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Three Years in Tibet

Product Details

Title:Three Years in Tibet


Author:Ekai Kawaguchi


Publisher:Book Faith India

Publish Year:1995

Edition:First Edition

Cover:Hard Back

Subject:Tibetan History | Culture and Customs | Tibetan Buddhism



Size:140 X 220 mm


Price:USD 10.40

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  • I was lately reading the Holy Text of the Saddharma-Pundarika (the Aphorisms of the White Lotus of the Wonderful or True Law) in a Samskrt manuscript under a Bodhi-tree near Mrga-Dava (Saranath), Benares. Here our Blessed Lord Buddha Shakya-Muni taught His Holy dharma just after the accomplishment of His Buddhahood at Buddhagaya. Whilst doing so, I was reminded of the time, eighteen years ago, when I had read the same text in Chinese at a great Monastery named Ohbakusang at Kyoto in Japan, a reading which determined me to undertake a visit to Tibet. It was in March, 1891, that I gave up the Rectorship of the Monastery of Gohyakurakan in Tokyo, and left for Kyoto, where I remained living as a hermit for about three years, totally absorbed in the study of a large collection of Buddhist books in the Chinese language. My object in doing so was to fulfil a long-felt desire to translate the texts into Japanese in an easy style from the difficult and unintelligible Chinese. But I afterwards found that it was not a wise thing to rely upon the Chinese texts alone, without comparing them with Tibetan translations as well as with the original Samskrt texts which are contained in Mahayana Buddhism. The Buddhist Samskrt texts were to be found in Tibet and Nepal. Of course, many of them had been discovered by European Orientalists in Nepal and a few in other parts of India and Japan. But those texts had not yet been found which included the most important manuscripts of which Buddhist scholars were in great want. Then again, the Tibetan texts were famous for being more accurate translations than the Chinese. Now I do not say that the Tibetan translations are superior to the Chinese. As literal translations, I think that they are superior; but, for their general meaning, the Chinese are far better than the Tibetan. Anyhow, it was my idea that I should study the Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhism, and should try to discover Samskrt manuscripts in Tibet, if any were there available. With these objects in view, I made up my mind to go to Tibet, though the country was closed not only by the Local Government but also by the surrounding lofty mountains.

    Ekai Kawaguchi

    Ekai Kawaguchi was a Japanese Buddhist monk, famed for his four journeys to Nepal (in 1899, 1903, 1905 and 1913), and two to Tibet (July 4, 1900–June 15, 1902, 1913–1915), being the first recorded Japanese citizen to travel in either country.
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