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0107 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 107 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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But we have seen that even as late as 786 A. D. Wu-kung, returning from India, found a Chinese deputy-governor at Su-lé by the side of a king, P`ei Lêng-lêng, who, as his family name shows, still belonged to the old local dynasty 14.

Authentic and precise as these data are, they are at the same time scanty. It is, therefore, fortunate that we are able to supplement them from the notices left to us by those Buddhist pilgrims who visited Kashgar on their way to or from China. The information derived from the oldest of these has but recently become available to us through M. Chavannes' researches, and in particular his ingenious identification of Fa-hsien's Chieh-ch`a 16. The biography of Kumârajiva records a visit of this Indian pilgrim to Sha-lé or Kâshgar about 40o A.D., and specially mentions that he placed there on his head the alms-bowl (pizira) of Buddha which was believed to possess the miraculous quality of changing its weight. Now the Chinese monk Chih-mêng, who proceeded to India via Lop-Nor and Khotan in the year 404 A. D., and whose biography M. Chavannes first brought to light from the Japanese Tripitaka, witnessed the identical miracle when handling Buddha's alms-bowl, which was shown to him in the kingdom

of Ch`i-sha   The identity of the miraculous experiences recorded by these two

pilgrims, and the close approach of the form Ch`i-sha to the name Chia-sha   tp, given to

Kashgar by Hsüan-tsang and the Tang Annals 76, leave no doubt that Chih-mêng's notice refers to Kashgar.

Now Chih-mêng saw at Ch`i-sha, besides Buddha's alms-bowl, also his spittoon, which he describes as being made of a stone of variegated colour ; and it is the mention of this relic

in Fa-hsien's account of Chieh-ch`a   3 which supplies the most convincing argument for
M. Chavannes' identification of the latter territory with Kâshgar. We have already, in the chapter dealing with Sarikol, traced the route which Fa-hsien and his fellow-pilgrims followed from Yü-t`ien or Khotan to Tâsh-kurghan 17. In the latter locality, which Fa-hsien mentions by the name Yü-mo, abbreviated from Ch`üan-yü-mo 18, they halted to keep the season of ` retreat ', probably during the summer of 402 A. D. ` When this was over, they went on among the hills for twenty-five days, and got to Chieh-ch`a.' 19 The direct route of travellers bound for India from Tâsh-kurghan would, no doubt, have lain to the south-west, across the Pamirs, and not northward to Kashgar. But the necessity of rejoining the companions who had preceded him to Chieh-ch`a direct from Khotan 20, and the desire to visit an important religious centre, suffice, as M. Chavannes justly observes, to account for Fa-hsien's détour to Kâshgar. Yet the pilgrim's narrative allows us to. discern a further and, perhaps, even more cogent cause

districts of Kien   and Kin 4., which seem to have

belonged to the territory ruled from Kâshgar.

14 See L'Itinéraire d'Ou-kong, p. 26 ; above p. 64.

16 Compare, regarding the identification of Fa-hsien's Chieh-ch`a and Ch ih-mêng's Ch`i-sha with Kâshgar, Chavannes, Voyage de Song l'un, p. 54 sq.

16 See above p. 48.

17 See above p. 28.

18 Compare Voyage de Song Yun, p. 55 note, for M. Cha-

vannes' convincing emendation of Yii-hui   PE into

Yü-mo    ; also above p. 28.

19 Compare Travels of Fd-hien, transi. Legge, p. 2 2 (where the name of the territory is spelt K`eeh-ch`d).

20 See Travels of Fd-hien, p. 18. The fact of these fellow-pilgrims having left Fa-hsien at Khotan in order to proceed in advance to Chieh-ch`a is rightly considered by

M. Chavannes as an indication that Chieh-ch`a could not have been separated from Khotan by great distances and formidable obstacles ; Ce n'est pas au moment d'entreprendre la partie la plus difficile d'un voyage qu'une caravane se divise.' Such distances and obstacles would certainly have confronted the travellers if Chieh-ch`a had been situated, as all previous interpreters supposed, to the south of the Hindukush. The only locality in that direction with which the name Chieh-ch`a might possibly suggest a connexion is Chieh-shih, identified above with Chitral (see pp. r 4 sq.). But such an assumption is precluded by the clear statement that Fa-hsien and his companions from Chieh-ch`a ` went westwards towards North India ', and only ' after being on the way for a month succeeded in getting across and through the range of the Onion mountains ' (Travels of Fd-hien, p. 24).

notice of

Fa-hsien's route to Kâshgar.

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