Buddha-carita, or Life of Buddha
by Ven. Aśvaghoṣa

An English translation of this famous life of the Buddha, one of the great pieces of Sanskrit literature, with additions to help complete the text (with an embedded reading of the text).

translated by
E. B. Cowell





Html Table of Contents


Book I [The Birth of the Holy One]

Book II [Life in the Palace]

Book III [The Prince’s Pertubation]

Book IV [The Women Rejected]

Book V [Flight]

Book VI [The Dismissal of Chaṁdaka]

Book VII [Entry into the Penance Grove]

Book VIII [Lamentations in the Palace]

Book IX [The Deputation to the Prince]

Book X [Śreṇya’s Visit]

Book XI [The Passions Spurned]

Book XII [Visit to Arāḍa]

Book XIII [Defeat of Māra]

Book XIV [Enlightenment]

Book XV

Book XVI



Preface to the electronic edition

The system of transliteration of Eastern scripts that was used in the Sacred Books of the East was later felt to have a number of disadvantages to it, and went out of fashion after the series was completed. Therefore in preparing this book for electronic publication I have taken the opportunity to update the presentation in this regard to a standard which is most commonly in use, and is in agreement with the other texts used on this website.

After preparing the text and translation of Buddhacarita for publication I remade these documents, which therefore include some small corrections and reformatting. I have also entered some supplementary material (written in italics) and the titles to the Chapters (in square brackets), which have been drawn from Johnson’s edition, as they nicely summarize the contents. The first fourteen Chapters of the work are now available along with the Sanskrit text in the Texts and Translations section, where Cowell’s notes to the translation will also be found.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
December 2003