Was obtained, and also of commercial traffic from the distant west in the shape of records in Indian, Kharoshti and Brahmi scripts and an unknown script resembling Aramaic. The sacred grottoes known as the Halls of the Thousand Buddhas, south-east of Tung-hwang, were visited, with their frescoes and cave temples, and a large number of documents and examples of early Chinese art were recovered.
"My noble father," said Gotama, "you and your family may claim the privileges of Kshatriya descent; my descent is from the prophets (Buddhas) of old, and they have always acted so; the customs of the law (Dharma) are good both for this world and the world that is to come.
These were supposed to be celestial beings who, inspired by love of the human race, had taken the so-called Great Resolve to become future Buddhas, and who therefore descended from heaven when the actual Buddha was on earth, to pay reverence to him, and to learn of him.
A theory sprang up which was supposed to explain the marvellous powers of the Buddhas by representing them as only the outward appearance, the reflection, as it were, or emanation, of ethereal Buddhas dwelling in the skies.
These were called Dhyani Buddhas, and their number was supposed to be, like that of the Buddhas, innumerable.