Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Buddhist > Art > On The Trail Of Buddha A Journey To The East
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
On The Trail Of Buddha A Journey To The East
Pages from the book
On The Trail Of Buddha A Journey To The East
Look Inside the Book
Description
**Contents and Sample Pages**

On the Trail of Buddha - A Journey to the East is a unique sojourn in search of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind India to the East Asian civilizations. From the wandering monks of Asia to the temples and monasteries they visited; from the statues and frescoes in grottoes to those in the museums; from the diverse ethnicities of the people to their common gods and goddesses - the book explores the 'ancient India', beautifully preserved in the traditions, art, and architecture of China, as also in Mongolia, Korea and Japan.

About the Author

Deepankar Aron, recognised with the Presidential Award for his contributiom as an Indian Revenue Service officer, is also a passionate traveller and a consummate photographer and writer. His articles have, over the years, appeared in various magazines and newspapers. World Heritage Sites of Uttarakhand, his first pictorial book, was published in 2010.

Foreword

This 'pilgrims progress' of Shri Deepankar reminds me of the words of the great Tang poet Li Shang-yin:

I who was given in a dream the brush of many colours Wish to write on petals a message to the clouds of morning.

A book wrapped in the gold of centuries from a thousand flowers of the mind. It is a journey of culture on a bullet train. Shri Deepankar must have spent six years to pen it and I have read it through in six hours: it is so fascinating in its flowing diction and minimum of technical details. It celebrates the last two millennia when Asian nations made the journey of the mind together; serene depths of thought, art and piety confluence in the rapture of roots. The living monasteries in East Asia and the desolation of the ruins in Central Asia due to theistic violence become the fascination of eyes in the evocative narrative of Shri Deepankar. He opens up the immensity of our lost heritage, like the grandeur of colossi in the Yun-kang caves, which are visive symbols of the majesty of the Avatamsaka tradition, reminiscent of the Bamiyan Buddhas. The Sanskrit text of the Gandavyuha-sutra calls them abhyuccadeva as towering over human life. He writes of the 17 m high Losan in the Longmen caves. Losan is Rocana in Sanskrit. In Japan, he is Roshana Daibutsu at the Todaiji Monastery, consecrated on 9 April 752, to give a lasting embodiment to Japan as a nation. Rocana/Vairocana means the Buddha of Light and reminds of the Indian name Roshan Lal. Shri Deepankar saw gigantic images of the Trinity of Buddhas of the Three Times of past, present and future, in Chinese monasteries. His own name comes from the Buddha of the past: Dipankara. The Buddha of the Present is the historic Shakyamuni and the Buddha of the Future is Maitreya. Dipankara Buddha was a resident of Ramyaka or Ramyavati, which has become Lamkan in the modern Dari dialect. It is a valley of lush greenery, a place fit for yogic meditation, where sages have sat in contemplation from the Upanishadic age.

Shri Deepankar speaks of holy temples atop mountains or besides rivers: the first requirement in the yoga-sutras is a beautiful spot in the captivating surrounds of nature. Why is Shri Deepankar inspired by the Buddhist sancta: perhaps the consciousness of his earlier incarnation awakens him to the plenitude of the subtle and profound, to the deeper ground of existence, as he is thrilled at every monastery. It is a where without a who.

He speaks of Dizang or Kshitigarbha atop the Jinhua Mountain in China, which rises 1342 metres above sea level. In its heyday during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it had 360 monasteries with 5000 monks and nuns. It is the most beautiful pilgrimage location in China. China has four sacred Buddhist mountains: Wutai, Jinhua, Emei and Putuo. They are the counterpart of the Indic concept of chaturdhama in Badrinath, Puri, Dwaraka and Shringeri, established by Shankaracharya. The main deity of Wutai Shan is Manjushri, that of Emei Shan is Samantabhadra, and that of Putuo is Avalokiteshvara. Putuo is a transcription of Potala. The immensity and void of space are the pristine beyond. The four sacred mountains in China are the ground for the flowering of the heart in a union of the human and divine.

