IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF XUANZANG: TAN YUN-SHAN AND INDIA
as a raw young man, joined the Visva-Bharati Cheena-Bhavana in 1942. The
Professor slowly and steadily moulded
me through a new channel, taught
me Chinese language,
directed me in studying the Chinese Classics, sent
me to China and got me appointed as the Ist Indian Professor on
Hindi and Indian Culture in the Oriental
life’s entire activities
have been centralised and
concentrated to materialise his cherished dreams, to promote the cause
of Sino-Indian Cultural relations.
He has the habit of penetrating
so deeply in his
students that every one of them will proudly confess, “his thoughts are our ideas, his programme
is our programme and he is the only source of inspiration
for all of us.” He is second only
to men like Jesus and
Rama Krishna in his singular devotion
and unlimited affection for his deciples. He often tells, “my
students are my only hope and capital.” Immortal
are those words uttered by his noble lips in his characteristic low
and ringing strong voice. “My boys, marks
my words. From the cultural union
of India and China will spring forth a spiritual force alone can
save the humanity from the impending annihilation and total destruction.
Our ambassadors were men like Kumarjiva and Huien-Tsang, Immortal blossoms
of the humanity in every sense. They are almost worhiped even to-day and
what are the achievements of these present day political ambassadors! We
will have to follow the footsteps of Kumarjiva to complete his
unfinished work.” He has a matter of
principle, never gives much
importance to men of
knowledge. For him, men of devotion to the cause, the ideal and the
programme are the real power.
He used to say a critic co-worker is a dangerous
hindrance in any work.
The professor made Santiniketan his home. The Visva-Bharathi
Cheena-Bhavana at Santiniketan is his life’s monumental work. For him,
Gurudeva was not merely a master or a father but in true sense a God. The
research department of the
Visva-Bharati Cheena-Bhavana is one of the most outstanding centres of
Oriental Learning of the entire Asia. Indian monks who went to China in
ancient days took with them thousands Sanskrit classics, They, there,
studied the Chinese language
and translated all those Sanskrit books into Chinese. Such Chinese books
are now held like the Upanishads by the
Chinese people. Now in India these Sanskrit texts are not available. The
professor brought all such
Chinese books into Sanskrit again. It will take hundreds of years to complete
this great work for such is the vast volume of books he brought and
collected in the Cheena-Bhavan Library at Santiniketan.
The Professor is now completing thirty years of his selfless service in India. It is the sacred duty of every one of us in India to pray for a long life for this great selfappointed Chinese Cultural Ambassador in India. His life will become one of the brilliant chapters of Sino-Indian Cultural History.
©1999 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
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