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Tales of the Anterior Births of Gotama Buddha
Please note: PTS members must order directly from the PTS.
Jatakas or birth stories of the Buddha tell of the previous existences of Gotama Buddha, while he was as yet but a Bodhisatta. The Jataka is an extensive work in verses containing five hundred and forty-seven stories or previous existences as recounted by the Buddha, (usually referred to in Burma as 550 stories). The treatise is divided into nipatas according to the number of verses concerning each story, the one verse stones are classified as Ekaka Nipata, the two verse stories come under Duka Nipata etc. It is the commentary to the verses which gives the complete birth-stories themselves.
In these birth-stories are embedded moral principles and practices which the Bodhisatta had observed for self-development and to develop the paramis required for Buddhahood.
PTS English: Jatakas vol 2 (contains Jatakas 301-438 and 439-510)