This is a translation of the first fifteen stories of the thirteenth century Sinhala work, the Saddharma Ratnāvaliya written by the monk Dharmasēna. The Saddharma Ratnāvaliya is in turn an expanded version of the fifth century Pali work, the Dhammapadattakata.
The stories are lively and entertaining, of interest to the general reader and the specialist. A skilled teacher, and raconteur, the author probes the depths of Buddhist philosophical doctrine and makes it meaningful for his lay audiences. Generations of Sri Lankans have read, heard and enjoyed the stories. They deal with the vicissitudes of the human condition and so, like all good literature have a timeless relevance and appeal.
Ranjini Obeyesekere teaches at Princeton University.
"It is a fascinating and rich repository of Buddhist culture from which I have learned much—the tales are so beguiling, and the imagery so striking. " — Steven Collins, Concordia University
"I like best the success with which the translator has been able to capture both the content and the flavor of the original. The translator accomplishes this task admirably, moving comfortably and authoritatively between the two languages, epochs, and cultures. All this, while preserving the leisurely flow and rhythm of the original, too. It is an elegant, beautiful work that also conforms to rigorous scholarly standards. " — H. L. Seneviratne, University of Virginia