When Asia Was the World Book Analysis Essay

1110 WordsDec 28, 20115 Pages
Before this assignment I never knew anything about Asian history until I got to this class and received this assignment. I can’t believe how much Asian history influenced the way we as Americans look at history now. In Steward Gordon’s When Asia Was The World, I found the story of Xuanzang very interesting. Xuanzang was a Buddhist monk who traveled all over to learn more about Buddhism until he became confused and decided to go to the center of Buddhism, along the way he faced many difficulties, he decided to go back to China and share what he had learned. Buddhism began in India; it was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, a prince, born in Nepal. Siddhartha Gautama wandered around for awhile acting like a beggar to figure out why it was that…show more content…
He left his brother and took a long journey to Chang’an to learn more about Buddhism. He stopped at many different monasteries across China. He felt like all the teachings were the same from his own monastery but their doctrines were different. Xuanzang felt confused by some of the things he had learned. This caused him to travel west to bring back books from the center of Buddhism, which is India. Throughout his journey he faced many hardships that would try to prevent him from what he was trying to do. His biggest hardship would be that he was making an illegal journey. Xuangzang traveled by night with help by other Buddhist monks. He did eventually get caught; however he got caught by another Buddhist who allowed him to continue on his journey. In the next fourteen years he became a teacher every place he went. He settled in a monastery located in the eastern Ganges valley, during that time he studied and copied scriptures and listened to oral teachings. He stayed there for five years. He then continued his journey and went elsewhere. Overall he traveled 15,000 miles within the areas of Buddhism. Xuangzang was asked by an emperor to become a high official but he declined several times and would rather stay a Buddhist monk. Xuanzang then went back home to find out his brother was still a practicing Buddhism. In Gordon’s When Asia Was The World, “Xuanzang spent the rest of his life supervising a team of translators and
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