Garland of the Buddha's Past Lives, Volume 1

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New York University Press, Apr 1, 2009 - Literary Collections - 504 pages
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The Garland of Past Lives is a collection of thirty four stories depicting the miraculous deeds performed by the Buddha in his previous rebirths. Composed in the fourth century C.E. by the Buddhist monk Aryashura, the text's accomplished artistry led Indian aesthetic theorists to praise its elegant mixture of verse and prose. The twenty stories in this first volume deal primarily with the virtues of giving and morality. Ascetics sacrifice their lives for hungry tigers, kings open their veins for demons to drink their blood, helmsmen steer their crew through perilous seas, and quail chicks quench forest fires by proclaiming words of truth. The experience is intended to arouse astonishment in the audience, inspiring devotion, through the future Buddha's transcendence of conventional norms in his quest to acquire enlightenment and save the world from suffering. The importance of such stories of past lives in traditional Buddhist culture, throughout Asia and up to today, cannot be overestimated.

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Contents

Section 1
8
Section 2
14
Section 3
29
Section 4
30
Section 5
61
Section 6
76
Section 7
77
Section 8
91
Section 22
301
Section 23
304
Section 24
316
Section 25
317
Section 26
344
Section 27
370
Section 28
371
Section 29
382

Section 9
92
Section 10
110
Section 11
111
Section 12
117
Section 13
134
Section 14
135
Section 15
163
Section 16
202
Section 17
203
Section 18
228
Section 19
263
Section 20
286
Section 21
300
Section 30
383
Section 31
392
Section 32
393
Section 33
412
Section 34
413
Section 35
414
Section 36
428
Section 37
429
Section 38
454
Section 39
455
Section 40
466
Section 41
506

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