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Xingjiao Temple

Xingjiao Temple is situated at Chang'an County in the south of Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province, and is one of Fanchuan Region's Big Eight Temples in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Bone relics of Xuanzang, an accomplished monk in the same dynasty, were buried here.

After Xuanzang passed away, his remains were buried on the Bailuyuan in the eastern suburb of Xi'an City. In the second year (669) of the Gaozong reign of the Tang Dynasty, his remains were moved hereto, and a dagoba was built to commemorate his contributions. Afterwards when Emperor Suzong of the Tang Dynasty paid a visit here, he inscribed two characters: Xing Jiao (booming Buddhism) on this temple, hence the name Xingjiao Temple.

Xuanzang (620-664), a prestigious monk in the Tang Dynasty, is reputed as Tang Sanzang or Tang Seng among the people. He entered into Buddhism at the age of thirteen, was formally initiated into monkhood when he was twenty-one, and devoted himself to Buddhism since then. In the third year (629) of the Zhenguan reign of the Tang Dynasty, he went westward from Chang'an City, the then capital of China, to India, after passing Xinjiang and Central Asia for the purpose of going on a pilgrimage for Buddhist Scriptures. He came back to Chang'an City in 645, and then began to translate Buddhist Scriptures in three temples including Daci'en Temple successively. After nineteen years, seventy-five Buddhist Scriptures were translated into Chinese. Also, he translated Laozi (a work of Laozi, the founder of Taoism) and Mahayana Shraddhotpada Shastra (Treatise on the Awaking of Faith in Mahayana) into Sanskrit, and introduced them into India. He wrote Report of the Regions West of Great Tang which, recording and narrating the situations of Central Asia, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, made important contributions to Sino-foreign cultural exchanges.

Xingjiao Temple consists of West Yard and East Yard. Three-square pagodas stand in the West Yard, and the middle one is just the famous Xuanzang Dagoba, which is the oldest brick-built pagoda extant in China. A stone stele at the bottom of this pagoda records Xuanzang's life story, and a colorful clay statue of Xuanzang is enshrined in the brick hole on the ground floor hereof. The other two in the east and west are dagobas for Xuanzang's two disciples. The East Yard is the Sutra Hall in which thousands upon thousands of ancient scriptures of different editions are treasured up. Among them, Beiye (leaf of a kind of palm) Scripture, obtained by Xuanzang from India, is deemed unique treasure.

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