Divine Stories

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“The Buddha was a skillful and inveterate storyteller who understood the enduring power of narrative to entertain, engage, and enlighten. In his beautiful translation, Andy Rotman ensures the transmission of these divine and very human stories to a new generation of readers.”—Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being


Divyavadana, Part 2

Andy Rotman

Winner of the 2018 Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation.

Actions never come to naught,
even after hundreds of millions of years.
When the right conditions gather and the time is right,
then they will have their effect on embodied beings.

Ancient Buddhist literature is filled with tales of past lives. The Buddha, surrounded by his followers, is asked how it came to be that a certain person has met a particular fate. With his omniscience, the Buddha looks into eons past and uncovers the events that led to the present outcome and foretells the future as well. With stories of wicked wives, patricidal princes, and shape-shifting serpents, Divine Stories offers a fascinating illustration of the law of karma—the truth that the power of good and bad deeds is never lost. These are some of the oldest Buddhist tales ever committed to writing, illuminating the culture of northern India in the early centuries of the common era and bringing to life the Buddhist values of generosity and faith.

Andy Rotman’s evocative translation combines accuracy with readability, with detailed editorial notes comparing readings in various Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan sources. Divine Stories is a major contribution to Indian and Buddhist studies.

Listen to Andy’s interview about Divine Stories on the Wisdom Podcast.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 540 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 inches
  • $29.95
  • ISBN 9781614294702
  • ebook
  • 540 pages
  • $17.99
  • ISBN 9781614294900
about the author
Divine Stories

Andy Rotman is a professor in the Religion Department and Buddhist Studies program at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He received his PhD in South Asian languages and civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2003. His research concerns the ways in which narratives and images in South Asia function as a part of social history and material culture. He is the translator of the inaugural volume in Wisdom’s Classics of Indian Buddhism series, Divine Stories: Divyāvadāna Part 1, and of Divine Stories: Divyāvadāna Part 2.

Other books by Andy Rotman:
Hungry Ghosts
Divine Stories

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