Buddha's Stories

FIG. 3
The Eight Great Events with numbered scenes


The Buddha's Stories


Integral to this visual tradition of representing the eight events was an oral, or literary, tradition recorded in the Praises (stotras) to the Caityas at the Eight Great Places of the Buddha found in Tibetan and Chinese translations from Sanskrit made around the tenth to eleventh century. In addition to praising the monuments associated with the Buddha, these texts promoted the reproduction of the related images. The events depicted and mentioned in the Praises are (see FIG. 3):

1 Birth at Lumbini

2 Enlightenment at Vajrasana/Bodhgaya

3 First Teaching at Sarnath

4 Multiplication Miracle at Shravasti

5 Descent from the Heaven of the Thirty-three
Gods at Samkasya

6 Taming of a Mad Elephant at Rajgir

7 Accepting a Gift of Honey at Vaishali

8 Parinirvana (passing away) at Kushinagara