The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang: By the Shaman Hwui Li

by Hiuen-Tsiang
Introduction by Samuel Beal
Preface by L. Cranmer-Byng


Hiuen-Tsiang, also known as Xuanzang, was a Chinese Buddhist monk, traveler, researcher, and translator of the seventh century. Born in 602, he was primarily known for his travels to Southeast Asia, in what is now known as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, where he wrote about Chinese and Indian Buddhist practices.

He grew up in a Confucian home, but was inspired by an older brother who had become a Buddhist monk and wished to follow in his footsteps. At the age of 20 he was ordained as a full monk, and began a search for sacred Buddhist texts. He went on to spend 17 years in Southeast Asia, writing about his experiences in Dà Táng Xīyù Jì, known as Great Tang Records on the Western Regions in English.

Samuel Beal was born on November 27, 1825 in England. He went on to attempt Trinity College, graduating in 1847, and later becoming an ordained priest in 1852. He became a naval chaplain, and was sent to China as part of his service. While there, he worked to learn Chinese, and even became a naval translator. His primary focus of his study was to learn more about Chinese Buddhism. Upon his return to the UK, he worked as a rector, a chaplain, and later became a professor of Chinese at University College.

This new edition is dedicated to George Nguyen, keen student and scholar of Buddhism.