In this second volume of the Garland of Past Lives, Aryashura applies his elegant literary skill toward composing fourteen further stories that depict the Buddha's quest for enlightenment in his former lives. Here the perfection of forbearance becomes the dominant theme, as the future Buddha suffers mutilations from the wicked and sacrifices himself for those he seeks to save. Friendship, too, takes on central significance, with greed leading to treachery and enemies transformed into friends through the transformative effect of the future Buddha's miraculous virtue. The setting for many such moral feats is the forest. Portrayed as home for the future Buddha in his lives as an animal or ascetic, the peaceful harmony of this idyllic realm is often violently interrupted by intrusions from human society. Only the future Buddha can resolve the ensuing conflict, influencing even kings, in the stories but also throughout Asian history, to express wonder and devotion at the startling demonstrations of virtue they encounter.
"Small, elegant books, beautifully printed, sparsely annotated, and bilingual...This arrangement naturally delights students of Sanskrit, who may dispense,at least temporarily, with their dictionaries and grammar books; but you do nothave to know Sanskrit to enjoy reading these volumes." The New Republic "There is so much to admire about John P. Clay, who made a fortune in international banking and then decided to plow a large part of it into one of the most exciting publishing projects in recent years, the Clay Sanskrit Library. His ambition to bring the Indian classics to a wider audience is not limited to producing compact, bilingual editions of books for a presumably tiny scholarly public; he reportedly dreams of seeing the volumes for sale in airport bookstores...[T]he appeal of these books, the reason they stuck around long enough to become classics in the first place, is often their simplicity, the apparently effortless way so many of them distill complex truths into parables that resonate for people and in places distant from the works' authors or origins...If the theological concepts can be complicated, the language and the stories that illustrate them are simple and direct, full of dramatic incident and studded with metaphors that make the world of old India as palpable and romantic as the Baghdad of the Arabian Nights..." Harper's Magazine, October 2009
Series: Clay Sanskrit Library
Number Of Pages: 543
Published: 1st October 2009
Volume Number: 2
Dimensions (cm): 16.5 x 11.2 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.295