Fa Xian

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Fa Xian (337-422), also known as Fa-hsien, of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, surnamed Gong before he became a monk, was a pioneer who traveled to India to study and translate Buddhist scriptures. In 399, he and some other monks left Chang’an and traveled for 14 years in India and Sri Lanka, and brought back Buddhist scriptures that they translated from Sanskrit into Chinese. In Fa Xian’s book, A Record of Buddhist Countries, he related what he had observed during his journey. This book provides valuable reference material for anyone studying the history, geography and communications of ancient India and the Western Regions.