Title: Twenty Jātaka Tales.
Author: (retold by) Noor Inayat Khan.
Genre: Fiction, literature, short stories, animals, philosophical fiction, Buddhism, Eastern philosophy, mythology, religion, animals, parable.
Country: Original India, this volume U.K.
Language: Sanskrit (this book in English).
Publication Date: Originally ~4BC (retold and published in this volume in 1940).
Summary: Adapted from the original large volume, this selection of twenty tales have been drawn from famous legends concerning the former lives of the Buddha. They tell of people and animals moved to acts of sacrifice by the noble example of their fellow creatures. The flavor is often suggestive of Aesop, as are the lessons that are so subtly and keenly conveyed as the highly dramatic adventures that are resolved by non-violent and compassionate means. Challenging circumstances bring forth courage and the capacity to love, opening the way to solutions against seemingly impossible odds.
My rating: 8/10.
♥ "It is not your sword that makes you a king; it is love alone. Forget not that your life is but little to give if in giving you secure the happiness of your people. Rule them not through power because they are your subjects; nay, rule them through love because they are your children. In this way only you shall be king."
♥ “Mother has put our bowl at the door and men are standing there with ropes. I fear, brother, some danger is upon us.”
Mahatundila’s soft eyes rested tenderly upon his brother, and in a low, sweet voice he said: “Your head is drooping, brother. Grieve not. Know that for this day we have been reared and fed. Alas! it is our flesh that men want. Go, Tundila; answer Mother’s call.”
Then, moved by the tears in his brother’s eyes, he spoke these words:
“Bathe in the pool of water as on a bright feast-day,
And you shall find a perfume that never fades away.”
…”Brother, tell me,” he said, “what is the pool of water and what is the perfume that never fades away?”
Mahatundila answered, and the great crowd stood silent as he spoke: “The pool of water is love, and love is the fragrance that never fades away. Be not sad, brother, be not sad to leave this world. Many stay and are unhappy; many leave and joy is theirs.”
~~The Two Pigs.
♥ Another day the mischievous monkey took a stick and knocked the buffalo’s ears with it, then while he was taking a walk he sat on his back like a hero, holding the stick in his hand.
And to all of this the buffalo made never a murmur, though his horns were strong and mighty.
But one day, while the monkey sat on his back, a fairy appeared.
“A great being you are, O buffalo,” she said; “but little do you know your strength. Your horns can break down trees, and your feet could crush rocks. Lions and tigers fear to approach you. Your strength and beauty are known to the whole world, and yet you walk about with a foolish monkey on your back. One blow of your horns would pierce him, and a stroke of your foot would crush him. Why do you not throw him to the ground and finish with this play?”
“This monkey is small,” replied the buffalo, “and Nature has not given him much brain. Why then should I punish him? Moreover, why should I make him suffer in order that I may be happy?”
~~The Patient Buffalo.