Fourth Decade (Stories 31-40)

Many Buddhas, One Buddha - A Study and Translation of Avadānaśataka 1-40 - Naomi Appleton

Naomi Appleton [+-]
University of Edinburgh
Naomi Appleton is Senior Lecturer in Asian Religions at the University of Edinburgh. Her primary research interest is the role of narrative in early South Asian religions. She is the author of Jātaka Stories in Theravāda Buddhism (Ashgate, 2010), Narrating Karma and Rebirth: Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories (CUP 2014) and Shared Characters in Jain, Buddhist and Hindu Narrative (Routledge 2017) as well as a number of articles on Buddhist and Jain narrative.


The ten stories of the fourth chapter are “jātaka” stories, or tales of the past-lives of Śākyamuni Buddha in times of no Buddhism. Most are tales of the extraordinarily virtuous deeds carried out by the Buddha-to-be, including several bodily sacrifice stories. Two stories have more of an emphasis on demonstrating the results of bad karma. All of the stories are placed within frame narratives in which Śāyamuni Buddha explains what lesson should be taken by his followers. The final story interweaves Śākyamuni’s recruitment of his final personal disciple on his deathbed with both a story of his past-life saving of that same disciple and a separate story of the disciple’s own encounter with a past buddha.

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Appleton, Naomi. Fourth Decade (Stories 31-40). Many Buddhas, One Buddha - A Study and Translation of Avadānaśataka 1-40. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Apr 2020. ISBN 9781781798973. Date accessed: 21 Jan 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38352. Apr 2020

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