Dashavatara

DASHAVATARA

Image Source: Wikimedia

Vishnu has had many incarnations with time, however, the Dashavatara refer to his ten primary (i.e. full or complete) avatars. He took these forms on earth to restore the cosmic order. This has been described in the following shloka-

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत|

अभ्युत्थानंधर्मस्य तदात्मानं स्रुजाम्यहम्|

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्|

धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे|

Which translates to –

Whenever there is a decay of righteousness, O Bharata,

And there is an exaltation of unrighteousness, then I descend myself,

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers,

For the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.

The list includes the following Avatars or incarnations: Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narsimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Balrama or Buddha and Kalki. Some traditions include a regional deity such as Vithoba or Jagannath in penultimate position, replacing Krishna or Buddha. It is interesting to note how many scholars believe that these incarnations actually represent the theory of Evolution. 

However, it must be noted that Aurobindo regarded the “Avataric Evolutionism” as a “parable of evolution”, one which does not endorse evolutionism, but the “transformative phases of spiritual progress”. Some Vaishnavies also reject this “Avataric Evolutionism” concept. For example, ISKCON states that this theory degrades the divine status of Rama and Krishna, unduly sequences Rama as inferior to Krishna, and both to the Buddha. They believe that both Rama and Krishna are supremely divine, each right and perfect for the circumstances they appeared in.


INCARNATIONS

Image Source:Wikimedia

Matsya

Matsya or the fish was the first incarnation of Vishnu in the Satya Yuga. It is believed to be during the Paleozoic era or between 542 million to 251 million years ago when the breakup of one supercontinent to form another (Pangea) took place. Since lifeforms were not very evolved at that time, the Matsya is depicted as a giant fish or a human torso connected to the rear half of a fish, like a mermaid.

The story goes that Vishnu in the form of Matsya had warned the first man, Vaivasvata Manu (often called Manu), of a great flood which would end the three worlds. Matsya asked Manu to bring one of every plant and animal species to the shore and on the day of the great flood he safely took all of them to a new world in a boat as that the fish pulled it, thus, saving humanity and all the other animals.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Kurma

Kurma or the giant tortoise was the second incarnation that came about in the Satya Yuga, supposedly belonging to the Mesozoic era, an interval of time from about 252 to 66 million years ago. It is depicted as a giant tortoise or a mixed form of human and tortoise. 

The story goes that there was a  war between the Gods and Demons during the Churning of the Ocean of Milk or the Sagarmanthan to procure the elixir of immortality or amrit. Unfortunately, Mount Mandara (the mountain used as the churning staff) started to sink, so Vishnu took the form of a giant tortoise to bear the weight of the mountain on his back. Despite the efforts of the gods, the demons took the nectar and so Vishnu had to disguise himself as Mohini and take the nectar from the demons.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Varaha

Varaha or the boar appeared to defeat Hiranyakasha who stole the Earth (personified as Bhudevi) and took it to the bottom of the cosmic ocean or primordial waters causing serious destruction that takes place at the end of each age. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won by slewing the demon. He then carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe.

Vishnu in this incarnation is represented in the form of a half man and half boar or a full boar. This incident took place in the Satya Yuga, corresponding to the Cenozoic era in history, where herbivorous animals evolved and non-avian dinosaurs dissapeared leading to a rise of mankind. It spans from only about 65 million years ago.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Narasimha

Narsimha was Vishnu’s last incarnation in the Satya Yuga and represents the last half human/half animal incarnation of Vishnu. It represents the time in the Cenozoic era when the carnivorous animals evolved. In this Avatar Vishnu took the form of a man with the head and claws of a lion.

Hiranyakashyap was a demon with a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed by any man or animal, inside or outside a room, on ground or in air, during the day or night, on earth or the stars, with a weapon that was living or inanimate. Because of his boon and supposed invincibility, Hiranyakashyapa started creating havoc by not letting anyone preach any religion, persecuting anyone who dared to disobey him, including his own son, Prahlada. However, Prahlad’s immense dedication led to Vishnu taking the form of Narasimha, who disemboweled Hiranyakashyap at the threshold of his house at dusk, with claws, in his thighs, giving the the subjects of the king the right to preach any religion.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Vamana

The fifth incarnation of Vishnu, the Vamana was his first incarnation of the Treta Yuga. Here he came to earth in the form of a dwarf, so this phase represents growing dwarfs and the first steps towards the human form ‘from monkeys’.

In the iconography, Vamana as a dwarf can be seen  carrying a wooden umbrella.

The legend that goes with him is that, Bali, the grandson of Prahlad was able to defeat Indra, the king of gods through his devotion and penance. This victory made him the supreme authority over the three worlds. The change of power frightened the gods and they went to Vishnu for protection who came to Earth and restoring the authority of Indra as the dwarf. He approached Bali during one of his Yajnas, and the king promise that he would fulfil one of the Dwarf’s wish. So the Vamana asked for three paces of land. Bali didn’t retract from his word even after being warned by his guru. The dwarf then transformed into his giant Trivikrama form (tri or ‘three’ + vikrama ‘step’ or ‘stride’) becoming ever larger than the Earth. Vamana with one step covered the whole earth, and with the second step the middle world between earth and heaven. As there was nowhere left to go, King Bali was unable to fulfil his promise, so he lowered his head and suggested that the Vamana place his foot on it for the promised third step. Vamana then placed his foot on the king to push him in hell. Yet, due to the king’s humility Vishnu granted Bali immortality, making him the ruler of Patala, the netherworld. This legend appears in hymn 1.154 of the Rigveda and other Vedic as well as Puranic texts.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Parashurama

Parashurama is a hero with an axe, but, he is considered to be an imperfect human form from the Treta Yuga. He is the son of Jamadangi (one of the Saptarishis) and Renuka. He was the first Brahmin-Kshatriya (Warior-Sage) who got the axe after penance to Shiva. The axe represents the advent of the iron age.

