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The Jataka: Or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (In 7 Volumes)

 
E.B. Cowell (Editor)
Synopsis In India recollection of private lives is a common feature in the histories of the saints and heroes of sacred tradition. The doctrine of transmigration, since the later Vedic period, has played such an important part in the history of national character and religious ideas that even Buddhist literature has included the ages of the past as an authentic background to the founder's historical life as Gautama. Jataka stories or birth-legends were widely known in the third century BC. The Pali work, entitled The Jataka contains 537 Birth-stories of the Buddha's former births. Each story, narrated by the Buddha, opens with a preface relating the particular circumstance in the Buddha's life, revealing some events in the long series of his previous existences as a bodhisattva. At the end the Buddha identifies the different actors in the story in their present births. These stories magnify the glory of the Buddha and illustrate Buddhist doctrines and precepts by appropriate examples. The foremost interest of these legends lies in their relation to folklore giving a vivid picture of the social life and customs of ancient India.
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Bibliographic information

Title The Jataka: Or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births (In 7 Volumes)
Author E.B. Cowell
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8120614690
length 1939p.