The tale of the four harmonious animals, four harmonious friends or four harmonious brothers is one of the Jātaka tales, part of Buddhist mythology, and is often the subject in works of Bhutanese and Tibetan art.
It is perhaps the most common theme in Bhutanese folk art, featuring on many temple murals, stupas, and as a decorative pattern on many daily utensils.
It is the best-known national folktale of Bhutan and is popular in Tibet and Mongolia: it is widely referred to in these cultures.
The Jātakas are a voluminous body of literature native to South Asia which mainly concern the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form.
Some of these works are also considered great works of literature in their own right.
In these stories, the future Buddha may appear as a king, an outcast, a deva, an animal—but, in whatever form, he exhibits some virtue that the tale thereby inculcates.
Often, Jātaka tales include an extensive .
Tibetan mythology refers to the traditional as well as the religious stories that have been passed down by the Tibetan people.
Tibetan mythology consists mainly of national mythology stemming from the Tibetan culture as well as religious mythology from both Tibetan Buddhism and Bön Religion.
These myths are often passed down orally, through rituals or through traditional art like sculptures or cave paintings.
They also feature a variety of different creatures ranging from gods to .