I was lately reading the Holy Text of the Saḍḍharma-Puṇdarīka (the Aphorisms of the White Lotus of the Wonderful or True Law) in a Samskṛṭ manuscript under a Boḍhi-tree near Mṛga-Ḍāva (Sāranāṭh), Benares. Here our Blessed Lord Buḍḍha Shākya-Muni taught His Holy Ḍharma just after the accomplishment of His Buḍḍhahood at Buḍḍhagayā. Whilst doing so, I was reminded of the time, eighteen years ago, when I had read the same text in Chinese at a great Monastery named Ohbakusang at Kyoto in Japan, a reading which determined me to undertake a visit to Tibet.
It was in March, 1891, that I gave up the Rectorship of the Monastery of Gohyakurakan in Tokyo, and left for Kyoto, where I remained living as a hermit for about three years, totally absorbed in the study of a large collection of Buḍḍhist books in the Chinese language. My object in doing so was to fulfil a long-felt desire to translate the texts into Japanese in an easy style from the difficult and unintelligible Chinese.