The story goes that King Kartavirya Arjuna and his hunting party halted at the ashrama of Jamadagni, father of Parashurama. The saint fed the king and his army with the help of his divine cow Kamadhenu. The king was extremely pleased by the cow and demanded it from the saint who refused. The king was furious and took the Kamdhenu by force after destroying the Ashram. When Parashurama found out what had happened, he wanted to avenge the insult so he killed the king and his army singlehandedly with his axe. However, King Kartavirya’s son was out to seek revenge and killed Jamadangi. Since the prince was a Kshatriya, Parashurama vowed to kill every Kshatriya on earth twenty-one times over and filled five lakes with their blood as her mother had beaten her breast those many times in vain. It was only his grandfather Rucheeka, who was able to stop and calm him down. However, since Parashurama is a chiranjeevi or immortal he is believed to be alive even today doing penance at Mahendragiri. 

Not only this, Parashurama is also credited for creating Kerala by throwing his mighty axe that landed at the sea, displacing water and creating a landmass that is now called Kerala.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Rama

Rama was the prince and then king of Ayodhya who is considered to be an ideal prince, without superpowers, despite being an incarnation of Vishnu. He came to Earth in the Treta Yuga. As a man with bow and arrow he represents people with developed skills using semi-modern weapons like bow and arrow.

Ramayana, or his story is one of the most widely read scriptures of Hinduism. He gave up his throne and went in to exile for fourteen years along with his brother Laxman and wife Sita to keep his father’s honour. While in exile his wife Sita gets abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana who takes her to Ashoka Vatika in Lanka. so Rama travelled there to save his wife and kill the demon with the help of an army of monkeys. After which he goes back to Ayodhya and is crowned.


Image Source: Flickr

Krishna

Krishna was the eight Avatar of Vishnu and also the eight child Devaki and Vasudeva to kill his evil maternal uncle (the king) Kansa. Many believe that he came along another incarnation of Vishnu (Balarama), who is often regarded as the eight incarnation, Krishna being the ninth one, when Buddha is not included in the list.

Krishna was raised by his foster parents Yashoda and Nanda. He was cowherd, and also a philosopher and guide to the Pandavas (in the battle of Kurukshetra of Mahabharata) in the Dwapara Yuga thus, giving birth to the Bhagavad Geeta. He embodies several qualities such as love, duty, compassion, and playfulness. Usually depicted with a flute in hand, a peacock feather in hair along with a pitambar dhoti (or yellow dhoti). In fact, Krishna is often called the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whom everything else emanates.

In the evolution theory it is believed to represent the time when people began using superior weapons like his Chakra, started domestication and settled agriculture.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Buddha

Buddha or the enlightened one of the Dwapara Yuga is the founder of Buddhism who is often depicted in the “Hindu Scriptures” as a preacher who leads demons and heretics away from the path of Vedic scriptures or a compassionate teacher who preached non violence or ahinsa. He was included as an incarnation of Vishnu under Bhagavatism between 330 and 550 CE and this shows the advent or beginning of advancement towards the modern age.

The mythologies of the Buddha in the Theravada and of Vishnu share a number of structural and substantial similarities according to Indologist John Holt, who believes that Theravada states that Buddha covered earth to heaven and then placed his right foot over Yugandhara in three strides – a legend that parallels that of the Vishnu’s Vamana avatar. Similarly, Buddha, like Vishnu is claimed in the Theravada to have been born when dharma is in decline to preserve and uphold the dharma. These similarities, thus, may have contributed to the assimilation of the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu.

By the 8th century CE, the Buddha was included as an avatar of Vishnu in Puranas, indicative of the Hindu ambivalence towards Buddhism. Conversely, Vishnu has also been assimilated into Sinhalese and Mahayana Buddhism in Buddha-Bhagavatism. By this period, the concept of Dashavatara was fully developed.

The story of Buddha goes that he was born as Prince Siddhartha who renounced the world to became a monk and attained enlightenment. Sacrificing the luxuries of princely life, detaching himself from worldly pleasures and practising deep meditation, he spread the message of peace. Vishnu came to earth in this form to make humans see the importance of self-realization and liberation however, some Buddhist scholars do not believe Buddha as the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. They say it was a trick played by Brahmins to decrease the increasing influence of Buddhism when it was at its peak in India.  Some Vaishnavites too don’t believe Buddha as the incarnation of Vishnu. Instead, they believe Balaram as 8th and Krishna as the 9th incarnation of Vishnu. 


