Friday, August 14, 2009

Itsing and Hwui Lun's description...

Itsing description

Itsing writes about a lot of things that Xuanzang mentioned; same pond, mango grove and Naga story for the origin of name Nalanda. Mentions about 8 halls with 300 rooms, sangharamas were built in rows and the monasteries were 3 to 4 storied. At his visit he observed that only foundations of the Sakraditya monastery were visible. He describes the Baladitya Chaitya as very beautiful.

Corean traveler Hwui Lun (also Prajnavarma)

From Life history of Hiuen-Tsiang, By Samuel Beal, Page-XXXVI-VIII
Hwui Lun Visited after Hieun-chiu (Xuanzang), the details of his description are,
1- Built by old king Sakraditya for Bhikshu of north India called Raja Bhaja. At beginning it was much obstructed, but the descendents finished it and made it the most magnificent establishment in Jambudvipa. The building of Nalanda stands four-square, like a city precinct. The gates have overlapping eaves covered by tiles. The buildings are of three storeys each storey about twelve feet in height. Outside the western gate of the great hall of the temple are a large stupas and various Chaitya, each erected over different sacred vestiges. …… the temple is called Sri Nalanda Vihara, after name of naga called Nanda.
2- The great temple opens at west, going about 20 paces from gate, there is stupa about 100 ft. this is place (Mulagandhakoti) where Lord Buddha spent three months. North wards 50 paces is great stupa built by Baladitya, south west is a little Chaitya about 10ft high. This commemorates the place where the Brahmin, with the bird in his hand, asked the question. To the west of the Mulagandhakoti is tooth brush tree of Buddha.
On a raised space is the ground where Buddha walked. It is about two cubits wide, fourteen or fifteen long, and two high. There are lotus flowers carved out of the stone, a foot high, fourteen or fifteen in number to denote his steps.
3- There are about 3500 priests in the temple at Nalanda, which were supported by revenues of villages donated for monasteries by kings

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