The three monkeys on the table of Mahatma Gandhi were given to him by venerable Fuji Guruji. Gandhiji was curious to know if the three noble negations-not to see evil, not to speak evil, not to hear evil (mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru)-had any relation to Hanuman. He asked my father Prof. RaghuVira who told him that in India the animals represent innocence. They know no guile and have no conditioning. They have an artless purity. A monkey gave honey to Lord Buddha in the city of Vaishali and was reborn as Emperor Ashoka. The three monkeys are the honey of the mind. Spiritual values are integral to life.

Shri Deepankar speaks of the White Horse Monastery as the birthplace of Buddhism in China. The Yueh-chih were supplying horses from Kambuja (modern Ferghana) to the Chinese Emperor Shih-huang-ti of the Chin dynasty for the construction of the Great Wall of China. They were Buddhists by faith, Sanskrit was language of their culture, and they gave the name Chin or China to the Middle Kingdom by Sanskritising the name of the Chin dynasty (246-207 BC). An akara had to be added to the Chinese word chin for ease of declension in Sanskrit. They had brought Buddhist scriptures to China in 217 BC but they had to bury them in the ground due to imperial wrath. Kasyapa Matanga (also Kasyapamatanga) and Dharmaratna came to China from the Yueh-chih Court at the invitation of the Chinese Emperor. The high steeds for the Chinese cavalry came from the lands of the Yueh-chihs to the precincts, which were to become the White Horse Monastery. A graffiti, with the name Hayamvihara or Horse Monastery, has been discovered in Uzbekistan. Buddhist monasteries were centres of Dharma where transnational merchants stayed and made munificent donations. A chain of monasteries from Ferghana to Chang-an and Loyang linked China to Buddhism.

The Dayunjing is the Mahamegha-sutra, which was written in South India, as detailed by Prof. Sylvain Levi. It has an intimate knowledge of South India and speaks of the glorious reign of a queen on the Krishna River. Confucianism did not accept an empress and Empress Wu had to find her legitimation in the Mahamegha-sutra. Buddhist monks like Itsing, Chintamani from Kashmir and Bodhiruci the translator of Ratnamegha-sutra lauded her role as empress. She rewarded nine monks for their new concept of political power. She supervised the translation of the Avatamsaka-sutra whose main Buddha is Rocana or Losan in Chinese. It is understandable that the Losan Buddha has her face (p. 38) in the Longmen Caves.

The musicians in the frescoes of Dunhuang (p. 63) reflect the Sukhavati, the Pure Land of Amitabha. They represent three stages of nadalaya. On the first level the musicians play percussion instruments, wind instruments on the second level, and string instruments on the third level. The highest is the anahata-nada where the musical instruments are not (an) played (ahata). They are floating in the sky and are akashi dharana where the mind becomes absorbed in the Supreme (Hathayoga-pradipika, stanza 99).

The flying goddesses are not apsaras or fairies but the four goddesses of worship (puja-devi): offering flowers (Goddess Pushpa), incense (Goddess Dhupa), lamp (Goddess Deepa) and fragrance (Goddess Gandha). Pushpa represents samadhi. Dhupa carries a fuming incense-pot and the burning incense is the perfection of insight. The fragrance of ethics satisfies all sentient beings. Deepa symbolises the light of knowledge, illuminating the darkness of ignorance. Gandha is the mind of enlightenment. The murals of Dunhuang are related to various texts and represent philosophical concepts as well as are means to contemplation. They are the cosmos as a continuous process of unfolding itself. The immortal winds of the goddesses caress the human mind with the power dormant in the rhythm of spring. The vibrations of their flight are direction and directive to enwoven light and love in the hearts of men.

