Jataka Tales the popular one’s

The Jataka Tales are a vast collection of stories, so here’s a variety of popular tales to give you a taste:

Kindness and Compassion:

  • The Rabbit Who Jumped into the Fire: This tale showcases selfless sacrifice. A rabbit seeing an old man struggling to keep warm offers himself as fuel for the fire.
  • The Golden Goose (Suvannahamsa Jataka): This story emphasizes the importance of generosity. A golden goose offers its golden feathers to a poor man in need.
  • The Elephant King and the Monkeys: Here, the Buddha, in a past life as an elephant king, teaches compassion by sharing his water source with thirsty monkeys.

Jataka Tales Wisdom and Cleverness:

  • The Monkey and the Crocodile: This tale highlights the importance of wit. A clever monkey outsmarts a greedy crocodile trying to devour him.
  • The Jackal and the Crow (Jambu-Khādaka Jātaka): This story showcases the dangers of greed. A cunning jackal tricks a crow carrying a piece of meat, teaching a lesson about trusting appearances.
  • The Wise and the Foolish Merchant: This tale emphasizes the value of good judgment. A wise merchant chooses a reliable friend over a deceitful one.

Jataka Tales Honesty and Truthfulness:

  • King Sibi: This story showcases selflessness and truthfulness. King Sibi offers his own flesh to save a dove from a hawk, upholding his promise.
  • The Truthful Parrot: This tale emphasizes the importance of honesty. A parrot refuses to lie to save its mistress, even though it costs it its life.
  • The Prince with No Father (Little Prince No-father): This story highlights the power of truth. A young prince, falsely accused, uses his honesty and wit to clear his name.

These are just a few examples, and there are many more Jataka Tales waiting to be discovered! You can find more online or in translated collections.

Image credit

Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons