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see Pali canonPali canon
, sacred literature of Buddhism. The texts in the Pali canon are the earliest Buddhist sources, and for Theravada Buddhists, who claim to conserve the original teachings of the Buddha, they are still the most authoritative sacred texts.
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a genre of ancient Indian literature. In form the jataka is prose alternating with poetry (gathas). The oldest works of this genre are found in the collection Jataka, included in the Sutrapitaka, a part of the second book of the Buddhist canon in the Pali language, the Tripitaka (fifth to second centuries B.C.). Many plots of this collection subsequently became widespread in world literature.

In India, of the subsequent literary treatments of the jataka, the best known are the Jataka Mala (no later than the sixth century) of Aryasura and the Avadana Mala (17th century) of Kshemendra. Mostjatakas consist of fables and fairy tales about animals, many of which contain elements of social and even antireligious satire. Others consist of magic tales about sirens, cannibals, and fantastic serpents and birds and about sea voyages. One also finds stories of everyday life and adventure stories (sometimes of considerable length) that depict the life of the various classes of ancient Indian society. The legends and sermons that directly propagate Buddhist philosophy are relatively few. The jatakas were very popular in Asia, especially in the Buddhist countries, and had a marked influence on the development of the narrative literature of many peoples.


The Jataka, vols. 1-7. Edited by V. Fausboll; translated by T. W. Rhys Davids. London, 1877-97.
Jatakam, vols. 1-7. Translated by J. Dutoit. Leipzig, 1908-21.
In Russian translation:
Aryashura. Girlianda dzhatak, Hi Skazaniia opodvigakh Bodkhisattvy. Moscow, 1962.


Serebriakov, I. D. Ocherki drevneindiiskoiliteratury. Moscow, 1971.
Winternitz, M. Geschichte der indischen Literatur, vol. 2, part 1. Leipzig, 1913.


References in periodicals archive ?
At the furthermost end of the apse, and to the right of the stupa, the artists drew images from the Shyama Jataka which tells of Shyama, a virtuous forest-dweller fatally hit by the poisoned arrow of the King of Varanasi who is out hunting.
Both heritage and convert groups of teens enjoyed readings from Buddhist scriptures that included Jataka, Buddhacarita (the Life of the Buddha) and the Angulimala story.
The Jataka collection told the story of a king's elephant that made friends with a stable dog.
Silavanaga-jataka": The Jataka together with Its Commentary, vol.
The teachings are found not only in the Pali Canon or the Tipitaka (San: Tripitaka; "Three Baskets," the entire collection of Buddhist writings and scriptures) and Sutta Pitaka (Discourses of the Buddha), but also in such religious literatures as the Jataka Tales (chronicles and myths of the Buddha's previous incarnations).
If the Jataka Tales of the Buddha are anything to go by, even animals may behave in moral or immoral ways, causing them to ascend or descend within the narrow range of the bestial hierarchy, it being better to be a stallion than a swine.
Airtel's "Comics Portal" provides subscribers with WAP-enabled handsets to access more than 300 Indian and international comic characters including Doga, Nagraj, Akbar, Birbal, Tenaliraman, Jataka Tales, Love Is, BC, Animal Crackers and Dick Tracey as well as comics supplied by Amar Chitra Katha.
Speaking of the Jataka storytelling tradition amongst the Laotians of eastern Thailand, Wongthet explains that "understanding of the Jakata story-telling activity will help us understand the world-view, personality and cultural values of Laotians" (24).
Four Friends is a flat-spined children's picturebook that brings to life one of the Buddhist Jataka stories--ancient morality tales similar to Aesop's classic fables.
More than 50 tales from creation myths to animal tales, Buddhist Jataka, moral stories, trickster tales, ghost stories, riddles, legends, and more fill this wonderfully rich and exciting volume.
The fables contained in the Pali canon are a part of the Jataka stories, stories about the former births of the Buddha or the Boddhisatva-stones.
This is reflected in the subject matter that predominates in the cave paintings: the Buddha teaching, Jataka tales, bodhisattvas, and flying musical devatas (Tucker, 154-5).