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Chasing the Monk's Shadow : A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang

Mishi Saran, Penguin Books, 2005, x, 446 p, ISBN : 0670058238, $0.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Chasing the Monk's Shadow : A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang/Mishi Saran

Contents: 1. The road to India. 2. Journey to the west. 3. City of the flying horse. 4. The jade gates. 5. River of sand. 6. Fire city. 7. Twin convents. 8. White water. 9. Heavenly mountains. 10. Perpetual snows. 11. Nine lepioshkas. 12. Sogdiana. 13. River of gold. 14. Crossing the river. 15. Locking the sea in a box. 16. Unhappy valleys. 17. Sikander and Porus. 18. Kingdom enclosed by peaks. 19. Tree nymphs. 20. Too many women. 21. Holy confluence. 22. Schism in the sangha. 23. Sarkari Intezam. 24. Wrong kind of love. 25. Labour pains. 26. Fatal mushrooms. 27. Deer park. 28. Buddhist ivy league. 29. Vulture's peak. 30. Peepul leaf and perfect wisdom. 31. Land of the eastern light. 32. Reunited. 33. Flower mountain. 34. Ocean's edge. 35. Hidden Buddhas. 36. Stone elephants. 37. Hill of Rishis. 38. Limbo. 39. Pure land. 40. City of dressed stone. 41. Mound of the king. 42. Lotus city. 43. Silk road graffiti. 44. Listening post. 45. Inshallah. 46. Sacrifice country. 47. Sad secrets. 48. Flea in your clothes. 49. Tooti-phooti Afghanistan. Afterwards. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

"In the seventh century AD, the Chinese monk Xuanzang (earlier spelt as Hiuen Tsang or Hsuan Tsang) set off on an epic journey to India to study Buddhist philosophy from the Indian masters. Travelling along the Silk Road, through the desolate wastes of the Gobi desert and the icy passes of Central Asia, braving brigands and blizzards, Xuanzang finally reached India, where his spiritual quest took him to Buddhist holy places and monasteries throughout the subcontinent. By the time he returned to China eighteen years later, carrying with him nearly 600 scriptures which he translated from Sanskrit into Chinese, Xuanzang had covered an astonishing 10,000 miles. He also left a detailed record of his journey, which remains a valuable source of historical information on the regions he traversed." (jacket)

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