Social Conventionalism and Mobility with Reference to Maha Supina Jathaka

Kalundewe Chandawimala Thera


There are some specific rules and theories in order to establish ethical existencein the society. These rules and theories are made out of exemplary lives of ancestors orfrom the social conventionalism of a well disciplined intelligent community. Therefore,conventionalism means some conceptual formations combined with commonconcurrence and ethics. If anyone violates these conventions, there will be sometransformation in the society. If these transformations are continuously emerged, itcauses social changes which can be identified as social mobilizes. This discourse ofsocial conventionalism and social mobility was directly addressed in Buddhist literaturesuch as in Jathakapali. Mahasupina jathaka.

In this research, there are attempts to study social conventionalism, as mentionedin Mahasupina jathaka and to analyze it in modern social context. Also, it examines theconsequences which may emerge, when a ruler violates conventionalism in the society.The methodology of this research is based especially on the literary study (Tripitaka pāliand modern literature) collecting data and analyzing them according to the currentsituation.

The context of Mahasupina Jathaka was based on the incidents faced by to KingKosala in Lord Buddha's time. According to that story King Kosala saw sixteen dreamsand he asked Lord Buddha about them. The Lord Buddha analyzed these dreams basedon some aspects of social conventionalism. The Symbols, similes, metaphors andcharacters consist in the sixteen dreams have been used to explain some common factorswhich emerged in contemporary and future societies. According to this description onecan argue that the main figure who can affect social mobility is the ruler of a kingdom oran empire. His activities directly cause to transform attitudes, behaviors and ideologicalfactors in that society. Therefore, Mahasupina jathaka focuses on social mobility whichcan be directly affected by unrighteous rule of the king. Mahasupina jathaka does notobserve and imagined or narrated philosophies in the society. These ideas and characterscan emerge from time to time in society and it has an eternal value.

Key words: Mahasupina jathaka, Mobility, King Kosala, Social conventionalism, Socialparadigm

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