Introduction

It was an old, dilapidated structure, destroyed with such vigour that it was difficult to make out what it was until two octogenarian Japanese women stopped in front of it with folded hands, facing what seemed to be the sanctum sanctorum of a temple. If it was surprising that they should travel thousands of miles, at their age, as pilgrims to this nondescript corner of China called Karakhoja, it was even more surprising to discover that while one was a Buddhist priest, the other was a worshipper of Lord Krishna-The Hindu Lord whose sacred message forms the essence of the Indian holy book, Gita.

Karakhoja, the capital of the Xinjiang between the 9th and 14th centuries, lies close to Turpan, strategically placed on the Silk Road that connects China to Central Asia and India. Naturally, it was a centre of Buddhism for many centuries. Buddhism made its entry into China from Karakhoja and, eventually, reached as far as Japan. In those days, the place must have been like a modern-day Hong Kong or Singapore, bustling with people from different nationalities and cultures-a mix of local Uyghurs, Sogdians, Tocharians, Huns, Tibetans, Chinese, Mongols, Indians. No wonder then, the airport at Urumqi makes announcements in Japanese, till this day.

The story of these two unlikely Japanese pilgrims, to which I was a first-hand witness, epitomises the theme of this book-exploring the richness, depth, and breadth of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind India to the East Asian civilisations of China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia.

The book straddles between different regions of East Asia, from Kashgar in Xinjiang in the west to Koyasan in Japan in the east; from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia in the north to Kaohsiung in Taiwan in the south. It is as much about the discovery of a tremendous unity in diversity, as it is about hopping between different time zones separated by 2000 years of history-from the first Buddhist temple in China, in Luoyang, in AD 67 (Ch. 1), to the modern-day Tian Tan Buddha of Hong Kong (Ch. 4); from the decrepit cave temples of Bezeklik and Turpan in Xinjiang (Ch. 1), built more than a thousand years ago to the modern-day temple complexes and museums of Famen Si in Xi'an (Ch. 1) and Fo Guang Shan in Kaohsiung (Ch. 4), and the well-preserved temples of Kyoto (Ch. 6).

These journeys were not undertaken with the idea of writing a book, at first. On the Trail of Buddha-A Journey to the East took shape slowly when a propitious chain of circumstances, made way from one place to another, starting with the longest pilgrimage in the world-Kailash. There were several challenges along the way, like that of language, distances, permissions, scarcity of time and resources, but none prevailed. Undertaken by all modes of transport, some atop camels, mules and horses and others on foot involving treks, especially the ones in Tibet, the most exciting one was, of course, the high-speed trains of Japan, China, and Taiwan. The endeavour has been to present all those experiences through images and through first-hand accounts.

The book has been divided into six chapters, for ease of navigation. The first one covers the ancient cities along the Silk Road in China that were significantly responsible for the spread of Buddhism from India into not only China but into much of East Asia. The second one covers the North-South trade axis that connects China with Mongolia. The third one moves from Sichuan in south-western China to the primordial Kailash Parvat or Kang Rinpoche and the lake, Mansarovar or Mapham Yumtso in Tibet. The fourth one moves in the south-eastern coastal China and Taiwan from Hong Kong to Shanghai, touching Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing. It then moves from Taipei to Kaohsiung passing through the city of Tainan, dotted with temples. Possibly one of the most prosperous regions of China, with many modern cities, it is not a surprise that most of the grandest and tallest statues of Buddha have come up here, in the recent past. The fifth one meanders inside the calmness of Korea, and last but not the least, comes the Land of Rising Sun-a place where history, tradition, religion, and culture are seen most beautifully preserved. In each of these regions, five to ten representative cities have been taken up. In each of them, quite a few destinations have been highlighted. Together, they make 98 destinations in 37 places, scattered across the East Asian region.

From the wandering monks of Asia to the temples and monasteries they frequented; from the statues and frescoes in grottoes and temples to those in museums; from the emperors who embraced Buddhism to the relics of Buddha spread far and wide; from the diverse ethnicities of the people to their common gods and goddesses-this book attempts to touch upon the very ethos of the East Asian culture and its deep-rooted linkages with the Indian civilisation, which many do not know.

