Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Fa-hsien” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Fa-hsien” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.



China : Traveller and a learned man

It is a tragedy of Indian history that very little is known about the ancient period as no records were kept about the events and progress made in those times. We shall remain indebted to many foreign travellers who toured our land and left a record of what they saw or thought about the conditions prevailing at that time. The Chinese traveller Fa-hsien is one of such learned men who came to India to learn about Buddhism and left a record — Fo Kuo Chi — of what he came across during his sojourn. Another Chinese, Huiian-tsang, visited India during the reign of Harsha the Great and left a graphic account of experiences in this country.

Fa-hsien was born in the first part of 3rd century. From his early childhood, he was of pious nature and had an insatiable appetite for knowledge. He was brought up in a monastery and became a monk at the age of 20.’In 399 B.C, he thought of visiting India and reached here in 404 B.C. after traversing thousands of miles. He remained in India for six years and also spent two years in Sri Lanka, the then Ceylon. He was greatly  impressed by the culture and social v slues during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya. He has praised the Indian concepts of religious tolerance, social ethics and the prevailing economic conditions.

Fa-hsien came to India to collect rare Buddhist literature and visit the holy shrines connected with the founder of Buddhism. He carried many rare books or treatises of Buddhism and spread them across China, Burma and parts of South East Asia. Else, they might have been lost to posterity as have been destroyed in many foreign invasions to which this country was subjected to in later years.

During his journey in India, Fa-Hien had ample opportunity to see and admire the achievements of Indians in sculpture, architecture, music and fine arts. He paid tributes to the remains of Lord Buddha and visited Stupa’ constructed by Kanishka in Peshawar. He also visited many seats of learning and Vihars ‘ —monasteries where Buddhist monks lived and studied the scriptures. Fa-hsien has given a graphic description of Pataliputra, renowned for its opulence. He has written about the religious festivals celebrated with great zeal, fervour and enthusiasm. Hindus also followed Buddhist ideals. There were many hospitals, dharamshalas and places of entertainment run by the state for the people. Justice, equity and hospitality were the laudable traits of Indian society in that era.

Fa-hsien has praised the religious tolerance, generosity, love for justice and popularity of the then rulers. His description of the prevailing social conditions seems to be mirage at the present time of dishonest practices, violence and unrest. It is through him that we have come to know of the prosperity and achievements of the people of ancient India.


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