صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

exactly in the position of the present Srinagar. There he was lodged in the convent known as the Jayendravihāra which is named also in the Rājatarangiņi.! A two years' stay, though chiefly passed in the study of 'the Sūtras and S'āstras', must have enabled Hiuen Tsiang to acquaint himself thoroughly with the Valley.

His description of the kingdom Kia-shi-mi-lo shows clearly that the geographical application of the term Kaśmir must have been then, exactly as now, restricted to the great basin of the Vitastā and the side valleys drained by its tributaries above the Bārāmāla defile. He notices that the country is enclosed on all sides by mountains which are very high. “Although the mountains have passes through them, these are narrow and contracted." These natural bulwarks protected the country from neighbouring states 'which had never succeeded in subduing it.' Though the climate is cold and the snow plentiful, the soil is fertile and abounds with fruits and ftowers. The inhabitants seem to have changed as little as the soil since Hiuen Tsiang's days. It is still easy to recognize in them the people whom he describes as “light and frivolous, and of a weak, pusillanimous disposition. The people are handsome in appearance, but they are given to cunning. They love learning and are well-instructed.”'

“ Since centuries learning had been held in great respect in this kingdom." Hiuen Tsiang dwells with evident pleasure on the recollection of the learned conferences he had with the Kaśmir doctor's of the sacred law.? Kaśmir had in earlier times played a great part in the traditions of the Buddhist church. Hiuen Tsiang relates at length the legends how the Arhat Madhyāntika had first spread the law of Buddha in the land ; how in the time of Asoka the five hundred Arhats had taken up their abode there ; and how finally under the great Kaniska, king of Gandhāra, Kaśmir had been the scene of the universal Council whiclı fixed and expounded the Sacred Canon. Yet he observes that in his own time the kingdom as a whole was “not much given to the faith, and that the temples of the heretics were their sole thought.”3

It is probably owing to this not very flourishing condition of contemporary Buddhism that Hiuen Tsiang mentions only a comparatively small number of Vihāras and Stūpas in the Valley. Among the Stūpas there were four ascribed to Asoka. Beneath another Kanişka was believed to have deposited the canonical texts as fixed by his Council, engraved on sheets of copper. None of these structures have yet been

I Compare note iii. 355.
% See Life, p. 71 sq.
8 See Si-yu-ki, i. p. 158.

identified with any certainty. But in their description the pilgrim furnishes us incidentally with a valuable topographical indication.

Speaking of the convent which prided itself on the possession of a miraculous tooth of Buddha, be indicates its site as being about 10 li (circ. 2 miles) to the south-east of the new city and to the north of the old city. This proves that the capital of Hinen Tsiang's time which corresponds to the present Srinagar, was then a comparatively new foundation, exactly as the Chronicle's account has it. At the same time the reference to the 'old city' enables us to fix with absolute certainty the earlier capital of Srinagari at the present Pāndrēthan, the Purāņādhisthana of Kalhana. The two full years which Hiuen Tsiang, acc

ccording to his own statement spent in Kaśmir,8 represent a longer halt than any which the pious traveller allowed himself during his sixteen year's wanderings through the whole of India and Central Asia. With all due respect for the spiritual fervour of the pilgrim and the excellence of his Kaśmirian preceptors, it is difficult to suppress the surmise that the material attractions of the Valley had something to do with his long stay. The cool air of Kaśmīr, the northern aspect of its scenery and products, have at all times exercised their powerful charm over those visitors who themselves born in colder climes have come to the Valley from the heat and dust of the Indian plains. Just as these advantages attract in yearly increasing numbers European visitors from India Proper, 80 the modern Turki pilgrims from Kashgar, Yarkand and other parts of Central Asia, whether on the way to Mecca or on their return, never fail to make a long stay in Kaśmir.

We should undoubtedly find the example of the modern Þājis followed also by Buddhist pilgrims if there were still any from those northern regions to take their way through Kasmir to the holy places of India. It would be an interesting task to examine to what extent the fame of Kaśmir as the 'paradis terrestre des Indes,' is the creation of the Valley's northern visitors, both European and Asiatic. Here it may suffice to add that Hiuen Tsiang before he reached Kaśmir, must have had already his experience of the torrid heat and the other amenities of a Panjāb summer.5 We shall also see that the example of the other Chinese pilgrim whom we are able to follow on his visit to Kaśmir, points exactly to the same conclusion.

