in the clouds. Behind these hills the venerable Maha-Kasyapa dwells wrapped in a condition of Nirvana. People do not dare to utter his name, and therefore they speak of the "Guru-padah" (the venerable teacher.) Maha-Kayapa was a Sravaka and a disciple (or "Nevasannanasanna" a Sravaka disciple) perfectly possessed of the six supernatural faculties and the eight enfranchisements (ashtau vimokshas). Tathagata, his work of conversion being done, and just on the point of attaining Nirvana, addressed Kashyapa and said, "Through many kalpas I have undergone (diligently borne) painful penances for the sake of all that lives, seeking the highest form of religion. What I have all along prayed for (desired) I have now obtained to the full. Now, as I am desirous to die (enter Mahanirvana), I lay on you the charge of the Dharma Pitaka. Keep and disseminate (this doctrine) without loss or diminution. The golden-tissued Kashaya robe given me by my foster-mother (mother's sister) I bid you keep and deliver to Maitreya (T'se-chi) when he has completed the condition of Buddha. All those who engage in the profession of my bequeathed law, whether they be Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, or Upasikas, must first (i.e., before this le accomplished) cross over and escape the stream of transmigration." Kasyapa having received this commission to undertake to preserve the true law, summoned an assembly (council or convocation). This done, he continued twenty years (in charge of the order), and then, in disgust at the impermanence of the world, and desiring to die, he went towards Cock's-foot Mountain. Ascending the north side of the mountain, he proceeded along the winding path, and came to the south-west ridge. Here the crags and precipices prevented him going on. Forcing his way through the tangled brushwood, he struck the rock with his staff, and thus opened a way. He then passed on, having divided the rock, and ascended till he was again stopped by the rocks interlacing one another. He again opened a passage through, and came out on the mountain peak on the north-east side. Then having emerged from the de- nies, he proceeded to the middle point of the three peaks.There he took the Kashaya garment (chivara) of Buddha, and as he stood he expressed an ardent vow. On this the three peaks covered him over; this is the reason why now these three rise up into the air. In future ages, when Maitreya shall have come and declared the three- fold law, finding the countless persons opposed to him by pride, he will lead them to this mountain, and coming to the place where Kashyapa is, in a moment (the snapping of the finger) Maitreya will cause it to open of itself, and all those people, having seen Kashyapa, will only be more proud and obstinate. Then Kashyapa, delivering the robe, and having paid profound reverence, will ascend into the air and exhibit all sorts of spiritual changes, emitting fire and vapour from his body. Then he will enter Nirvana. At this time the people, witnessing these miracles, will dismiss their pride, and opening their minds, will obtain the fruit (of holiness). Now, therefore, on the top of the mountain is a stupa built. On quiet evenings those looking from a distance see sometimes a bright light as it were of a torch; but if they ascend the mountain there is nothing to be observed.

Going to the north-east of the Cock's-foot Mountain about 100 li, we come to the mountain called Buddha- van a (Fo-to-fa-na), with its peaks and cliffs lofty and precipitous. Among its steep mountain cliffs is a stone chamber where Buddha once descending stayed ; by its side is a large stone where Sakra (Shih), king of Devas, and Brahma-raja (Fan-wang) pounded some ox-head (Gosirsha) sandal-wood, and anointed Tathagata with the same. The scent (of this) is still to be perceived on the stone. Here also five hundred Arhats secretly dwell in a spiritual manner, and here those who are influenced by religious desire to meet with them sometimes see them, on one occasion under the form of Samaneras just entering the village to beg food, at other times as withdrawing (to their cells), on some occasions manifesting traces of their spiritual power in ways difficult to describe in detail.

Going about 30 li to the east, amongst wild valleys of the Buddhavana (Fo-to-fa-na) mountain, we come to the wood called Yashtivana (Ye-sse-chi). The bamboos that grow here are large; they cover the hill and extend through the valley. In former days there was a Brahman, who hearing that the body of Sakya Buddha (Shih-kia-fo) was sixteen feet in height, was perplexed with doubt and would not credit it. Then taking a bamboo sixteen feet long, he desired to measure the height of Buddha; the body constantly overtopped the bamboo and exceeded the sixteen feet. So going on increasing, he could not find the right measurement. He then threw the bamboo on the ground and departed; but because of this it stood upright and took root.

A stupa built by Ashoka-raja
In the midst of this wood is a stupa which was built by Ashoka-raja. Here Tathagata displayed for seven days great spiritual wonders (miracles) for the sake of the Devas, and preached the mysterious and excellent law.

