By John Kieschnick (ed.), Meir Shahar (ed.)

India and China dominate the Asian continent yet are separated by means of ambitious geographic boundaries and language modifications. for lots of centuries, many of the info that handed among the 2 lands got here via Silk path intermediaries in lieu of first-person encounters—leaving significant room for invention. From their advent to Indian tradition within the first centuries C.E., chinese language thinkers, writers, artists, and designers imitated India inside their very own borders, giving Indian photographs and concepts new types and adapting them to their very own tradition. but India's impression on China has no longer been significantly researched or good understood.

India within the chinese language Imagination takes a brand new examine the methods the chinese language embedded India in assorted artifacts of chinese language non secular, cultural, creative, and fabric existence within the premodern period. best Asian reports students discover where of Indian myths and storytelling in chinese language literature, how chinese language authors built-in Indian heritage into their perception of the political and spiritual previous, and the philosophical relationships among Indian Buddhism, chinese language Buddhism, and Daoism. This multifaceted quantity, illustrated with over a dozen artistic endeavors, unearths the intensity and subtlety of the come upon among India and China, laying off mild on what it capability to visualize one other culture—and why it matters.

Contributors: Stephen R. Bokenkamp, Bernard Faure, John Kieschnick, Victor H. Mair, John R. McRae, Christine Mollier, Meir Shahar, Robert H. Sharf, Nobuyoshi Yamabe, Ye Derong, Shi Zhiru.

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Extra resources for India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought

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A murderous conflict between father and son issued, at the height of which the child committed suicide, thereby returning to his parents the body he had owed them. The child’s disembodied soul sought help from his master Taiyi, who fashioned for him fresh limbs from a lotus flower. Equipped with a new body, Nezha was reborn into the world, no longer recognizing his father as such. 4 The legend is remarkable for its visceral rendering of Chinese family tensions. The narrative pivots upon the life-and-death struggle between father and son, whose mutual hatred originated at the very moment of the latter’s birth, when Li Jing aimed his sword at him.

56 After being empowered by the Buddha, the young god reveals the Supreme Secret Spell that occupies the bulk of the text. Naṇa is described as follows: At that time there was a Deva called Naṇa. His appearance was exceptionally handsome, and his face beamed with a gentle smile. He was holding the sun, the moon, and various weapons. His numerous treasures and abundant jewelry shone more brightly than the sun and the moon. ,Viṣṇu].  . At that time the Buddha emanated great light from his Dharma-body of meditation.

Even though the extant images likely played no role in the emergence of the Chinese Nezha—they were carved too late for that—it is not impossible that the creators of the Chinese myth were familiar with the antics of the Indian dragon-tamer Kṛṣṇa. It is noteworthy that the southern Chinese port of Quanzhou has yielded one of the earliest surviving Nezha icons. Recall the thirteenth-century Quanzhou pagodas featuring the mighty infant atop the vanquished dragon (see above, Figures 3, 4). We possess a textual hint—it is no more than that—of a possible connection between the two Asian child-gods.

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