The 19 unique Jataka tales, or birth-stories, in this book are taken from one of Buddhisms sacred books. They relate the adventures of the Buddha in his former existences. In here you will find a variety of Eastern tales like THE MONKEY AND THE CROCODILE, HOW THE TURTLE SAVED HIS OWN LIFE, THE MERCHANT OF SERI, THE QUARREL OF THE QUAILS, THE MEASURE OF RICE and more.

The Jataka Tales contain deep truths, and are calculated to impress lessons of great moral beauty. The tale of the Merchant of Seri, who gave up all that he had in exchange for a golden dish, embodies much the same idea as the New Testaments parable of the priceless pearl. The tale of the Measures of Rice illustrates the importance of a true estimate of values. The tale of the Banyan Deer, which offered its life to save a roe and her young, illustrates self-sacrifice of the noblest sort. The tale of the Sandy Road is one of the finest in the collection.

While some of the stories are based in Buddhist ideology, many are age-old fables, the flotsam and jetsam of folk-lore that have appeared in various guises in as many cultures throughout the centuries. At times they have been used merely as merry tales, and at other times theyre used as literature, as by Chaucer, who unwittingly puts a Jataka story into the mouth of his Pardoner when he tells the tale of the Ryotoures three.

Captivate yourself with the charm of these 18 Jataka Tales. Let their quaint humour and gentle earnestness teach you the wholesome lessons of the Buddhist ideology, among them the duty of kindness to animals.