The Vardhamānacarita (VC) is a mahākāvya in 18 cantos (sargas ) written by Asaga. It is possibly the oldest poetic account of the biography of Mahāvīra in Sanskrit, and has all the literary features of a mahākāvya including the standard set of elaborate descriptions. The verse at the end of each canto has the signature word sampat. The VC describes the 37 previous births (bhava-s) of Vardhamāna (Mahāvīra). In this text Asaga says that he wrote it in the year 910 (853 CE) in the presence of the monk Bhāvakīrti, for the delight of the lay devotee (śrāvaka/ śrāvikā) named Sampat [=Śrī?] at Maudgalya hill in the Śrīnātha kingdom. Āryanandi, a disciple of Nāganandi encouraged him to write the VC. (VC – 18.102-105).
Asaga probably drew the plot of the VC from the Mahāpurāṇa of Jinasena and Guṇabhadra, and relied on the mahākāvyas of Kālidāsa,Bhāravi and Māgha for its descriptive furniture.