Although presented as the Vinaya of the Lokottaravadins, a branch of the Mahasanghikas, the Mahavastu is a collection of practically all the history, quasi-history and legends (avadanas) relating to the Buddha.
The chief interest of the Mahavastu lies in its being a collection of Buddhist legends that illustrate the virtues of the Buddha in his various lives. They only rarely explain a point of doctrine. These tales are interspersed throughout the whole work. In spite of the apparent incoherence in the order of the contents, there can be detected in the work as a whole something like the scheme of the Niddanakatha. (from the authorï¿½s introduction)
Translated from the Sanskrit.