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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 2.1 (2019): 280–301;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Faxian)

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Faxian and the Construction of the Buddha’s Shadow Platform at Mount Lu

WANG Bangwei 王邦維
Center for Studies of Eastern Literatures of Peking University

Abstract: The building of the Buddha’s Shadow Platform by Hui-yuan is a well-known event in the Buddhist history of Medieval China. The Platform was an imitation of the so-called Buddhas Shadow in a stone cavern in Nagarahāra, a country located in today’s Afghanistan. Huiyuan says he got the related information from a Chan Master from Kashmir and a Vinaya Master from the South. It is clear that the Chan Master from Kashmir is Buddhabhadra, a Buddhist monk from India, but who is the Vinaya Master from the South? The paper’s aim is to prove that this Master is no other than Faxian, one of the most prominent pilgrim monks who visited India, including other countries in the West, early in the fifth century.

Keywords: Faxian, Huiyuan, Buddha’s Shadow Cavern, Buddha’s Shadow Platform


About the Author: Professor Wang Bangwei obtained his Ph.D. from Peking University in 1987. He is currently a professor and director of the Institute of Oriental Studies and Oriental Literature Research Center in Peking University. He is also the director of the India Research Center in Peking University .

Since 1984, Professor Wang has published a wide variety of academic works in China and other countries like Germany, France, India, Sweden, Japan and Estonia. He has also published more than 60 research papers and their contents include accounts of the Chinese monks Xuanzang and Yi Jing, as well as the cultural exchange history between China and India. He is also a member of the International Nalanda mentor group that was established in 2007 to rebuild the Nalanda University in India.


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