About Panchatantra

About Panchatantra

Panchtantra, is a collection of five volumes of stories written by a teacher to help instruct the different aspects of kinghood for princes. The collection of stories in Pancha Tantra are a real treat for parents to help them in guiding them towards values in human life. Every story in Pancha Tantra is accompanied by a moral.

The background story of Panchtantra is :

Long ago in the kingdom of Mahilaropya, there lived a king who was ruling very ideally. He had three sons, who were not intelligent. The king was worried about the heir to the throne, as he knew that his sons were incapable of governing. He was desperate to find a good and knowleagable teacher for his sons who would teach them the scriptures and make them knowledgeable in a short time. His minister then pointed towards a skilled pundit, Vishnu Sharman. Vishnu sharman was old and the king was worried as to how the teacher could accomplish the teaching to his sons as he told that even an intelligent man takes more than twelve years to grasp all the elements of scriptures. Then Vishnu Sharman convinced the king that he would teach the princes about kingly conduct through a series of stories, which would be more effective than the scriptures. Thus Vishnu Sharman compiled the collection in five volumes termed as Panchtantra meant to serve as the guide for the princes to learn about kingly behaviour. Since then, Panchtantra became popular all over the world as children’s guide in solving problems of life.

The Panchatantra (‘Five Principles’) is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables (some 87 stories in all) in verse and prose, in a frame story format. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma. It is based on older oral traditions, including “animal fables that are as old as we are able to imagine”, including the Buddhist Jataka Tales. It is “certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India”. The Panchatantra is the best guide to enroot moral values in children since its each tale has a moral lesson in its end. The Panchtantra is a great book where plants and animals can speak and converse with human beings too.

There are recorded over two hundred different versions known to exist in more than fifty languages and three-fourths of these languages are extra-Indian.

Apart from a short introduction — in which the author, Vishnu Sarma, is introduced as narrating the rest of the work to the princes — it consists of five parts. Each part contains a main story, called the frame story, which in turn contains several stories “emboxed” in it, as one character narrates a story to another.

The five books are called:

  • Mitra-bheda: The Separation of Friends (The Lion and the Bull).
  • Mitra-lābha or Mitra-samprāpti: The Gaining of Friends (The Dove, Crow, Mouse, Tortoise and Deer).
  • Kākolūkīyam: Of Crows and Owls (War and Peace)..
  • Labdhapraṇāśam: Loss Of Gains (The Monkey and the Crocodile).
  • Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ: Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds (The Brahman and the Mongoose).

1. Mitra-bheda, The Separation of Friends:- In the first book, a friendship arises between the lion Piṅgalaka, the king of the forest, and Sañjīvaka, a bull. Karataka (‘Horribly Howling’) and Damanaka (‘Victor’) are two jackals that are retainers to the lion king. Against Karataka’s advice, Damanaka breaks up the friendship between the lion and the bull out of jealousy. This book contains around thirty stories, mostly told by the two jackals. It is the longest of the five books, making up roughly 45% of the work’s length.

2. Mitra-samprāpti, The Gaining of Friends:- Seeing the favour the rat performed to free the dove (or pigeon) and her companions, a crow decides to befriend the rat, despite the rat’s initial objections. The storyline evolves as their friendship grows to include the turtle and the fawn. They collaborate to save the fawn when he is trapped, and later they work together to save the turtle, who falls in the trap. This makes up about 22% of the total length.

3. Kākolūkīyam, Of Crows and Owls:– Traditional enemies, the crows and the owls are at war. One of the crows pretends to be an outcast from his own group to gain entry into the rival owl group; he learns their secrets and vulnerabilities. He later summons his group of crows to set fire to all entrances to the cave where the owls live and the creatures suffocate to death. This is about 26% of the total length.

4. Labdhapraṇāśam, Loss Of Gains:- The story tells of a symbiotic relationship between the monkey and the crocodile. The crocodile risks the liaison by conspiring to acquire the heart of the monkey to heal his wife. When the monkey finds out the plan, he avoids the grim fate.

5. Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ, Hasty Action:- Main article: The Brahmin and the Mongoose. A Brahman leaves his child with a mongoose friend. When he returns, he sees blood on the mongoose’s mouth, and kills his friend, believing the animal killed his child. The Brahman discovers his child alive, and learns that the mongoose defended the child from a snake. He regrets having killed his friend.

This is the list of Panchatantra Stories with their Moral.

