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Jātaka

The tenth book of Khuddakanikāya of the Sutta Piṭaka containing tales of the former births of the Buddha. The Jātaka also forms one of the nine divisions (aṅga) of the Buddha’s teachings, grouped according to subject matter (DA.i.15, 24).

The canonical book of the Jātaka Stories (so far unpublished) contains only the verses, but it is almost certain that from the first there must have been handed down an oral commentary giving the stories in prose. This commentary later developed into the Jātaka Aṭṭhakathā.

Some of the Jātaka Stories have been included in a separate compilation, called the Cariyāpiṭaka. It is not possible to say when the Jātaka Stories in their present form came into existence nor how many of these were among the original number. In the time of the Cūḷa Niddesa, there seem to have been five hundred Jātaka Stories, because reference is made to pañcajātaka-satāni (p.80; five hundred was the number seen by Fa Hsien in Sri Lanka (p.71)). Bas-reliefs of the third century have been found illustrating a number of Jātaka stories, and they presuppose the existence of a prose collection. Several Jātaka Stories exist in the canonical books that are not included in the Jātaka collection. For a discussion on the Jātaka Stories in all their aspects, see Rhys Davids Buddhist India, pp.189 ff.

The Dīghabhāṇakā included the Jātaka in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. (DA.i.15; the Samantapāsādikā (i.251) contains a reference to a Jātakanikāya). The Jātaka consists of twenty-two sections (nipāta) in seven divisions or books (bhāga).

E-pub Jātaka Aṭṭhakathā from Reading Faithfully.org trans majjE.B.Cowell

Jātaka Volume 1 Jātaka Volume 2 Jātaka Volume 3 Jātaka Volume 4 Jātaka Volume 5 Jātaka Volume 6

Index of Jātaka Stories

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