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Buddhavamsa(Chronicle of Buddhas) & Cariyapitaka (Basket of Conduct )
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Pali Text Society English translation of Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka.
Buddhavamsa gives a short historical account of Gotama Buddha and of the twenty-four buddhas who had prophesied his attainment of Buddhahood. It consists of twenty-nine sections in verse.
The first section gives an account of how the Venerable Sariputta asks the Buddha when it was that he first resolved to work for the attainment of buddhahood and what paramis (virtues towards perfection) he had fulfilled to achieve his goal of perfect enlightenment. In the second section, the Buddha describes how as Sumedha the hermit, being inspired by Dipankara Buddha, he makes the resolution to become a buddha, and how the buddha Dipankara gives the hermit Sumedha his blessing prophesying that Sumedha would become a Buddha by the name of Gotama after a lapse of four asankheyyas and a hundred thousand kappas (world cycles).From then onwards, the bodhisatta Sumedha keeps on practising the ten paramis namely: alms-giving, morality, renunciation, wisdom, perserverance, tolerance, truthfulness, determination, loving-kindess and equanimity. Buddha relates how he fulfills these paramis, existence after existence, and how each of the twenty-four Buddhas, who appeared after Dipankara Buddha at different intervals of world cycles, renewed the prophesy that he would become a Buddha by the name of Gotama. In sections three to twenty-seven are accounts of the twenty-five Buddhas including Gotama Buddha, giving details about each of them with regard to birth, status, names of their parents, names of their wives and children, their lifespan, their way of renunciation, duration of their efforts to Buddhahood, their teaching of the Dhammacakka Sutta in the Migadayayana, the names of their chief disciples and their chief lay disciples. Each section closes with an account of where the Buddhas pass away and how their relics are distributed.In the twenty-eighth section is given the names of three Buddhas who lived before Dipankara Buddha at different intervals of the same world cycle. The names of other Buddhas (up to Gotama Buddha) are also enumerated together with the name of the kappas in which they have appeared. Finally there is a prophesy by the Buddha that Metteyya Buddha would arise after him in this world.The last section gives an account of how the Buddha's relics are distributed and where they are preserved.
Cariyapitaka contains thirty-five stories of the Buddha's previous lives retold at the request of the Venerable Sariputta. Whereas the Jataka is concerned with Buddha's previous existences from the time of Sumedha, the hermit, till he became Gotama Buddha, Cariyapitaka deals only with thirty-five of the existences of the bodhisatta in this last world cycle. The Venerable Sariputta's object in making the request is to highlight the indomitable will, the supreme effort, the peerless sacrifice with which the bodhisatta conducts himself in fulfillment of the ten paramis (virtues towards perfection).The bodhisatta has, throughout innumerable ages, fulfilled the ten paramis for a countless number of times. Cariyapitaka records such performances in thirty-five existences, selecting seven out of the ten paramis, and recounts how each parami is accomplished in each of these existences. Ten stories in the first vagga are concerned with the accumulation of virtues in alms-giving, the second vagga has ten stories on the practice of morality and the last vagga mentions fifteen stories, five of them dealing with renunciation, one with firm determination, six with truthfulness, two with loving-kindness and one with equanimity.
PTS Pali Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka