In the Indian cultural horizon, Buddha had a distinctive personality. He
was the founder of Buddhism. In Hinduism, he has been believed to be an
incarnation of Visnu.
The learned scholars have come to conclusions that Gautama Buddha was
born in BC 560 in Kapilavastu near the Himalayas, to the king
Suddhodhana of the Sakya clan. The word Sakya is another form of
ksatriya. The real name of Buddha was Siddhartha. He spent his childhood
in comfort and pleasure.
Once he happened to see a sick man, an old man and a dead body, the
sight of which erode the innocent child quite thoughtful. He, therefore,
began to think upon a way to remove the sufferings and pain from the
world, bringing about peace and comfort to one and all.
Siddhartha wandered from place to place alone learning from various
teachers, but the mental peace still eluded him. Once on a full moon
day, while he was still in meditation under a banyan tree, he got
enlightenment. From that day onwards, he came to be known as Buddha.
Buddha Carita is a poetic marvel by the great poet Asvoghosa which
depicts entire life sketch or biography of Buddha in an exhaustive
manner. This epic comprises of twenty eight sargas in which the life and
teachings of the Buddha have been brought out. It was translated into
Chinese in the seventh century AD and was subsequently translated into
the Tibetan language.
The present edition of Buddha Carita is the first of its type that includes Sanskrit text, side by side English Translation and also photographs of
archaeological importance at appropriate places in the text itself. At
last, an index of Sanskrit verses is also provided for the benefit of
the readers and researchers.