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Guide to Tipitaka

Canonical Pâli Buddhist Literature of the Theravâda School

Part 15 - Cariya Pitaka

This treatise contains thirty-five stories of the Buddha's previous lives retold at the request of the Venerable Sariputta. Whereas the Jataka is concerned with the Buddha's previous existences from the time of Sumedha, the hermit, till he becomes Gotama Buddha, Cariya Pitaka deals only with thirty-five of the existences of the Bodhisatta in this last world cycle. The Venerable Sariputta's object in making the request is to bring out into bold relief the indomitable will, the supreme effort, the peerless sacrifice with which the Bodhisatta conducts himself in fulfilment of the ten paramts (virtues towards Perfection).

The Bodhisatta has, throughout innumerable ages, fulfilled the ten paramts for countless number of times Cariya Pitaka records such performances in thirty-five existences, selecting seven out of the ten paramis, and recounts how each parami is accomplished in each of these existences Ten stones in the first vagga are concerned with accumulation of virtues in alms-giving, the second vagga has ten stories on the practice of morality and the last vagga mentions fifteen stories, five of them dealing with renunciation, one with firm determination, six with truthfulness, two with loving-kindness and one with equanimity
 

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