Divine Stories

Divyavadana, Part 2

Explore one of the most celebrated collections of ancient Buddhist legends.


Coming November 2017!


“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

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 15:34 -- Kestrel Slocombe

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.

Divine Stories is a collection of ancient Buddhist narratives that chronicle the complex ways that individuals create their lives (past and present), and the pivotal role the Buddha and his teachings can play in improving them. These stories of wicked wives, patricidal princes, and shape-shifting serpents are some of the oldest Buddhist tales in existence. They entertain while also demonstrating the law of karma—the truth that the power of good and ill deeds is never lost—and bringing to life the Buddhist values of generosity and faith. 

Andy Rotman’s translation of this collection 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 the divine stories on the Wisdom Podcast.