Lioness married to a jackal

Klaus Karttunen klaus.karttunen at HELSINKI.FI
Tue Sep 7 06:50:33 UTC 2004

Dear Colleagues,
my notes contain following cases involving sexual or family relations 
between lions and jackals (much more common is the idea of the jackal 
as a courtier or minister of king lion):

Pancatantra of Purnabhadra 4, 4 The jackal, though lion's foster-son, 
reveals his true nature of a coward when his brothers, the lion cubs, 
will attack an elephant.

Jataka 157 (Gunajataka) A jackal rescues the lion and becomes his 
friend and they live together with their families, but the lioness, not 
understanding the situation, is jealous of the she-jackal.

Jataka 188 (Sihakottajataka) A lion (Bodhisattva) had a cub by a 
she-jackal. The cub had the appearance of a lion, but his mother's 
voice. Only keeping silent he could live with other lions.

So it is the lion, not the lioness, who has relations with jackals (cf. 


Klaus Karttunen, Ph.D.
Research Fellow,
  Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
  P.O. Box 4
  FIN-00014  University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)9-191 23500
  Fax +358-(0)9-191 24509
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Docent of Indology and Classical Ethnography
Institute of Asian and African Studies
PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B), 00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND

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