ॐ Hindu Of Universe ॐ

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”


How Panchatantra came into existence
In ancient times, there was a King named ‘Amarshakti’ who ruled a place named ‘Mahilaropya’ in South Bharat. He was a just and dutiful ruler. This King had 3 sons named Bahushakti, Ugrashakti and Anantashakti; all of whom were very lazy and silly. The King was very worried about their future. The King had grown old and would always be worried thinking about who would be his successor and rule his kingdom after his death. While thinking about his sons, he would be constantly reminded of the following saying :

अजातमृतमूर्खेभ्यो मृतजातौ सुतौ वरम् ।
यतस्तौ स्वल्पदुःखाय यावज्जीवं जडो दहेत् ॥

Meaning : Among unborn, dead and foolish sons, the dead and unborn children are better, because the grief caused due to them is comparatively less. The foolish child always tortures the mind.

The King had 500 learned scholars at his service. One day, the King called for these scholars and told them to do something that would make his children wise and intelligent. The scholars advised the king to take his sons to a scholar Brahman named Vishnu Sharma. The King called for this Vishnu Sharma and told him his wish. He also promised him to give all his wealth if he succeeded in doing so. Vishnu Sharma did not agree to sell his wisdom, but he promised the King that in 6 months, he would make his sons wise and mature and make them so capable that they could even win the King of Gods, Indra. So, the King sent his children with scholar Vishnu Sharma. Vishnu Sharma taught them the worldly knowledge through the medium of various stories.

After 6 months, when the three boys returned, the King could not believe his eyes. In 6 months, they had become wise and knowledgeable. Instead of just giving knowledge to the Princes, Vishnu Sharma had also taught them how and when to use that knowledge. All this he did by telling the boys various stories about animals and birds. The stories told by scholar Vishnu Sharma to the Princes are divided into 5 parts. These stories are called ‘Panchatantra’. The 5 tantras (principles) are as follows:
  1. Mitrabhed : With whom one should not make friendship.
  2. Mitraprapti : Whom one should befriend
  3. Kakolukiyam : The tale of enmity between a crow and owl.
  4. Labdhapranashanam : How the things gained are lost or destroyed.
  5. Aparikshit-karakam : What is the effect of the things done without proper thinking and planning?

An excellent medium to understand the great values of human life
The Panchatantra was written 2000 years back, but it is still famous and guiding due to the moral values and knowledge in it. Initially it was written in the ‘Sanskrut’ language; but today it is available in many languages throughout the world. The Panchatantra consists of 87 stories and every story has a moral value hidden in it. It is an excellent medium to understand the great moral values of human life. Through these stories, one can understand psychology, worldly affairs and rules of politics. The Panchatantra thus has a prominent place in ‘Sanskrut’ literature.

The Panchtantra

The Marvelous Legendary Tales

panchatantraFables are to India what India is to fables. The Panchtantra, and its auxiliary Hitopadesa, are among the most outstanding collections of animal fables existing in the world. Over the centuries many of these stories have found their way out of India in various guises.
Indeed it has been suggested that their influence can be traced not in the fables of Aesop (this has long been accepted), but also in the Arabian Nights and various other assorted fables of Spain, Italy and Greece. One of the reasons for believing this, apart from the special form and technique of story telling used, is simply the animals that are mentioned – tigers, monkeys, crocodiles and so on – are alien to many of these places but are found aplenty in India.

Panchtantra Represents Five Sections

The Panchtantra means five parts (panch, five and tantra, sections) and has 87 stories. The stories were most probably written down in the second century BC, although they had been around for a pretty long time by then, as is evinced by various Sanskrit works.

The framework that the Panchtantra uses is somewhat like the Arabian Nights – that of weaving a tale within tale. Here the whole thing starts with a king who wants to knock some sense into his two good-for-nothing sons. He hires a clever Brahmin teacher who vows to make the boys learn the ways of niti or practical wisdom over the period of six months. This is done through simple, though brilliant, fables which always have morals (in verse format) in the end. The moral of the story is clearly most important; for the story is made to fit the moral and not the other way around. Many of these maxims are taken from older books, like the Vedas, and are sometimes straight quotations.

