There is hardly anything more inspirational
than these 547 Jatakas collected and reunited in three books by the Pali Text
Society. Buddhism is there being born after a long journey through previous
life in old Hinduism and other brahmanism.
These Jatakas are showing how hard the birth of Buddhism was and how hard it
was for it to emerge from the gods, goddesses and other deities, from the caste
system and from all other alienation and exploitation instated and ossified by
older religious practices.
I have been working on Theravada Buddhism, and other forms
of Buddhism since a long time ago and particularly since 2005 when I spent
three months attached to a Buddhist monastery and training center in Pidurangala
in Sri Lanka
teaching the English of Buddhism to monks and other students.
The jatakas are for me the forest out of which Buddhism
emerged with Buddha himself and his teachings, and then the transcripotion of
these teachings into the canonical texts. Buddhism emerged from older religious
and social traditions and lilttle by little pushed aside all forms of divine
alienation and human Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, what they call
That's the tremendous merit of the Pali Text Society to
have collected the six volumes in three books and to have made them available
(in good price conditions only through them) since 1895 when the first volume
was published. The notes, indexes and tables of contents are essential for the
reader to appreciate these 547 Jatakas.
The notes and indexes of this edition are unique and the
best of tools you can imagine.
A Forest of Spiritual Jatakas
I would like
to submit to your discussion various writings of mine on the subject of the
Jatakas and the value of Buddhist meditation in the imagination of Homo Sapiens
when he started trying to understand the universe, and nothing has changed
since these ancient times some 300,000 or 350,000 years ago. A lot more could be
said but that is a project of mine that will never be finished and that cannot
grow without any discussion from everyone.