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Life of the Buddha

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Overview

The Buddhist monk Ashva·ghosha composed Life of the Buddha in the first or second century CE probably in Ayódhya. This is the earliest surviving text of the Sanskrit literary genre called kavya and probably provided models for Kali·dasa's more famous works. The most poignant scenes on the path to his Awakening are when the young prince Siddhártha, the future Buddha, is confronted by the reality of sickness, old age, and death, while seduced by the charms of the women employed to keep him at home. A poet of the highest order, Ashva·ghosha's aim is not entertainment but instruction, presenting the Buddha's teaching as the culmination of the Brahmanical tradition. His wonderful descriptions of the bodies of courtesans are ultimately meant to show the transience of beauty.

Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation

For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
”The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres: aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance.”

-Willis G. Regier,The Chronicle Review

”No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality, the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian language accessible to a modern international audience.”

-The Times Higher Education Supplement,

”The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little volumes.”

-New Criterion,

”Published in the geek-chic format.”

-BookForum,

”Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit Library may remedy this state of affairs.”

-Tricycle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814762165
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Clay Sanskrit Library
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 558
  • Sales rank: 492,125
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Sanskrit alphabetical order

CSL conventions

Canto 1 The Birth of the Lord 1

Canto 2 Life in the Ladies' Chambers 35

Canto 3 Becoming Dejected 59

Canto 4 Rebuffing the Women 85

Canto 5 The Departure 123

Canto 6 Chandaka is Sent Back 159

Canto 7 Entering the Ascetic Grove 185

Canto 8 Lamenting in the Seraglio 209

Canto 9 Search for the Prince 243

Canto 10 Encounter with King Shrenya 277

Canto 11 Condemnation of Passion 295

Canto 12 The Meeting with Arada 327

Canto 13 Victory over Mara 371

Canto 14 The Awakening 401

Summary of Cantos 14-28 415

Notes 433

Glossary of Names 465

Index 477

Sandhi grid 498

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