The Pancatantra

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Penguin Books Limited, Aug 31, 2006 - Social Science - 512 pages
4 Reviews
First recorded 1500 years ago, but taking its origins from a far earlier oral tradition, the Pancatantra is ascribed by legend to the celebrated, half-mythical teacher Visnu Sarma. Asked by a great king to awaken the dulled intelligence of his three idle sons, the aging Sarma is said to have composed the great work as a series of entertaining and edifying fables narrated by a wide range of humans and animals, and together intended to provide the young princes with vital guidance for life. Since first leaving India before AD 570, the Pancatantra has been widely translated and has influenced a cast number of works in India, the Arab world and Europe, including the Arabian Nights, the Canterbury Tales and the Fables of La Fontaine. Enduring and profound, it is among the earliest and most popular of all books of fables.

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Review: The Pancatantra

User Review  - Greg - Goodreads

In the preamble, the genesis of the book and its lasting influence is described. “With the aid of these tales, he instructed the princes. They too, learning through these stories, became in six months ... Read full review

Review: The Pancatantra

User Review  - emily - Goodreads

Stories I read: The Foolish Friend. Dharmabuddhi and Pâpabuddhi. The Bullock's Balls. The Gold-Giving Snake. The Dog That Went Abroad. The Brahman's Wife and the Mongoose. The Fish That Were Too Clever. The Two-Headed Weaver. The Broken Pot. The Enchanted Brahman's Son. Read full review

About the author (2006)

Tradition ascribes this fabulous work to Visnu Sarma whose existence has not been conclusively established. Chandra Rajan, a noted Sanskrit scholar, has based her translation on the Purnabhadra recension (AD 1199). While remaining faithful to the original, she breathes new life into the stories, skilfully combining prose and verse to give us an eminently readable translation.

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