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Related to Jatakas: Jataka Tales, Tripitaka, Panchatantra


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 ?
Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand
The rarity--near impossibility--of animals advancing enough to have faith in the Dhamma is confirmed by Appleton whose analysis of the Buddhist Jatakas leads her to conclude that sometimes events arise such that animals achieve a state of "mental calm" conducive to peace.
Buddhist story telling in Thailand and Laos: The Vessantara Jataka scroll at the Asian Civilisations Museum By LEEDOM LEFFERTS and SANDRA CATE; with WAJUPPA TOSSA [trans.
Vikrant Rattan gave short introduction about Jatakas and Buddhas teaching.
The majority of the Jatakas, like the Panhctantra, are a mixture of prose and verse.
EMBAJADOR MEHROTRA: Las jatakas, que dan una idea de la vida de Buddha, estan llenas de estos simbolos.
Furthermore, Behl provides a history of the murals' creation and discovery and an outline of the parables, called Jatakas, depicted in the artwork.
The walls of the museum depicted the major ten jatakas, the previous lives of the Buddha.
These pre-Buddhist concepts were widely used in Buddhist literature, in particular, in the Jatakas.
Varios de los temas morales que aparecen en las Jatakas, tan importantes para la etica budista, tienen que ver con nuestras relaciones con otros miembros del reino animal.
Many Jatakas have parallels in the Mahabharata ("Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty"), the Panca-tantra (animal fables), the Puranas (collections of legends), and elsewhere in non-Buddhist Indian literature.
The Jatakas teach that one should love and respect all living things because only positive actions guarantee good results and motivate good behavior in others.