THE WANDERING MONKS

We have learnt about Fa-Hien (Faxian) and Hiuen Tsang (Xuanzang) in history, the great Chinese travellers who came to India seeking spiritual knowledge and Buddhist scriptures in the 4th and 7th centuries respectively. The fact is, hundreds and thousands of monks travelled between India and China, China and Korea, China and Japan, Korea and Japan, contributing to the spread of Buddhism in most parts of Asia from the ancient times.

About 2000 years ago, the then Chinese emperor, Han Mingdi of the Eastern Han dynasty, had a dream in which a golden God appeared before him. When the king summoned his ministers the next day and asked them to explain the dream, he was told about the Great Buddha. Soon, at the invitation of the emperor, two Indian monks by the name of Dharmaratna and Kasyapa Matanga were escorted by Chinese envoys, who travelled down the Silk Road from north-west India to Luoyang, the then capital of China.

They set up the first recorded Buddhist temple of China called Baima Si (Ch. 1) or the White Horse Temple in AD 68 and spent the rest of their lives in this temple translating sutras from Sanskrit to Chinese. Their tombs are in the temple premises, and 2000 years down the line you can still feel their presence through their images captured and preserved with great care by temple authorities.

Over the next 1000 years, there was a continuous bilateral exchange of travellers and monks between the two great civilisations until the late 12th century. The attack of Bakhtiyar Khilji on Nalanda University in AD 1193, which left it burning for months, marked the end of a glorious chapter in the history of Asia. Similarly, the famous monastery of Shaolin (Ch. 1) was set up by the Indian monk (Chinese name Batuo), around AD 498. Another Indian monk called Bodhidharma or Damo made it iconic in AD 525. He is believed to have brought the South Indian martial arts of kalaripayattu into China, which blossomed into the world-renowned kung fu or wushu, later.

**Contents and Sample Pages**










On The Trail Of Buddha A Journey To The East

Item Code:
NAW845
Cover:
HARDCOVER
Edition:
2020
Publisher:
ISBN:
9789389136494
Language:
English
Size:
9.00 X 7.50 inch
Pages:
308 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.81 Kg
Price:
$70.00
Discounted:
$52.50   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
You Save:
$17.50 (25%)
Look Inside the Book
Be the first to rate this product
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
On The Trail Of Buddha A Journey To The East
From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 792 times since 24th Jul, 2020
**Contents and Sample Pages**

On the Trail of Buddha - A Journey to the East is a unique sojourn in search of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind India to the East Asian civilizations. From the wandering monks of Asia to the temples and monasteries they visited; from the statues and frescoes in grottoes to those in the museums; from the diverse ethnicities of the people to their common gods and goddesses - the book explores the 'ancient India', beautifully preserved in the traditions, art, and architecture of China, as also in Mongolia, Korea and Japan.

About the Author

Deepankar Aron, recognised with the Presidential Award for his contributiom as an Indian Revenue Service officer, is also a passionate traveller and a consummate photographer and writer. His articles have, over the years, appeared in various magazines and newspapers. World Heritage Sites of Uttarakhand, his first pictorial book, was published in 2010.

Foreword

This 'pilgrims progress' of Shri Deepankar reminds me of the words of the great Tang poet Li Shang-yin:

I who was given in a dream the brush of many colours Wish to write on petals a message to the clouds of morning.

