Buddhavamsa

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The Buddhavamsa (-vaṃsa; abbrev. Bv) is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It is included there in the Sutta Pitaka's Khuddaka Nikaya. It is a fairly short work in verse, in 28 chapters, detailing aspects of the life of Buddha and the twenty-four preceding Buddhas. This canonical text, along with the Apadana and Cariyapitaka, has been described as "hagiographical" as well as a "latecomer" to the Canon.

The first chapter tells how the Buddha, to demonstrate his psychic powers, creates a jewelled walkway in the sky. In seeing this display Ven. Sariputta asks the Buddha:

"Of what kind, great hero, supreme among men, was your resolve? At what time, wise one, was supreme Awakening aspired to by you? ... Of what kind, wise one, leader of the world, were your ten perfections? How were the higher perfections fulfilled, how the ultimate perfections?"

In response, the Buddha relays the remainder of the Buddhavamsa.

In the second chapter he tells how in a distant past life as Sumedha he took a vow to become a Buddha, received a prediction from the then Buddha Dipankara that he would indeed do so and thought out the 10 perfections he would need to practise. The next 23 chapters tell of the intervening 23 Buddhas and the acts of merit that the Buddha performed towards them in his previous lives. Chapter 26 tells of his own life. Chapter 27 summarizes all twenty-five of these Buddhas; it also mentions three Buddhas that preceded Dipankara as well as the future Buddha, Metteyya. Chapter 28 tells of the distribution of the Buddha's relics after his death.