A Commentary on the
Jātaka. It comprises
all the verses of the Jātaka and gives also, in prose, the stories connected
with the verses. Each such story is given a framework of introductory episode,
stating the circumstances in which the story was related, and each story has at
the end an identification of the chief characters mentioned with the
his contemporaries in some previous birth.
The whole collection is prefaced by a
long introductory essay, the Nidānakathā, giving the Buddha's history before his
birth as Siddhattha, and also during his last birth, up to the time of the
The work is a translation into Pāli of
the commentary in Sinhalese as handed down in Ceylon, but the verses of this
commentary were already in Pāli.
The authorship of the translation is
traditionally attributed to Buddhaghosa, but there exists much difference of
opinion on this point. For a discussion see P.L.C.123ff.