A book wrapped in the gold of centuries from a thousand flowers of the mind. It is a journey of culture on a bullet train. Shri Deepankar must have spent six years to pen it and I have read it through in six hours: it is so fascinating in its flowing diction and minimum of technical details. It celebrates the last two millennia when Asian nations made the journey of the mind together; serene depths of thought, art and piety confluence in the rapture of roots. The living monasteries in East Asia and the desolation of the ruins in Central Asia due to theistic violence become the fascination of eyes in the evocative narrative of Shri Deepankar. He opens up the immensity of our lost heritage, like the grandeur of colossi in the Yun-kang caves, which are visive symbols of the majesty of the Avatamsaka tradition, reminiscent of the Bamiyan Buddhas. The Sanskrit text of the Gandavyuha-sutra calls them abhyuccadeva as towering over human life. He writes of the 17 m high Losan in the Longmen caves. Losan is Rocana in Sanskrit. In Japan, he is Roshana Daibutsu at the Todaiji Monastery, consecrated on 9 April 752, to give a lasting embodiment to Japan as a nation. Rocana/Vairocana means the Buddha of Light and reminds of the Indian name Roshan Lal. Shri Deepankar saw gigantic images of the Trinity of Buddhas of the Three Times of past, present and future, in Chinese monasteries. His own name comes from the Buddha of the past: Dipankara. The Buddha of the Present is the historic Shakyamuni and the Buddha of the Future is Maitreya. Dipankara Buddha was a resident of Ramyaka or Ramyavati, which has become Lamkan in the modern Dari dialect. It is a valley of lush greenery, a place fit for yogic meditation, where sages have sat in contemplation from the Upanishadic age.

Shri Deepankar speaks of holy temples atop mountains or besides rivers: the first requirement in the yoga-sutras is a beautiful spot in the captivating surrounds of nature. Why is Shri Deepankar inspired by the Buddhist sancta: perhaps the consciousness of his earlier incarnation awakens him to the plenitude of the subtle and profound, to the deeper ground of existence, as he is thrilled at every monastery. It is a where without a who.

He speaks of Dizang or Kshitigarbha atop the Jinhua Mountain in China, which rises 1342 metres above sea level. In its heyday during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it had 360 monasteries with 5000 monks and nuns. It is the most beautiful pilgrimage location in China. China has four sacred Buddhist mountains: Wutai, Jinhua, Emei and Putuo. They are the counterpart of the Indic concept of chaturdhama in Badrinath, Puri, Dwaraka and Shringeri, established by Shankaracharya. The main deity of Wutai Shan is Manjushri, that of Emei Shan is Samantabhadra, and that of Putuo is Avalokiteshvara. Putuo is a transcription of Potala. The immensity and void of space are the pristine beyond. The four sacred mountains in China are the ground for the flowering of the heart in a union of the human and divine.

The three monkeys on the table of Mahatma Gandhi were given to him by venerable Fuji Guruji. Gandhiji was curious to know if the three noble negations-not to see evil, not to speak evil, not to hear evil (mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru)-had any relation to Hanuman. He asked my father Prof. RaghuVira who told him that in India the animals represent innocence. They know no guile and have no conditioning. They have an artless purity. A monkey gave honey to Lord Buddha in the city of Vaishali and was reborn as Emperor Ashoka. The three monkeys are the honey of the mind. Spiritual values are integral to life.

Shri Deepankar speaks of the White Horse Monastery as the birthplace of Buddhism in China. The Yueh-chih were supplying horses from Kambuja (modern Ferghana) to the Chinese Emperor Shih-huang-ti of the Chin dynasty for the construction of the Great Wall of China. They were Buddhists by faith, Sanskrit was language of their culture, and they gave the name Chin or China to the Middle Kingdom by Sanskritising the name of the Chin dynasty (246-207 BC). An akara had to be added to the Chinese word chin for ease of declension in Sanskrit. They had brought Buddhist scriptures to China in 217 BC but they had to bury them in the ground due to imperial wrath. Kasyapa Matanga (also Kasyapamatanga) and Dharmaratna came to China from the Yueh-chih Court at the invitation of the Chinese Emperor. The high steeds for the Chinese cavalry came from the lands of the Yueh-chihs to the precincts, which were to become the White Horse Monastery. A graffiti, with the name Hayamvihara or Horse Monastery, has been discovered in Uzbekistan. Buddhist monasteries were centres of Dharma where transnational merchants stayed and made munificent donations. A chain of monasteries from Ferghana to Chang-an and Loyang linked China to Buddhism.

