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Bodhisattvas of the Forest and the Formation of the MahayanaA Study and Translation of the Rastrapalapariprccha-sutra$
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Daniel Boucher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824828813

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824828813.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Former Life Narratives and the Bodhisattva Career

Former Life Narratives and the Bodhisattva Career

Chapter:
(p.20) Chapter Two Former Life Narratives and the Bodhisattva Career
Source:
Bodhisattvas of the Forest and the Formation of the Mahayana
Author(s):

Daniel Boucher

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824828813.003.0002

This chapter examines the Buddha's long and often grueling bodhisattva career—his sequence of former lives in pursuit of enlightenment—focusing on his continuous practice of a series of moral and spiritual perfections. Because fifty of the Buddha's former lives are referred to explicitly in the Rāṣṭrapāla, this chapter notes their relationship with other, almost certainly earlier, genres of Buddhist literature that may have provided their inspiration. It shows how these jātaka references function within the narrative program of the Rāṣṭrapāla, specifically its attempt to detail a rigorous path for contemporary bodhisattvas, inspired by the heroic exploits of the Buddha's own career.

Keywords:   bodhisattva career, Buddha, former lives, jātaka, contemporary bodhisattvas

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