Image Source: Wikimedia

Kalki

Kalki is considered to be the final incarnation of Vishnu and is supposed to appear at the end of Kali Yuga. He will be on top of a white horse, with his sword drawn out blazing like a comet. He will appear when there is only chaos, evil and persecution, dharma has disappeared, so he will end the Kali Yuga to start again with Satya Yuga, thus,  beginning another cycle of existence. He is therefore considered to be the saviour of mankind and destroyer of darkness and also the harbinger of the end of time. He is considered to be a very advanced form of a human being, both technologically and genetically.

SOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashavatara

https://www.amarchitrakatha.com/blog/dashavatar/

https://www.hinduismfacts.org/dashavatar/

Vessantara Jataka

VESSANTARA JATAKA

Image Source: Wikimedia

King Sanjaya and his queen Phusati of Sivi loved each other dearly. When the queen became aware that she was carrying a child, she had six alms halls built, from which she distributed silver daily. As the birth of her child grew imminent, she expressed the wish to visit every part of her husband’s capital city. The king granted her request and had a lying-in shelter made ready to follow her. 

On approaching the Vessa, or merchant sector, her labor began. Behind the shelter she gave birth to a son. 

Having taken his first breath of air from the commercial quarter, the newborn child was named Vessantara, though he possessed none of the avarice of a merchant. For at that time a miracle occurred : the baby spoke to say, “Mother, what gift can I make?” causing the gods in heaven to take notice of this Great Being.

When he was eight years old, the boy expressed the desire to be able to give away something of his very own, something that had not been given him by another. He said, “If someone should ask me for my heart, I would give it to him, or my eye, or my flesh.” This unusual wish attracted the attention of the gods, so that the earth quaked and thunder rumbled in the clouds over the Himavat. 

As a youth, Vessantara contented himself with giving away readily and frequently the things he had acquired. At sixteen, his formal studies completed, the kingdom was given over to him and a marriage arranged between the king-to-be and Princess Maddi, daughter of a neighboring king.

The kingdom prospered, and their marriage was happy. A son, Jali, and a daughter, Kanhajina, were born to them. 

Years before, when Vessantara was a baby, a young white elephant had been brought to the royal stables. The two princely beings grew up together. It was on this white elephant that Vessantara visited his mother’s alms halls six times a month to distribute gold. Indeed, many of his subjects attributed the prosperity of the kingdom and the benign rains that watered the fields to the virtue of the white elephant.

At this time the nearby kingdom of Kalinga was suffering from a prolonged drought. All the prayers of its people, all the supplications and offerings of its king were to no avail. 

Many in the kingdom had heard of the great white elephant and of Vessantara’s generosity. They suggested that the king send eight Brahmin emissaries to ask Vessantara for the favored creature. 

When the Brahmins arrived at Sivi, King Vessantara was distributing alms from the elephant. The valuable beast was covered with precious gems and other trappings of great worth. But on hearing their request, the king granted it immediately, pouring water into their hands to indicate the gift, so great was his desire to be charitable. When the gods saw this noble act, the earth shook and the skies were filled with thunder and lightning.

The citizens of Vessantara’s kingdom were so distressed by the loss of the great animal that had brought them prosperity that they forced King Sanjaya to resume control of the kingdom and banish Vessantara. 

His parents were heartbroken, but the people’s fury was so great that he was granted only one day’s grace before exile. On that day Vessantara gave away all his possessions: elephants, horses, chariots, maidens, slaves, and many others. People came from far away, each to receive a gift. Vessantara was still distributing them when night fell. Then, with his wife and children, who would not be left behind, he spent his last night taking leave of his parents. 

The banished family left the city at sunrise in a chariot drawn by four horses. No sooner had the city gates closed behind them than they met four Brahmins. Having arrived too late for the gifts, the Brahmins now asked for the four horses, which were promptly granted to them. 

The former king and queen thus pulled the chariot on their own. However, shortly thereafter a fifth Brahmin appeared, asking for the chariot. Vessantara agreed gladly and the noble prince and his wife continued on their way by foot, the boy in his father’s arms, the girl in her mother’s. 

Their journey took them first to Ceta, a city ruled by Vessantara’s uncle, where they rested for a day and a night in a hall beside the city gates, for they were unwilling to enter the city, although the king had invited them to rule in his stead. When they left the city the king of Ceta accompanied them to the nearby forest, leaving them with a woodsman who guided them as far as the river. There they rested and were given food. They then set out alone into the foothills of the Himalayas, skirting the shores of the great Mucalinda Lake, and at last they reached the mountains. A narrow path took them through a forest to the foot of Mount Vamka.

They found two hermitages beside a lotus pond. Vessantara went inside and found four sets of ascetic’s robes neatly folded and knew that some god was observing them and had left the robes for him and his family. 

He then dressed and took the vows of an ascetic, then went out to greet his wife Maddi. She and the children followed his example. They lived in separate huts by the pond for seven months, eating the roots and jungle fruits which Maddi collected each day. 

Meanwhile, in Kalinga the drought had broken with the arrival of the white elephant. In a village there, lived a poor Brahmin, by the name Jujaka whose wife refused to go to the well to get water any longer, she insisted that Jujaka find her some servants to serve her. 

As Jujaka was penniless and unable to buy slaves, he set out to find Vessantara, whose generosity Jujaka knew about. 

When he finally found Vessantara, Jujaka waited until Maddi had departed into the forest the next morning before he approached the hermitage. As soon as Vessantara caught sight of the old man he was overjoyed, for he knew that at last he had an opportunity to make a supreme gift.

