The Buddhavamsa (also known as the Chronicle of Buddhas) is a Buddhist text which describes the life of Gautama Buddha and the twenty-seven Buddhas who preceded him. It is the fourteenth book of the Khuddaka Nikāya, which in turn is part of the Sutta Piṭaka. The Sutta Piṭaka is one of three pitakas (main sections) which together constitute the Tripiṭaka, or Pāli Canon of Theravāda Buddhism. A fairly short work in verse, the Buddhavamsa details aspects of the life of Gautama Buddha and the twenty-four preceding Buddhas in twenty-eight chapters. This canonical text, along with the Apadana and Cariyāpiṭaka, has been described as hagiographical as well as a "latecomer" to the Canon.
The first chapter tells how the Buddha, to demonstrate his psychic powers, creates a jewelled walkway in the sky. In seeing this display Ven. Sariputta asks the Buddha:
"Of what kind, great hero, supreme among men, was your resolve? At what time, wise one, was supreme Awakening aspired to by you? ... Of what kind, wise one, leader of the world, were your ten perfections? How were the higher perfections fulfilled, how the ultimate perfections?"
In response, the Buddha relays the remainder of the Buddhavamsa.
In the second chapter he tells how in a distant past life as Sumedha he took a vow to become a Buddha, received a prediction from the then Buddha Dipankara that he would indeed do so and thought out the 10 perfections he would need to practise. The next 23 chapters tell of the intervening 23 Buddhas and the acts of merit that the Buddha performed towards them in his previous lives. Chapter 26 tells of his own life. Chapter 27 summarizes all twenty-five of these Buddhas; it also mentions three Buddhas that preceded Dipankara as well as the future Buddha, Metteyya Chapter 28 tells of the distribution of the Buddha's relics after his death.
Horner, IB (1975). "Chronicle of Buddhas (Buddhavamsa)". The Minor Anthologies Of The Pali Canon: Part III: Chronicle Of Buddhas (Buddhavamsa) and Basket Of Conduct (Cariyapitaka). Oxford: Pali Text Society. pp. 1–99. ISBN 086013072X.
"The lineage of the Buddhas", in Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon, volume III, 1st edition, tr B. C. Law, 1938
Morris, R, ed. (1882). "XXVII: List of the Buddhas". The Buddhavamsa. London: Pali Text Society. pp. 66–7.
The Genealogy of the Buddhas, tr M. V. Takin, Bombay University Publications, 1969