Home » Movies » Be Inspired By Great Master ‘Xuan Zang’! | 观看《大唐玄奘》记


The biopic ‘Xuan Zang’ (大唐玄奘), which focuses on the life and times of Tripitaka Master Venerable Xuan Zang (602-664), reminds us of the tremendous challenges that ancient Chinese pilgrim monastics underwent, so as to retrieve the precious Buddhadharma in terms of sutras and treatises from India. Especially after learning from all available local sources of Buddhist teachings, Master Xuan Zang clearly saw many of their problems. Written accounts had mistranslations and discrepancies, leading to misinterpretations, which inspired him to make the perilous pilgrimage through the treacherous western regions. His mission was to access, learn and return with the true sutras.

Unlike the common perception of intellectuals being physically weak, Master Xuan Zang was a heroic scholar with great will, endurance, and vision. Despite many dissuading him from undertaking the ‘Mission Improbable’, which would endanger life and limb, he pressed on his journey relentlessly. All kinds of obstacles stood between him and his goal. There were political threats, as immigration was tightly controlled, and him being a talent was forbidden to leave. Being caught would lead to imprisonment. And there were potential robbers and wrathful ghosts in the wild, what more mountains, rivers, and deserts to cross, with violent sandstorms, avalanches, quicksand, mirages…

All these is in striking contrast with the way we go on pilgrimages today, which is often less earnest despite greater ease (by planes, trains and automobiles). Many travel with a sight-seeing mentality, instead of being with spiritual hunger and thirst. Although it is exponentially easier to access translated Buddhist teachings these days, do we treasure them as much as the ancients did? Even when Master Xuan Zang lost his physical direction at times in the middle of deserts, he never lost sight of his sincere spiritual aspirations. Even when tempted by a king with the promise of power and followers, he would rather go on a hunger strike, which moved the king to release him.

Taking four years to reach Nalanda University, the renowned first university ever, which focused on all aspects of Buddhist education, Master Xuan Zang quickly shone as a brilliant student and even teacher. There, he was famously nominated to represent Nalanda in perhaps history’s greatest open religious debate, facing some 2,000 opponents, including Hinayana Buddhists who claimed that the Mahayana teachings (which aim for guiding all to Buddhahood) were inferior. With his ‘Treatise For Breaking Evil Views’ (破恶见论) written in Sanskrit as his winning thesis, with his very life placed as the stakes for losing, it was a major triumph for all Mahayana Buddhists. His undisputed wisdom and fame spread so far and wide, that it echoed all the way back to China!

Having trekked 25,000 kilometres through 110 countries, 19 years later, Master Xuan Zang finally returned to China. He was hailed as a hero, even by the emperor, having retrieved 657 Sanskrit sutras and treatises. Leading a state-sponsored translation team of some 3,000 scholar monks, he translated 75 sutras, to become 1,330 scrolls! It was through these amazing efforts of ancient masters, that the unbroken lineage of precious Buddhadharma streams on into our era. Imagine how much could have been lost without them! Today, Master Xuan Zang’s ‘Great Tang’s Records On The Western Regions’ (大唐西域记) remains the most detailed and accurate account of Central and South Asia. This further fortifies our confidence in Great Master’s Xuan Zang’s astounding integrity, in his Dharma learning, realisation, and propagation!

– Xinqing

观看《大唐玄奘》记

一部稀有难得讲述佛法准确的电影。感谢没为了炒高票房而加一些历史不实的爱媚情节!不过,还是觉得有些剧情不属实,但没伤到佛法。总觉得黄晓明没有玄奘大师的风范。他比较有武生样,没书生样,但因扮演出家人,他既然在拍戏期间断肉茹素。这举动不但对角色(玄奘大师)敬重,也令人敬佩。不过,能从此断肉更好,科科!

玄奘大师的一生大概每一位正信佛教徒都略知一二;哪怕是从大师本人著作的《大唐西域记》或吴承恩虚构夸张的《西游记》。大家都知道当时跨国取经并非容易之事,大师偷渡出境到天竺(当时的印度)取经,一路上都是考验和困难重重如果没有那份坚定不移的至诚恳切心,换是我们这群人,还没入沙漠就已经叫爹喊娘了。

离乡背井近十九年,他一返回国就全神贯注展开庞大的译经工作。大师无私的贡献让我们晚辈受益良多。很遗憾的是大师所著作的《破恶见论》已失传。这可说是从古到今唯一中国僧人用梵文所写的佛教典籍。大师是为了在一场宗教大辩论上,为维护大乘教义而写的。辩论的起因是有位年老的婆罗门,般若鞠多,写了共七百颂的《破大乘论》。小乘僧人由此提出召集辩论的意见。戒日王(当代天竺第一王)便写信给那烂陀寺住持(戒贤法师)邀请派人参辩。同时,也请了四位知己知彼、内外兼修、大小俱通的大德来辩。

长话短说,本是一场大小乘的辨论,演变成了一场全国性以佛教为主的的宗教大辩论。戒日王让大师面对全印度顶级法师的挑战。他通知了五印度(东、西、南、北、中印度,就是古印度全境),所有宗教顶尖人物,来曲女城参加大会。这一来能展示了大师高超的学问,二来能摧毁各种自以为是的邪知邪见。大师的重任,不言而喻。

恒河南岸,召集了几十万观众赶赴曲女城。鸠摩罗王(天竺第二王)也在恒河北岸召集了几万观众。这场曲女城大会的参与者包括18位国王(一者说20多位),大小乘僧人3000余人,婆罗门和外道2000余人,那烂陀寺1000余人,方圆几十里满满当当,挥汗如雨。当时佛教并非是印度的主要宗教,不过是无数宗教中的一种。这场大辩论,由大师为主,单挑2000多名僧人和外道。大师还立下了生死状!天竺辩经主持一方一定要立输了的条件的,而赢了的条件一般立的很少。当然,大师赢了。《破恶见论》也呈给了戒贤法师。

戏里所描述的不比历史记载的精彩,毕竟时间有限。演员配音的梵语也有点别扭。欣慰的是取景和艺术指导没得挑啦。可以说肯定不会世俗般卖座,但值得一看。(P.S. 历史资讯来自百度百科。)

– 真悯合十

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3 Responses to “Be Inspired By Great Master ‘Xuan Zang’! | 观看《大唐玄奘》记”

  1. What is the difference between Kumarajiva and Xuan Zhang? Are they the same person?

  2. MakePeace August 2, 2016

    They are 2 different great translator masters. A quick online search will reveal their biographies. Amituofo

  3. I am Mahayana devotee and I am very interested in Mahayana practice for the attainement of Illumination for all sentient besings!

    Franco De Pascale
    Italy

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