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Faxian at Daishō-in Temple.jpg
Faxian's route map
Report from the Buddhist Kingdoms, print / 12. Century

Faxian ( Chinese  法 顯  /  法 显 , Pinyin Fǎxiǎn , W.-G. Fa-hsien ; * around 337 ; † around 422 ) was a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India between 399 and 412 to study Buddhism and Buddhist Bringing texts to China .

The name Faxian means " Dharmaglanz " and was only his spiritual name, his real family name was Gong (  /  ,).

Faxian allegedly wandered 30 countries since 399, u. a. the Gupta empire with its capital Pataliputra , where there were two Buddhist monasteries. His descriptions are an important source about ancient India. Finally he embarked in Calcutta for Sri Lanka in 411, from there he traveled on to Sumatra and so returned to his homeland in 413 with many holy books in his luggage, which he translated into Chinese on his return .

On his return he landed in Laoshan in what is now Shandong Province , 30 km east of Qingdao, due to poor weather conditions . From there he traveled on to the then capital of Shandong Qingzhou , where he translated the scriptures he had brought with him for a year.

He describes his trip in the Fóguó Jì ( 佛 國 記  /  佛 囯 记 , "Report on the Buddhist Kingdoms"), a report from his travels to today's India and Sri Lanka in search of books on Buddhist teaching. The work was translated by Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat in 1836 and published as Foĕ kouĕ ki ou Relation des royaumes bouddhiques (Paris).


  • Robert E. Buswell, Donald S. Lopez, Jr .: The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2014, p. 297.
  • Fa-hsien; James Legge (translator): A record of Buddhistic kingdoms; being an account by the Chinese monk Fâ-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon, AD 399-414, in search of the Buddhist books of discipline. Translated and annotated with a Corean recension of the Chinese text Oxford Clarendon Press (1886) Internet Archive Digitalisat (PDF file; 675 kB) e-book
  • Herbert, A. Giles (transl.): Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms By Fa Hien. Trübner & Co., London 1877. Internet Archive
  • Li Rongxi, Albert A. Dalia: The Lives of Great Monks and Nuns. ( Memento from August 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Numata Center for Translation and Research, Berkeley CA 2002.
  • Max Deeg: The Gaoseng-Faxian-Zhuan as a source of religious history. The oldest report by a Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk about his trip to India with translation of the text. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005.

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