Video ►Animals In Early India

Published: 16.04.2013
Updated: 17.08.2015

14th Jaina Studies Workshop

Date: 22 March 2012 Time: 9:00 AM
Finished: 22 March 2012 Time: 5:00 PM
Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre



Animals in Early India: Stories from the Upaniads, the Jatakas, the Pañcatantra, and Jaina Narratives

This paper will explore key animal stories from Indian literature. These fall into two basic genres: animals as animals and animals as past or future humans. In the former group, the actions of animals serve as moral reminders of how to improve human behavior. In the second genre, meritorious animals may earn human birth and spiritual attainments, while humans, due to deleterious activity, may earn animal birth. We will begin with an exploration of the wisdom of animals in the Satyakāma Jabala story of the Upaniṣads, examine select tales from the Jātakas and Paṅcatantra, and look at some of the moral lessons taught by animals in Jaina literature. The paper will conclude with some constructive reflections on how these fables might still prove instructive in the contemporary context.


Jaina Studies Workshop At SOAS
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