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Xingjiao Temple-Flourishing Teaching Temple

Xingjiao Temple is the most archaic and was once the most significant temple in Chinese history. It is located on Shaoling Plateau, some 20 kilometers south from Xi'an City; it is the place that the famous Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang preserved his ashes. In the year 664, after Xuanzang had passed away, he was originally buried in Biluyuan in 669, later changed into Fanchuan and built a five-storey pagoda here. Then in the following year, a temple was established surround the pagoda with a tablet engraved with words of "Xingjiao", thereafter it began naming as Xingjiao Temple.

Xingjiao Temple is located in the north and faces south and permeated the atmosphere of antiquity. The temple together with the surrounding landscapes, the Zhongnan Mountain and the Fanchuan River, really present us an excellent enjoyment.
In all, it could be divided into three sections, Front Courtyard, East Courtyard and West Courtyard. The tall central pagoda is a beautiful five-storey brick structure, with brackets in relief, in imitation of the old wooden-style pagodas. A small pavilion next to the pagoda has a modern copy of a stone engraving of XuanZang. On the either side of the principal pagoda are those of XuanZang's two translation assistants. Each is three-storey.
The pagodas all remain its original style and form a harmonious complex. They are situated in a walled enclosure that named the Ci'en Pagoda Courtyard. Except some Buddha statues dating from the Ming dynasty, the bell and drum towers, the Great Hall of the Buddha, the Preaching Hall and the library were all built in the 1920s and 1930s. The library contains a white jade Buddha from Burma, some Tang-dynasty Buddhist sutras in Sanskrit and editions of translated works, including those of Xuan Zang.

The building on the east side of the temple is Sutra-keeping Pavilion, which contains thousands of scrip scriptures of different dynasties. On the west side, there are three brick pagodas built respectively for XuanZang and his two disciples.
The reason why he chooses these two among all his disciples, there prevails an interesting story. Story says that after the return of XuanZang from India, he started translating Sutras with all his heart day and night. But it is impossible for him to finish all over 600 volumes. So he decided to look out for persons with lofty ideals in Buddhism, in order to inherit his undertakings. On such an accidental occasion, he met a young man with excellent bearing appearance and without certain reasons he decided to accept him as his disciple and as well got the support of Emperor TaiZong of the Tang Dynasty. He showed great talent in learning Sanskrit and composed many Chinese novels. No wonder, he became a right-hand help to XuanZang.


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