MDZS is laden with buddhist references. As a South Asian person, and history buff, it is so interesting to see how Buddhism, which originated from India, migrated, flourished & changed in the context of China. Here's some research (🙏🏼 @starkjeon for CN insight + citations)

1. LWJ’s sword Bichen ‘is likely an abbreviation for the term 躲避红尘 (duǒ bì hóng chén), which can be translated as such: 躲避: shunning or hiding away from 红尘 (worldly affairs; which is a buddhist teaching.) ( (abbrev. TWX)
2. Sandu (三 毒), Jiang Cheng’s sword, refers to the three poisons (triviṣa) in Buddhism; desire (kāma-taṇhā), delusion (bhava-taṇhā) and hatred (vibhava-taṇhā).
These 3 poisons represent the roots of craving (tanha) and are the cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain) and thus result in rebirth.

Interesting that MXTX used this name for one of the characters who suffers, arguably, the worst of these three emotions.
3. The Qian kun purse “乾坤袋 (qián kūn dài) – can be called “Heaven and Earth” Pouch. In Buddhism, Maitreya (मैत्रेय) owns this to store items. It was believed that there was a mythical space inside the bag that could absorb the world.” (TWX)
4. The spell which MXY uses to summon WWX is 夺舍 (duó shě);
‘the practice is likely a reference to Phowa, one of the 6 Dharmas of Naropa, a Tibetian Buddhist tantric practice, which allows the practitioner the ability to transfer his consciousness into another body.” (TWX)
5. The Jin Clan's motto; “The door to knowledge starts with the demonstration of one’s sincerity; with the light of the cinnabar, glory awaits.” (TWX)
or; 启智明志;朱光耀世 .... TWX suggests 朱光 is a play on Kaiguang ( 开光) which is the act of consecrating deities with cinnabar (a buddhist-chinese tradition)
A/N- I had thought that it had more of a similar meaning as in Hinduism where the vermillion mark, known often as bindi (बिंदी), is associated with the third eye. However, the mark still has religious connotations, especially in Taiwenese Taoism.
Fun fact; taosim and buddhism overlap a lot especially in Ancient China as the principles are quite complementary. The difference is that Taoism originated from Laozi and China whereas Buddhism originated from Gautum Buddha and Ancient India.

6. Qinghe Nie or the ‘Unclean Realm’ may have buddhist connotations. 不净 (unclean) 世(realm) is the direct name whereas the principle of Fujokan or Paṭikkūlamanasikāra in buddhism is 不净观 which is the meditation used to overcome attachment to desire and lust.
This tumblr post offers a great insight to the various meanings that MXTX could have meant in regards to the name and its relationship with Buddhism.
7. Cloud Recessesses is noted to be like a monastery for which the chinese word is 伽蓝 which is the direct transliteration of the sanskrit Sanghārāma/Sankaram.
8. The town by Dafan Mountain which WWX wanders through at the beginning of the novel is 佛脚镇 or Buddha’s foot town.
9. The Guanyin (观音) temple where the final showdown occurred is the Chinese iteration of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva (or Padmapani) who is associated with compassion.
// End. I had the idea for this thread but it definitely not be as thorough and informative without @starkjeon who is currently translating MDZS. She includes amazing footnotes in each chapter which shed light to the historical context + easter eggs which eng speakers can't catch
Here's the link to their translation:
Doing this made me realize how much India and China influenced each other historically and spiritually and made me love MDZS even more.

I'm super grateful to all the CN people who have opened their hearts to us non-CN people and shared MDZS with us so lovingly 🙏🏼💖 Thank you!
@threadreaderapp unroll

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ॐ सह नाववतु ।
सह नौ भुनक्तु ।
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