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Silk Road XuanZang Biography
Transcript of Silk Road XuanZang Biography
- father studied Buddhism and Confucianism
- second brother became a Buddhist monk - became a novice monk at the age of 6
- hailed as a “genius”
- memorized scriptures after just studying it two times
- was unsatisfied with Buddhist texts
- left to the west (India) to get original holy scriptures and gain true understanding
- Wasn’t allowed to go, escaped
- faced a dangerous journey - translated many original Buddhist teachings into
- His travels were the basis for the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature.
- Scholars regarded the four novels to be the greatest
and most influential of pre-modern Chinese fiction. - Brought many new schools of Buddhist thought to China.
- contributed to the religion’s maturity in the country.
- brought Chinese culture to the West and contributed to the spread of other cultures throughout the world. •political unrest in Northern China, XuanZang was forced to flee to the city of Changan.
- This was also the year his father died.
-When he was 28, the Gokturks constantly attacked western borders. Government had to close down roads.
- No passport
- Almost got shot in the Gobi desert. - Tang emperor had forbidden travel in the dangerous western regions, so Xuanzang traveled through parts of the Silk Road as a fugitive. •The emperor in Sin Jiang was preparing to attack Liao Dong. However the emporer’s knowledge of the western countries were extremely inadequate, but Xuan Zang’s was very sufficient, so he helped the emperor.
•The emperor allowed him to spread influence to the western countries, which led him to write his book Journey to the West Outgoing Determined - sneaked out of china after his request to leave was rejected
-lost 1/3 of his men in icy mountains
- he was determined to make it to India
- took 3 years, survived deserts, mountains of snow, desolate plains, sandstorms, the heat
- after reaching india, faced new problems: hot climate, wild - animals, bandits, diseases Caring - devout advocate of Mahayana Buddhism: monks should not merely strive for personal enlightenment, but instead, should be compassionate and help all beings to achieve salvation.
- wants to “save” others Bibliography - http://www.r4e.org/silkroad/hsuan_tsang.htm