He primarily uses Buddhist avadana
sources, notably the story of Purna who trades in sandalwood for the benefit of the Buddhist order.
It is significant that the painters at Ajanta draw from both the Jatakas as well as Avadana
literature and some of the Jatakas are painted more than once.
Karma and Karmavipaka in Early Buddhist Avadana
35) This accords with the spirit of the Avadana
stories painted on the walls of the main room of central-pillar caves.
The Erotics of Practice: Objects and Agency in Buddhist Avadana
Literature," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 71, no.
fenban zuo), originates from an avadana
, which was translated into Chinese in 207 under the title Zhongben qijing.
Nemec develops his interpretation with a very lengthy footnote listing the scholarship on Jataka and Avadana
literature, and on Buddhist architecture as well.
32) From this perspective, then, it is only obvious that a text like the Mahavastu should be reckoned a Vinaya text, (33) and it deserves no further comment that jataka and avadana
tales found in this work were certainly not meant for a lay audience only.
The latter echoes the topos and reality of "the heartache and fears of the Newar wife" produced by the custom--again, topos and reality in one--of Newar men spending much time on business travels as elaborated by Todd Lewis in his study of the Simhalasarthabahu Avadana
(Popular Buddhist Texts, 84-89; "Himalayan Frontier Trade").
The manuscripts are remarkably diverse in nature and cover various subject matters such as Buddhist philosophy, sutra, avadana
jataka, puja vidhi, mantra, dharani, rituals, eulogy, commentary, art and architecture, painting, renovation and so on.
The same brief Avadana
from Turfan also contains a reference to the gift made by Srona during the time of Buddha Vipasyin: Srono vihara sahghasya karitva bhumisamskrta (read [degrees]strta?
Four appendices comprise a Dharmapada concordance, parallel texts from the British Library Fragments 3 (a parallel to Purvayoga 3, the story of Ajnata Kaundinya), Fragment 1 (the Avadana
of Zadamitra, which alludes to the eventual disappearance of the dharma), and lastly parallels to the previous-births stories in Sanskrit or Chinese.