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The Lalitavistara, of late but uncertain date (ca. fourth century c.e.), is an important Sanskrit biography that recounts in both prose and verse the life of the Buddha from his preexistence in Tuṣita heaven to his first sermon at Sārnāth. Originally written in Sanskrit, it is Mahāyānist in its view of Śākyamuni, embellishing his life story with accounts of miracles and evidence of his supernatural nature.

See also:Buddha, Life of the; Sanskrit, Buddhist Literature in


Bays, Gwendolyn, trans. The Voice of the Buddha: The Beauty of Compassion, 2 vols. Berkeley, CA: Dharma, 1983.

John S. Strong