I have just finished preparing EW Burlingame’s 1922 collection of over 200 Buddhist Parables for inclusion on the Ancient Buddhist Texts website.
Last year I published the same translator’s Buddhist legends, his full translation of the Dhammapada Commentary, and that led me on to this work.
The Buddhist tradition has always been very strong on teaching through story form, and there is a wealth of parables in the tradition.
Burlingame here collected over 200 from the Canon (stories in the Vinaya, Four Main Nikāyas, Suttanipāta, and more); Para-Canonical (mainly the Milindapañha) and Commentarial sources (Dhammapada, Jātaka, and commentaries on the Nikāyas).
There is a wealth of imagery from the simple to the complex, with many memorable stories, and the material is a veritable mine for preachers and students alike.
There is also an interesting Introduction, which gives a good synopsis of the Buddha’s life, and at the conclusion of the book Burlingame shows how many of these stories penetrated popular stories known in the West.
I have to thank Donny Hacker for many hours of hard work in getting the original ocr-ed text into good shape, having the benefit of others in mind. As always the book is published in a number of formats: html, pdf, epub and mobi.