All living creatures die to be born again - so the Hindus believe. Siddhartha, who became the Buddha, was no exception. It is believed that severa lifetimes as a Bodhisattva go into the making of the Buddha, the Enlightened One.
The Bodhisattva has come in many forms - man, monkey, deer, elephant and lion. Whatever his mortal his mortal body, he has spread the message of justice and wisdom, tempered with compassion. This wisdom of right thinking and right living is preserved in the Jataka Tales.
We cannot assign a definite date to the Jataka stories. Taking into account archaeological and literary evidence, it appears that they were compiled in the period from the third century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. They give us invaluable information about ancient Indian civilization, culture and philosophy.
These stories never fail to point out the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
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