A monkey king who sacrifices his life to protect his subjects, an elephant whose loyality to a dead king saves a kingdom and a young deer who puts to good use the lessons his elders have taught him.
The wisdom of these animal tales, taken from ancient Indian folklore and ballads, were preserved in the Jatakas – a collection of 550 stories compiled, most likely, between 3rd century BC and 5th century AD.
It is believed that the Bodhisattva – one who aspires to become a Buddha – is born in many forms, including animal. In every form he spreads the message of justice, wisdom and compassion.
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