Book on Nepalese Buddhist Master released

by Binju Sitaula, Xinhua, June 7, 2009

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- A book on Nepalese Buddhist Master Buddhabhadra was released here on Saturday amid a program to mark the 1,600 anniversary of Buddhist Mission to China.

The book named "The life of Nepalese Buddhist Master Buddhabhadra" was written aiming to clarify Nepal as the origin of Buddhabhadra and Buddhism to the world.

Prof. Min Bahadur Shakya, the author of the book is a scholar of Newar and Tibetan Buddhism and was elected vice president of World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth for 1984-1988.

He was appointed as research associate in Fo Kuang Shah Chinese Buddhist Research Academy during 1989-1990 in Kaoshiung, China's Taiwan.

Many scholars mostly Indian and western confused over the idea and nativity of Buddhist Master Buddhabhadra, the book is much concerned to reveal the facts of his Nepalese originality along with his contribution to familiarize Buddhism in China.

"Even Chinese students also have confusion over Buddhabharda assuming him as the native of Kashmir, India. As far as possible, I have tried to pinpoint the facts that would help scholars interested in Buddhism and its originality to be clear on this reality," said author Shakya.

Nepalese Buddhist Master Buddhabhadra born in Kapilvastu of Nepal became Buddhist monk at the age of 17 and went China some 1,600 years ago on his Buddhist mission and spent his entire life in propagating Buddhism in China.

It seemed that he generated a large number of disciples in China who became the pillars of Buddhist meditation, doctrines and foundation for pure monastic life of Chinese Buddhism, Madan Regmi, chairman of China Study Center (CSC) in Nepal told Xinhua on Sunday.

Buddhabhadra was the outstanding Buddhist master who first studied Chinese language for 10 years and then translated Buddhist philosophical scriptures from Sanskrit to Chinese.

"To such a great master, this book could contribute to shed light on his contribution over practice of Buddhism in China and to the world," said author Shakya.

According to Regmi, Shakya deserves whole hearted appreciation for his hard and dedicated research work based mainly on Chinese manuscripts and related sources. "He has brought to light some important facts, hitherto unfamiliar to the outside world about Master Buddhabharda," he said.

CSC, with its activities focused on the studies and researches aimed at promoting social, cultural and economic ties between Nepal and China takes immense pleasure in publishing this useful book which unveils a very important aspect of age-old cultural bondage between the two counties, Regmi said.

Regmi added, "One of the main areas representing strong social-cultural ties in Nepal-China is Buddhism which seems to have traveled to China more profoundly from Nepal through these scholars and many others."

Many more facts and figures still remain unexplored and are left distorted due to lack of intensive researches. There should be more in-depth research works to be carried out by dedicated scholars of both countries, which will enhance the historical importance of Nepal-China relations, said Regmi.

Meanwhile, at the function of releasing of book, Chinese ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong admitted that Master Buddhabhadra is the earliest envoy in China-Nepal friendly exchanges which have lasted for thousands of years.

As early as 1,600 years ago, he traveled to China through a long distance and against all odds, received disciples inclusively, delivered the Buddhist principles truly, gave lectures widely, translated hundreds of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese language painstakingly, and finally passed away in China after visiting many parts of this vast country, said the ambassador.

"He had made important contributions for China-Nepal cultural exchanges and his story has become an indelible memory in China-Nepal friendship," he said, adding that the new book gives an introduction to the legendary life of Master Buddhabhadra and recalls the long history of China-Nepal friendship.
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