Jataka tales are based on folklore, legends and ballads of ancient India. We cannot assign a definite date to the Jataka stories. Taking into account archaeological and literary evidence it seems likely that they were compiled in the period, third century B. C. to fifth century A.D. They give us invaluable information about ancient Indian civilization, culture and philosophy.
The Jataka stories have been very popular in the Buddhist world. These stories have been translated almost in all the languages of the Buddhist countries such as Chinese, Tibetan, Sinhalese, Siamese, Burmese, Japanese and also in many modern European languages. These stories have encouraged painting and sculpture in ancient India and other Buddhist countries. Sanchi, Bharhut, Amaravati and Ajanta in India, Borobudur in Java, Pegan in Burma and Sukhodaya in Thailand bear testimony to the popularity of these tales.
The present book is a collection of a few Jataka stories in which the Bodhisatva is born as a monkey. We hope, in the words of Prof. Rhys Davids that "we may still turn with appreciation to the ancient book of the Buddhist Jataka tales as a priceless record of the childhood of our race".
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