1 Si-yu-ki, i. p. 168.
2 See below $S 88, 89.

See Life, p. 72.

* Compare the table of dates for Hiuen Tsiang's itinerary, CUNNINGHAM, Ancient Geography, pp. 563 sqq.

6 See CUNNINGHAM, Ancient Geography, p. 563 sq.

Hiuen Tsiang's narrative tells us that he left the Valley going in a south-westerly direction. He reached Pun-nu-tso, the Parņotsa of the Chronicle and the modern Prūnts, after crossing mountains and passing precipices. As the Tõşamaidān route is the direct and me frequented route to that territory, it is very probable that Hiuen Tsiang also follow

ed it. Parņotsa as well as Rājapuri (Ho-lo-she-pu-lo) to which the . pilgrim subsequently proceeded, had at the time of his visit no independent ruler, but were subject to Kaśmir. 10. The next Chinese notice of Kaśmir, and one which is of con

siderable historical interest, is contained in the Tang Annals.

Annals of the T'ang dynasty. They inform us that the first embassy from Kaśmir arrived at the imperial court in or shortly after A.D. 713. In the year 720 Tchen-t'o-lo-pi-li, ruler of Kaśmir, the Candrāpīļa of the Chronicle, was accorded by imperial decree the title of king

His brother and successor Mou-to-pi in whom Kalhaņa's Muktāpida or Lalitāditya has long ago been recognised, sent after the first Chinese expedition against Po-lir or Baltistān (between 736 and 747) an envoy called Ou-li-to to the Chinese court. He was to report the alleged victories of his master over the Tibetans but at the same time also to solicit the establishment of a camp of Chinese troops by the banks of the lake Mo-ho-to-mo-loung (the Mahapadma Nāga or Volar lake). The Kaśmir king offered to provide all necessary supplies for an auxiliary force of 200,000 men. But the Divine Khān’ found it more convenient to content himself with issuing decrees for the sumptuous entertainment of the ambassador and for the registration of Muktāpida with the title of king. Since that time the relations of Kaśmir with the celestial empire and the receipts of tribute from the former are said to have continued without interruption.

The description of Kaśmir which is coupled with this record of the T'ang Annals, appears to be in the main copied from Hiuen Tsiang's Si-yu-ki. But in addition it furnishes us with an exact statement as to the Kaśmir capital at that time. In my Notes on Ou-k'ong's Account of

1 Si-yu-ki, i. p. 162 Life p. 72.

% The notice was first made known by A. RÉMusat's translation of the corresponding extract in Matuanlin's enoyclopædia ; see Nouveaux Mélanges asiatiques, Paris, 1829, i. pp. 196 sqq. An abstract of the same notice, but from the original text of the Annals, where the names are more correctly rendered, will be found in Messrs. Løvi and CHAVANNES' L'Itinéraire d'Ou-k'ong, Journal asiat., 1895, vi. pp. 354 sqq.

From REINAUD, Mémoire sur l'Inde, pp. 189 sq. it wonld appear that the names of Kaśmīr kings in this Chinese record and that of the Mahāpadma lake were first correctly identified by KLAPROTH, Mémoires relatifs à l'Asie, ii. pp. 275 sq. This work is at present not accessible to me.

J. 1. 3.

Kaśmārl I have shown that the Po-lo-ou-lo-po-lo of the Annals is a correct reproduction of Pravarapura, the old and official name of Srinagara. In the same way the name Mi-na-si-to given to the great river which flows to the west of the capital, represents a correct enough transcription of Vitastā. Both the names are recorded in the form which they bore in the official Sanskit, and are, therefore, evidently taken from the information given by the Kaśmir envoys. 11. Not many years after Muktāpīda's embassy Kaśmir was visited

by another Chinese pilgrim, Ou-K'ong. Though Ou-k'ong. greatly inferior to Hiuen Tsiang in learning

and power of observation, he has yet left us information regarding the country which is of interest and value. The itinerary of Ou-k'ong the discovery and recent publication of which we owe to Messrs. Lévi and Chavannes, contains the reminiscences of forty years' wanderings, taken down after the pilgrim's return to China and in a form regrettably brief. But whether it be due to Ou-k'ong's long stay in Kaśmir or to other causes, his account is fortunately far more detailed in the case of Kaśmir than in that of any other territory visited by him. His description of the Valley and the several sites mentioned by him have been fully discussed by me in the separate paper already quoted.% I need hence indicate here only the main results of this analysis.

