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The Idea of the Anavatapta Lake in India and Its Adoption in East Asia

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Religions 2020, 11(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030134
Received: 15 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 15 March 2020 / Published: 17 March 2020
This article centers around the Anavatapta Lake. In East Asian pictorialization of worldview, Maps of Mt. Sumeru, which depict the mountain at the core of the world, are often paired with Maps of India, in which the Anavatapta Lake occupies a significant place. When the concept of the Anavatapta Lake was transmitted from India to China and Japan, it was understood through the lens of local cultures and ideologies, and the lake was envisioned as a site spatially connected to various places in China and Japan. As a result, the idea of the Indian lake located at the center of the human world helped China and Japan formulate their statuses and positions within the religious and geopolitical discourse of Buddhist cosmology. Through investigations of both pictorial and textual sources, this article explores the significance and place that the Anavatapta Lake occupied in East Asian religion and literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: Anavatapta Lake; munecchi; Da Tang Xiyuji (Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions); Buddhist cosmology; Illustrated Life of Xuanzang (Genjō sanzō-e) Anavatapta Lake; munecchi; Da Tang Xiyuji (Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions); Buddhist cosmology; Illustrated Life of Xuanzang (Genjō sanzō-e)
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Gao, Y. The Idea of the Anavatapta Lake in India and Its Adoption in East Asia. Religions 2020, 11, 134.

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