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You are here : Home > Books > General > Early Buddhism

Divine Stories: Divyavadana

Vol 1: Classics of Indian Buddhism
Divine Stories: Divyavadana

Author(s) : Rotman, Andy
Publishers Price : £18.99
Wisdom Price : £17.09(save 10%)
Availability : Usually available in 24 hours
ISBN : 0861712951
EAN : 9780861712953
Cover : Paperback
Pages : 506
Size : 230 x 152mm
Publisher : Wisdom Publications
Published : 2008
Category : Early Buddhism
Category 2 : Western Study of Buddhism
Synopsis:
The Divyavadana is an enormous compendium of Indian Buddhist narratives written in Sanskrit from the early centuries of the Common Era, whose stories have since spread throughout Asia. Representations of these stories can be found across Asia, from Kizil in China to Sanchi in India to Borobudor in Indonesia. The 36 avadanas, or "karmic biographies" translated here are some of the most influential in the history of Buddhism. Though they originate in the texts of rules for monks, it appears that there may have been a conscious effort to adapt these traditional stories for lay practitioners and in order to take the Dharma to the masses. They exerted a powerful influence as moral examples and legal precedent, and they were considered by many to be the word of the Buddha himself. These stories were likewise canonical in their influence on Buddhist art.

"The Divyavadana is a major anthology of popular Indian Buddhist narratives, providing a rich store of information about Buddhism as it was in ancient India…I applaud this impressive translation (from Sanskrit). It is really quite a remarkable achievement. " Prof. John Strong.

"Here are popular tales about ordinary people as well as monks, stories about women, princes, merchants, and slaves, not to mention a wrethched pig and a bull about to be slaughtered (both of whom find their own salvation). These stories are to the Buddhist tradition what the Arabian Nights is to the Arabic, an ocean of stories from which Buddhist storytellers and artists throughout Asia drew their inspiration." Wendy Doniger.

"Sprung forth from the creative soil of the Indian Buddhist imagination, these stories concretely represent the impact of the Dharma on the lives of those who turned to it for guidance. Despite the title, these are essentailly human stories that record the trials and struggles of the Buddha's personal disciples as they meander through the corridors of samsara, seeking light, purity, and final freedom." Bhikkhu Bodhi.
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