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sKyes pa rabs kyi gleṅ gźi (Jātakanidāna), Prologue to the Birth Stories. An English Translation of a Critical Edition Based on Six Editions of the Tibetan bKa’ ’gyur. Jātakanidāna vol. II, Oxford: Indica et Buddhica Publishers



The work begins with an introduction that contextualises the text under consideration and provides a brief historical survey of the text and its related literature. This book includes a complete translation of the Tibetan text of the sKyes pa rabs kyi gleṅ gźi, the Pāli Jātakanidāna, with the text being divided into segments following Tiwari’s devanagari edition. The translation of the text is the first full translation from the Tibetan of this work that is itself a translation from the original Pāli. The work consists of the translation that is made from the critical edition of the Tibetan which used six editions of the bKa’ ’gyur for reference. The translation is provided with annotations that provide various types of information on the text and its contents as they occur within the text. These annotations give a wide variety of references relating to different aspects of the text. There are straightforward comparative examples of Tibetan and Pāli sentences to show that a particular sentence has either been translated literally or in more of a paraphrase fashion. Where the sentences do not fully coincide both are given in the footnotes to show how and where the differences occur. Other examples of the varieties of annotation include any name or word in the text that has a reference in the Mahāvyutpatti, that reference is added to the annotations in order to give an indication of how the Tibetans had translated a similar Sanskrit term or name in earlier Buddhist works. The basic purpose of the book is to provide a full translation of this text from the Tibetan critical edition. The translation and its annotations allow for an exhaustive comparison with the Pāli original text, and for making references to any sections or sentences that do not agree in both versions. The annotations give a complete view of the state of the two texts and shows precisely where any differences occur. Also included in the annotations are all the Tibetan translations of the proper names and place names in the text along with their Pāli originals. The book allows for a complete comparison of the two versions of the text via the extensive annotations given in the footnotes. It also provides a guide to any student reading the Tibetan or the Pāli version of the text The book adds to the small volume of work carried out to date on the Tibetan translation of the text. It makes available a fully annotated translation of the Tibetan that will allow for comparative studies with the Pāli original of the text. It is also a contribution to the growing body of work surrounding the concept of narrative literature, since it is an important example of the narrative style of text developed by the Buddhists.
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