Some of the axioms from the tales are quite interesting:

Scholarship is less than sense;
Therefore seek intelligence
(Lion Makers)

If a foe commit an outrage on
A house, and one forgives –
Be it from fear or greed – he is
The meanest man that lives.
(The Unforgiving Monkey)

Though mountain, sun and cloud and wind
Were suitors at her feet;
The mouse-maiden turned a mouse again –
Nature is hard to beat.
(Mouse-maiden Made Mouse)

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Although of different caste;
The whole world is your eager friend
As long as riches last.
(The Duel between Elephant and Sparrow)

All things that are not seen or heard
In science or the Sacred Word
All things in interstellar space
Are known among the populace!
(The Gullible Husband)

What is the Panchatantra? An Overview
The Panchatantra, translated as “Five Treatises,” is a collection of ancient Indian animal fables. The original stories were probably written in Sanskrit, a classical Indo-Aryan language. The original Sanskrit version has been lost, so the date of the first Panchatantra is the source of much debate. It was likely written between 100 BCE and 500 CE, although it may be much older. The Panchatantra consists of five individual books, which each contain several stories and sub-stories.

The Panchatantra is believed to be Hindu literature that is most often regarded as the work of Vishnu Sharma, although some versions give Vasubhaga as the original author. It is one of the most widely translated Sanskrit works, and the stories are well-known throughout the world. The first known translation occurred in 550 CE when the book was copied into the Middle Persian language Pahlavi.

Who is Vishnu Sharma?
In the prelude to the Panchatantra, the author is said to be a man named Vishnu Sharma, who wrote the book to three Amarasakti princes as a guide for how to govern. Many experts in Sanskrit literature believe that Vishnu Sharma is a character invented for the text and that the name of the original author is unknown. Some South Indian and Southeast Asian versions of the text state that the author is named Vasubhaga.

The original manuscript of the Panchatantra no longer exists, which has led to extensive speculation surrounding the text’s origins and history. Most scholars agree that the original text was written in Sanskrit. Some speculate that it originated in Kashmir, a region of Northern India, while others believe it was written much further south.

The date of the original book is also largely a mystery. The stories within the Panchatantra are probably much older than the book itself, and the writing style reflects the Late Bronze Age Vedic Period. The only date that is definitively known is that the Panchatantra was widely known by 550 CE when it was first translated into another language.

The Panchatantra Books
The Panchatantra consists of five parts, each of which comprises several fables tied together by a larger frame story narrated by a single character. In many cases, the smaller stories also have separate stories embedded within them. The five books are:

1: Mitra-bheda: The first book is titled “The Loss of Friends” in Arthur Ryder’s 1925 translation. It is the largest book in the Panchatanatra, containing over 30 fables. The frame story follows a jackal, Damanaka, a government minister who loses his job and then schemes to interfere with the lion king’s friendships and other relationships.

2: MItra-lahba: This book is named “The Winning of Friends” in Ryder’s translation. This book acts as a contrast to the first book, following four very different animals, a crow, a mouse, a turtle, and a deer, who work together to do things that none of them can manage alone. Unlike the other books, these stories do not have other fables embedded within them.

3: Kakolukiyam: Ryder translates this book’s title as “On Crows and Owls.” This book revolves around a war between good crows and evil owls, although some fables explore other topics. It acts as a metaphor for the strength of intelligence over manpower in battle. The crows win because, despite being smaller in both size and number, unlike the owls, they listen to their wise counselors.

4: Labdhapranasam: This book, translated by Ryder to “Loss of Gains,” is a short collection of ancient fables. It mostly consists of simple moral tales, teaching readers examples of bad social behavior and the consequences that might result.

Examples of the Panchatantra Stories
The Panchatantra contains many fables that have come to be known around the world, even to those who have never heard of the original source. While the original author may have created some of the fables, others likely stem from ancient oral traditions. Notable fables include:

Lesson Summary
The Panchatantra is a collection of Indian animal fables originally written in Sanskrit, an ancient Indo-Aryan language. The work contains five books, each of which has an over-arching frame story that connects a series of individual fables and embedded sub-fables. The prologue to the Panchatantra attributes the work to Vishnu Sharma, although this name may have been invented for the book. The true author of the work, as well as the original version, has been lost to history. Starting with a 6th-century CE translation into Middle Persian, many different versions of the book have been created in many languages.

