Title: Prince Goodspeaker: Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, Volume 1
Interpreted by Piyatissa Thera
Stories told by Todd Anderson
Publisher: Buddhist Literature Society
Length: 265 pages
It is a pleasure to rewrite the Jataka stories in modern English understandable by western readers. To achieve this goal, the stories are being retold in order to convey the spirit and meaning. They are not scholarly word-for-word translations as have been done by others. The Pali Text Society has published the whole text in English translations a hundred years ago. In Sri Lanka they were translated into Sinhalese in the 14th century, where they were known as Pansiya Panas Jataka.
In all Buddhist countries the Jataka tales were the major sources for developing the character of the people. They were used widely in preaching by monks and lay preachers. King Dutugemunu (2nd century B. C.), in Anuradhapura, paid for the support of preachers to teach Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha. They usually used these stories in their sermons. Even the Venerable Arahant Maha Mahinda, who introduced Dhamma into Sri Lanka, used these stories to illustrate the truth of the teachings. Some were even used by the Lord Buddha in his teachings, and from him his followers learned them and passed them into popular use in society. Even earlier, the same types of stories were present in Vedic literature.
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