Jataka, aka: Jātaka; 14 Definition(s)


Jataka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Jātaka (जातक).—Genethlialogy; the practice or study of casting nativity horoscopes. Note: Jātaka is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Jātaka (जातक): The Jataka is a voluminous body of folklore and mythic literature, primarily associated with the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as written in the Pali language (from about the 3rd century, C.E.); The story of Rama is told in one of Jātakas.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The tenth book of Khuddaka Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka containing tales of the former births of the Buddha. The Jataka also forms one of the nine angas or divisions of the Buddhas teachings, grouped according to the subject matter (DA.i.15, 24).

The canonical book of the Jatakas (so far unpublished) contains only the verses, but it is almost certain that from the first there must have been handed down an oral commentary giving the stories in prose. This commentary later developed into the Jatakatthakatha.

Some of the Jatakas have been included in a separate compilation, called the Cariya Pitaka. It is not possible to say when the Jatakas in their present form came into existence nor how many of these were among the original number. In the time of the Culla Niddesa, there seem to have been five hundred Jatakas, because reference is made to pancajatakasatani (p.80; five hundred was the number seen by Fa Hsien in Ceylon (p.71)). Bas reliefs of the third century have been found illustrating a number of Jataka stories, and they presuppose the existence of a prose collection. Several Jatakas exist in the canonical books which are not included in the Jataka collection. For a discussion on the Jatakas in all their aspects, see Rhys Davids Buddhist India, pp.189ff.

The Dighabhanakas included the Jataka in the Abhidhamma Pitaka. (DA.i.15; the Samantapasadika (i.251) contains a reference to a Jatakanikaya).

The Jataka consists of twenty two sections or nipatas.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

N Chronicles of Buddhas past lives.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Jātaka (जातक, “birth-story”) refers to one of the “nine (types of) teachings” (sūtra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 62). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., jātaka). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgrahaThe sutra to narrate the birth stories of Shakyamuni in present life, past lives, and effects related to the past lives and the present lives.Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

India history and geogprahy

Jātaka.—(LL), Buddhist; birth-story [of one who is to be a Buddha in a future life]; story of a previous birth of Gautama Buddha. Note: jātaka is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Jataka in Pali glossary... « previous · [J] · next »

jātaka : (nt.) a birth story. (adj.), born; arisen.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Jātaka, 2 (m.) (jāta+ka, belonging to what has been born) a son J. I, 239; IV, 138. (Page 281)

2) Jātaka, 1 (nt.) (jāta+ka, belonging to, connected with what has happened) 1. a birth story as found in the earlier books. This is always the story of a previous birth of the Buddha as a wise man of old. In this sense it occurs as the name of one of the 9 categories or varieties of literary composition (M. I, 133; A. II, 7, 103, 108; Vin. III, 8; Pug. 43. See navaṅga). -2. the story of any previous birth of the Buddha, esp. as an animal. In this sense the word is not found in the 4 Nikāyas, but it occurs on the Bharhut Tope (say, end of 3rd cent. B. C.), and is frequent in the Jātaka book. ‹-› 3. the name of a book in the Pāli canon, containing the verses of 547 such stories. The text of this book has not yet been edited. See Rh. Davids’Buddhist India, 189—209, and Buddh. Birth Stories, introd. , for history of the Jātaka literature.—jātakaṃ niṭṭhapeti to wind up a Jātaka tale J. VI, 363; jātakaṃ samodhāneti to apply a Jātaka to the incident J. I, 106; DhA. I, 82. ‹-› Note. The form jāta in the sense of jātaka occurs at DhA. I, 34.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

jātaka (जातक).—n (S) The predetermination, from the horoscope &c., of the fortunes and destinies of an individual through life: also that branch of astrology which teaches the calculation. 2 A particular one of the eight varga or significant letters considered in forming a matrimonial connection.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

jātaka (जातक).—n Astrological calculation of a nativity.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Jātaka (जातक).—a. [jāta-svārthe ka] Born, produced.

-kaḥ 1 A new-born infant.

2) A mendicant.

-kam 1 A ceremony performed after the birth of a child (jātakarman); जात- काद्याः क्रियाश्चास्या विधिपूर्वं यथाक्रमम् (jāta- kādyāḥ kriyāścāsyā vidhipūrvaṃ yathākramam) Mb.1.8.12; जातकं कारयामास वर्तयित्वा च मङ्गलम् (jātakaṃ kārayāmāsa vartayitvā ca maṅgalam) Bhāg.1.12.13.

2) Astrological calculation of a nativity.

3) An aggregate of similar things.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Jātaka (जातक).—mfn.

(-kaḥ-kā-kaṃ) Born. m.

(-kaḥ) A mendicant. n.

(-kaṃ) Astrological calculation of a nativity. E. svārthe ka added to the preceding.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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Trijātaka (त्रिजातक).—n. (-kaṃ) Three spices collectively, mace, cardamoms, and cassia leaf. E....
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Kusa, 1. the kusa grass (Poa cynosuroides) DhA. III, 484: tikhiṇadhāraṃ tiṇaṃ antamaso tālapaṇṇ...
Indriya Jataka
Indriya, (nt.) (Vedic indriya adj. only in meaning “belonging to Indra”; nt. strength, might (...
Ghata Jataka
Ghata, (nt.) (Vedic ghṛta, ghṛ to sprinkle, moisten) clarified butter VvA.326; Miln.41; Sdhp....
Vattaka Jataka
Vattaka, (adj.) (fr. vatta1) doing, exercising, influencing; in vasa° having power, neg. avasa...
Sigala Jataka
Sigāla, (śṛ°) (cp. Vedic sṛgāla; as loan-word in English= jackal) a jackal D. II, 295; III, 2...
Tittira Jataka
Tittira, (Onomat. cp. Vedic tittira & tittiri, Gr. tatuρas pheasant, Lit. teterva heath-cock; ...
Kosiya Jataka
Kosiya, an owl J. II, 353, cp. Np. Kosiyāyana J. I, 496. Biḷārakosika (and °kosiya) J. IV, 69. ...
Samugga Jataka
Samugga, (Class. Sk. samudga) a box, basket J. I, 265, 372, 383; Miln. 153, 247; Sdhp. 360 (r...
Ummagga Jataka
Ummagga, (ud + magga, lit. “off-track”) — 1. an underground watercourse, a conduit, main M. I, ...
Cakkavaka Jataka
Cakkavāka, (Vedic cakravāka, cp. kṛkavāku, to sound root kṛ, see note on gala) the ruddy goose ...
Kanha Jataka
Kanha, (adj.) (cp. Vedic kṛṣṇa, Lith. kérszas) dark, black, as attr. of darkness, opposed to li...
Palasa Jataka
1) Palāsa, 2 & (more commonly) Paḷāsa (according to Trenckner, Notes 83, from ras, but BSk. pra...

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