Jayasena's stupa
In the forest of the staff (Yashtivana) not long since there was an Upasaka named Jayasena (She-ye-si-na), a Kshattriya of Western India. He was exceedingly simple-minded and moderate. He amused himself amid the forests and hills, dwelling in a sort of fairyland, whilst his mind wandered amid the limits of truth (true limits). He had deeply studied the mysteries both of orthodox and other treatises (inside and outside books). His language and observations were pure, and his arguments elevated; his presence was quiet and dignified. The Sramanas, Brahmanas, heretics of different schools, the king of the country, the great ministers and house-holders, and persons of rank came together to visit him and personally to ask him questions. His pupils occupied sixteen apartments; and although nearly seventy years of age, he read with them diligently and without cessation, and applied their minds only to the study of Buddhist sutras, rejecting all other engagements. Thus night and day he gave up body and mind to this pursuit alone. It is a custom in India to make little stupas of powdered scent made into a paste; their height is about six or seven inches, and they place inside them some written extract from a sutra; this they call a dharma-sharira (fa-shi-li). When the number of these has become large, they then build a great stupa, and collect all the others within it, and continually offer to it religious offerings. This then was the occupation of Jayasena (Ching-kian); with his mouth he declared the excellent law, and led and encouraged his students, whilst with his hand he constructed these stupas. Thus he acquired the highest and most excellent religious merit. In the evening, again, he would walk up and down worshipping and repeating his prayers, or silently sit down in meditation. For eating or sleeping he had little time, and relaxed none of his discipline night or day. Even after he was an hundred years old his mind and body were in full activity. During thirty years he had made seven kotis of these dharma-sharira stupas, and for every koti that he made he built a great stupa and placed them in it. When full, he presented his religious offerings and invited the priests; whilst they, on their part, offered him their congratulations. On these occasions a divine light shone around and spiritual wonders (miracles) exhibited themselves; and from that time forth the miraculous light has continued to be seen.

Two hot-water springs
South-west of the Yashtivana about 10 li or so, on the south side of a great mountain, are two warm springs; the water is very hot. In old days, Tathagata caused this water to appear, and washed himself therein. The pure flow of these waters still lasts without dimi- nution. Men far and near flock here to bathe, after which those who have suffered from disease or chronic affections are often healed. By the side of the springs is a stupa, to mark the place where Tathagata walked for exercise.

A stupa and steps made by Bimbisara-raja
To the south-east of the Yashtivana about six or seven li we come to a great mountain. Before a cross-ridge of this mountain is a stupa. Here in old days Tathagata explained the law during the three months of rain for the benefit of men and Devas. Then Bimbisara-raja (Pin- pi-so-lo) wished to come to hear the law. He cut away the mountain, and piled up the stones to make steps in order to ascend. The width is about twenty paces and the length 3 or 4 li.

House of Rishi Vyasa
To the north of the great mountain 3 or 4 li is a solitary hill. Formerly the Rishi Vyasa (Kwang-po) lived here in solitude. By excavating the side of the mountain he formed a house. Some portions of the foundations are still visible. His disciples still hand down his teaching, and the celebrity of his bequeathed doctrine still remains.

A large stone chamber
To the north-east of the solitary hill 4 or 5 li there is a small hill, also standing alone. In the side of this hill (has been excavated) a stone chamber. In length and breadth it is enough to seat 1000 persons or so. In this place Tathagata, when living in the world, repeated the law for three months. Above the stone chamber is a great and remarkable rock, on which Sakra, king of Devas, and Brahma-raja pounded some ox-head sandal- wood, and with the dust sprinkled the body of Tathagata. The surface of the stone still emits the scent of the perfume. At the south-west angle of the stone house there is a lofty cavern which the Indians call the palace of the Asuras ('0-su-lo). Formerly there was a good-natured fellow who was deeply versed in the use of magic formula. He engaged with some companions, fourteen altogether, to covenant with one another to enter this lofty cavern.

A lucent magic city
After going about 30 or 40 li, suddenly the whole place was lighted up with great brilliancy, and they saw a walled city before them, with towers and look-outs all of silver and gold and lapis-lazuli (lieu-li). The men having advanced to it, there were some young maidens who stationed themselves at the gates, and with joyful laughing faces greeted them and paid them reverence. Going on a little farther they came to the inner city-gates, where there were two slave-girls holding each of them a golden vessel full of flowers and scents. Advancing with these, they waited the approach of the visitors, and then said, "You must first bathe yourselves in yonder tank, and then anoint yourselves with the perfumes and crown yourselves with the flowers, and then you may enter the city. Do not hasten to enter yet; only that master of magic can come in at once." Then the other thirteen men went down at once to bathe. Having entered the tank, they all at once became confused, and forgot all that had taken place, and were (found) sitting in the middle of a rice field distant from this due north, over a level country, about 30 or 40 li.

A wooden path made by Bimbisara
By the side of the stone house there is a wooden way (a road made with timber) about 10 paces wide and about 4 or 5 li. Formerly Bimbisara-raja, when about to go to the place where Buddha was, cut out a passage through the rock, opened up the valleys, levelled the precipices, and led a way across the river-courses, built up walls of stone, and bored through the opposing crags, and made ladders up the heights to reach the place where Buddha was located.





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