The Dayunjing is the Mahamegha-sutra, which was written in South India, as detailed by Prof. Sylvain Levi. It has an intimate knowledge of South India and speaks of the glorious reign of a queen on the Krishna River. Confucianism did not accept an empress and Empress Wu had to find her legitimation in the Mahamegha-sutra. Buddhist monks like Itsing, Chintamani from Kashmir and Bodhiruci the translator of Ratnamegha-sutra lauded her role as empress. She rewarded nine monks for their new concept of political power. She supervised the translation of the Avatamsaka-sutra whose main Buddha is Rocana or Losan in Chinese. It is understandable that the Losan Buddha has her face (p. 38) in the Longmen Caves.

The musicians in the frescoes of Dunhuang (p. 63) reflect the Sukhavati, the Pure Land of Amitabha. They represent three stages of nadalaya. On the first level the musicians play percussion instruments, wind instruments on the second level, and string instruments on the third level. The highest is the anahata-nada where the musical instruments are not (an) played (ahata). They are floating in the sky and are akashi dharana where the mind becomes absorbed in the Supreme (Hathayoga-pradipika, stanza 99).

The flying goddesses are not apsaras or fairies but the four goddesses of worship (puja-devi): offering flowers (Goddess Pushpa), incense (Goddess Dhupa), lamp (Goddess Deepa) and fragrance (Goddess Gandha). Pushpa represents samadhi. Dhupa carries a fuming incense-pot and the burning incense is the perfection of insight. The fragrance of ethics satisfies all sentient beings. Deepa symbolises the light of knowledge, illuminating the darkness of ignorance. Gandha is the mind of enlightenment. The murals of Dunhuang are related to various texts and represent philosophical concepts as well as are means to contemplation. They are the cosmos as a continuous process of unfolding itself. The immortal winds of the goddesses caress the human mind with the power dormant in the rhythm of spring. The vibrations of their flight are direction and directive to enwoven light and love in the hearts of men.

Introduction

It was an old, dilapidated structure, destroyed with such vigour that it was difficult to make out what it was until two octogenarian Japanese women stopped in front of it with folded hands, facing what seemed to be the sanctum sanctorum of a temple. If it was surprising that they should travel thousands of miles, at their age, as pilgrims to this nondescript corner of China called Karakhoja, it was even more surprising to discover that while one was a Buddhist priest, the other was a worshipper of Lord Krishna-The Hindu Lord whose sacred message forms the essence of the Indian holy book, Gita.

Karakhoja, the capital of the Xinjiang between the 9th and 14th centuries, lies close to Turpan, strategically placed on the Silk Road that connects China to Central Asia and India. Naturally, it was a centre of Buddhism for many centuries. Buddhism made its entry into China from Karakhoja and, eventually, reached as far as Japan. In those days, the place must have been like a modern-day Hong Kong or Singapore, bustling with people from different nationalities and cultures-a mix of local Uyghurs, Sogdians, Tocharians, Huns, Tibetans, Chinese, Mongols, Indians. No wonder then, the airport at Urumqi makes announcements in Japanese, till this day.

The story of these two unlikely Japanese pilgrims, to which I was a first-hand witness, epitomises the theme of this book-exploring the richness, depth, and breadth of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind India to the East Asian civilisations of China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia.

The book straddles between different regions of East Asia, from Kashgar in Xinjiang in the west to Koyasan in Japan in the east; from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia in the north to Kaohsiung in Taiwan in the south. It is as much about the discovery of a tremendous unity in diversity, as it is about hopping between different time zones separated by 2000 years of history-from the first Buddhist temple in China, in Luoyang, in AD 67 (Ch. 1), to the modern-day Tian Tan Buddha of Hong Kong (Ch. 4); from the decrepit cave temples of Bezeklik and Turpan in Xinjiang (Ch. 1), built more than a thousand years ago to the modern-day temple complexes and museums of Famen Si in Xi'an (Ch. 1) and Fo Guang Shan in Kaohsiung (Ch. 4), and the well-preserved temples of Kyoto (Ch. 6).