The tales contained in the Panchatantra have become popular around the world. Most of the stories are moral fables that instruct the reader about how to live a virtuous life. The Panchatantra contains well-known fables such as: The Loyal Mongoose, about a woman who kills her mongoose friend because of a misunderstanding; The Monkey and the Crocodile, in which a crocodile’s foolishness costs him a friend; and The Mice That Set Elephants Free, which speaks to the importance of friendship and helping each other.

Examples of the Panchatantra Stories
The Panchatantra contains many fables that have come to be known around the world, even to those who have never heard of the original source. While the original author may have created some of the fables, others likely stem from ancient oral traditions. Notable fables include:

Lesson Summary
The Panchatantra is a collection of Indian animal fables originally written in Sanskrit, an ancient Indo-Aryan language. The work contains five books, each of which has an over-arching frame story that connects a series of individual fables and embedded sub-fables. The prologue to the Panchatantra attributes the work to Vishnu Sharma, although this name may have been invented for the book. The true author of the work, as well as the original version, has been lost to history. Starting with a 6th-century CE translation into Middle Persian, many different versions of the book have been created in many languages.

The tales contained in the Panchatantra have become popular around the world. Most of the stories are moral fables that instruct the reader about how to live a virtuous life. The Panchatantra contains well-known fables such as: The Loyal Mongoose, about a woman who kills her mongoose friend because of a misunderstanding; The Monkey and the Crocodile, in which a crocodile’s foolishness costs him a friend; and The Mice That Set Elephants Free, which speaks to the importance of friendship and helping each other.

Who wrote the ”Panchatantra” and why?
The Panchatantra may have been written by a man named Vishnu Sharm as a book or collection of moral lessons for the king’s three unruly sons. This is stated in the introduction to the Sanskrit version of the work, and it is unknown whether this history is true or made up.

What is the moral of the ”Panchatantra”?
The Panchatantra contains a wide variety of moral lessons, including fables about making and keeping friends, avoiding bad influences, and thinking before acting. There is no single over-arching moral, but in general, the stories are a guide to good social behavior.

What are the five books of the ”Panchatantra”?
The five books of the Panchatantra each have a different frame story and a different set of contained fables. In order, they are Mitra-bheda (The Loss of Friends), Mitra-labha (The Winning of Friends), Kakolukiyam (On Crows and Owls), Labdhapranasam (Loss of Gains), and Apariksitakarakam (Ill-Considered Action).

Why is the ”Panchatantra” so famous?
The Panchatantra is one of the most widely translated books in the world and one of the oldest collections of moral fables. It contains many stories that are well-known and repeated to this day.

What are Panchatantra Stories?
We all have different ideas in mind when we hear the word “Panchatantra”. Some people think of tales, while some of the venerable folklore. The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of stories or fables. A fable is a made-up narrative with characters drawn from nature, such as animals, plants, and other living things. It usually has a moral at its conclusion. For instance, the fable known as “The Hare and the Tortoise” has as its lesson that “slow and steady wins the race”. The author of this fable is Aesop.


The Panchatantra was composed more than 2000 years ago, yet because of the moral principles and wisdom it contains, it is still well-known and relevant among today’s kids. It was originally composed in Sanskrit, but it is now available in many different languages worldwide. There are 87 stories in the Panchatantra, and each one contains a moral lesson. It is a fantastic tool for comprehending the moral ideals of human existence. Through these tales, one can learn about psychology and moral values. Thus, the Panchatantra occupies a significant position in Sanskrit literature.

Panchatantra Meaning
The Panchatantra is a collection of Indian animal stories widely read in its native land and beyond. One version of the text was made to the West as early as the 11th century and was known in Europe as The Fables of Bidpai (after the narrator, an Indian sage named Bidpai, called Vidyapati in Sanskrit).

Meaning of Panchatantra

The Panchatantra is, in theory, meant to be a manual of niti (“policy,” especially for kings and statesmen); the aphorisms frequently extol cunning and sagacity rather than altruism.

The Panchatantra is credited to a wise man named Bidpai, which is likely a Sanskrit word meaning “court scholar,” in an Arabic translation from around 750 AD, even though the name of the original author or compiler is unknown.

By translations from Persian and Arabic, oral folklore, and other means, the fables of the Panchatantra made their way to Europe. They had a big impact on mediaeval tale writers.

