All living creatures die to be born again, so the Hindus believe, Siddhartha, who become the Buddha, was no exception. It is believed that several lifetimes as a Bodhisattva go into the making of Buddha, the Enlightened One. The Bodhisattva is one, who by performing virtuous, kind and intelligent acts, aspires to become a Buddha. The Bodhisattva comes in many forms-man, monkey, deer elephant, lion. Whatever his mortal body, he spreads the message of justice and wisdom, tempered with compassion.
This wisdom or right thinking and right living, is preserved in the Jataka tales, a collection 550 stories included in the Pali canon, and are based on the ballads, legend and folklore ancient India. The stories provide interesting insights into the civilisation, culture and philosophy of that time.
The five volumes in this Amar Chita Katha have animals playing the key roles. While Bird Stories deals with issues of friendship, greed and loyalty, Deer Stories recounts six impressionable anecdotes with the deer as the central character. Caution, trust and kindness are some of the virtues that are effortlessly conveyed through these fascinating tales.
The three teles in Elephant Stories lucidly explain the futility of vices like greed, jealousy and pride and the victory of humility, trust and loyalty with the elephant playing the central role throughout.
Monkey Stories uses simple analogies with monkeys as the main characters, and teaches many valuable lessons in wisdom and common sense. Jackal Stories enumerates the multiple adventures of this wily creature who, at times, succeeds in his tricks but at others fails miserably in his cunning schemes.
These tales will keep you amused, while never failing to emphasize the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
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