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Buddhist Folk Tales from Ancient Ceylon
Collected by:
ISBN: 9789074597869
Book (Paperback)
Binkey Kok, Holland
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
176 pages
August 15, 2005


On warm, full-moon nights before the holy day, the stories in this book were told in Singhalese. The verses were often sung to the people in Pali, the sacred language of the Buddhists, and then translated into Singhalese. This tradition, preserved by the people and the Buddhist monks of Ceylon (now part of modern-day Sri Lanka), goes back at least three hundred years. The tales, or jatakas, are possibly even older than the time when the Sakya, the Buddhist doctrine, was founded. It's also very likely that some of them had been introduced into India from other countries. Others are obviously of a Buddhist origin. However, all of these jatakas have been adopted by the oldest-known tradition of the Buddhist doctrine, and even today they find a ready ear among the people of Ceylon.

The stories tell about the lives of the Buddha before his enlightenment. Some sound like fairy tales and others bring alive the provincial life of centuries ago. But all them contain moral teachings that are sometimes hidden, sometimes very obvious.

A delicious anthology of solemn Eastern wisdom wrapped up in simple stories of the people of ancient Ceylon.

Binkey Kok - World