Panchatantra 1 THE JACKAL AND THE DRUM  Greed is always harmful 
Panchatantra 2 THE LAPWINGS AND THE SEA One should always fight against injustice
Panchatantra 3 THE DONKEY AND THE CUNNING FOX Sometimes a cunning argument outwits normal intelligence
Panchatantra 4 THE MARRIAGE OF A SNAKE After rains comes the sunshine
Panchatantra 5 Death and Lord Indra’s Parrot Everyone who takes birth in this world has to die one day
Panchatantra 6 The Mongoose and the Baby in the Cradle

One should avoid taking hasty decisions in sensitive matters

Panchatantra 7 The Four Friends and the Hunter A friend in need is a friend indeed
Panchatantra 8 Why the Owls became Enemies of the Crows Think twice before you do or say anything
Panchatantra 9 The Visit of the Swan Make friends among people who are like you
Panchatantra 10 A Poor Brahmin’s Dream One should not build castles in the air
Panchatantra 11 The bullock and the Lion Never befriend a natural enemy 
Panchatantra 12 The Talkative Tortoise Always listen to friendly advices
Panchatantra 13 The Sage and the Mouse However great one may become, one should never forget one’s roots
Panchatantra 14 Beware of Mean Friends Beware of people, who become friendly to fulfil their evil desires. They talk sweetly, but in reality, they are never trustworthy
Panchatantra 15 United we Stand: Divided we Fall United we stand: Divided we fall
Panchatantra 16 The Trick of the Crow Intelligence is greater than strength
Panchatantra 17 The Lion and the Hare Intelligence is superior to physical strength
Panchatantra 18 The Louse and the Bed-Bug Never trust the strangers
Panchatantra 19 The Hunter and the Doves Unity is strength
Panchatantra 20 The Fake King One cannot fool all the people all the time
Panchatantra 21 The Birds with Two Heads People living in a family should never quarrel among themselves
Panchatantra 22 The Donkey who Sang a Song Think before you act
Panchatantra 23 The Rabbits and the Elephants Clever move
Panchatantra 24 The Cunning Judge Tussle over triffle matters may sometimes lead to a certain disaster
Panchatantra 25 The Camel with a Bell round his Neck Take heed of a good advice
Panchatantra 26 The Lioness and the Young Jackal One should always be in ones own company
Panchatantra 27 King Chandra and the Monkey Chief Tit for tat
Panchatantra 28 The Rotating Wheel One bird in the hand is better than two birds in the bush
Panchatantra 29 The Prince and the Seedling Bad temperament doesn’t win the hearts of people
Panchatantra 30 The Bad Lady and The Wolf Bad deeds bring bad consequences
Panchatantra 31 Hello! Cave Presence of mind is the best weapon to guard oneself in every sphere of life
Panchatantra 32 The Old Greedy Crane Never be greedy
Panchatantra 33 The Shepherd and the Wolf People do not trust a liar
Panchatantra 34 The King Kobra and the Ants Even the strong and mighty cannot face the small ones, when in a large number, at a time
Panchatantra 35 The Bear and Golu and Molu A friend in need is a friend indeed
Panchatantra 36 The Monkey and the Crocodile At times presence of mind pays well
Panchatantra 37 The Frog and the Serpent Never look to an enemy for help
Panchatantra 38 The Brahmin and the Three Thugs One should not be carried away by what others say
Panchatantra 39 The King and the Parrots A man is known by the company he keeps
Panchatantra 40 The Revenge of the Elephant Tit for tat
Panchatantra 41 The Little Mice and the Big Elephants Sometimes a weak looking person may prove stronger than others
Panchatantra 42 The Lion and the Woodcutter Beware of cunning people
Panchatantra 43 The Hermit and the Jumping Rat The wealth does give strength
Panchatantra 44 The Wise Crab Never act hastily on your enemy’s advice
Panchatantra 45 The Crow and the Monkey It’s better not to advise others in their personal matters
Panchatantra 46

