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By Fa Xian; James Legge

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Additional resources for A record of Buddhistic Kingdoms : being an account by the Chinese monk Fâ-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist books of discipline translated and annotated with a Corean recension of the Chinese text by James

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The inter-cultural interactions reveal a unique fraternity and the noble sentiments are also unparalleled elsewhere. It is this feeling of affinity that the reader needs to imbibe deeply for that is the crux of any successful development of China and India. A lot of people have not understood this important point. I have sometimes been branded an idealist because of my reiteration of the cultural affinity of the two ‘civilization twins’ of China and India. In this book, I purposely go a step further to view the state relationship between China and India from historical times to the present in Chapter 3.

But the civilization, whose basis is society and the spiritual ideal of man, is still a living thing in China and in India. 12 Note the words of Tagore in that ‘the civilization, whose basis is society and the spiritual ideal of man, is still a living thing in China and India’. Note also that he depicts Chinese and Indian civilizations in one breath. He recognized the ‘living thing in China and India’ not as two civilizations, but as one ‘civilization’ — an integral entity sans boundary. The Sanxingdui Civilization is a powerful validation to this holistic Tagorean perspective.

The jewels of the exhibits are the bronze figures and masks. Visitors can easily discover that the facial features of the exhibits are distinctly not Chinese. In fact, they look quite Indian. The artifacts reveal an ancient civilization with sun-worship, which was hardly known to ancient Chinese civilization. There is a gold sheet with the design of four birds flying around the sun-deity which in my personal view is akin to a depiction of Surya (the Indian sun-god) (see Fig. 1). There is a bronze sculpture of an Indian ‘surya-chakra’ (sun-wheel).

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