As Jujaka made his unusual request, Vessantara agreed to give away his two beloved children. He presented them to Jujaka by pouring water over his outstretched hands. The gods were disturbed and the earth quaked, and there was a great tumult in the heavens.

The Brahmin bound the children’s hands with a jungle creeper, whipping them on their way. Tears streamed from Vessantara’s eyes, and he went into his hut weeping. When he realized that the cause of his grief was his affection for his children, he set his mind on non attachment and soon regained the calm of an ascetic.

As Jujaka drove the wailing children through the forest, the gods thought what anguish Maddi would suffer if she should see them. Thus, three of the deities took the forms of a lion, a tiger, and a leopard that blocked the path of Maddi, thus preventing her return to the hermitage until after night had fallen. 

Vessantara could not bring himself to tell her what had become of the children. The distraught mother searched for them until dawn. 

When morning came, she returned to her hut and collapsed in a faint. Vessantara was in great distress. Breaking his ascetic’s vows, he raised his wife up, then rubbed her face with water to revive her. When she was restored, he told her of his gift of the children. 

Understanding his desire to give away all he possessed, she did not protest. Instead, she rejoiced in his opportunity to make a supreme gift in his effort to achieve omniscience.

There remained one last and greatest gift, a devoted wife, and Indra in his wisdom knew that Vessantara would not withhold it. To keep Vessantara from giving Maddi away to anyone else, Sakka assumed the guise of a Brahmin and approached the hermitage that same morning. Only then did Vessantara realised that he must also give away his dear wife to attain his goal. He gave her willingly to the old Brahmin and Maddi submitted without a word, knowing that this would fulfil her husband’s greatest wish : to have perfect knowledge. 

The heavens shook, the oceans roared, and the gods acknowledged that Vessantara had truly achieved omniscience. Then, having seen that the Great Being was capable of supreme charity, Indra returned Maddi to him.

Meanwhile, Jujaka was lost in the forest. At night while he slept in the branches of a tree, he left the children bound to the trunk. However, deities took the shapes of their parents to nurture and protect them. The gods also guided the path of Jujaka so that although he intended to return to Kalinga, he and the children soon found themselves in Sivi. There the children were recognized and brought before King Sanjaya along with their captor. The king was so overjoyed at finding his grandchildren that he did not punish Jujaka. Instead, he paid the Brahmin a great ransom, with which the old man built himself a splendid mansion. There he lived sumptuously, but unaccustomed to such richness, he overate and died. 

King Sanjaya questioned the children about their parents and was told that they were alive and well. But Jali reproached his grandfather for sending Vessantara away, accusing the king of not loving his son enough. Whereupon King Sanjaya determined to go to Mount Vamka in order to bring the royal couple back to Sivi. 

The king and Jali led the way as a procession moved across the plains, into the forest, and around Mucalinda Lake, at last reaching the foot of the mountains. 

All this while, Vessantara and Maddi had lived peacefully at the hermitage. 

King Sanjaya approached them first and gravely inquired about their welfare. Assured of their well-being, he called his wife, Phusati, and the children to join them. So great was their joy at being reunited that all fell weeping on the ground in a faint. The gods took pity, the earth shook, lightning flashed in the clouds, and from the skies fell a shower of heavenly rain that revived the royal family. 

King Sanjaya asked Vessantara to return to rule the kingdom, for the people, regretting his departure, wished him to be their king once more.

Vessantara, having given all, was willing to resume his kingly role. He put away his hermit’s robes. Then he was bathed, had his hair trimmed, and was dressed in princely garments, so that he shone with great splendour. 

Maddi was similarly arrayed in beautiful cloths and gems. Thus they proceeded to the camp of King Sanjaya. After a month of joyful festivities in the forest, they returned to Sivi with great pomp. King Vessantara mounted the throne and by Indra’s will was endowed with treasures sufficient for distribution until the end of his life. 

After reigning gloriously for many years, the king passed away to Brahma’s heaven, to remain a symbol of generosity for all time.

Source: http://www.buddha-images.com/vessantara-jataka.asp


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta JatakaThe previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Sibi Jataka

SIBI JATAKA

Image Source: Wikimedia

 The kingdom of Sibi produced many virtuous kings of whom was the son and successor of King Ushinara. This new Sibi king was known for his philanthrophy among his other virtues.  

One day, Indra and Agni came to test this. The two deities disguised themselves as a hawk and a pigeon. The hawk started chasing the pigeon who fell on King Sibi’s lap trembling with fear. 

The hawk demanded the king to surrender the pigeon as its prey. This the king refused, as he decided to protect the poor thing who had taken refuge under his protection. After much argument the hawk agreed to leave the pigeon alone if the king would offer a piece of flesh from his own body which was equivalent to the weight of the pigeon. 

The king was more than happy to make such a sacrifice. Strangely, after endlessly cutting off his own  flesh from different parts of his body and putting it on the scale, the king found that the pigeon still overweighed. Then the king threw his entire body to the scale even then he could not equalise the weight of the bird. At this point the hawk and the pigeon revealed their true identity and offered boons to the king for his unbounded charitable spirit. 

There are many versions of the Sibi Jataka and the one narrated above is found in the Mahabharata. 

