(redirected from Jataka Tales)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Jataka Tales: 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.
..... Click the link for more information.



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 ?
However, even if the formal policy was apparently permissive, the underlying ideology was at best ambiguous towards the legitimacy of a form of Buddhism based on the Jataka tales. At the time of the Pathet Lao rise to power, there were both Mahanikai and Thammayut sects of Buddhism in Laos.
(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.
Drawn from three well known books--the Hitopadesha Tales, Jataka Tales and Panchatantra Tales--she has taken each story and refashioned them in her distinctive graphic style.
They have been taken from the thousand year old Sanskrit Hitopadesha Tales, the Buddhist Jataka Tales, first told in the Pali language, and the equally ancient Panchatantra Tales.
Geodesic's subsidiary Chandamama India Limited made its foray in the animation industry by launching its first set of short animated films allowing viewers to enjoy 10 Jataka Tales, Kaaga - the greedy crow, learns from Lola, the pigeon in 'Greed Never Pays' and 'Pray Preach Not' on iPad and iPhone.
McDermott wraps up his series of six picture books, based on the ancient Buddhist Jataka tales, with this story of a clever monkey who outwits a dim-headed crocodile.
She started writing stories for children and in 1939 her first book, Twenty Jataka Tales, was published.
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.
But somewhere along the line, the Pali Buddhist narratives also foreground action (karma) which then becomes a part of the epic-ethics as well." (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).
Here, using ambiguous, oracular language, the poet conjures up what seem to be, at first reading, animal stories reminiscent of the Buddhist Jataka Tales. However, after deciphering the political allusions, one is stunned by the multilayered meanings of the poems.