Representations of the Buddha in Persian Literary Culture: The Case of Belawhar and Buyuzasf


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Institute of Islamic Studies


The project aims to propose a better understanding of the translation and transmission of Buddhist tales and concepts into Persian literary culture from the sixth to the fourteenth centuries. It will explore the development and dissemination of the Persian versions of the life story of Buddha, entitled "Belawhar wa Buyuzasf," through a meticulous study of the extant corpus of Persian texts and the environment in which they were produced. In order to map out the adaptation of this Buddhist narrative in the Perso-Islamic context, different versions of the story in Persian will be compared to their related Indic sources. This research project will provide us with a more accurate understanding of how the exchange between Buddhist and Persianate cultures in Central Asia continued up to the late medieval period through translation and literary production.