Many Buddhas, One Buddha introduces a significant section of the important early Indian Buddhist text known as the Avadanasataka, or "One Hundred Stories", and explores some of its perspectives on buddhahood. This text, composed in Sanskrit and dating to perhaps the third to fifth centuries of the Common Era, is affiliated with the Sarvastivada or Mulasarvastivada, and thus provides important evidence of the ideas and literatures of lost non-Mahayana schools of Indian Buddhism. The text is a rich literary composition, in mixed prose and verse, and includes some elaborate devotional passages that illuminate early Indian perspectives on the Buddha and on the role of avadana texts. The book introduces the first four chapters of the Avadanasataka through key themes of these stories, such as predictions and vows, preparations for buddhahood, the relationship between Sakyamuni and other buddhas, and the relationship between full buddhahood and pratyekabuddhahood. The study of these stories closes with an argument about the structural design of the text, and what this tells us about attitudes towards different forms of awakening. The second part of the book then presents a full English translation of stories 1-40.
Many Buddhas, One Buddha: A Study and Translation of Avadanasataka 1-40, Naomi Appleton, Equinox Publishing, Paperback, 2020, 256 pages,
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 Jataka Stories in Theravada 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.
Table of Contents
Preface Note on the translation.
Part A: Study
Crossing the flood of rebirth.
Sakyamuni's past lives.
Independent buddhahood Miracles.
Offerings, aspirations and predictions.
And then the Buddha smiled.
Structure of the Avadanasataka.
Many buddhas, many Buddhisms.
One Buddha, many lessons .
Part B: Translation
First decade (stories 1-10)
Second decade (stories 11-20)
Third decade (stories 21-30)
Fourth decade (stories 31-40)