Paññāsa Jātaka

The Paññāsa Jātaka (Burmese: ပညာသဇာတက; Thai: ปัญญาสชาดก), is a non-canonical collection of 50 stories of the Buddha's past lives, originating in mainland Southeast Asia.[1] The stories were based on the style of the Jātakatthavaṇṇanā, but are not from the Pāli Canon itself.[2][3] The stories outline the Buddha's biography and illustrate his acquisition of the perfections (pāramitā), with a strong focus on generosity (dāna).[4]

According to 17th and 18th century Burmese tradition,[4] the stories may have originated in 15th century Lan Na (modern Northern Thailand).[3] According to Damrong Rajanubhab, the stories were first composed in Chiang Mai between 1467 and 1667.[3]

The collection has 3 recensions, one in Laotian and 2 in Pali, one from Burma, and another from Cambodia and Thailand. The Burmese version is also known as Zinme Pyinnyatha (ဇင်းမယ်ပညာသ; lit. "Chiang Mai Fifty"),[5] from where the collection was likely transmitted.[6] While there is some overlap between the versions, there is a significant degree of variation in the 3 recensions.[7]