Jataka

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Related to Jatakas: Jataka Tales, Tripitaka, Panchatantra

Jataka:

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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Jataka

 

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.

EDITIONS

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.

REFERENCES

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

I. D. SEREBRIAKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, Stephen Jenkins describes the Jatakas as "perhaps the most important Buddhist source for statecraft.
The majority of the Jatakas, like the Panhctantra, are a mixture of prose and verse.
One of the Jataka narratives, for instance, illustrates the Buddhist standpoint towards violence and non-violence.
Great gift and the wish-fulfilling gem: A Jataka tale (Jataka Tales Series).
9) Similarly, Christopher Chapple has discussed the opposition to animal sacrifice present in the Jataka tales (138-40).
The Jatakas have many stories of animals performing virtuous acts, but these are standardly taken not literally, but metaphorically.
Through depictions of the jatakas too, Kanaganahalli not only provides us with new pictorial material but perhaps also sheds new light on known representations.
letters are mentioned occasionally in Sanskrit dramas, mostly in passing, and in Buddhist literature, frequently, particularly in the Jatakas.
17) According to Horner (50), "by the time that the Jatakas and their Commentaries were written down .
One would expect that a book of such wide scope and magnitude would have included a textual description with images of the panels of carvings--depicting the Lalitavistara, Jatakas, and Avadanas, the Manohara legend, Gandavyuha, and Bhadrachari--that constitute perhaps the greatest attraction for a visitor to Borobudur.
Speaking directly to Holder's choice of Sutta(nta)-Pitaka discourses (like the Kalama, Tevijja, and Sigalovada among others), in Pali Buddhist societies these discourses are often included in indigenous anthologies alongside commentaries on the Jatakas and Dhammapada, as well as narrative sections of the Vinaya-Tipiiaka and commentaries on the Abhidhamma.
In the same ways, both the book and the Jatakas illuminate aspects of the nature of the Buddha and Bodh Gaya but do not offer a complete picture.