Nagpur Buddhist Centre, a unit of Triratna Bouddha Mahasangha, Nagpur has organized a workshop at Hsüan Tsang Retreat Centre, Bor Dharan, Taluka Selu, District Wardha, Maharashtra State, India. The workshop will start at 4 PM on 15th August, 2013 and will continue till 4 PM 18th August, 2013. Anybody above the age of 5 can attend the workshop.
Who is Hsüan Tsang?
Hsüan-Tsang seventh century Chinese Buddhist pilgrim who has left behind an account about India and Bengal. Born in Henan province of China in 603 AD, he displayed signs of intellectual and spiritual greatness even at an early age. From boyhood he took to reading sacred books, mainly the Chinese Classics and the writings of the ancient sages. While residing in the city of Luoyang, Hsüan-Tsang entered Buddhist monkhood at the age of thirteen.
Hsüan-Tsang developed the desire to visit India. Starting from China in AD 629, Hsüan-Tsang passed through Central Asia by the northern trade route via Kucha and reached Northern India, where, at the city of Kanauj, he was the guest of Harsavardhana, the great Indian emperor. He visited the sacred Buddhist sites in Magadha and spent much time studying at the great Nalanda monastery, then an important centre of Buddhist scholarship. The Pilgrim next travelled to parts of Bengal (western, northern and southeastern) and then to South and West India. He returned to China, again by way of Central Asia, though this time by the southern route via Khotan. Hsüan-Tsang recorded the details of all the countries he visited. He also included information on countries he had heard reports of; for example, he has recorded some stories about Sri Lanka when he was in South India, though he had not visited the island. He stayed here for 15 years during which he traveled widely and closely observed the country and its people. On returning to China, he put down all his impressions in a book called Si-yu-ki or ‘The Records of the Western World’.
On his return to China in AD 645 Hsüan -Tsang was bestowed much honour but he refused all high civil appointments offered by the still-reigning emperor, Taizong. Instead, he retired to a monastery and devoted his energy to translating Buddhist texts until his death in AD 664. Hsüan-Tsang obtained and translated 657 Sanskrit Buddhist works. He received the best education on Buddhism he could find throughout India.
During the workshop there will be talk on Hsüan Tsang on 16th August, 2013.
Hsüan Tsang Retreat Centre,
Bor Dharan, Taluka Selu,
Maharashtra State, India.
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Published in Issue II, July 2013