The stories are contained within one of the five frame stories of the original book, which is composed of Sanskrit prose and verse stanzas. The stories are credited to a scholarly Brahmin named Vishnusharman, who used them to train the three dimwitted sons of a king. The introduction serves as an enclosing framework for the entire work.

The Panchatantra’s Five Principles
A collection of stories from ancient India called the Panchatantra was first composed in Sanskrit. It is attributed to Vishnu Sharma and is divided into five portions, each focusing on a different theme.Principles of Panchatantra

One of the most enduring genres of folk writing is the fable, which is a beloved component of folklore. Nearly every nation has a unique collection of fables that have played a significant role in its literary history.

The Panchatantra’s Five SectionsFive Sections of Panchatantra

“Mitra-bheda: The Separation of Friends (The Lion and the Bull)”

“Mitra-labha or Mitra-samprapti: Gaining Friends (The Dove, Crow, Mouse, Tortoise, and Deer)”

War and Peace’s “Kakolookiyam: Of Crows and Owls”

Loss Of Gains (The Monkey and the Crocodile)

“Apariksitakarakam: Irresponsible Behaviour/Rash Behaviour” (The Brahman and the Mongoose)

These five tenets (or five books) are a collection of parables about animals. In the above-mentioned order, each fable is woven into another following fable.

About Tales Of Panchatantra
The legend goes that King Amarashakti, who used to rule Mahilaropya in southern India, had three dull-headed sons. The king appointed scholar Vishnu Sharma to educate them.

After realizing that conventional tools and techniques of teaching will not work with his new students, Vishnu Sharma decided to write a collection of more than 50 stories that focused on five strategies:

Mitra labha, or gaining friends features stories that talk about how to win friends.
Mitra bheda or losing friends features stories about how one can lose friends.
Aparïksitakárakam or imprudence or acting without thinking tells us how we can lose what is important to us when we act without thinking.
Labdhapranásam or loss of gains tells us that it is always possible to get out of a difficult situation without losing anything.
Kákolùkïyam or stories of crows and owls talk about the strategies and rules of war and peace.
The collection is divided into five volumes, and hence the name Panchatantra (‘pancha’ means five, and ‘tantra’ means systems).

The Panchatantra was translated into a number of languages, including English, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Greek, Syriac, and almost all Indian languages. The German version of the Panchatantra was one of the earliest books that the Gutenberg Press printed after the Bible.

25 Short Tales Of Panchatantra For Children
Here we have a few stories collected from each volume.

Stories From Mitralabha (Gaining Of Friends)

  1. The Hermit And The Mouse
    A hermit took care of a temple in a small village. He took alms and shared them with a few people who helped him clean the temple. There was a mouse in the temple that kept stealing the hermit’s food and causing trouble for him. The hermit could not get rid of the mouse no matter what he did. The mouse continued to steal food, even when it was kept in an earthen pot hung from the roof.

Distraught, the sage sought advice from a friend, who told him to find the mouse’s food reserves and destroy them. After a thorough search of the premises, the sage found the stockpile of the mouse and destroyed it. With its food gone, the mouse was unable to jump high up to the roof for food. It became weak and got caught by the hermit, who threw it far away from the temple. The mouse was hurt and never returned to the temple.

Moral: Strike at the enemy’s source of strength to defeat him.

  1. The Foolish Weaver

A weaver and his wife lived in a village. He went to the forest to get the wood that he needed to repair his loom. As he began to chop the tree, a djinn appeared and asked him not to cut his abode. In return, the genie offered to give anything that the weaver wanted. The weaver left the forest to discuss this with his wife. The greedy and dimwitted wife told the weaver to ask the genie for an extra head and two extra hands so he can think more and work more.

The stupid weaver agreed and went back to the djinn, which immediately granted the wish. The weaver happily walked back to the village, where people thought him to be a monster and beat him to death.

Moral: Lack of proper judgment can lead to several missed opportunities.

  1. Four Friends And A Hunter

A deer, a turtle, a crow, and a rat were friends. They lived happily in a jungle. One day, the deer was caught in a hunter’s trap and the friends made a plan to save him. The deer struggled as if it was in pain and then it lay motionless, with eyes wide open, as if it were dead. The crow and the other birds then sat on the deer and started poking it as they do to a dead animal.

