Definition of Jataka in English:


Pronunciation /ˈjädəkə/ /ˈdʒɑdəkə/


  • 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’.