Many English speakers are familiar with the Sanskrit word karma, which made its way into the language during the first half of the nineteenth century. It is often used in English to encapsulate the idea that “what goes around comes around.” This explanation is not entirely divorced from its original Sanskrit meaning, however, it does not contain the entire story. This more complete understanding of the word is brought to life in the stories known collectively as the Jataka Tales. These vignettes tell the story of the 550 lives of the Buddha before he reached Enlightenment. Each story contains a life lesson, often told with humor, and a reminder that one’s karma is bound to one’s actions.

Do these Two Assignments:

1. What lessons about karma do these stories teach?

After viewing all of the videos, write paragraphs explaining some of the laws of karma in these stories:

2. Write your own short story/play:

Compose your own story using the laws of karma. Place your work on the Eastern Philosophy blog page.


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