A few years ago I was asked to prepare a series of books on the reliefs at Borobudur by the Ehipassiko Foundation in Jakarta for a series of publications they wanted to make. In the course of this work I have made a number of partial translations and re-translations of the texts illustrated. The final book in the series is based on the teachings in the Sanskritised Prakrit text, the Karma-vibhaṅga (The Analysis of Deeds).
The standard text for this work was published by the great French savant, Sylvain Lévi, in 1932, together with many parallels and a French translation. It was also Lévi who first identified the reliefs with this text. Besides the main teachings which form the backbone for the illustrations on the reliefs at Borobudur, the work also contains many examples drawn from many sources, including the discourses, the discipline, the Jātaka and Avadāna stories found in the early tradition.
This gives the work a great appeal I feel, both for scholars working on the early texts, and for the general reading public. The former will be interested in the many parallels in the early Pāḷi and Sanskrit texts, which I have collected and translated for this work; while for the latter it provides many stories to help better understand what is otherwise a quite dry teaching about kamma and its fruition.
Most of the teaching will be quite familiar to students of the Pāḷi texts, but even then the teachings given here expand in interesting detail on the early discourses, and some of the teachings, like the effects of intentional deeds have on the environment, might be somewhat novel, but are of great interest.
I have prepared two main versions, one is a line by line version of the text together with its translation, and is mainly intended for those who want to study the text; the other is a stand-alone English translation for those who simply want to understand the teachings. The latter is provided with a reading that is embedded into the translation, and both versions come in html, pdf, epub and mobi versions, to suit people’s differing needs.
I hope this work will help make this work better known and understood amongst students of the Buddha’s teachings, and reveal a new layer of the early Buddhist teachings to the general public.