Right then, the turtle crossed the hunter’s path to distract him. The hunter left the deer, assuming it dead, and went after the turtle. Meanwhile, the rat chew open the net to free the deer while the crow picked up the turtle and quickly took it away from the hunter.

Stories From Mitrabedha (Losing Of Friends)

  1. The Jackal And The Drum

One day, a hungry jackal wandered into a deserted battlefield in search of food. The place had nothing but a drum that the army left behind. When the wind blew, the branches of a tree moved and hit the drum, making a loud noise. The jackal was scared and decided to run from there. On second thoughts, he decided to explore the noise. As he drew closer to the sound, he found the drum and realized that it was harmless. When he approached the drum, he found food nearby.

Moral: Do not react blindly with fear.

  1. The Crows And The Cobra

Two crows, husband and wife, and a cobra lived on a banyan tree in a forest near a small kingdom. The cobra was wicked and ate the crows’ eggs when the crows left the nest in search of food. The crows went to a wise jackal and ask for advice. As per the advice of the jackal, one of the crows went to the royal palace and stole a very precious necklace belonging to the queen as the guards watched. The crow flew slowly to its nest so that the guards could follow it.

On reaching the banyan tree, the crow dropped the necklace in the tree’s hollow cove, where the snake lived. On finding a cobra in the hollow, the guards killed it and retrieved the necklace. The crows thanked the jackal and lived happily.

Moral: Even the most powerful enemies can be defeated with intelligence.

  1. The Lion And The Camel

In a dense jungle, a lion lived with its three assistants – a jackal, a crow, and a leopard. Due to their proximity to the king of the jungle, the assistants never had to look for food. One day, they were surprised to see a camel, which usually lived in the desert, wandering in the forest. On inquiry, they learned that the camel lost its way. The lion gave it shelter and protected it.

One day, the mighty lion was injured in a battle with the elephants. Unable to hunt, the lion and the assistants were left hungry. The three assistants suggested that they should eat the camel, but the lion refused to kill it. The assistants hatched a plan to make the camel offer itself as food to its protector. The crow, the leopard, and the jackal each offered themselves as food to the lion, which it refused. Seeing this, the camel also did the same and was instantly killed by the lion.

Moral: It is unwise to trust cunning people who surround powerful or wealthy ones for their own benefit.

  1. Right-Mind And Wrong-Mind

Two friends, Dharmabuddhi (right, virtuous mind) and Papabuddhi (wrong, wicked mind) lived in a village. Papabuddhi, who was wicked, decided to use the skills of the virtuous Dharmabuddhi to make money. He convinced his friend to travel the world together and earn a lot of money. Once they earned enough money, Papabuddhi convinced his friend that they should bury the money in a forest for safety. He then stole all the money one night and went back to the village.

When the friends went back to the forest to get the money, Papabuddhi feigned ignorance, accused Dharmabuddhi of stealing the money, and took the matter to the village elders, who agreed that they should ask the tree spirit in the forest about Dharmabuddhi’s guilt.

Papabuddhi asked his father to hide in the tree bark and speak like the tree spirit to confirm the innocent man’s guilt. Sensing something wrong, Dharmabuddhi set dry leaves and twigs on fire inside the hollow cove of the tree, forcing his friend’s father out.

Papabuddhi’s father confessed to his son’s misdeed and the village elders punished him for it.

Moral: Avoid association with the wicked or you may end up paying for their misdeeds.

  1. The Talkative Tortoise

Once upon a time, a tortoise named Kambugriva lived near a lake. It was friends with two swans that also lived in the lake. One summer, the lake began to dry up, and there was little water for the animals. The swans told the tortoise that there was another lake in another forest, where they should go to survive. They came up with a plan to take the tortoise along. They made the tortoise bite the center of a stick and told it not to open its mouth, no matter what.

The swans then held each end of the stick and flew, with the tortoise in between. People in the villages along the way saw a tortoise flying and were awestruck. There was a commotion on the ground about two birds taking a tortoise with the help of a stick. In spite of warnings from the swans, the tortoise opened its mouth and said, “What’s that commotion all about?” And then, it fell to its death.

Moral: One should speak only at the right moment.

  1. Goats And Jackal

A jackal was once passing by a village when it saw two strong goats fighting with each other. The goats were surrounded by people who were cheering for them. A few minutes into the fight, the goats had bruises on their body and were bleeding a little. This jackal was drawn to the smell of blood and wanted to get a bite of the goat’s flesh. It jumped at the goats at once, without thinking.

The two goats were stronger than the jackal and mercilessly trampled on the animal and killed it.

Moral: Think before you jump.

  1. The Monkey And The Wedge

A team of carpenters was working on building a temple near a banyan tree. The carpenters went on a lunch break, leaving their tools and materials at the site. At this time, a group of monkeys came to the site and started playing with the tools and the material. One monkey found a huge log of wood with a wedge in it. A carpenter half-sawed a log and put a wedge to prevent the slit from closing.

The curious monkey settled inside the slit and tried to remove the wedge. After a lot of effort, it succeeded in removing the wedge. The slit closed instantly, injuring the monkey gravely and preventing it from moving from there.

Moral: Interfering in other people’s business results in more harm than good.

  1. The King And The Foolish Monkey

There was once a king who had a pet monkey. The monkey always accompanied the king and even did little chores for him. One afternoon, as the king took a nap, the monkey sat next to the king and fanned him. Meanwhile, a fly came and sat on the king’s nose. The monkey tried to shoo it away, but it kept coming back.

Frustrated with the fly, the monkey took the king’s dagger to kill it. He attacked the fly as it sat on the king’s neck, killing the king instantly.

Moral: A fool can never assist you to glory.

  1. The Bug And The Poor Flea

A white flea lived between the silky sheets of a king. It fed on the king’s blood without anyone noticing and was very happy. One day, a bug came by and expressed its desire to taste the king’s blood. The flea was uncomfortable with the idea as the bug’s sting can be painful and that could expose its presence to the king.

On the bug’s insistence, the flea agreed that it can taste the king’s blood but had to wait until after he went to sleep. The bug agreed but couldn’t control itself. It bit the king as soon as he sat on the bed. The king was furious and asked the guards to check his bed for bugs. The bug quickly hid while the white flea got caught and killed.

Moral: Do not trust the words of strangers, for they could just be false promises.

  1. The Crane And The Crab

An old and cunning crab had difficulty catching fish. To avoid starvation, it came up with a plan to get food easily. One day, it sat on the banks of the river with a sad face one day. On being asked, the crane said that he foresaw that there would be a famine, and all the animals in the pond would die soon. The naive fish believed the crane and sought its help. The crane happily agreed to carry the fish in its mouth and leave them in another lake near the mountains.

That way, the crane filled its stomach. One day it decided to eat a crab and carried it on its back. The crab saw a lot of fish skeletons on a barren land nearby and asked the crane about it. The crane confessed proudly that it ate all the fish and now it would eat the crab. The crab acted quickly on hearing this and used its claws to kill the crane and save its life.

Moral: Do not believe hearsay; check the authenticity of the information before acting.

Stories From Aparïksitakárakam (Imprudence)

  1. The Musical Donkey

A washerman had a donkey named Udhata. The donkey carried loads during the day and was set free to graze in the nearby fields at night. He met a jackal one night and together, they would get food from nearby farms while the farmers slept. While Udhata enjoyed vegetables, the jackal attacked the farmer’s poultry.

One night, Udhata was in a gay mood and told the jackal that he wanted to sing. The jackal warned him that singing while stealing vegetables from a farm is not a good idea. The donkey ignored the warning and sang to its heart’s content as the jackal ran to save its life. Soon, farmers woke up hearing the donkey braying and beat it with sticks for eating the vegetables from their farms.

Moral: There is a right time and place to do anything.

  1. The Bird With Two Heads

There was once a strange bird with two heads. Each head had a mind of its own. The bird had a very normal life, with the heads cooperating with each other for the bird’s survival. One day, the heads started fighting for a fruit they saw on a tree. There was only one fruit, and each head wanted the fruit for itself. The second head suggested that they stop fighting and give the fruit to the wife instead.

Although the first head agreed, he was not happy and vowed to teach the first head a lesson. On finding a poisonous fruit, the first head offered it to the second head, which consumed it happily. Within minutes, the bird died leaving both minds useless.

Moral: This story has two morals: Having a conflicting state of mind is dangerous. And, every part of the body is important – the loss even one could be fatal.

