Before Buddha Was Buddha

Learning from the Jataka Tales

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Rafe Martin
  • Sommerville, MA: 
    Wisdom Publications
    , March
     184 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Hannah D. Olson forthcoming.


In the lifetimes before he was Siddhartha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha was many things: a gardener, a robber, a monkey—and even an ogre.

Yet even then, amid struggles and shortcomings, he was also just like us—as we see in this enchanting book from Buddhist teacher and master storyteller Rafe Martin. Martin starts with brisk retellings of jatakas—the ancient stories the Buddha’s past lives—then uses them to reveal what it means to be truly human.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Rafe Martin is the recipient of the Empire State Award, three American Library Association Notable Book awards, four Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, two Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards, an American Folklore Society Aesop Accolade, several American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, an International Reading Association Teachers’ Choice, and many other awards of distinction.

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