Definition of Jataka in English:



  • Any of the various stories of the former lives of the Buddha found in Buddhist literature.

    • ‘This collection of Indian folklore, retold for younger readers ‘of all ages’, includes many stories from the Jataka, a Buddhist compilation of fables.’
    • ‘The entire surface of the gateways is covered with bas-reliefs representing scenes from the life of Gautama Buddha, stories from the Jatakas, along with decorative elements.’
    • ‘In the Jatakas (Birth Stories, Khuddaka Nikaya) we find many examples of people who committed the same deeds again and again in successive lives.’
    • ‘The Jataka tales have much educational value and were used to teach youngsters the important morals and goals of life.’
    • ‘The Jataka collections were transmitted orally for centuries, and when written down they took a form combined of verse, story, and moral commentary.’


From Sanskrit jātaka ‘born under’.