Ou-k'ong reached Kaśmir in the year 759 from Gandhāra, presumably by the same route as Hiuen Tsiang had followed. He took there the final vows of a Buddhist monk and spent there fully four yeais engaged, as his itinerary tells us, in pilgrimages to holy sites and in the study of Sanskrit. Though he is said to have studied from daybreak till night-fall, his diligence does not seem to have brought him much literary culture. This is curiously shown by the popular Apabhramśa forms in which our pilgrim records the names of the monasteries he specially singles out for notice. Four of these I have been able to identify with Vibāras mentioned in the Chronicle, and two of them have left their names to villages which survive to the present day.

I See pp. 26 sqq. in the above-quoted paper, published in the “Proceedings" of the Imperial Academy, Vienna (Philos.-histor. Class), 1896, vol. cxxxv.

% See L' Itinéraire d'Ou-k'ong, Journal asiat., 1895, vi. pp. 341 899.
8 See Notes on Ou-k'ong's account of Kašmir, loc. cit.
4 See L' Itinéraire d'Ou-k'ong, p. 356.

5 Thus the monastery of Ngo-mi-t'o-p'o-wan (* Amitabharana) corresponds to the Amrtabharana Vihāra of Rājat. iii. 9, which has given its name to the present Antobavan near Srīnagar. The monastère du mont Ki-tché, (* Kică < Skr. krtya) is no other than the Rrtyäśrama Vihāra, at the modern village Kitsohom, the legend of which is related at ler gth by Kalhaņa, i. 131 sqq. The Vihāra of the great king Moung-ti (* Matti) was one of Muktāpīda's foundations, probably the *MuktaWhile Hiuen Tsiang mentions only about one hundred convents in the country, Ou-k'ong found more than three hundred and speaks in addition of the number of Stūpas and sacred images as considerable. We may conclude from this that there had been a rise in the popularity of Buddhism iu the century intervening between the visits of the two pilgrims.

Ou-k'ong describes the kingdom of Kaśmir correctly enough as enclosed on all sides by mountains which form its natural ramparts. Only three roads have been opened through them, and these again are secured by gates. In the east a road leads to T'ou-fan or Tibet; in the north there is a road which reaches into Poliu or Baltistān; the road which starts from the western gate' goes to K'ien-to-lo or Gandhāra.!

We have here a clear enough description of the great routes through the monntains which since ancient times have formed the main lines of communication between the Valley and the outer world. The road to T'ou-fun corresponds undoubtedly to the present route over the Zoji-to Ladākh and hence to Tibet. The road to Po-liu is represented by the present "Gilgit Road," leading into the Upper Kişangangā Valley and thence to Skardo or Astor on the Indus. The third road can be no other than the route which leaves the Valley by the gorge of Bārāmāla and follows the Vitastā in its course to the west. We have seen already that Hiuen Tsiang followed it when he entered Kaśmir by 'the stone gate, the western entrance of the kingdom.' There can be doubt that in the gates (fermetures) closing these roads we have a reference to the ancient frontier watch-stations of which we find so frequent mention in our Kaśmirian records.

Besides these three roads Ou-k’ong knew yet a fourth. "This, however, is always closed and opens only when an imperial army honours it with a visit." It is probable that this curions notice must be referred to one of the roads leading over the Pir Pantsāl range to the south. Owing possibly to political causes these routes may have been closed to ordinary traffic at the time of Ou-k’ong's visit.”

The political relations between China and the northern kingdoms of India seem to have ceased soon after the time of Ou-k'ong. This was probably due to the Chinese power under the later T'ang gradually losing ground in Central Asia before the Uigurs and the Tibetans. The

vihāra at Huskapura : Uşkür, iv. 188. In the 'monastère du général (tsiang-kiun)' it is easy to recognize the Vihāra of the Turk (Tuhkhāra) Cankura who was one of Muktāpīdạ's ministers. He is reported to have founded two monasteries called after his own name (iv. 211, 215).

I See L' Itinéraire d'Ou-k'ong, p. 356. 2 See Notes on Ou-k'ong, p. 24 sq.

« السابقةمتابعة »