The Stag and his Antlers

A beautiful thing might not be useful also
Panchatantra 47 The Dhobi’s Donkey Jealousy is harmful
Panchatantra 48 The Falcon and the Crow Never intimate others in a foolish manner
Panchatantra 49 The Wolf and the Crane Be careful of the wicked people
Panchatantra 50 Who Will Bell the Cat Making a plan is one thing, but executing it is something entirely different
Panchatantra 51 The Peacock and the Fox Presence of mind outwits cunningness
Panchatantra 52 The Foolish Jackal Never loose yours senses out of greed
Panchatantra 53 The Donkey and the Leopard’s Skin You cannot fool all the people all the time
Panchatantra 54 The Jackal and the Arrow  Greed never pays
Panchatantra 55 The Brahmin and the Snake Unthoughtful actions have no value
Panchatantra 56 The Clever Jackal Cleverness has it’s own advantages
Panchatantra 57 The Golden Bird and the King Take a decision after varifying the facts
Panchatantra 58 The Mouse and the Bull It’s no use arguing with a stupid person
Panchatantra 59 The Cunning Snake Never trust your enemy
Panchatantra 60 The Cat, the Rat and the Hunter Friendship with an enemy is a temporary affair
Panchatantra 61 The Fox and the Elephant Even a tyrant has to meet his doom
Panchatantra 62 The Golden Goats Keep your eating habits and personal traits a secret
Panchatantra 63 When the Lion Came Back to the Life Knowledge without common sense is useless
Panchatantra 64 The Old Wise Crow Never trust your enemy. Don’t allow him into your home
Panchatantra 65 Three Fish and the Fishermen Always plan your future intelligently
Panchatantra 66 The Mice that are Balanc Never try to deceive a friend
Panchatantra 67 The Monkeys and the Red Berries It’s no use advising idiots. Instead, it might create more troubles
Panchatantra 68 The Golden Birds and the Golden Swans Never act hastily believing a stranger’s words. It’s also undesirable to be as arrogant as the golden swans were
Panchatantra 69 The Useful Thief Sometimes bad person also comes in need
Panchatantra 70 Dharmabuddhi and Paapbuddhi Bad deeds result always be bad
Panchatantra 71 The Thief and the Sanyasi Wealth may sometimes prove a source of all troubles
Panchatantra 72 Dantila the Trader and Gorambha the Sweeper No one is high or low. So we must never insult anyone
Panchatantra 73 The Cow and the Tiger Unity is strength
Panchatantra 74 The Fool and the Crooks A fool and his wealth don’t stay together for a long time
Panchatantra 75 Courtesy Courtesy is the sign of good behaviour
Panchatantra 76 The Monkey and the Log Look before you leap
Panchatantra 77 The Merchant Destiny plays an important role in life
Panchatantra 78 The Potter’s Truth If you speak the truth, sometimes it may go against you
Panchatantra 79 King Nanda and Vararuchi For most heartable person anyone can do anything
Panchatantra 80 Somilaka the Weaver Wealth must be used properly. Where necessary it must also be donated
Panchatantra 81 The Dog in a Foreign Country Our nation is always welcomed to our nation members whether they cheat to our own nation
Panchatantra 82 The Devta and the Weaver An advice should never be followed blindly
Panchatantra 83 The Four Foolish Brahmins Theoretical knowledge without the practical experience and commonsense is useless
Panchatantra 84 Two Fish and a Frog One should not turn a deaf ear to a friend’s advice
Panchatantra 85 The Merchant and the Barber A blind imitation is always dangerous
Panchatantra 86 The Bats One should avoid fair-weather friends
Panchatantra 87 The Lion’s Bad Breath One should keep quiet in the times of danger
Panchatantra 88 The Wind and the Sun Persuasion can achieve, what a brute force can’t
Panchatantra 89 The Rich Mohan and the Poor Sohan Greed is evil. It must be destroyed with shrewdness
Panchatantra 90 The Wolf and the Lamb Any excuse will serve a wicked person
Panchatantra 91 The Giant and the Helpless Brahmin It always pays to be alert
Panchatantra 92 The Brahmin and the Diamonds To sacrifice ones life for others is a great deed
Panchatantra 93 The Giant and the Horse Thief Don’t be try to oversmart with anyone & sometimes believe on your mind transactions also
Panchatantra 94 The Village Mouse Visits Town Mouse Be remember one thing always, we secure only in our home town not any other town
Panchatantra 95 The Thief, the Giant and the Brahmin Quarreling on any issue always benefits the others
Panchatantra 96 The Brahmin and the Delicious Dishes God doesn’t help in sinful acts
Panchatantra 97 Brahmadatta, the Crab and the Snake It is advisable to have a companion while moving to an unknown destination
Panchatantra 98 The Prince and the Bear Animals too are lovable and understanding
Panchatantra 99 The Crow and the Water Pitcher Necessity is the mother of invention
Panchatantra 100 The Horse and the Lion Mind is mightier than body

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