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Sites of Caṅkrama (Jingxing 經行) in Faxian’s Record
KIM Minku 金玟求
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Keywords: Faxian, caṅkrama, caṅkramaṇa, Madhyadeśa, caitya, 經行, 經行處
Abstract: Caṅkrama is a classical Indian notion denoting a special form of ritualized locomotion or ‘mindful pacing’. In Chinese Buddhism, jingxing is adopted, as early as in the Eastern Han translations by Lokakṣema, to render the technical sense of the Indic term, overriding pre-existing, homophonous parlance in Chinese. It is in this standard Buddhist context, too, that Faxian, who traveled India in the early fifth century, recorded ten specific sites of jingxing within India proper (or Madhyadeśa), associated with the Historical Buddha or other worthies in the past. The Chinese pilgrim monk’s witness offers us an intriguing firsthand testimony to the sites of caṅkrama being actively commemorated and worshipped in Indian Buddhism as a sacred place.
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