By Aśvaghoṣa

A SARIT edition
  • Creation of machine-readable version: Peter Schreiner

Publication Statement

Published by SARIT: Search and Retrieval of Indic Texts, 2017.
Availability: restricted

Notes Statement

Source Description

Title: The Buddhacarita: Or, Acts of the Buddha. Part I -- Sanskrit Text
Editor: E. H. Johnston
Publisher: Baptist Mission Press
Place of Publication: Calcutta
Date: 1935
Series: Panjab University Oriental Publications No. 31

Source Description

Title: The Buddha--Karita or Live of Buddha by Asvaghosha, Indian poet of the early second century after Christ. Sanskrit text, edited from a Devanagari and two Nepalese manuscripts with variant readings, a preface, notes and in index of names.
Editor: Edward B. Cowell
Place of Publication: Amsterdam
Date: 1970
Series: Anecdota Oxoniensia, Aryan Series,Part VII
Note: First published in Oxford, 1893

Encoding Description

Editorial Description

The text of the Johnston edition was transliterated on the basis of a cursory reading; the typed input was compared with the edition by Cowell, partly as a routine of proof--reading, partly in order to be able to add variant readings from the older edition. (The conventions for inputting variants are described below.) Proof--reading and insertion of variants was done "manually" and I (Peter Schreiner) do not guarantee completeness. The additional passages in Cowell at the beginning of the poem were not transliterated completely, and the additional chapters at the end were not transliterated at all.

The published edition from which this e-text was transcribed is printed in the Devanāgarī script. The electronic text below is in a lossless transliteration using the Latin alphabet. The transliteration scheme used is the IAST (The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration). IAST differs in small ways from ISO 15919, but is preferred by most working Sanskrit scholars. Conversion of this file to ISO 15919 can be achieved by performing the following replacements throughout the file: ṛ -> r̥ and ṃ -> ṁ

Annotations, remarks etc. by the editor of the transliteration are enclosed in square brackets.

Annotations by the editor(s) of the edition which served as source of the transliteration (e..g. conjectures, markers for lacunae etc.) which are part of the printed edition are enclosed in pointed parentheses.

Colophons which are part of the printed edition are enclosed by double square brackets.


The "principle of transliteration" has been that the input format should reproduce the letters of the printed text as closely as possible, i.e., that one types what one sees. However, markers are added (in the transliteration) to what is printed (in Devanāgarī) to indicate that fact that a printed (and consequently typed) letter has undergone some sandhi change.

A sandhi change is defined with regard to the "pausa form" of a word, i..e. the form a word would take at the end of a line or out of context (vigraha). Note that this pausa form need not be identical with the stem which would be entered in a dictionary.

Thus, (final and initial) consonants which have undergone a sandhi change in the text are marked by "*". Similarly, final vowels which have changed due to sandhi are marked by "*" (e.g., "āsīd* rājā nalo* nāma").

In case of vowel sandhi the sandhi is dissolved and marked (e.g., na*asti, ca*eva). Similarly, avagraha is reconstituted, the originally omitted initial "a" being marked as sandhi vowel (e.g., devo* *api).

In some special cases the marking of sandhi has to be extended to include some disambiguating information:

  • -- to half--vowels which substitute for a long vowel the diacritic for "long vowel" (-) is added (e.g., devy-* api);
  • -- if final -ā in sandhi does not stand for -āḥ (with visarga), then the original vowel which has been substituted by the -ā is added (e.g., lokae* eva, where "loka eva" is printed, which is the sandhi form for "loke eva").

In case of "double sandhi" the sandhi is marked by double "**", e.g., sa**eva in case of "saiva" instead of "sa* eva").

Blank is inserted between words wherever this is possible in transliteration (though not necessarily in Devanāgarī), e.g., "hy* api", "nalo* *api".


Another feature which exceeds what might be expected from a straightforward transliteration is the separation of nominal compounds. Separation of compounds is marked by inserting + between the members of a compound (e.g., brahma+purāṇa, buddha+carita). In case of sandhi, the + functions also as sa.mdhi--marker, i..e. no additional sandhi--marker is added (e.g., tapo+vane, mahā+ātmanaḥ).

Separation of compounds is restricted to nominal compounds (including upapāda--compounds like ura+ga, go+pī) and does not include grammatical analysis. For details, special cases etc. see the introduction to Sanskrit Indices and Text of the Brahmapurāṇa, Wiesbaden 1987, p. xvi--xvii, by P. Schreiner and R. So"hnen.

