Month: January 2021

Having Buddha as a best friend (Jataka Tales)

Buddha as a best friend

I believe that a best friend is someone that an individual should be able to count on. A best friend will be there for someone through thick and thin. A best friend will be present through the good times and the bad times. Many people have different interpretations of what they would consider as a best friend. Some may call a best friend someone who is always there for them. Others may claim a best friend is someone that listens to them in their time of grief. Let’s have a look at a few popular best friends that have blessed the world with their presence:


In the first picture listed above, Han Sola and Chewbacca can be seen. Han Solo and Chewbacca are two friends that have gone on several different adventures together and they always looked out for one another while doing so! In the second picture listed above, Kobe Bryant and Shaq can be seen playing together in a basketball game. When these two guys were friends with one another, they were unstoppable on the basketball court and they showed that teamwork does indeed make the dream work. In the third picture listed above, Dale and Brennan can be seen watching television together. These two showed that with a friend, boring things can eventually become exciting.



Many reading this may be wondering how Buddha fits into all this. I can confidently say that after reading the Jataka Tales, Buddha is every single one of the best friends listed above and more. The Jataka Tales are a list of stories concerning Buddha. There are over five hundred Jataka Tales that can be read although I will go over three of them. The three Jataka Tales that I will speak on have Buddha reappearing in life as various animals, committing great deeds as each animal. If one reads this and asks themselves if I just wrote reappearing in life, the answer is yes. According to Buddha, everyone who dies either comes back to the world as a new creature or they die for good and reach salvation. Buddha is the only one who can remember his past life and events/choices. Buddhas desire to reach salvation presumably causes for him to commit good deeds. Some of these deeds are as simple as being honest and righteous while others are as dramatic as him sacrificing his life so that others can live.


The first of the three Jataka Tales that I will go over is titled “Golden Goose”. In this tale, Buddha is reincarnated as a golden goose. After Buddha passed away as a human, his family was forced to work. Once he became a golden goose, Buddha was able to give his family members golden feathers which in turn meant they didn’t have to work anymore because they were instead able to sell golden feathers for profit. Buddha’s wife ends up capturing him one day when he comes by her house (his former home) to drop off more golden feathers and she decides to pluck all the golden feathers out of him. This is a problem because Buddha’s feathers are only golden if he releases them from his body. The plucked feathers then become white and Buddha’s family can no longer profit off him. This story should inform readers of how well of a friend Buddha may be to them by showing them that he would be willing to give parts of himself to them so that they wouldn’t have to deal with the problems that come with working a regular job.


The second of the three Jataka Tales that I will go over is titled “The Hare’s Self Sacrifice”. In this story, Buddha is reincarnated as a Hare. A Hare for those who don’t know (I didn’t when I first read this) is an animal that is related to a rabbit. It also looks very similar to a rabbit and is often referred to as one despite that it isn’t a typical rabbit. Buddha has informed his three friends (monkey, otter, and a jackal) that the holy day is approaching and that if someone should request food from them, they should oblige with said request. The otter ended up finding fish to give to anyone who requested food, the monkey found mangoes to share with the needy, and the jackal found milk and a lizard to share with those in need. The hare (Buddha) didn’t have any food to give so he instead decided that he would sacrifice himself as food so that the hungry could eat. This story shows readers that Buddha would be willing to sacrifice himself so that his best friend could eat.



The third of the three Jataka Tale stories that I will go over is titled “The Monkey’s Heroic Self-Sacrifice”. In this story, Buddha is rebirthed as a monkey and he and his eighty thousand monkeys (Buddha is the leader) find a mango tree. Humans eventually find out about this mango tree and they have decided to take it over for themselves. The humans prepare to attack the monkeys with arrows which is where Buddha decides to position himself as a bridge to transport the other monkeys to safety. This story, along with the other two stories that I spoke on, informs readers that Buddha would be a very special best friend. Buddha is the type of friend that would inconvenience himself so that his best friend wouldn’t have to work. Buddha is the type of friend that would sacrifice himself so that his best friend could eat. Buddha would be willing to die so that his best friend could get to safety. After reading this blog it should be clear to readers that Buddha is the best friend that everyone wants but doesn’t deserve. 











Works Cited




(Golden Goose)


Puchner, Martin. “The Norton Anthology of World Literature-Fourth Edition (Volume A).” W.W. Norton & Company, 2018. (Pages 1294-1303).

(Star Wars)