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tib.: kye rab) Birth stories or tales. Collection of 547 stories of previous lives of Buddha Shakyamuni which usually illustrate a point of doctrine or morality. These stories depict the good acts carried out by Buddha Shakyamuni in previous lifetimes that enabled him to be reborn as the Buddha in India. Jataka tales are part of Pali canon and are contained in Khuddaka nikaya section of Sutra Pitaka.

( The Jataka story is traditionally divided into three parts: 
1. The first part introduces an incident or anecdote from the life of Shakyamuni Buddha in India
2. The second, or main, part relates an act that he performed in one of his past existences.
3. The third part describes the causal relationship between the past act and the present (Shakyamunis historic life in India) and identifies the persons involved in the past incident with his contemporaries.


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- Lama Shenphen Rinpoche

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