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The Mahāvastu, the ‘Great Story,’ claims to be a vinaya, a word meaning ‘discipline’ and usually used for a collection of rules for monks or nuns. In fact, it is actually a long and rather chaotic biography of the Buddha compiled from oral and written sources between about the 2nd  century BCE and the 3rd century CE. A veritable treasure house of legends, ballads, authentic historical information, devotional poetry and Dhamma teachings, it also contains numerous Jātaka stories, some from the Tipiṭaka, many others unique to it.

The Mahavastu, trans. by J. J. Jones, Vol.I,1949, Vol.II,1952, Vol.III,1956. 

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