Religion Past and Present

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(276 words)

[German Version]

(Pāli/Sanskrit: birth narratives), designation for a narrative of an event from one of the earlier lives of the Buddha. Jātaka are considered one of the nine compositional forms (anga) of Buddhist literature. In addition to the canonical Jātaka, narratives of the same type are dispersed throughout Buddhist literature in diverse languages. The center of the Jātaka is composed in verse form and is attributed to the Buddha himself. Strictly speaking, only these verses have canonical status, while the greater se…

Cite this page
Kleine, Christoph, “Jātaka”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 11 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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