Sunday, July 17, 2016

Snippets from my forthcoming book (3); A Journey Impossible Book I; Destination India

Though Xuan Zhang felt highly elated and was joyous at having finally escaped from Imperial Chinese boundary, he was dead tired and fatigued with the long overnight ride. He decided to take some rest; spread his mat and lied down. “Bandho” also dismounted and spread his mat about fifty paces away and both tried to sleep. He had by now realised, what terrible mistake he had committed by helping a Chinese citizen to escape from the empire boundary against a Royal mandate. Feeling disturbed at his folly, he first decided to kill the monk and get over the problem. He drew out his knife and slowly walked towards the monk. Xuan Zhang however, was not asleep and with his half closed eyes, saw what “Bandho” was doing. He rose from the mat, sat down and started praying to “Kounan-in-pou-sa, 阿婆盧吉低舍婆羅  菩提薩埵, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.)”

17th June 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Snippets from my forthcoming book (2); A Journey Impossible Book I; Destination India

"The bandits came from nowhere. As Xuan Zhang and his troupe negotiated the narrow zigzag slopes of the silver mountain, where sharp turns on the road around the cliffs could effectively hide the view ahead, they heard a big commotion with clip-clop of horse’s hooves. Next moment, before they knew anything, the troupe was attacked by robbers riding horses and waving their naked swords. The mounted robbers in tattered clothes surrounded the troupe, shouting and threatening them with their drawn out swords. Everyone stood still. Robbers dismounted and started searching everyone; their clothes, belongings, even the food they were carrying. Xuan Zhang felt pangs of fear inside, cutting him like a cold steel blade of a sword, but only just for a moment. Next moment, he calmed down, praying to “Guanyin.” He looked steadily at the robbers with his sharp piercing eyes. The chief of the bandits, briefly looked at the monk; something terribly disturbing him. He felt that this was no ordinary man and this was no ordinary caravan either. All of a sudden, he was scared to the core that continuing here any longer would certainly bring God’s wrath on him and his men. He signalled his men. The bandits disappeared as quickly as they had come. Everyone let out a sigh of relief and started counting their losses. But losses were not important; their lives were saved."

29th May 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Snippets from my forthcoming book (1), A Journey Impossible, Book I, Destination India

When Ch’en Yi was at a tender age of four (in year 604 CE), he lost his mother and became devoid of maternal love. Within another five years (in year 609), his father also died, making him and his brothers orphans. We can imagine a forlorn nine year old child, absolutely clueless about his future. Though his father has been a conservative Confucian, his mother has been a Buddhist. It is possible that at bed time, she might have told him Buddhist Jataka tales at his tender young age. It is likely that this might have created certain liking or softness in his mind for the new religion.
In the meantime, Ch’en Yi’s second eldest brother Ch’en-tsi had already joined the Buddhist faith and was ordained in a monastery in Luoyang. We can therefore imagine the 9 year old Ch’en Yi, in his confused and bewildered state of mind after loss of his father, deciding that following his brother’s footsteps, was the only choice left for him. A monastery would provide him safety, security and good education. We may never know the commotion and emotional turbulence, this child must have gone through, but it appears that finally he decided to follow his elder brother, who considering Ch’en Yi’s willingness, took him to his convent in Luoyang and initiated him in the method and practice of the sacred Books of Buddhism
Like any other new entrant, Ch’en Yi must have been then asked to discard his old clothes, given a new robe and asked to kneel down so that an elderly monk could shave his head. After all this was over, he was ordained as a novice to Buddhist fold and was given a new name with which he would start his life as a monk.
His new name was Xuan Zhang, a name that would remain immortal, forever in human history.

8th May 2016