The Jatakamala of Aryasura

FREE Delivery
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: IDK674
Author: J.S. Speyer
Publisher: Akshara Prakashan, Ahmedabad
Language: Text and English Translation
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788188643233
Pages: 645
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.8" X 6.5"
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
From the Jacket

The Jatakamala of Aryasura, also known as Bodhisattvavadanamala is a 3rd-4th cent. AD collection of thirty-four Jataka tales of the Sanskrit tradition, narrated in the form of a campukavya. Due to its unique place in the Buddhist narrative literature and its literary qualities, this text has gone through quite a few editions and translations.

Of all the editions of the Jatakamala so far published the present bilingual one is by far the best. The text published in this edition has been reconstructed primarily on the basis of two earlier editions – one by Hendrik Kern and the other by P.L. Vaidya. While editing the text variants noted by Kern and emendations suggested by Vaidya have been taken into consideration. In addition, the readings adopted by the anonymous commentary and the suggestions of the translator, J.S. Speyer, have also helped the finalization of the text. The text has been printed elegantly on a Devanagari font, specially developed for the series. J.S. Speyer's faithful and lucid translation has been made to conform to the modern idiom. The transliteration of Sanskrit words has been standardized according to the latest system internationally accepted.

The learned editor, Pandit Satakari Mukhopadhyaya, has augmented the edition with an informative and exhaustive introduction of nineteen pages, which traces the entire history of the origin and development of the Jataka stories in Pali and Sanskrit and also furnishes latest information about the Jataka Literature. A new index of verses has been appended which will prove useful to the readers.

Aryasura's Jatakamala narrates the pious and super-human deeds of Bodhisattvas former existences of the Buddha. The Jatakamala is an excellent campukavya (poetry in prose and verse). The thirty-four stories, as contained in the Jatakamala are intended to illustrate the six paramitas (perfections), viz. dana (munificence), sila (good conduct), ksanti (forbearance), virya (courage), dhyana (meditation) and prajna (wisdom).

The style of the author of the Jatakamala is classical and his language is chaste Paninian Sanskrit. Aryasura's complete command over the art of poetry both in prose and verse has been amply displayed.

Till recently very little was known about the life and personality of Aryasura. It is now known on the basis of the introductory sentences of the newly discovered anonymous Sanskrit commentary (edited from a single manuscript preserved in the Tokyo University Library) that the author was the son of a king of the Deccan but he renounced the duly inherited kingdom and embraced monkhood. He composed the Jatakamala with a view to bringing people to the path of wisdom. In the Chinese translation he is mentioned as Bodhisattva.

General Editor's Preface

The Pracya-Manisa-Gavesana-Mandiram feels immense pleasure in bringing out a bilingual edition of Aryasura's Jatakamala as the volume one of the Pracya-Manisa Classics series.

The Gavesana-Mandiram has been founded, in October 2005, by some eminent persons as a registered academic institution, with the noble objective, the study of and research in oriental literary and cultural heritage. A major part of Indian heritage constitute a vast classical literature, chiefly written in Sanskrit and Prakrit. This literature is unique in its comprehensiveness and range as well as in its intrinsic value. Besides, this literature is unparalled in the world for its amazing continuity of at least five thousand years. This literature comprises innumerable branches and disciplines, both religious and philosophical on the one hand and material and secular on the other. Some of the disciplines and branches are: the Vedas and auxiliary sciences; grammar, lexicography and semantics; religious and social codes, philosophical and metaphysical schools; logic and epistemology, sacred books of various sects; polity and statecraft; erotica; epic and mythology; creative literature and belles-letters; poetics, aesthetics and dramaturgy; architecture, iconography, music and dance; astronomy and mathematics, etc. etc. All the Indian traditions, -Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jain-have contributed to the growth and enrichment of this literature, down the ages.

The Gavesana-Mandiram has taken up the ambitious project of starting a series of bilingual editions of the representative works in all branches of the Indian classical literature. To start with the Jatakamala of Aryasura, a fourth century book of Buddhist narratives, written as a compukavya (a poem in prose and verse), is being published as the volume one in the series. Its place in Sanskrit literature in general and in the Buddhist narrative literature in particular has been discussed in greater in the Introduction, in the following pages.

This is to be noted that the Gavesana-Mandiram does not aim at producing a text-critical edition, based on original manuscripts, which would have been far more time-consuming and expensive, besides, not of much interest to general readers.

The text published in this edition has been reconstructed primarily on the basis of two earlier editions,-one by Hendrik Kern (referred to in the margin by K), the other one by P.L. Vaidya (referred to in the margin by V). While reconstructing the text, variants adopted by the anonymous commentary and the suggestions of the translator, J.S. Speyer, have also helped in finalizing the text in this edition. In a few cases, such variants and suggestions have been noted in the footnotes. We could not, however, incorporate the results of Peter Khoroche's research on the readings of the Jatakamala, since we could not contact him for his permission.

The excellent and faithful English translation by J.S. Speyer, based on Kern's edition and published as Vol. I of the Sacred Books of the Buddhists, in 1895, has been adopted here. No substantial change in the translation was found necessary; only manor alterations in the language have been made to conform to the modern idiom and also to our text. The old system of transliteration followed in the Sacred Books of the Buddhists has been replaced by the latest system now internationally accepted.

. The Kacchapa-jataka, appended by Kern to his edition, which he found as the seventeenth Jataka in a Manuscript preserved in Paris has been dropped since it is proved beyond all doubts that the said Jataka is not from the pen of Aryasura.

The General Editor is beholden to the office-bearers of the Pracya-Manisa-Gavesana-Mandiram, for their interest, encouragement and constant support. We also thank Sri Harish Chandra of the Akshya Prakashan for his kindly agreeing to be the co publisher for the Series.


Select Bibliographyxxxi
1The Story of the Tigress2
2The Story of The King of The Sibis14
3The Story of The Small Portion Of Gruel34
4The Story of The Head Of A Guild44
5The Story of Avisahya, The Head of a Guild52
6The Story of The Hare64
7The Story of Agastya80
8The Story of Maitribala98
9The Story of Visvantara124
10The Story of The Sacrifice160
11The Story of Sakra178
12The Story of The Brahmana186
13The Story of Unmadayanti196
14The Story of Suparaga214
15The Story of The Fish232
16The Story of The Quail's Young240
17The Story of The Jar246
18The Story of the Childless One258
19The Story of the Lotus-Stalks258
20The Story of The treasurer286
21The Story of Cuddabodhi300
22The Story of The Holy Swans316
23The Story of Mahabodhi350
24The Story of The Great Ape382
25The Story of the Sarabha398
26The Story of The Ruru-Deer410
27The Story of The Creat Ape428
28The Story of Ksanti[Vadin]444
29The Story of The Brahma[Loka]472
30The Story of The Elephant494
31The Story of Sutasoma514
32The Story of Ayogrha554
33The Story of The Buffalo572
34The Story of the Woodpecker580
37 Shlok597
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories