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

One should avoid taking hasty decisions in sensitive matters

Panchatantra 7The Four Friends and the HunterA friend in need is a friend indeed
Panchatantra 8Why the Owls became Enemies of the CrowsThink twice before you do or say anything
Panchatantra 9The Visit of the SwanMake friends among people who are like you
Panchatantra 10A Poor Brahmin’s DreamOne should not build castles in the air
Panchatantra 11The bullock and the LionNever befriend a natural enemy 
Panchatantra 12The Talkative TortoiseAlways listen to friendly advices
Panchatantra 13The Sage and the MouseHowever great one may become, one should never forget one’s roots
Panchatantra 14Beware of Mean FriendsBeware of people, who become friendly to fulfil their evil desires. They talk sweetly, but in reality, they are never trustworthy
Panchatantra 15United we Stand: Divided we FallUnited we stand: Divided we fall
Panchatantra 16The Trick of the CrowIntelligence is greater than strength
Panchatantra 17The Lion and the HareIntelligence is superior to physical strength
Panchatantra 18The Louse and the Bed-BugNever trust the strangers
Panchatantra 19The Hunter and the DovesUnity is strength
Panchatantra 20The Fake KingOne cannot fool all the people all the time
Panchatantra 21The Birds with Two HeadsPeople living in a family should never quarrel among themselves
Panchatantra 22The Donkey who Sang a SongThink before you act
Panchatantra 23The Rabbits and the ElephantsClever move
Panchatantra 24The Cunning JudgeTussle over triffle matters may sometimes lead to a certain disaster
Panchatantra 25The Camel with a Bell round his NeckTake heed of a good advice
Panchatantra 26The Lioness and the Young JackalOne should always be in ones own company
Panchatantra 27King Chandra and the Monkey ChiefTit for tat
Panchatantra 28The Rotating WheelOne bird in the hand is better than two birds in the bush
Panchatantra 29The Prince and the SeedlingBad temperament doesn’t win the hearts of people
Panchatantra 30The Bad Lady and The WolfBad deeds bring bad consequences
Panchatantra 31Hello! CavePresence of mind is the best weapon to guard oneself in every sphere of life
Panchatantra 32The Old Greedy CraneNever be greedy
Panchatantra 33The Shepherd and the WolfPeople do not trust a liar
Panchatantra 34The King Kobra and the AntsEven the strong and mighty cannot face the small ones, when in a large number, at a time
Panchatantra 35The Bear and Golu and MoluA friend in need is a friend indeed
Panchatantra 36The Monkey and the CrocodileAt times presence of mind pays well
Panchatantra 37The Frog and the SerpentNever look to an enemy for help
Panchatantra 38The Brahmin and the Three ThugsOne should not be carried away by what others say
Panchatantra 39The King and the ParrotsA man is known by the company he keeps
Panchatantra 40The Revenge of the ElephantTit for tat
Panchatantra 41The Little Mice and the Big ElephantsSometimes a weak looking person may prove stronger than others
Panchatantra 42The Lion and the WoodcutterBeware of cunning people
Panchatantra 43The Hermit and the Jumping RatThe wealth does give strength
Panchatantra 44The Wise CrabNever act hastily on your enemy’s advice
Panchatantra 45The Crow and the MonkeyIt’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 47The Dhobi’s DonkeyJealousy is harmful
Panchatantra 48The Falcon and the CrowNever intimate others in a foolish manner
Panchatantra 49The Wolf and the CraneBe careful of the wicked people
Panchatantra 50Who Will Bell the CatMaking a plan is one thing, but executing it is something entirely different
Panchatantra 51The Peacock and the FoxPresence of mind outwits cunningness
Panchatantra 52The Foolish JackalNever loose yours senses out of greed
Panchatantra 53The Donkey and the Leopard’s SkinYou cannot fool all the people all the time
Panchatantra 54The Jackal and the Arrow Greed never pays
Panchatantra 55The Brahmin and the SnakeUnthoughtful actions have no value
