The Book Report of 15 Subjects of Buddhism

Topics: Mahayana, Tang Dynasty, Gautama Buddha Pages: 7 (2041 words) Published: April 20, 2013
The Book Report of 15 Subjects of Buddhism (by Ji Xianlin)

A famous saying from Sun Yat-Sen goes : “Buddhism is the source of science , it supplies the gap of the partial constituent of science.”[1] According to number of cases of Buddhism developing , we could perceive the profound influences that Buddhism bringing to us. Recently, I was deeply affected by a book called 15 Subjects of Buddhism , written by Ji Xianlin . When it comes to Ji Xianlin , it is widely known the title “the master of Chinese culture” ,and he surely deserved it. In 1935, he headed for Germany of University of Gottingen as an exchange student, majoring in Sanskrit and some rarely known ancient languages such as Pail text. He received his Ph.D in 1941 and he returned to China in 1936. Then he taught and became a professor at Peking University. He had devoted his whole life to researching Buddhism. He had returned to China after a long period studying in Germany and then translated Ramayana from Sanskrit. Ji was highly regarded for his character and contribution to translation and studying of Buddhism. His study represented the highest level of international Buddhism research. In addition, 15 Subjects of Buddhism was written on his death bed . The book explains Pali text , Sanskrit and Tocharian in a precise and professional way. My paper will mainly aim at discussing about how Buddhism developed in China as well as Hun Tsang’s real life experience.

Relation to the course
When it comes to the reason why I choose this book , it’s because of my curiosity about the mysterious track of Buddhism in the Eastern world. When I was little , I was impressed and attracted by the fantastic story Jouney to the West . As a legendary eminent monk in Tang Dynasty, Hun Tsang was the archetype of Journey to the West . Part of those stories, Hun Tsang represents a peaceful and intelligent figure in the plot. However, Hun Tsang had made a great effort in spreading Buddhism ideology. To emphasize, depending on his intelligence and proficiency about Sanskrit, he had organized the biggest translation institution in the history. In this way, with support from the the local government as well as the numerous translator’s help , he also devoted himself to the latter Pali as well as Sanskrit progress.

Reflections and Excerpt
After reading , I benefited a lot from a deeper cognition about the real life history of Hun Tsang , and I also gain a plain understanding about the what happened because of it . My excerpt will mainly contain the context the following statements: Hun Tsang’s antecedents ,

His preparation interiorly before heading to the west ,
The reason and motivation for going on a pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures , His primary activity in India ,
The situation when he came back to China ,
His contradiction between the theory and practice ,
(7) The impact on translating of Indian teachings.

Hun Tsang’s extraction
Generally speaking , Hun was born in a family of Confucian scholars, contrary to most monks because of some poverty reasons in the later generations. His family was a high cultural class and had a profound knowledge transmitted form father to son, just like most of the monks in private or community-run schools charging no tuition since Wei, Jin and Northern & Southern Dynasties to Sui and Tang Dynasties, the majority of them are from the noble families. [2]

(2) His preparation interiorly before heading to the west
After becoming a monk , he had traveled around numerous places and visited the famous tutors and teachers for consultation. According to Biography about Datang Cien Temple Sanzo Master[3] and Sequel Biography about the Eminent Monks[4] ,the number of Hun had visited added up to 13 in total[5]. His research on Buddhism was carried on true essence as well as traditions, and in addition, what he studied had contained Nirvana and Abhidharma , and he also had...
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