Indian Tales - Panchatantra and Hitopadesha


Panchatantra, is a collection of five volumes of stories written by a teacher to help instruct the different aspects of kinghood for princes. The five volumes together serve as a manual for a prospective king, to help him in deciding how to rule, how to choose his fellow friends, fellow ministers, how to conduct himself in daily life etc. 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 story of Panchatanra itself is an interesting one in that, the intention of writing it was precisely the one mentioned in the previous paragraph, namely, to serve as a manual for a prince to rule as an ideal king.


Hitopadesha is a collection of Sanskrit fables in prose and verse; it is similar to, though distinct from, the Panchatantra. The Hitopadesa is known to be at least several centuries old. Originally written in Sanskrit, its stories have travelled to several parts of the world.

The work has been translated into most of the major languages of the world. An english translation, rendered by by Sir Edwin Arnold , then Principal of Puna College, Pune, India, was published in London in 1861.

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