Eminent Buddhists 1, Kumārajīva and Xuang Zang

Eminent Buddhists 1, Kumarajiva and Xuang Zang

This is the first of four documentaries from Chinese Central Television’s Channel 9 in a series about Eminent Buddhists in Ancient Chang’an.

In this episode we see something of the life story of one of the greatest of Chinese translators, Ven. Kumārajīva, who was born in the kingdom of Kucha, which now lies in what is Xinjiang in western China.

At the young age of seven he was ordained and sent to India to study, returning to Kucha when he was twelve. By the age of twenty he was already a famous monk, with his own disciples.

Eventually he founded the Caotang Temple near the ancient capital Chang-an, and it was here that he did his main translation works, which included some of the most difficult of the philosophical works that had been written in the schools in India.

This film also begins the story of his most influential of the Chinese translators, Xuan Zang, a story that will be continued next week, when we see his travels and work on return. This part focuses on his writing of the A Record of the Western regions of the Tang Dynasty.

 

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