Avadana: see Pali canon.
Avadāna (Sanskrit; Pali cognate: Apadāna) is the name given to a type of Buddhist literature correlating past lives' virtuous deeds to subsequent lives' events. While including accounts from the Pali Vinaya Pitaka ("Basket of Discipline"), this literature also includes a large number of Sanskrit collections, of which the chief are the Mahāsaṅghika's Mahāvastu ("Great Book"), and the Sarvāstivāda 's Avadanasataka (Century of Legends) and Divyavadana (The Heavenly Legend). These latter collections include accounts relating to Buddha Gautama and the third-century BC "righteous ruler," Asoka.

Though of later date than most of the canonical Buddhist books, they are held in veneration by the orthodox, and occupy much the same position with regard to Buddhism that the Puranas do towards Brahminism.



  • "Avadāna." (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 20, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/45339/Avadana

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