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The Mahāvastu (Great Story) recounts in both verse and prose the life of the Buddha from the perspective of the Lokottaravādins, a subgroup of the MahĀsĀṂghika school. Written between the second century b.c.e. and the fourth century c.e. in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, it embellishes many episodes of Śākyamuni's biography with jātakas, avadānas, and other legends, presenting him as a basically supernatural figure.

See also:Avadāna; Buddha, Life of the; Jātaka


Jones, J. J., trans. The Mahāvastu, 3 vols. London: Luzac, 1949–1956.

John S. Strong

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