Talk on ‘The Role of the Buddhist Master Kumarajiva in India-Chinese Relations’
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a lecture by Dr. Shashibala, Dean at the Centre of Indology, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi. The topic of the lecture was ‘The Role of the Buddhist Master Kumarajiva in Indo Chinese Relations’. Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director VIF chaired the proceedings. This discussion was envisioned to bring out the contribution of Buddhist Scholar Kumarajiva in shaping and instituting India’s image as a universal cultural leadership and how it has contributed to India-China relations.

Kumarajiva is considered an international personality because his father belonged to ancient India and her mother was princess of Kucha. Recounting the contribution of Kumarajiva in India-China relations, Dr. Shashibala articulated that there were more than 250 Indians and around 100 Chinese masters who disseminated Buddhism to East Asia. Among them Dharmaraksa, Kumarajiva and Hsuan-tsang are the three who stand out by their preeminent virtue and for spreading the subtle philosophical systems of Buddhism. Buddhist Scholars like Kumarjiva spread Indian culture and because of his efforts we can proudly say that India was the cultural leader of the world. Unfortunately in India Kumarajiva’s life and legacy has gone into amnesia but is kept alive reverentially in East Asian countries.

Kumarajiva’s role in Indo China relations remains in the fact and which is also accepted by Chinses experts that the practical Buddhism established in China is based on his translations. His translations are lucid and so easy to understand. In Japan there are almost 75,000 Buddhist temples out of which 65,000 are based on translations of Kumarajiva. His style of translations, intellect, and wisdom made him popular in Kucha. His popularity reached to China, when Chinese emperor sent his army to conquer Kucha to get hold of Kumarjiva. Kumarjiva translated ancient Buddhist Sanskrit text into Chinese which is fundamental for India-China relation in modern times as well, told Dr. Shashibala. His imprints are still well preserved in China mainly in Chang'an and Xi’an cities.

The talk generated good interest and there were many points of discussion.

Event Date 
April 15, 2019

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