IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF XUANZANG: TAN YUN-SHAN AND INDIA
am greatly indebted to a number of scholars and friends who have made
valuable contributions to this commemorative volume. Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan,
Academic Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
(IGNCA). has so graciously included the publication of this volume in the
annual action plan to enable this literary project to exist. I have
enjoyed for more than a decade sharing her affection for a junior friend
and colleague, sharing her dedications to the Indian and world cultural
heritage, to what Gurudeva Rabindranath Tagore and other Indian savants
had stood for. It was this sharing that has enabled this volume to be
produced to commemorate the birth centenary of my father, Prof. Tan
Many friends have written for the commemorative volume, some in
Chinese, some in English. These contributions have enabled us to bring out
two different versions of this literary commemoration of Tan Yun-shanís
centenary -- its Chinese version by the Chinese University of Hong Kong,
and this volume by IGNCA. Our earlier intention of translating every
article so that they all appear in both the volumes cannot be materialized
because of want of human and temporal resources. While thanking all the
contributors for their English and Chinese writings, this thanksgiving is
also a sincere apology for what is being left out, depriving our readers
opportunities to have a fuller view of all the intellectual properties
lying in our files, all in various ways providing an insight into the life
of Tan Yun-shan and Sino-Indian interface and synergy.
Prof. Bhudeb Chaudhuri was particularly kind for taking troubles in
the cold winter to get an article written, typed by a helper, and checked
personally while he had cold. Prof. Kalyan Kumar Sarkar and Mrs. Juthika
Sarkar were very prompt in sending their short and sweet articles across
the Pacific Ocean. Prof. B.K. Roy Burman and Dr. (Mrs.) Bina Roy Burman
were very obliging too. Ambassadors K.P.S. Menon and C.V. Ranganathan were
equally kind, prompt, and obliging as all the above scholars. Prof. Karuna
Kusalasaya sacrificed his time of rest in retirement, and sent his piece
from Bangkok. So did Lama Chimpa from Kalimpong. So did my old colleague
and friend Dr. Haraprasad Ray from Calcutta. To Prof. Prasenjit Duara and
Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty I am equally indebted. In fact, not only they
never say ìnoî to my request, but always give the ìyesî in deed more
than in word. Mr. Simpson Shen was generous and kind to let a part of his
half-a-century-old Ph.D. thesis to be reproduced. Prof. W. Pachow who
knows my father more than I know in many ways, is like an elderbrother in
our interactions. He, like many others among those I have mentioned above,
has sent me not just the kind words, but a sea of sentiments for the
departed soul. I am forever grateful to all of them.
So many friends from China have obliged me by sending their pieces
quite early, and these pieces have enriched the Chinese version of the
commemoration which has now been brought out in Hong Kong. I wish to thank
all of them here. Thank you, Prof. Ji Xianlin, Prof. Huang Xinchuan, Prof.
Jin Dinghan, Prof. Wang Hongwei, Prof. Wu Baihui, Prof. Geng Yinzeng,
Prof. Lin Chengjie, Prof. Wang Bangwei, and Prof. Zhang Minqiu (all from
Beijing), and Prof. Li Chih-fu (from Taipei).
I want to add my special thanks for Prof. Ji Xianlin, doyen of all
contemporary Indologists and India experts in China, and Life Professor of
Beijing University. His generous words are enshrined in his ìPrefaceî
which we have used for both the Chinese and English versions, which will
forever be remembered by the descendants of Tan Yun-shan. Apart from this,
I am profoundly indebted to him for all the kindness he has showered on me
in the last two decades. I feel sorry for my inability to translate Prof.
Jan Yun-huaís very learned article on Chinese Buddhism (which is abridged
in the Chinese volume due to space) which would have been a special jewel
in this volume. He and Prof. W. Pachow are the proudest products of my
father and Visva-Bharati Cheena-Bhavana. In fact, Tan Yun-shan had such
enormous affection and regards for them that made his children envy.
To the President of India, Honourable Mr. K.R. Narayanan, I shall
not be able to express adequately my indebtedness and gratitude. Being a
great President of a great country, his judicious safeguarding of the
democratic values and political justice has become a household word. Yet
from that lofty height and heavy responsibility in leading the
Parliamentary democracy of India to a healthy development, the President
still so graciously spare time and energy to make the birth centenary for
Tan Yun-shan -- just an ordinary associate and follower of Gurudeva Tagore
-- an event of significance in the annals of Sino-Indian intercourse. My
gratitude is also due to the Vice-President of India, Honourable Mr.
Krishan Kant whose message for the commemorative volume had arrived long
before the contributions did.
When I express my gratitude for all the above mentioned dignitaries
and scholars I do it on behalf of not only IGNCA, but also the departed
soul and all his descendants. My brother, Tan Lee, has taken a special
interest in helping the centenary activities. Instead of thanking him
(which is not a tradition in both India and China), I put this on record.
Mention should also be made about my late lamented sister, Tan Wen, of
whose name President Narayanan has made special mention in his ìMessageî
courtesy of late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. She put her emotions and
memories together in a beautiful article in Bengali when she was suffering
great pains of the body. Tan Lee has rendered it into readable English.
The Gyan Publishers are very cooperative in putting extra resources
and energy to make this volume ready for Rashtrapati Narayanan to release
at Santiniketan on November 7, 1998. I express my sincere thanks to them
on behalf of IGNCA, and on behalf of the Tan family.
Seeing that I was in straits, fighting with datelines, my former
students but now teachers of universities, Mr. Yukteshwar Kumar and Dr.
Sabaree Mitra have come to my rescue by sharing my work of proof-reading.
Helping me proof-reading is also Mr. Bijoy Das. Shalini kumar has been of
help on the computer, and Geeta Manchanda for miscellaneous services. To
them I express my thanks. I should also thank Prof. M.C. Joshi, Member
Secretary and Pandit Satkali Mokhopadhaya, Co-ordinator of Kala Kosa of
IGNCA for helping provide the fund for the book.
October 15, 1998
©1999 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced any manner without written permission of the publisher.