The Bodhisattva came in many forms -man, monkey, deer, elephant, lion. Whatever his mortal body, he spread the message of justice and wisdom, tempered with compassion. This wisdom, the wisdom of right thinking and right living, is preserved in the Jataka tales.
These tales are based on the 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 appears 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.
According to Maha Ummagga Jataka, the Bodhisattva was once born as Aushadha Kumar who was endowed with celestial knowledge and superhuman powers. Earlier, we had published the stories of Aushadha Kumar's childhood (Battle of Wits) and his early life at the court of Mithila (The Price- less Gem). This issue of Amar Chitra Katha presents Aushadha Kumar in the role of the chief minister of Mithila.
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