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Animal stories in Buddhist jatakas

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Among the Jatakas and avadanas attributed to Buddha as collected by Fausboll and Cowell there are about 262 stories which contain animals as actors. These are previous incarnations of Buddha.He used material adapted to his moral message for his followers. Last year we concentrated on the moral messages and the artistic illustrations of the stories. Now, we focus on the animals.

The stories feature animals in different situations, showing characters at times benevolent, other times not so much so. In listing the stories with the titles and primary references, enables the reader to find them either in Cowell (CJ) or Fausboll (FJ) or in a concise edition of Malalasekera (Mal) Dictionary of Pali Proper Names. Also, in my "Concordance of Buddhist Birth Stories" third edition 2000, you find vast references in world literature, which shows the influence of Buddha in fields of comparative religion, philosophy and artistic creativity. Most of all, it attests to the unparalleled Humanistic aspects of his concern toward human behavior. As such, it is an inexhaustible mine for studies in various disciplines of humanistic studies.