  1. The Mongoose And The Brahmin’s Wife

A brahmin, his wife, and his baby boy lived in a small village. They had a pet mongoose that lived with them. One day, when the brahmin was out on chores, his wife left the baby in the cradle and went to fetch a pot of water. She asked the mongoose to take care of the baby while she is away. As the mongoose guarded the baby, it saw a snake crawling into the house. It soon attacked the snake and killed it.

As soon as the brahmin’s wife entered with the pot of water, the mongoose happily welcomed her with blood all over her mouth. The lady was terrified at the sight and assumed that the mongoose had killed the baby. Furious, the lady dropped the pot of water on the mongoose and beat it to death with a stick. Then she went inside and found the baby happily playing in the cradle.

The lady realized what she had done and repented for acting without thought.

Moral: Do not act in haste without understanding the situation.

  1. The Tale Of Two Fishes And A Frog

In a lake, there lived many fishes and frogs. Two fishes, Sahasrabuddhi and Satabuddhi, were friends with a frog called Ekabuddhi. They spent a lot of time together. One day, they overheard two fishermen talking about how the lake was a good spot for fishing. The fishermen decide to come back the next day for catching fish. Hearing this the frog decided to go away from the lake to save its life.

The fishes, however, were arrogant and refused to leave, saying that they can fool the fishermen with their swift movements and tricks. The frog left with its family and the next day, both Sahasrabuddhi and Satabuddhi were caught by the fishermen.

Moral: Don’t be overconfident in the face of danger, think of safety first.

  1. The Lion That Sprang To Life

In a village there lived four friends who were all brahmins. Of them, three were very gifted and had successfully learned the holy scriptures while the fourth one was not. One day, the friends decided to go to the king’s court and show their skills and impress him. Although reluctant, the three brahmins agreed to take their dimwitted friend with them.

As they passed through a forest, they saw the carcass of a lion. Boastful of their skills, the three learned brahmins challenge one another and decided to bring the lion back to life with each of their skills. The fourth friend pointed out that it can be a dangerous idea. They brushed his opinion aside anyway. Scared of what was about to happen, the fourth friend quickly climbed a tree. As soon as the lion sprang back to life, it killed all three brahmins and ate them.

Moral: Common sense is always better than knowledge.

  1. The Brahmin’s Dream

Once upon a time, there lived a poor brahmin without any friends or relatives. He was a miser and begged for alms for a living. One day, he received a pot full of porridge from a generous person. He hung the earthen pot from the wall and fell asleep staring at it. He drifted into a deep sleep and dreamt that there was a famine and that he exchanged his pot of porridge for a hundred gold coins.

He dreamt that he bought a pair of goats and cows with the money, and made more money by trading milk. He also dreamt that a rich merchant offered his daughter’s hand in marriage and that he had a kid. He was relaxing at home when a group of kids would disturb him. Imagining that he was scaring them away with a stick, he picks up the nearby stick in his sleep and starts waving it around.

The brahmin wakes up suddenly, feeling the porridge on his hands and feet. He realizes that he had destroyed the only food he had for the day and repents his actions.

Moral: Do not build castles in the air.

Stories From Kákolùkïyam (Of Crows And Owls)

  1. Elephants And Hares

A herd of mighty elephants lived in a dense forest. The elephant herd always occupied the little pond in the jungle, making it impossible for the other animals to drink water. The king of the hares approached the elephant king and presented the problem. The elephant dismissed him rudely.

To teach the elephant a lesson, the hare warns the elephant that the God of the lake, the Moon, is unhappy with the elephant’s behavior. The elephant did not believe the hare’s words and asked to be taken to the Moon god. The hare took the elephant to the lake on a full moon night and showed the reflection of the moon. Seeing that, the elephant believed that the Moon god descended to the earth to punish them and agreed to change his herd’s behavior.

Moral: A little ingenuity can solve a seemingly big problem.

  1. The Foolish Brahmin And The Crooks

A brahmin once performed sacred ceremonies for a rich merchant and got a goat in return. He was on his way back carrying the goat on his shoulders when three crooks saw him and decided to trick him into giving the goat to them. One after the other, the three crooks crossed the brahmin’s path and asked him the same question – “O Brahmin, why do you carry a dog on your back?”

The foolish Brahmin thought that he must indeed be carrying a dog if three people have told him so. Without even bothering to look at the animal, he let the goat go.

