About the Book :
Travelling for trade is common, for pleasure is not unusual, but for pursuit of religious lore is rather rare. This has been so in all ages. The Chinese traveler of the seventh century AD, I-tsing belongs to the last class. I-tsing had mastered the Vinaya Pitakas of Buddhism before he set out on his travels which lasted for twenty-five years and which covered more than thirty countries. His objective was to secure the authentic texts of the Mulasarvastivada school from India so that the erroneous view of the Chinese scholars of Vinaya Pitakas could be corrected. The hazardous voyage from China to India in a Persian trading vessel did not dampen his zeal. He collected some 400 Sanskrit texts in India. He reached China in AD 695 and spent the rest of his life in translating them. The distinguishing trait of I-tsing's work, A Record of the Buddhist Religion as Practised in India and the Malay Archipelago, is his reticence to talk about himself and his enthusiasm in compressing a vast array of data on Buddhism into an interesting and handy narrative. It provides a veritable mine of information on Indian literature and Buddhism.