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The Jātaka Tales are the Buddhist equivalent of Aesop’s Fables. They are morality stories. In the Buddhist cultures of that time, these were the stories that children grew up hearing. They were the popular entertainment of their time. Families would gather together in the evening after the day’s work was done and share these tales. And it is from these stories that people learned about the standards of conduct for followers of the Buddha.
Like Aesop’s Fables, the main characters in these stories can be a king, a merchant, a craftsperson, or an animal. This collection contains stories 151-200 of the 547 total stories. There are a number of stories about friendship. Jātaka 157 tells the story of a jackal and a lion whose families stay friends for generations. Jātaka 162 tells the story of both good and bad friendship, with the good friendship coming between a black deer, a leopard, a lion, and a tiger. Jātaka 190 tells a story of both friendship and deep faith.

Jātakas 173 – 176 have mischievous monkeys at the heart of the story, but in Jātaka 177 a monkey is finally the hero. A monkey named “Senaka” saves his entire tribe by quick thinking. In other Jātakas we have tree fairies, elephants, and even people (!). In one story a man is rumored to have become a monk. This inspires him to actually become a monk.
In all, these stories represent the breadth of human experience. What we see is that in 2500 years, the spectrum of experiences has not changed at all.

Religión y espiritualidad
enero 4
Eric Van Horn
Smashwords, Inc.

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