In the Jatakamala the story of Sibi is somewhat different. Indra came as a blind person to king Sibi and asked him to donate one of his eyes so that he could regain his sight partially. Sibi, however, offered both eyes for the complete restoration of the blind man’s sight.  The ready willingness of king Sibi to sacrifice both his eyes moved Indra into revealing his true form and going away after giving boons to the king. 

Source:  http://ignca.gov.in/divisionss/kalakosa/area-studies/east-asia-programme/across-the-himalayan-gap/31146-2/ 


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta Jataka – The previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka

MAHAKAPI JATAKA

Image Source: Wikimedia

On the bank of the Ganges there was an enormous mango tree, its sweet fruit was of exquisite fragrance and flavor. One of its branches spread over the bank of the river, while another extended over the water. 

One day, while the monkey king was eating the succulent fruit, he thought, “If any of this fruit ever fell into the river, great danger could come to us.” To prevent this, he ordered the monkeys to pick all the mango flowers or tiny fruit from that branch. One fruit, however, was hidden by an ant’s nest and escaped the monkeys’ attention. When it ripened, it fell into the river.

At that time, the King of Baranas was bathing and amusing himself in the river and found the mango that had floated down the river. He had never seen a fruit like this before, so he asked his subjects, “What is this fruit?” 

“We do not know, sire,” his subjects responded, neither of whom had seen the fruit before.

“Who will know?” the king asked.

“The foresters, sire.” one man responded.

The king summoned the foresters, who told him that the fruit was a mango. The king cut it with a knife and, after having the foresters eat some, tasted it himself. He also gave some of the fruit to the ministers and to his wives.

The king could not forget the magnificent flavor of the ripe mango. Obsessed with desire for the new fruit, he called the foresters again and asked where the tree stood. When he learned that it was on the bank of the river, he had many rafts joined together and sailed upstream to find it. In due course, the king and his retinue arrived at the site of the huge tree.

The king went ashore and set up a camp. After having eaten some of the delectable mangoes, he retired for the night on a bed prepared at the foot of the tree. Fires were lit and guards set on each side.

At midnight, after the men had fallen asleep and all was quiet, the monkey king came with his troop. The eighty thousand monkeys moved from branch to branch eating mangoes. The noise woke the king, who roused his archers.

“Surround those monkeys eating mangoes and shoot them,” he ordered. “The tree is alll mine.”

The archers readied their bows to obey the king. The monkeys saw the archers and realized that all means of escape had been cut off. Shivering in fear of death, they ran to their leader and cried, “Sire, there are men with bows all around the tree preparing to shoot us. What can we do?”

“Do not fear,” he comforted them. “I will save your lives.” Then he climbed onto the branch stretching over the river. Springing from the end of it, he jumped a hundred bow-lengths and landed on the opposite bank of the Ganges. Judging the distance he had jumped, he thought, “That is how far I came.” Then he found a long vine and cut it, thinking, “This much will be fastened to a tree, and this much will go across the river.” He secured one end of the vine to a sturdy tree and the other around his own waist. Then he again leapt across the river. 

In his calculation, however, he had forgotten to include the length to be tied around his own waist, so he could not reach the trunk of the mango tree. He reached out and grabbed the end of a branch firmly with both hands. He signaled to the troop of monkeys and cried, “Quick! Step on my back and run along this vine to safety. Good luck to you all!”

The eighty thousand monkeys, each in turn, respectfully saluted the monkey king, asked his pardon, and escaped. The last monkey in the troop, however, had long resented the leader and wished to overthrow him. When he saw the monkey king hanging there, he exulted, “This is my chance to see the last of my enemy!” Climbing onto a high branch, he flung himself down on the monkey king’s back causing his rival excruciating pain, the wicked monkey triumphantly escaped and left the monkey king to suffer alone.

Having seen all that had happened as he lay on his bed, the king thought, “This noble monkey king, not caring for his own life, has ensured the safety of his troop. It would be wrong to destroy such an animal. I will have him brought down and taken care of.” He ordered his men to lower the monkey gently down to a raft on the Ganges. After the monkey had been brought ashore and washed, the king anointed him with the purest oil. Spreading an oiled skin on his own bed and laying the monkey king on it, the king covered him with a yellow robe. After the noble animal had been given sugared water to drink, the king himself took a low seat and addressed him, “Noble monkey, you made yourself a bridge for all the other monkeys to pass over to safety. What are you to them, and what are they to you?” he asked.

The monkey explained, “Great king, I guard the herd. I am their lord and chief. When they were filled with fear of your archers, I leapt a great distance to save them. After I had tied a vine around my waist, I returned to this mango tree. My strength was almost gone, but I managed to hold the branch so that my monkeys could pass over my back and reach safety. Because I could save them, I have no fear of death. Like a righteous king, I could guarantee the happiness of those over whom I used to reign. Sire, understand this truth! If you wish to be a righteous ruler, the happiness of your kingdom, your cities, and your people must be dear to you. It must be dearer than life itself.”

After teaching the king in this way, the monkey king died. The king gave orders that the monkey king should be given a royal funeral. 

When the regal ceremony was over, the ministers took the skull to the king. The king built a shrine at the monkey’s burial place, and made offerings of incense and flowers. He had the skull inlaid with gold, raised on a spear, and carried in front of the procession returning to Baranasi. There he put it at the royal gate and paid homage to it with incense and flowers. The whole city was decorated, and the skull was honored for seven days. For the rest of his life the king revered the skull as a relic, offering incense and garlands. 