These journeys were not undertaken with the idea of writing a book, at first. On the Trail of Buddha-A Journey to the East took shape slowly when a propitious chain of circumstances, made way from one place to another, starting with the longest pilgrimage in the world-Kailash. There were several challenges along the way, like that of language, distances, permissions, scarcity of time and resources, but none prevailed. Undertaken by all modes of transport, some atop camels, mules and horses and others on foot involving treks, especially the ones in Tibet, the most exciting one was, of course, the high-speed trains of Japan, China, and Taiwan. The endeavour has been to present all those experiences through images and through first-hand accounts.

The book has been divided into six chapters, for ease of navigation. The first one covers the ancient cities along the Silk Road in China that were significantly responsible for the spread of Buddhism from India into not only China but into much of East Asia. The second one covers the North-South trade axis that connects China with Mongolia. The third one moves from Sichuan in south-western China to the primordial Kailash Parvat or Kang Rinpoche and the lake, Mansarovar or Mapham Yumtso in Tibet. The fourth one moves in the south-eastern coastal China and Taiwan from Hong Kong to Shanghai, touching Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing. It then moves from Taipei to Kaohsiung passing through the city of Tainan, dotted with temples. Possibly one of the most prosperous regions of China, with many modern cities, it is not a surprise that most of the grandest and tallest statues of Buddha have come up here, in the recent past. The fifth one meanders inside the calmness of Korea, and last but not the least, comes the Land of Rising Sun-a place where history, tradition, religion, and culture are seen most beautifully preserved. In each of these regions, five to ten representative cities have been taken up. In each of them, quite a few destinations have been highlighted. Together, they make 98 destinations in 37 places, scattered across the East Asian region.

From the wandering monks of Asia to the temples and monasteries they frequented; from the statues and frescoes in grottoes and temples to those in museums; from the emperors who embraced Buddhism to the relics of Buddha spread far and wide; from the diverse ethnicities of the people to their common gods and goddesses-this book attempts to touch upon the very ethos of the East Asian culture and its deep-rooted linkages with the Indian civilisation, which many do not know.

THE WANDERING MONKS

We have learnt about Fa-Hien (Faxian) and Hiuen Tsang (Xuanzang) in history, the great Chinese travellers who came to India seeking spiritual knowledge and Buddhist scriptures in the 4th and 7th centuries respectively. The fact is, hundreds and thousands of monks travelled between India and China, China and Korea, China and Japan, Korea and Japan, contributing to the spread of Buddhism in most parts of Asia from the ancient times.

About 2000 years ago, the then Chinese emperor, Han Mingdi of the Eastern Han dynasty, had a dream in which a golden God appeared before him. When the king summoned his ministers the next day and asked them to explain the dream, he was told about the Great Buddha. Soon, at the invitation of the emperor, two Indian monks by the name of Dharmaratna and Kasyapa Matanga were escorted by Chinese envoys, who travelled down the Silk Road from north-west India to Luoyang, the then capital of China.

They set up the first recorded Buddhist temple of China called Baima Si (Ch. 1) or the White Horse Temple in AD 68 and spent the rest of their lives in this temple translating sutras from Sanskrit to Chinese. Their tombs are in the temple premises, and 2000 years down the line you can still feel their presence through their images captured and preserved with great care by temple authorities.

Over the next 1000 years, there was a continuous bilateral exchange of travellers and monks between the two great civilisations until the late 12th century. The attack of Bakhtiyar Khilji on Nalanda University in AD 1193, which left it burning for months, marked the end of a glorious chapter in the history of Asia. Similarly, the famous monastery of Shaolin (Ch. 1) was set up by the Indian monk (Chinese name Batuo), around AD 498. Another Indian monk called Bodhidharma or Damo made it iconic in AD 525. He is believed to have brought the South Indian martial arts of kalaripayattu into China, which blossomed into the world-renowned kung fu or wushu, later.