Variae lectiones


The beginning of the passage for which a variant exists is marked by opening parenthesis. In deciding about the extension of the text thus marked, the changes generated for the text format had to be taken into consideration. This meant that occasionally words which are identical in the base text and in the variant are included in the parentheses, since in the text format (sa.mhita) the beginning of a variant could not be printed if that word is joined to the preceding word in vowel sandhi. Thus we write "... (mahā+ātmā Xmahā+puruṣaḥ) ...", even though the "mahā+" is identical in both versions.

The beginning of the variant is marked by a siglum, viz. by a single capital letter (capital letters are used exclusively for that purpose in the transliteration). Several sigla are separated by a comma (no blank) -- which does not occur in this file of course. There is no blank between the siglum and the variant.

If there are several variants for the same passage of the base text, they are listed sequentially. The variant (or the last variant if there is more than one) is closed by the closing parenthesis. The blank before the next word is considered to belong to the variant and is put inside the parentheses. The continuation of the base text follows without intermediate blank.

Schematic pattern:

  • (... A... )...
  • (... A,B... )...
  • (... A... B... )...


Interpolations are treated as "variants without base text", i..e. siglum follows immediately upon the opening parenthesis. The siglum is repeated before the closing parenthesis which marks the end of the interpolation. This allows for the input of variants within interpolations which are attested in more than one source.

Long interpolations may be entered as a sequence of separate interpolations (e.g., verse by verse). Interpolated lines are (may be) marked by "X" at the beginning of the line (which is meant to mark "star"--passages as e.g., in the criticial edition of the MBh).


Passages from the base text which are omitted in any of the variant texts are marked by double parentheses plus siglum enclosing the omitted passage (which may also be individual words).

Schematic patterns:

  • ((S... S))
  • ... ((S... S))...

References Declarations

The full reference (chapter and verse) is given at the end of the verse to which it refers. (While transliterating the full reference needs to be typed only for the first verse of each chapter.) The reference consists of two figures separated by a (single) dot. The first number refers to the chapter, the second number refers to the verse--number within the chapter.

The beginning of references is marked by double exclamation mark (i..e. daṇḍa) and the end is marked by a single exclamation mark. Always after a reference a new line begins.

Application information

The input and processing of the transliterated text has been done with TUSTEP, the Tuebingen System of Text--Processing Programs.

The TUSTEP format includes a reference number in front of every record; this machine reference has been calculated in such a way that it agrees with the textual reference. In the ASCII--format of the input file this machine reference is lost.

Some of the tools for textual analysis which can be produced from the input format have been published for the Brahmapurāṇa: Peter Schreiner, Renate Soehnen: Sanskrit Indices and Text of the Brahmapurāṇa. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1987.

The following list gives a survey of programs (German names in parentheses) developed for the processing of our input:

  • Any of the transliterated versions (i..e. ed. Johnston or ed. Cowell) can be extracted (GRUNDTEXTKOP, VARTEXTKOP)
  • The machine references in TUSTEP are calculated from the references in the text (REFRECHNEN).
  • The text format (i..e. the conventionally transliterated text without markers; with compounds and sandhis reconstituted) can be generated (TEXTFORM). This version can be processed for output in Devanāgarī with programs which work on the basis of transliterated input (e.g., TeX).
  • The pausa format of the text is generated by changing all the characters marked by * or + according to the sandhi rules of Sanskrit grammar. Each word appears in the phonetic form which it would assume at the end of a line (e.g., ādibhir*, ādibhiṣ*, ādibhiś*, ādhibhis* all become ādibhiḥ). Members of compounds are separated. (PAUSAFORM)


  • -- KWIC-Index (from modified input format)
  • -- Pāda-Index (from modified text format) -- wordforms (from pausa format)
  • -- reverse index of wordforms (from pausa format)

All indexes are sorted according to the Devanāgarī alphabet and may include frequencies (absolute and relative) and formatting commands for the output.

Those interested in any version or output other than the transliterated input format with variants may contact:

Peter Schreiner, Indologisches Seminar, Universität Zürich, Rämistr. 68, CH--8001 Zürich, Switzerland.

I would appreciate if those who in using this electronic text change it or add to it would inform me about their views and intentions and methods and results; those who use this text for their research while preparing a publication should feel morally obliged to send me an offprint. (I hope I am not asking too much!)

Revision Description

  • 2009-02-01: Completed the first TEI version of this text between October 1989 and February 1990, with ransliteration, entry of variants; cursory proof--reading. By Peter Schreiner
  • 2017-01-14: Updated the file to conform with the SARIT guidelines. By Dominik Wujastyk
  • 2017-01-15Added div-, head-. trailer, and lg-elements. Wrapped notes in note-elements and added an xml:lang-attribute. By https://viaf.org/viaf/308710472/