Jātakamālā or Garland of Birth Stories

by Āryaśūra

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Om! Adoration to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Introductory Stanzas

1. The cipher on the left denotes the number of the stanza. The prose parts of the original are indicated by the absence of the cipher. [In the electronic edition the verses are also indented to clarify the presentation.] 01 Grand and glorious, of inexhaustible praise and charm, comprising excellent virtues and thereby aus-picious, are the wonderful exploits which the Muni performed in previous births. Them will I devoutly worship with the handful of flowers of my poem.

2, 3. “By those praiseworthy deeds the way is taught that is leading to Buddhahood; they are the landmarks on that way. Further even the hard-hearted may be softened by them. The holy stories may also obtain a greater attractiveness.” So I considered, and for the benefit of men the attempt will be made to find a favourable audience for my own genius, by treating of the extraordinary facts of the Highest One in the world in a manner which is in accordance with the course of facts as recorded by Scripture and Tradition.

4. Him, whose beautiful practice of virtues, while acting for the sake of others, no one could imitate, though bent on self-interest; Him, the blaze of whose glory is involved in his true name of the All-Knowing One; Him, the Incomparable One together with the Law and the Congregation I venerate with bowed head. [2]