Digital Rare Book:
Hand-book of Chinese Buddhism, being a Sanskrit-Chinese Dictionary
With vocabularies of Buddhist terms in Pali, Singhalese, Siamese, Burmese, Tibetan, Mongolian and Japanese
By Ernest John Eitel (1838-1908)
Published by Sanshusha, Tokyo - 1904
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Between 633-645 the famous pilgrim monk and scholar Xuanzang (602-664) 玄奘 visited around India, becoming an adept scholar and user of the Sanskrit language. He sincerely believed Sanskrit was the language of the gods, and readily pointed out “accented” forms of the language. The character é 訛 (meaning "accented") appears 93 times in his travel account the Great Tang Record of Travels to Western Lands 大唐西域記. He also describes the languages of India as follows:
"Their letters were created by Brahma and have been passed down from their beginnings until now, being forty-seven in number. They combine to form words according to the object [declension?] and shift in use according to the action [inflection?]. It has spread around and branched off, its source being deep and broad. Due to regions and peoples there have been some changes, though the words are generally not different from the original source. Central India is especially proper, their diction being elegant and the same sound as devas with a character sharp and clear, which is a model for people. The neighboring countries have become accustomed to erroneous pronunciation. In their chaotic ways and base nature they do not maintain genuineness."
Chinese text of the Heart Sūtra, by Yuan Dynasty artist and calligrapher Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322 CE).