An article by Bhikkhu Analayo...



Canonical Jātaka Tales in Comparative Perspective–

The Evolution of Tales of the Buddha's Past Lives


by Bhikkhu Anālayo


I. Introduction

With the present paper I investigate the development of some jātakas out of what originally appear to have been just parables or similes, instead of constituting records of past life experiences of the Buddha from the outset. After a survey of the significance of jātakas in general (II), I take up some jātakas found in the early discourses (III), followed by turning to jātakas in the Vinayas (IV). Then I examine the dynamics of such a shift from simile to jātaka (V).

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