Indian Buddhist literature preserves in a variety of forms a short episode of royal dreams and their interpretation by a holy figure. Several strands of this complex of closely related episodes found their way into Arabic, Persian and eventually Slavic and other literatures, moving out of Buddhist Asia and reaching even the far corners of Europe. This lecture introduces the sources, and proposes ways to think about them from a variety of perspectives: narratively, rhetorically, politically, and of course religiously. It may be of interest not only to those with a specific interest in Buddhism, but also, for instance, to those interested in the uses, political and otherwise, to which stories are put.
This talk is sponsored by the Buddhist Studies Workshop, South Asian Studies Program, the East Asian Studies Program, and the Department of Religion.