Moral: If a lie is repeated several times, it becomes the truth for a fool.

  1. The Cave That Talked

A hungry lion wandered along the jungle it ruled in search of food. It was almost evening but the lion could not find a single animal to prey upon. Dejected, it decided to go back home, when it found a cave. The lion waited there for the resident animal to come back after sunset. He quickly went into the cave and hid.

The cave belonged to a jackal, which noticed the lion’s paw prints as it entered. He stepped back immediately and wanted to know if the lion was really inside its cave. The jackal made a plan to trick the lion. He started talking to the cave, asking if it was safe for it to enter. He kept asking the same thing again and again and refused to enter the cave until he got a reply.

The lion, fearing that his prey would walk away, replied like the cave. As soon as the lion replied, the jackal ran away from the cave never to come back.

Moral: Presence of mind can save you from being destroyed by foolish enemies.

  1. Of Crows And Owls

The birds of the jungle gathered for a meeting to discuss an important point. All birds, except the crows, showed up. The birds wanted to choose a new king as their present king, Garuda, was too busy and did nothing to protect them. After some thought, the birds agreed that the owl can see at night and should be made the king.

On the day of the coronation, a crow came and questioned the birds why they chose the owl as their king. On hearing the argument, the crow pointed out the flaws in the owl and suggested that Garuda should remain the king. The coronation was canceled and the owl, which was disappointed, declared that owls and crows shall never be friends. The crow repented giving unsolicited advice and flew away.

Moral: Do not offer counsel unless asked for.

  1. The Thief, The Brahmin, And The Demon
    A rich merchant was moved by the plight of a poor brahmin in his village and donated two calves to him. The brahmin was thankful and took good care of the calves, which soon became strong bullocks. The brahmin plowed his land with the help of these bullocks and earned a livelihood.

In the same village were a thief and a demon who wanted the bullocks for themselves. One night the thief and the demon came to the brahmin’s house and got into an argument about who should have the animals. Their quarrel woke the brahmin, who started chanting sacred mantras on seeing the demons. The demon ran away, and the thief was chased away by the brahmin.

Moral: When two people fight, it is always the third person who benefits.

Stories From Labdhapranásam (Loss Of Gains)

  1. The Story Of The Potter
    A poor potter lived in a small village. One day, he fell into a ditch by accident and got hurt. The wound left a big scar on his forehead. The potter moved to another village when his village was affected by famine. Luckily, he got work in the king’s court. The king saw the scar on the potter’s face and assumed that he was a warrior. He treated the potter with respect and made him a prominent member of his court.

In the following months, the kingdom was attacked by the enemies and the king asked the potter to lead the army. Afraid to do so, the potter told the king the truth about himself and how he got the scar. The potter left the kingdom, leaving the king embarrassed.

Moral: Appearances can be deceptive or never judge a person by his or her appearance.

  1. How are Panchatantra stories useful for kids?

Panchatantra stories are a source of education and entertainment that may aid in developing a child’s brain and teach them to deal with real-life problems in a fun way. The Panchatantra stories are rife with knowledge, bravery, and sometimes amorality. In addition, they are thought-provoking narratives that engage children’s thinking abilities and promote the learning and development of their minds.

  1. What is the structure of the Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra is a collection of interconnected stories using animal metaphors to represent human virtues and vices. The stories are primarily narrated in prose, but the lessons are expressed in verse. There are both poem and prose passages in Panchatantra.

  1. Can you think of modern stories or movies similar to Panchatantra’s stories?

Some modern stories and movies similar to Panchatantra tales include ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Inside Out,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda,’ and ‘Moana.’ They incorporate moral lessons, engaging narratives, and themes of self-discovery, teamwork, and embracing one’s unique abilities.

Panchatantra stories are popular in children’s literature due to their engaging plots, colorful characters, and universal moral lessons. While these stories may appear simple and short, they revolve around five significant life lessons. These lessons include winning over friends, how one’s actions cost them friends, the consequences of acting without thinking, how to escape a difficult situation without losing anything, and stories about war and peace strategies and rules. You can read from a vast collection of the Panchatantra stories, such as the foolish weaver, the lion and the camel, the musical donkey, the cave that talked, and many more, to your children at bedtime or during free time.