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The Mighty Fish Story in English for Kids

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In this engaging story, children will understand that, if we pray with good intentions and with the welfare of all living beings in mind, God will surely listen to our prayers and bless us with his generosity.

Introduction to the Mighty Fish Story

Prayers with a true heart and without selfish desires have tremendous power to change things. God listens to those who believe in the truth and welfare of others and there are many true stories where prayers have made a huge difference in a life, a moment, or in the entire world. The story of the mighty fish, which we will discuss in this article, would further strengthen the belief in the immense capacity of prayers when done with a pure heart and not to harm anyone.

This fish story for kids teaches a unique concept to kids. The moral of the mighty fish story talks about how praying can move mountains, and the story aims to instill that an act of truth (or solemn act called Sacchakiriya in Sanskrit) is mightier than futile efforts of accumulating riches and power in the world.

We will now read this interesting and powerful story of the mighty fish and understand the morals behind the story.

Origin of the Mighty Fish Story

This story is part of Jataka Tales which means "related to birth." This literary work originated in South Asia and is related to the many births of Gautam Buddha in the form of humans as well as animals.  Jatakas are one of the most ancient forms of Buddhist literature.

In the Jataka stories, Buddha appears in many forms, such as a king, a deva, an outcast, etc. All the forms of Buddha are characterized by some virtue which is the central theme of the tales. The stories in Jataka mainly deal with various characters of the story getting into some kind of trouble which gets sorted out by the intervention of one of the forms of Gautam Buddha.

Might Fish Summary 

Once upon a time, there lived a mighty fish in a pond in Jetavana.  Jetavana was a popular Buddhist monastery near Savatthi, which was the capital of the ancient Indian kingdom of Kosala. This fish was highly pious and virtuous and ate only grass (herbivores.)

The place got inflicted with severe drought, which burnt all the crops, dried all the water on the land, and buried tortoises and fishes under mud. By being exposed to water, all the water creatures became vulnerable and became easy prey for beasts and birds. Many of the creatures in the water died due to lack of water, and many got eaten up by birds and beasts.

Seeing this heart-wrenching state of his fellow beings, the mighty fish mustered enough courage and strength to crawl out of the thick black mud and turned his eye towards the almighty to pray. He prayed to Pajjuna (the Lord of Heaven) to pardon all its sins and those of its fellow creatures and send showers to the parched land. This act of truth touched God, and God accepted the prayers of this mighty fish. Pajjuna then sent heavy showers of rain to the land of Jetavana. The rains filled up all ponds and lakes, and the water creatures could be saved and relieved of the hazardous situation they had fallen into.

Image of the Might Fish Jataka Katha

Image of the Might Fish Jataka Katha

Moral of the Mighty Fish Story

The strength of prayers can not be underestimated because when anyone prays with sacred intentions and a pure heart, it can bring about humongous changes. Through this engaging fish story for kids, children would understand that if we have good intentions and the welfare of all living beings in our hearts, God will surely listen to our prayers and bless us with his magnanimity. At the same time,  if our intentions are to harm or we are praying for selfish reasons then, even if we pray and offer everything to God, it will not give us any results.

Note to Parents

This might be a relatively short story but contains a strong message for children to learn from. Parents can talk about some real-life stories from their life or heard on TV or seen in movies to emphasize the importance of praying. The vital part here is not just praying but teaching them to have faith in some superpower above us, because this faith keeps hope alive in us. It is also essential to mention not to pray with bad or selfish motives as God never listens to those.

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FAQs on The Mighty Fish Story in English for Kids

1. How old are the Jataka tales?

Jataka tales are quite ancient, the exact date of these dates is not confirmed. We can find depictions of Jataka tales in many ancient Indian inscriptions. The Jataka tales are considered an earlier part of Pali tradition and go back as far as the 5th century BCE. The Jataka tales form precursors to some of the legendary biographies of Buddha written at a later time. Jataka denotes the austere and Bodhisattva practices of the Lord Buddha in his many births. There are more than 547 stories in Jataka tales.

2. Where is Jetavana?

Jetavana is one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries which is now part of present-day Uttar Pradesh. This monastery was gifted to Bdudhda by one of his patrons, Anathapindika. Jetavana is situated right outside the old city of Savatthi. Buddha gave the majority of his discourses and teachings in Jetavana. Out of the forty-five vassas (three-month annual retreat that Theravada practitioners observe), Buddha stayed in nineteen of those at Jetavana.

3. Name some of the other interesting stories from Jataka tales.

Some of the interesting stories which are part of Jataka tales are:

  • Golden Swan - The moral of this story is that you will lose everything if you have excess greed for materialistic things.

  • Power of a Rumor - This story brings out how rumors can affect someone’s life and we must check the facts before trusting a rumor.

  • Wind and Moon -This story tells us that unlike changing seasons, friendships do not come and go and are there to stay a lifetime.


In this engaging story, children will understand that, if we pray with good intentions and with the welfare of all living beings in mind, God will surely listen to our prayers and bless us with his generosity.