Panchatantra 56The Clever JackalCleverness has it’s own advantages
Panchatantra 57The Golden Bird and the KingTake a decision after varifying the facts
Panchatantra 58The Mouse and the BullIt’s no use arguing with a stupid person
Panchatantra 59The Cunning SnakeNever trust your enemy
Panchatantra 60The Cat, the Rat and the HunterFriendship with an enemy is a temporary affair
Panchatantra 61The Fox and the ElephantEven a tyrant has to meet his doom
Panchatantra 62The Golden GoatsKeep your eating habits and personal traits a secret
Panchatantra 63When the Lion Came Back to the LifeKnowledge without common sense is useless
Panchatantra 64The Old Wise CrowNever trust your enemy. Don’t allow him into your home
Panchatantra 65Three Fish and the FishermenAlways plan your future intelligently
Panchatantra 66The Mice that are BalancNever try to deceive a friend
Panchatantra 67The Monkeys and the Red BerriesIt’s no use advising idiots. Instead, it might create more troubles
Panchatantra 68The Golden Birds and the Golden SwansNever act hastily believing a stranger’s words. It’s also undesirable to be as arrogant as the golden swans were
Panchatantra 69The Useful ThiefSometimes bad person also comes in need
Panchatantra 70Dharmabuddhi and PaapbuddhiBad deeds result always be bad
Panchatantra 71The Thief and the SanyasiWealth may sometimes prove a source of all troubles
Panchatantra 72Dantila the Trader and Gorambha the SweeperNo one is high or low. So we must never insult anyone
Panchatantra 73The Cow and the TigerUnity is strength
Panchatantra 74The Fool and the CrooksA fool and his wealth don’t stay together for a long time
Panchatantra 75CourtesyCourtesy is the sign of good behaviour
Panchatantra 76The Monkey and the LogLook before you leap
Panchatantra 77The MerchantDestiny plays an important role in life
Panchatantra 78The Potter’s TruthIf you speak the truth, sometimes it may go against you
Panchatantra 79King Nanda and VararuchiFor most heartable person anyone can do anything
Panchatantra 80Somilaka the WeaverWealth must be used properly. Where necessary it must also be donated
Panchatantra 81The Dog in a Foreign CountryOur nation is always welcomed to our nation members whether they cheat to our own nation
Panchatantra 82The Devta and the WeaverAn advice should never be followed blindly
Panchatantra 83The Four Foolish BrahminsTheoretical knowledge without the practical experience and commonsense is useless
Panchatantra 84Two Fish and a FrogOne should not turn a deaf ear to a friend’s advice
Panchatantra 85The Merchant and the BarberA blind imitation is always dangerous
Panchatantra 86The BatsOne should avoid fair-weather friends
Panchatantra 87The Lion’s Bad BreathOne should keep quiet in the times of danger
Panchatantra 88The Wind and the SunPersuasion can achieve, what a brute force can’t
Panchatantra 89The Rich Mohan and the Poor SohanGreed is evil. It must be destroyed with shrewdness
Panchatantra 90The Wolf and the LambAny excuse will serve a wicked person
Panchatantra 91The Giant and the Helpless BrahminIt always pays to be alert
Panchatantra 92The Brahmin and the DiamondsTo sacrifice ones life for others is a great deed
Panchatantra 93The Giant and the Horse ThiefDon’t be try to oversmart with anyone & sometimes believe on your mind transactions also
Panchatantra 94The Village Mouse Visits Town MouseBe remember one thing always, we secure only in our home town not any other town
Panchatantra 95The Thief, the Giant and the BrahminQuarreling on any issue always benefits the others
Panchatantra 96The Brahmin and the Delicious DishesGod doesn’t help in sinful acts
Panchatantra 97Brahmadatta, the Crab and the SnakeIt is advisable to have a companion while moving to an unknown destination
Panchatantra 98The Prince and the BearAnimals too are lovable and understanding
Panchatantra 99The Crow and the Water PitcherNecessity is the mother of invention
Panchatantra 100The Horse and the LionMind is mightier than body

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