Established in the wonderful teaching of the monkey king, he gave alms and performed other good deeds. He ruled his kingdom righteously and became destined for heaven.

Source:  https://encyclopediaofbuddhism.org/wiki/Mahakapi_Jataka:_The_Great_Monkey_King_(Jat_407)


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta Jataka – The previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka

MAHAJANAKA JATAKA

Image Source: Wikimedia

There was a king, Mahajanaka, of Mithila in the kingdom of Videha. He had two sons, Aritthajanaka and Polajanaka. When the old king died, the elder brother, Aritthajanaka, became king, and the younger brother his viceroy. 

In time the new king became suspicious of his brother’s popularity with the people and, fearful for his throne, had Polajanaka put in chains. But when Polajanaka proclaimed his innocence, miraculously his chains fell off and he was able to escape to a small village near the frontier of the kingdom. Since he was a strong leader, he attracted many followers.
In time he decided to take his revenge by declaring war on King Aritthajanaka. But before Aritthajanaka went to battle with his brother, he made his pregnant wife promise that should he be killed, she would flee from Mithila in order to protect the unborn child.

When she heard of the king’s death at the hand of his brother, Polajanaka, she gathered her gold and jewels into a basket and covered them with rice. She put on some worn and dirty garments and blackened her face with soot so that she would not be recognized. Then, lifting the basket onto her head, she went unnoticed out of the city by the northern gate. Now, the child in the fleeing queen’s womb was to be a Great Being, or Bodhisatta, and the attention of Sakka, king of the gods, was drawn to the queen’s plight. He therefore attired himself as an old man driving a carriage. 

On arriving at the queen’s side, he asked her where she was bound. She had in mind to go to the city of Kalacampa, sixty leagues away, but did not know the way. The disguised god offered to take her there, and after entering the carriage, the queen fell into a heavy sleep. By nightfall the carriage had reached the edge of Kalacampa. When the amazed queen asked how they could have reached the city so soon, Sakka told her that he had come by a straight road known only to the gods, then departed.

In Kalacampa, the unrecognized queen was observed by a Brahmin teacher of great fame. When he asked who she might be, she told him, “The chief queen of King Aritthajanaka of Mithila, lately killed in battle. I have come here in order to save the life of my unborn child.”
The Brahmin invited her to live in his house, saying that he would watch over her as if she were his younger sister. The queen agreed, and a short time later she gave birth to a son, whom she called after his grandfather Mahajanaka. 

The child grew into a strong and sturdy child. However, he was often teased by his playmates and called “the widow’s son,” which name brought questions to his mind regarding his paternity. One day, he forced his mother to tell him who his father was and he got to know that he was the son of the former king of Mithila.

When the boy reached the age of sixteen, he determined to regain his father’s kingdom told his mother of his plan and she offered to give him her gold and jewels, which were sufficient to win back the kingdom. But he took only half of her gift, wishing to make his fortune in trade. She was alarmed for his safety, warning him of the dangers of the sea, but he was deaf to her words. 

After purchasing some goods for trading, he boarded a vessel bound for Suvannabhumi, the golden land of the east. On that day his uncle Polajanaka, king of Mithila, fell ill.

Crowded on board were the men and animals from seven large caravans. After seven days of plunging through the heavy seas at top speed, the overloaded ship began to founder. Planks broke off, and the water rose higher and higher. Mahajanaka, knowing that the ship was sinking, did not panic. He prepared himself for the ordeal by eating a full meal, covered himself with sugar and ghee to protect himself from the water, then tied himself to the mast. When the ship went down, men and animals were devoured by the sharks and fierce turtles that infested the ocean, but the mast remained upright. 

Mahajanaka with his superior strength was able to throw himself a far distance from the ship, thus escaping the fate of the other passengers. On that day Polajanaka died, leaving the throne of Mithila vacant.

Mahajanaka floated in the ocean for seven days, taking no food. During this time the goddess Manimekhala was enjoying the pleasures of heaven, neglecting her duties as guardian of the seas. At last she spied him and recognized that he was not an ordinary mortal. She took him in her arms, and Mahajanaka, thrilled by the touch of the goddess, fell into a trance. She flew with him to a mango grove in the kingdom of Mithila, where she laid him on his right side on a ceremonial stone in the middle of the grove.

From his deathbed, the king of Mithila had told his ministers to find a man worthy of being king, who could answer certain riddles, string the king’s powerful bow, and please his daughter, the beautiful and intelligent Princess Sivali. 

There were many candidates for the throne. Each one, in an effort to win Sivali, obeyed her every whim. The more they tried to please her, the more she scorned them and sent them away. Moreover, not one had the wit to answer the riddles or the strength to string the royal bow.

At last the ministers decided to send out the festive chariot to see if they could find a successor to Polajanaka. They decorated the city, yoked four noble steeds to the handsome carriage, and bade the musicians follow behind as is proper when a royal chariot is empty. Then they ordered the carriage to lead them to the one who had sufficient merit to be king of Mithila. Followed by a great crowd, it took them through the city to the eastern gate and onward to the park where Mahajanaka lay sleeping. 

