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Chapter XXXVI
In Patna. Fa-Hien’s Labours in Transcription of Manuscripts, and Indian Studies for Three Years.

From Varanasi (the travellers) went back east to Pataliputtra. Fa-hien’s original object had been to search for (copies of) the Vinaya. In the various kingdoms of North India, however, he had found one master transmitting orally (the rules) to another, but no written copies which he could transcribe. He had therefore travelled far and come on to Central India. Here, in the mahayana monastery,1 he found a copy of the Vinaya, containing the Mahasanghika2 rules — those which were observed in the first Great Council, while Buddha was still in the world. The original copy was handed down in the Jetavana vihara. As to the other eighteen schools,3 each one has the views and decisions of its own masters. Those agree (with this) in the general meaning, but they have small and trivial differences, as when one opens and another shuts.4 This copy (of the rules), however, is the most complete, with the fullest explanations.5

He further got a transcript of the rules in six or seven thousand gathas,6 being the sarvastivadah7 rules — those which are observed by the communities of monks in the land of Ts’in; which als............
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