The Heavenly Exploits

Buddhist Biographies from the Divyavadana

444 pages

February, 2005

ISBN: 9780814782880

Subjects:

Literature

Part of the Clay Sanskrit Library series

Author

All books by Joel Tatelman

This selection of religious biographies from the early centuries C.E. offers a delightful introduction to a literary genre that has played an essential part in Buddhist self-understanding for over two thousand years.

The Heavenly Exploits are “Buddhist Biographies from the Dívyavadána.” The worldly face of religious literature, these lively morality tales have inspired audiences across Asia for more than two millennia. This volume contains four of the thirty-eight Buddhist biographical stories in the ”Dívyávadana,” or Heavenly Exploits. Where religion meets the world, these tales present something for everyone.

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

Reviews

  • “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