After circling the stone, the chariot came to a stop. The ministers observed the sleeping prince and examined his feet, whereby they recognized the signs of royalty. Indeed, they saw that he was not only a future king but also destined to be emperor of four continents. They commanded the musicians to sound their instruments. At the noise, Mahajanaka awoke. Seeing all the people around him, he recognized that the white umbrella of kingship had come to him. He asked where the king might be. When told that he had died, he agreed to accept the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Princess Sivali was waiting. However, when the new king arrived he did not visit her or pay her any attention. One day when he was strolling in the garden, she could bear his indifference no longer. Running up to offer him her arm to lean on, she showed that he pleased her. Shortly thereafter she became his queen.

King Mahajanaka answered the riddles with ease. He was also able to string the bow of King Polajanaka, so that he fulfilled all the conditions for becoming king and his wife Sivali bore him a son and heir to the throne.
One day the king was riding through his kingdom with his ministers when he observed two mango trees. The one that had been full of mangoes was broken and torn by the people who had come to pick the fruit, while the other, though barren, stood green and whole, he then heard the sermon of an ascetic and thus came to understand that possessions bring only sorrow, and he determined to put aside his kingdom and take up the life of an ascetic. 

After shaving his head and putting on the robes of a hermit, he departed from the palace. But Queen Sivali, who loved him, followed him with great retinue and five hundred concubines, hoping that he would return to the palace. 

Wherever he went, she was behind him. At last he could bear it no longer. He cut a stalk of grass and said to her, “As this reed cannot be joined again, so you and I can never be joined again.”
At his words, Sivali fell down to earth. While the courtiers were attending to her, Mahajanaka disappeared into the forest. When the queen awoke, she could find him nowhere. He was never again seen in the world of men, for he found his way to the Himavat forest and eventually entered the Brahma heaven.
The despairing queen returned to Mithila and arranged for the coronation of her son. Having settled the affairs of the kingdom, she herself donned the robes of a hermit, and after many years she too was deemed worthy of entrance into the kingdom of the gods.

Source:  http://www.buddha-images.com/mahajanaka-jataka.asp 


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta Jataka – The previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Chaddanta Jataka

CHADDANTA JATAKA

Image Source: Wikimedia

Once the Bodhisatta was born as the king of Chaddanta elephants (chaddanta literally means “six tusks” and chaddanta elephants are the highest class of elephants often referred to in the Pali sources). 

The body of the elephant king was pure white with red face and feet. He lived in a golden cave on the bank of a lake and had two queens, namely, Mahasubhadda and Chullasubhadda.

Once after bathing in the lake and frolicking in the forest with his queens and attendants he sportingly hit a fully blossomed sal tree. Incidentally, the dry leaves, twigs and red ants from the tree fell on Chullasubhadda but the flowers and the pollen of the tree rained on Mahasubhadda. This made Chullasubhadda feel insulted and desert her husband. Chaddanta, however, tried to look for her but failed.

In course of time, Chullasubhadda died and was reborn in a royal family of the Madda kingdom. Later, when she grew up she was married to the king of Varanasi and became his chief consort. Still, she remembered her humiliation in the kingdom of Chaddanta. So, she hatched a plot to get Chaddanta’s tusks cut off; and convinced the Varanasi king to obtain his tusks for her. The king in turn summoned all the hunters of the kingdom and finally assigned the task to Sonuttara.

Nonetheless, it took seven years, seven months and seven days for Sonuttara to find the Chaddanta’s abode. There he stealthily dug a pit and covered it with dry leaves and twigs. When the elephant passed over it he shot him with a poisoned arrow. The elephant was to charge against him but when he saw Sonuttara clad in a saffron robe of a monk he recoiled and did not harm the hunter. Affected by the victim’s extreme religiosity the cruel hunter’s heart changed and he narrated the entire story to the elephant out of sheer respect.

As the hunter was not strong enough to cut off the Chaddanta’s tusks, Chaddanta himself held the saw in his tusk and cut them off and handed them over to the hunter who took them to Varanasti to show the chief consort of Varanasi. However, when she saw Chaddanta’s tusks being brought by Sonuttara she fainted and died because she could not bear the shock of the death of her husband from the previous life who she still cared for deeply, despite her anger.
Source:  http://ignca.gov.in/online-digital-resources/jataka-stories/004-the-story-of-chaddanta-elephant/ 


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Saptarishis

SAPTARISHI

Image Source: Wikipedia

 Saptarishi are the seven greatest sages of the Vedic realm and are the seven mind-born sons of Brahma who serve as his representatives. It is believed that they  have attained a semi-immortal status i.e. an exceedingly long lifespan  due to their yogic power and their penance. They are to be present through the four great ages, to guide the human race by working closely with Lord Shiva to maintain the balance on Earth and guide humanity so the stars of the Big Dipper or Ursa Major that has guided sailors and travelers for years has been named after the them. 

All the Saptarishi are Brahmarishis which means they have completely understood the meaning of Brahman ( the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe). This means that they are so powerful that they are capable of defeating every weapon on earth, are greater even than the devtas in power and piety. Therefore, they are the highest in rank over Devatas and other classifications of Rishis and can – according to Vedic literature – enter the realms of the gods and demons. They can forecast the future, and are not influenced by the circle of life and death. They will live for a period equal to seventy-one mahāyugas or 306,720,000 years, after which the universe gets destroyed and Saptarishi merge in God and new Saptarishis will come up, nothing else can destroy them. 

