Whilst visiting the Ganga Ramaya Temple in Beruwela, Sri Lanka in 1996, I saw Theravada Buddhist monks continuously exercising ‘metta’ (loving kindness) and ‘karuna’ (compassion). The surface and
Chinese transliterations and translations are useful as the early Chinese scholars had to understand the Indian Pali and Sanskrit terms before they could be rendered effectively into the Chinese language. Obviously, some of the early transliteration of Indian Buddhist terms are purely ‘phonetic’ in nature and in themselves do not convey much meaning as ideograms. This represents an initial process of a slow, careful and gradual building-up of knowledge in China about a thoroughly ‘foreign’ Indian philosophy that had to develop an ‘interface’ with existing Chinese culture.