I'm not familiar with the Mahayana literature. What I do recommend you do is have a look at MN 26 Ariyapariyesana Sutta to begin with as it deals with Gotama's life before he became enlightened. Also, if you have access to Bodhi's 'Great Disciples of the Buddha' there are anecdotes of the Buddha's former lives when was in close association with the former lives of Sariputta, Mahamoggalana and Devadatta. That should give you some material which should go some way to answer your question.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •