The Buddhacarita, Asvaghosa's second century sanskrit poem, is the oldest existing story of Buddha's life. The saga begins with prince Siddhartha's magical birth and ends with his enlightenment. The ancient myth presents Buddha's relentless inquiry into the nature of reality and artfully weaves together an archetypal hero's journey, Buddhist philosophy, phantasmagorical occurrences, and historical facts.
In this modern sequel, Poet-Philosopher and Zen Priest Tai Sheridan stays true to the story line and original images, but radically transforms the structure into seven line stanzas to imbue it with enchantment and lyricism. The rhyme scheme and alliteration hark back to olden times. The authoritative English translations of the original, from which he worked, are scholarly linguistic interpretations that make for difficult reading. This poetic rendition of The Buddhacarita differs from the literal translations, but will bring the joy and meaning of Buddha's search to the modern reader.