Many different lists of the names of the seven sages are given. Probably this differs from age to age because they keep replacing one another, but most lists include Vishvamitra, Vasishta, Atri, Gautama, Bharadwaja, Kashyapa, Agastya and Jamadagni. 

What’s more is that even our ancestral lineage, Gotras (a lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth), relates directly to the Saptarishi. In most cases, the system is paternal and the Gotra assigned is that of the person’s father. 

Therefore, the Saptarishis are the 7 immortal human forms that will live through the numerous Manavataras that the Great Ages of this Earth Cycle will see. These seven great sages are supposed to uplift the human kind to their best of capabilities and enlighten the planet in its entirety.

Sources:

https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/did-you-know-chanting-the-names-of-the-saptarishis-is-very-beneficial-for-your-life


About the Present Saptrishis

BHARADWAJA

Image Source: Wikimedia

Sage Bharadwaja is a descendant of sage Angirasa and son of Devarsi Brihaspati. He is the Author of Ayurveda and the father of Guru Dronacharya, Devavarnini and Ganga. The sage was a master of advanced military arts, including the Devastras. He had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of Vedas and in addition meditated for Indra, Lord Shiva and Parvathi for more Vedic Knowledge.


VASHISHTHA

Image Source: Wikipedia

The husband of Arundathi, Rishi Vasishtha is one of the oldest and most revered Vedic rishis. He is credited with the 7th Mandala of Rigveda, the Vasisht Samhita (a treatise on electional astrology), Yoga Vashishtha, and the Agni Puran. He was the family priest of the Raghu dynasty and the teacher of Rama. He os also known as the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara.


VISHWAMITRA

Image Source: Wikipedia

Vishwamitra rose to the position of a Brahmarishi through his own merit alone, despite how difficult it was (the status was awarded only to Brahmanas). Born as a Kshatriya. Having fought, lost and then pardoned by the Sage Vashishta, it made a deep impression on the King. He realized that the power obtained by penances was greater than mere physical might. He renounced his kingdom and began his quest to become a greater sage than Vasishta and took on the name Vishwamitra. He wrote the Gayatri Mantra and  most of the Mandala 3  of Rig Veda. 


GAUTAMA

Image Source: Rootshunt

Gautama Rishi belongs to the lineage of Angiras who married Ahalya, the daughter of Brahma. He authored the Gautama Dharma Sutra and  some of the Rig Vedic & Sama Vedic mantras and Suktas. He is said to be a person without ego, but he curses his wife and Indra for infidelity.


ATRI

Image Source: Flickr

Sage Atri is one among the Sages who propounded the sacred thread (Poonal) and his wife Anusuya is an embodiment of chastity. He is considered to be one of the great discoverers of sacred mantras for creating hymns dedicated to Lord Agni, Lord Indra and other Vedic deities in Hinduism. Atri Samhita and Atri Smriti are two works of the great sage. Anasuya gave birth to Lord Dattatreya as an avatar of Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.


KASHYAPA

Image Source: SpeakingTree

Kashyapa is the son of Rishi Marichi and grandson of Brahma. He was the father of Devas, Asuras, Nagas, garudas, Vamana, Agni, Adityas, Daityas, Aryaman, Mitra, Pusan, Varuna, and all Humanity and is the progenitor, Prajapati. He was an author of Kashyapa Samhitha which is a classical reference book in the field of Ayurvedic Paediatrics, Gynecology, and Obstetrics. He is the most ancient rishi listed in the colophon verse in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and is credited as the self-made scholar of the Atharvaveda. 


JAMADANGI

Image Source: Wikipedia

Jamadagni is the father of Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu and the descendant of sage Bhrigu one of the Prajapatis created by Brahma, he himself was the incarnation on Shiva. He was well versed in the art of weaponry and scriptures without any formal education. He once became annoyed with the sun because of too much heatsp he shot several arrows into the sky, terrifying Surya, who appeared before the rishi as a Brahmin and gave him two inventions that helped mankind deal with his heat – sandals and an umbrella.  


Jatakas

JATAKAS

Image Source: Wikimedia

The Jatakas are an important part of Buddhist art and literature. They describe the previous existences or births of the Buddha (the Enlightened One) when he appeared as Bodhisattvas (beings who are yet to attain enlightenment or moksha), in both human and non-human forms. These stories tell us how practicing different perfections or transcendental virtues (which are usually termed paramitas) are key to Buddhist approaches for attaining enlightenment (moksha) or the release from samsara, the endless cycle of rebirth.

It is widely believed by Buddhists that, in each of his previous incarnations, the karmic entity that was to become Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, gained more and more karmic merit. After his enlightenment, the Buddha is said to have recounted 547 stories in response to questions about his previous incarnations, and thus about the ways in which people could follow his example.

Many of the Jatakas have been painted and sculpted on the walls of various monuments including Ajanta and Bagh caves, various Stupas and so on.


Some Of The Jatakas

The story of the past is of two merchants who travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by goblins, throws away his drinking water and is devoured with all his people and cattle. The other completes his journey safely, not putting faith in the goblins. The moral is that the followers of false teachers are led astray… Read Now

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta Jataka – The previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now