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Avadana is a genre of narrative Buddhist literature found in the Mahayana sutras, and one category of Buddhist teachings. Together with the jataka stories that narrate the past lives of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, these stories typically demonstrate the workings of karma, or cause and effect, and how the protagonists’ past actions lead to their present experiences. Most Avadanas center on persons other than the Buddha, but they can relate to the Buddha as well.