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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 ?
33) Another version occurs as part of the "Scriptural Collection on the Six Perfections", an assemblage of jataka tales illustrating the Buddha's practice of the six paramitas, preserved in Chinese translation.
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).
The entrance of the pavilion has a carving of the Tree of Life inspired by the Sidi Saiyad Mosque of Ahmedabad and the exterior walls depict Jataka Tales, depicting stories of Buddha's previous life.
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.
7) The Jataka tales postulate a definite break in the relationship between philosophy and narrative and narrative and ethics.
As teachers, animals have been used as symbols to convey cultural wisdom and moral lessons, as reflected in proverbs from various cultures and such stories and tales as Aesop's Fables and the Jataka Tales (from India).
In respect to Jataka tales, they quote a 1964 Western source to support the idea that Jataka tales in Burma are syntheses of orthodoxy and folk tales.
Here, using ambiguous, oracular language, the poet conjures up what seem to be, at first reading, animal stories reminiscent of the Buddhist Jataka Tales.
Some Jataka tales are scattered in various sections of the Pali canon of Buddhist writings.
and the Jataka Tales Series by Dharma Press in California.
9) Similarly, Christopher Chapple has discussed the opposition to animal sacrifice present in the Jataka tales (138-40).
Although Nepalese monks and nuns began translating Buddhist suttas and Jataka tales some years ago it was not done in a systematic way until now.