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Master Xuanzang and King of Gaochang Ancient City

In autumn of the year 629, Mastery Xuanzang started his pilgrimage journal to the West. After 4 months travel, he arrived in Yiwu (today’s Hami). In the lonely gobi desert, a group of people appeared in his sight to welcome his coming. That made Xuanzang rather surprised.

After communication, he made it clear that they were from Gaochang Kingdom, and the leader of the welcoming group was just King of Gaochang – Qu Wentai.The King was not just a faithful Buddhist but also learned about fame of Xuanzang already. When he knew Xuanzang would travel by Gaochang, he decided to invite Xuanzang to his country.

In Gaochang Kingdom, Xuanzang was treated with top class welcoming ceremony. When he ascended the platform to give Buddhist lesson, the King even kneeled down on the ground to serve as stair for the master. He was so admire Master Xuanzang that he even wanted to put him under house arrest.

When Xuanzang realized the King’s purpose, he earnestly request to depart Gaochang. When his request was denied, he went on hunger strike. The king has no way to let him stay in Gaochang for longer time, so he decided to let the master continue his travel. And the King wrote letters to many Kingdoms that Master Xuanzang may travel by to ask them take care of the master. Xuanzang was so moved that he adjusted his schedule – he stayed in Gaochang for one month more and give Buddhist lessons to more local people. Soon the King and Xuanzang became good friends.

In winter of the year 629, Xuanzang must depart Gaochang to cuntinue his travel. But the King was so sad. To comfort the King, Xuanzang promised that on his way return to Tang, he will stay in Gaochang for sometime again to spread the Buddhism lessons he learned in Tianzhu (Ancient India).

Gaochang Ancient City

In the year 643, Xuanzang finished his Buddhist study in Tainzhu and was ready to return to his country. When the King of Tianzhu advised escort him back home by sea, he refused. Because he must perform his promise to Qu Wentai. In the past tens of years, Xuanzang got so much authentic Buddhist sutras, but he didn’t know that Gaochang Kingdom had disappeared due to wars. And no ones could tell him where Qu Weitai was, or if his was alive.

In 645, Xuanzang return to Chang’an (Xian), the capital of the Tang. When the whole city welcomed his return, Qu Wentai and his people appeared in his mind again. In the same year, the Tang Emperor built a temple for him to translate Buddhist Sutras he brought from Tianzhu. Except for Buddhist Sutras translation, Xuanzang told what he saw and experienced on his travel to his followers. The followers recorded them down and made the book Records of Tang Dynasty’s Western Regions. When the book finished, he sent one of son of Qu Wentai to perform his promise to his best friend.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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