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0109 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 109 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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hand, he has not failed to inform us of Chieh-ch`a, like so many other places, having boasted of ` a tooth of Buddha, for which the people have reared a Stiapa, connected with which there are more than a thousand monks and their disciples, all students of the Hinayana' 28.

The only reference which Fa-hsien makes to the industrial products of Chieh-chta concerns materials of dress. These are said to comprise different kinds of fine woollen cloth (thus Legge ; ` felt', according to Beal's translation) and of serge ; apart from these ` the dress of the common people is of coarse materials, as in our country of Ch`in'. Hsüan-tsang, too, notices the felts and excellent fabrics as well as the fine and skilfully woven carpets of Kashgar, which even at the present day continues to export considerable quantities of rough but durable cotton goods 29.

Of the two Chinese pilgrims Fa-yung and Tao-yo, we know that they passed through Kashgar on their way to India about 42o A. D. and the middle of the fifth century, respectively. But the relations they wrote of their travels are lost, and their biographies do not supply details about their visits to Sha-1ê or Su-lé 30. Also of Dharmagupta, an Indian Buddhist scholar and a native of Lata or Gujarat, who travelled to China and ended his life there, we only know that he reached Sha-lê from Kapiga through Badakhshan, Wakhan, and Sarikol, and that he resided there in the royal temple for two years (apparently about 580-582 A. D.) 31.

Hsüan-tsang, the next pious visitor of whom we have knowledge, has fortunately left us some accurate details concerning Chia-sha or Kashgar 32. He tells us that its territory was about 5,000 li, or fifty marches, in circuit, that it contained plenty of sandy desert ground and but little cultivable soil. The latter, however, was very productive, and flowers and fruits abounded 33. The climate is described as agreeable and temperate, winds and rain arriving

and how the miraculous increase of its weight had baffled his efforts ; see Travels of Fd-hien, p. 34. The Hindu pilgrim Fa-wei, in a notice quoted by a Chinese Buddhist author who died in 527 A.D., still speaks of Buddha's Pdlra as worshipped in the country of the Great Yûeh-chip, in a magnificent Stûpa, which apparently was the identical structure mentioned by Fa-hsien in connexion with the relic (compare Voyage de Song Yun, p. 55, note 1). Hsiian-tsang, on his visit to Purusapura, circa 630 A.D., only saw the ruins of a Stupa which had enclosed the Pâlra for several centuries. After having circulated in various countries, it was then alleged to exist in Persia (Mémoires, i. p. io6). Sir H. Rawlinson believed that he traced this very relic in an ancient stone bowl at Kandahar, known as the Almspot ', and enjoying miracle-working repute among Muhammadan devotees (J.R.A.S., xi. p. 127).

On the other hand, we know from Marco Polo's detailed and interesting story how ' Sagamoni's (Sakyamuni) dish from which that personage used to eat, which is of a very beautiful green porphyry ' was worshipped on Adam's Peak in Ceylon, until, in 1284, Kiiblai, ` the Great Kaan', dispatched an embassy and had it brought with other sacred relics to the `city of Cambaluc ' ; see Yule, Marco Polo,

pp. 319 sq.   Sir H. Yule, in his detailed notes on the
passage (ibid., pp. 328 sqq.), has done justice to the historical interest attaching to the legendary accounts of ` this Pâtra [which] is the Holy Grail of Buddhism'.

The Chinese biographer of Chih-mêng has not failed to call attention to the discrepancies in the accounts of

various pilgrims in regard to their routes and to the places where they mention the sacred alms-bowl and the skull-bone of Buddha, another famous relic. His critical conclusion is this : ' On peut voir par là qu'il n'y a pas rien qu'une route pour aller en Inde et que l'os du crâne et le bol se déplacent d'une manière surnaturelle et vont parfois dans des lieux divers ' ( Voyage de Song Yun, p. 56).

2 The prevalence of the Little Vehicle School at Kâshgar is attested also by Hstian-tsang, Mémoires, ii. p. 220; the significance of this fact has been discussed above, pp. 56 sq.

R9 Regarding the cotton fabrics of Kashgar, compare Yarkand Mission Report, p. 479. Marco Polo (Yule, i. p. 181) also informs us that the inhabitants of ` Cascar grow a great deal of cotton'. Cotton is now cultivated throughout Eastern Turkestan. The production of felts at present chiefly centres at Khotan, and to some extent in the mountains south of Karghalik.

30 Compare Chavannes, Voyage de Song Yun, pp. 57, 59; also p. 5, note.

31 See Voyage de Song Yun, p. 62. Dharmagupta arrived at Ch`ang-an, the capital of the Sui, in 590 A.D.; his recorded halts, after Kashgar (at Kucha, Kara-shahr, Turfân, and Hami), amount to an aggregate of seven years.

32 See Mémoires, ii. p. 220; Siyu-ki, ii. pp. 306 sq.

33 Marco Polo, too, specially notices ` the beautiful gardens and vineyards, and fine estates ' of the people of ` Cascar ' ; see Yule, Marco Polo, i. p. 181; ii. p. 594.

The region of Kashgar still rejoices in abundance of excellent fruit, and well deserves the praise which Mirzâ

Industrial products of Kàshgar.

Visits of Fa-yung and Tao-yo.

Hsiiantsang's description of Kashgar.