Jataka Tales – Ancient Tales of Wisdom

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Item Code: NAC681
Author: Francis & Thomas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 8172240961
Pages: 387
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch
Weight 430 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
Back of the Book

The Jataka tales are one of the greatest instances of folk literature that India has produced. Hough used as vehicles of Buddhist ethical teaching; these stories are mostly of secular origin and highlight the moral pitfalls that can befall an individual in everyday life. The stories are purported to be told by the Buddha in various incarnations in human and animal form as the Bodhisattva. At the end of each story he identifies the role that he himself played, as well as those of others, particularly his disciples. A great way of not only learning about Indian culture, but also how to keep to that straight and narrow ethical path!


The Jataka as we possess it occurs in the second of the three great divisions of the Pali Buddhist scriptures. It consists of 547 Jatakas each containing the life of Buddha during some incarnation in one of his previous existences as a Bodhisatta. Some of the tales occur more than once in a different setting or in a variant version and occasionally several stories are included in one birth. Each separate story is embedded in a framework, which forms the story of the present. This is generally an account of some incident in the life of the historic Buddha, such as an act of disobedience or folly among the brethren of the order, the discussion of a question of ethics, or an instance of eminent virtue. Buddha then tells a story of the past, an event in one of his previous existences, which explains the present incident as a repetition of the former one, or as a parallel case and shows the moral consequences.

All stories contain the Bodhisatta (one being destined to enlightenment) as well as verses occur in all the births. It is these verses which are canonical, the prose being a commentary explaining how the verses came to be spoken.

Although much of the Jataka is merely moral instruction to the unconverted it also expounds teaching which leads to enlightenment, such as the doctrine of impermanence, belief in the Buddha, the rejection of superstitious rites, freedom from lust, hatred and delusion and other bonds which the disciple must break as he advances on the noble path.

The present selection has been made with the purpose of brining together the Jataka stories of the most widespread interest.


1. The Little Gild Master1
2. The King and the Stick-Gatherer 3
3. King Makhadeva’s Grey Hairs 4
4. The Cold Half of the Month 6
5. The Feast for the Dead 6
6. The Monkeys and the Ogre 8
7. The Guilty Dogs 11
8. The Discontented Ox 14
9. The Peacock’s Wooing 15
10. The Fowler and the Quails 16
11. The Oldest of the Animals17
12. The Crane and the Crab 19
13. The Haughty slave 21
14. The Pigeon and the Crow 23
15. The Foolish Friend 25
16. The Stupid Monkeys 26
17. The Robbers and the Treasure 28
18. Great King Goodness 31
19. Prince Five-Weapons 38
20. The Brahmin’s Spell41
21. The Value of a Brother 46
22. The Grateful Animals 48
23. The Great Dreams 52
24. The Converted Miser 64
25. The Valiant Dwarf 69
26. The Stolen Jewels 73
27. The Too-Clever Merchant 76
28. The Loguacious Brahmin 77
29. The Three Fishes 79
30. The Lucky Sneeze 80
31. The Hypocritical Jackal 82
32. The Golden Goose 84
33. The Grateful Mouse 85
34. The Treacherous Chameleon 87
35. The Cunning Jackal 88
36. The Fool Hardy Jackal 89
37. The Foolish Crows 91
38. The Greedy Jackal Caught 92
39. The Rash Magician 93
40. The Two Good Kings 95
41. The Grateful Elephant 97
42. The Pet Elephant 102
43. The Mongoose and the Snake 103
44. The Jackal Betrayed by His Howl 104
45. The Penny-Wise Monkey 105
46. The Incomparable Archer 106
47. The Magic Treasures 110
48. The Ass in the Lion’s Skin 115
49. The Priest in Horse-Trappings 116
50. Ingratitude Punished 117
51. The Goblin City 122
52. The Tell-Tale Parrot 124
53. The Choice of a Husband 126
54. The Foolhardy Crow 127
55. The Woodpecker, Tortoise, and Antelope 128
56. The crocodile and the Monkey130
57. The Brahmin and the Acrobat 133
58. The Tortoise and the Geese 134
59. The Stolen Ploughshares 136
60. The Hero’s Tasks 138
61. Defeating the King of Death 145
62. The Jackals Spell 147
63. The Judas-Tree 150
64. The Judgments of King Mirror-Face 151
65. The Crab and the Elephant 163
66. The Owl As King 166
67. The Elephant-Trainer’s Luck 167
68. The Wishing-Cup 169
69. The Jackal and the Crow 170
70. The Wolf’s Sabbath 171
71. The King and the Fruit-Girl 171
72. The Woodpecker and the Lion 173
73. The Hare’s Self-Sacrifice 174
74. Unasked-for Advice 178
75. The Flight of the Beasts 179
76. The Conceited Mendicant 181
77. The Impermanence of Worldly Joys 182
78. The Testing of Virtue 185
79. A King’s Life Saved by Spells 187
80. The Heron’s Revenge 189
81. The Lion and the Bull 191
82. The Quail’s Friends 193
83. Queen Sussondi 195
84. The Betrayer Betrayed 198
85. The Cat and the Cock202
86. The Language of Animals 203
87. The Theft of a Smell 206
88. The Lion in bad Company 208
89. The Otters And the Jackal 209
90. The Brahmin and the Snake 211
91. The Brahmin’s Revenge on the Monkeys 217
92. The Monkey’s Heroic Self-Sacrifice 219
93. The Adventures of the Prince and his Brother 222
94. The Panther and the Goat 226
95. The Grateful Parrot 228
96. The Goblin’s Gift 231
97. The Wise Goat and the Jackal 240
98. The Ungrateful Son 243
99. The ten Slave-Brethren 247
100. Rama and Sita 256
101. The Wicked Step-Mother 260
102. The Lost C harm 265
103. The Price’s Wooing and the Throne of the Buddhas271
104. The Folly of Garrulity275
105. The Hawks and Their Friends282
106. The Prince Who Could Not Laugh287
107. A Lost Friend Found by a Song 295
108. King Sivi 303
109. The Evils of Strong Drink 310
110. The White Six – Tusked Elephant 315
111. The Three Wise Birds 327
112. A King Finds His Friend Through a Song 335
113. The Ugly Bridegroom 345
114. The Nineteen Problems 372
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