Hsüan-tsang

Hsüan-tsang (shüän-dzäng) [key], 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 Taxila and Nalanda, 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 Yogacara.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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