**Contents and Sample Pages**










Post a Comment
 
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to On The Trail Of Buddha A Journey To The East (Buddhist | Books)

Buddhist Trail in Ladakh (Travel Guide)
by Swati Mitra
Paperback (Edition: 2013)
Eicher Goodearth Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAO867
$21.00$15.75
You save: $5.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Buddhist Trail In Himachal (A Travel Guide)
by Swati Mitra
Paperback (Edition: 2006)
Good Earth Publications, New Delhi
Item Code: IDI784
$29.00$21.75
You save: $7.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Kids of Khumbu (Sherpa Youth on the Modernity Trail)
Deal 20% Off
by Kurt Luger
Paperback (Edition: 2000)
Mandala Book Point, Nepal
Item Code: NAN477
$29.00$17.40
You save: $11.60 (20 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Trail to Enlightenment - Life and Teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti (Set of 3 Volumes)
Item Code: NAQ400
$82.00$61.50
You save: $20.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Book of Buddha
Item Code: IDF037
$16.00$12.00
You save: $4.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
In Quest of the Buddha: A Journey on The Silk Road
Deal 30% Off
Item Code: IHL674
$77.00$40.43
You save: $36.57 (30 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Deities: A Unique Pantheon
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDD153
$255.00$153.00
You save: $102.00 (20 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Buddhist Iconography of Northern Bactria
Item Code: NAM672
$57.00$42.75
You save: $14.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
2500 Years of Buddhism
Item Code: IHF035
$31.00$23.25
You save: $7.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Buddhist Bible
by Dwight Goddard
Paperback (Edition: 1999)
Book Faith India
Item Code: IDI023
$36.00$27.00
You save: $9.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The First and Best Buddhist Teachings: Sutta Nipata Selections and Inspired Essays
Deal 20% Off
by Dr. Susunaga Weeraperuma
Paperback (Edition: 2006)
New Age, New Delhi
Item Code: IDI134
$36.00$21.60
You save: $14.40 (20 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Bodily Self-Sacrifice in Indian Buddhist Literature
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IHE042
$39.50$23.70
You save: $15.80 (20 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Mudras in Buddhist and Hindu Practices: An Iconographic Consideration
Deal 20% Off
by Fredrick W. Bunce
Hardcover (Edition: 2017)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDE188
$72.00$43.20
You save: $28.80 (20 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas in Shingon Buddhism
Item Code: NAN101
$105.00$78.75
You save: $26.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Thank you for really great prices compared to other sellers. I have recommended your website to over 40 of my classmates.
Kimia, USA
I am so happy to have found you!! What a wonderful source for books of Indian origin at reasonable cost! Thank you!
Urvi, USA
I very much appreciate your web site and the products you have available. I especially like the ancient cookbooks you have and am always looking for others here to share with my friends.
Sam, USA
Very good service thank you. Keep up the good work !
Charles, Switzerland
Namaste! Thank you for your kind assistance! I would like to inform that your package arrived today and all is very well. I appreciate all your support and definitively will continue ordering form your company again in the near future!
Lizette, Puerto Rico
I just wanted to thank you again, mere dost, for shipping the Nataraj. We now have it in our home, thanks to you and Exotic India. We are most grateful. Bahut dhanyavad!
Drea and Kalinidi, Ireland
I am extremely very happy to see an Indian website providing arts, crafts and books from all over India and dispatching to all over the world ! Great work, keep it going. Looking forward to more and more purchase from you. Thank you for your service.
Vrunda
We have always enjoyed your products.
Elizabeth, USA
Thank you for the prompt delivery of the bowl, which I am very satisfied with.
Frans, the Netherlands
I have received my books and they are in perfect condition. You provide excellent service to your customers, DHL too, and I thank you for that. I recommended you to my friend who is the director of the Aurobindo bookstore.
Mr. Forget from Montreal
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2020 © Exotic India