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Pancatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom…
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Pancatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom

by Vishnu Sharma

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Autographed by Illustrator, limited edition copy Number 1446
  Jwsmith20 | Jan 20, 2012 |
Book Description: Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press / Phoenix Books, 1964. Trade Paperback. Good . 8vo - over 7" - 9¾" tall. vii, 470 pp., pictorial wraps;
  Czrbr | Jun 7, 2010 |
The Panchatantra or Pañcatantra, ('Five Principles') was originally a canonical collection of Sanskrit as well as Pali animal fables in verse and prose. The original Sanskrit text, now long lost, and which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sarma. However, based as it is on older oral traditions, its antecedents among storytellers probably hark back to the origins of language and the subcontinent's earliest social groupings of hunting and fishing folk gathered around campfires. It is certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India and there are over 200 versions in more than 50 languages.

In the Indian tradition, the Panchatantra is a nītiśāstra, a treatise on political science and human conduct, or nīti. One of the early Western scholars on the Panchatantra was Dr. Johannes Hertel, who viewed the book as having a Machiavellian character. Other scholars dismiss this assessment as one-sided, and even view the stories as teaching dharma, or proper moral conduct.

It illustrates, for the benefit of princes who may succeed to a throne, the central Hindu principles of Raja niti (political science) through an inter-woven series of colorful animal tales. These operate like a succession of Russian dolls, one narrative opening within another, sometimes three or four deep. It consists of five books, which are called:

Mitra Bhedha (The Loss of Friends)
Mitra Laabha, also called Mitra Samprāpti (The Winning (or Gaining) of Friends)
Kākolūkīyam (Crows and Owls)
Labdhapraṇāśam (Loss Of Gains)
Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ (Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds)

Each distinct part of the book contains at least one story and usually more, which are 'emboxed' in the main story, called the 'frame-story'. Sometimes there is a double emboxment; another story is inserted in an 'emboxed' story. Moreover, the whole work begins with a brief introduction, which as in a frame all five parts are regarded as 'emboxed. Vishnu Sarma's idea was that humans can assimilate more about their own habitually unflattering behavior if it is disguised in terms of entertainingly configured stories about supposedly less illustrious beasts than themselves.

The work is an ancient and vigorous multicultural hybrid that to this day continues an erratic process of cross-border mutation and adaptation as modern writers and publishers struggle to fathom, simplify and re-brand its complex origins.
  saraswati_library_mm | Mar 15, 2010 |
The Panchatantra or Pañcatantra, ('Five Principles') was originally a canonical collection of Sanskrit as well as Pali animal fables in verse and prose. The original Sanskrit text, now long lost, and which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sarma. However, based as it is on older oral traditions, its antecedents among storytellers probably hark back to the origins of language and the subcontinent's earliest social groupings of hunting and fishing folk gathered around campfires. It is certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India and there are over 200 versions in more than 50 languages.

In the Indian tradition, the Panchatantra is a nītiśāstra, a treatise on political science and human conduct, or nīti. One of the early Western scholars on the Panchatantra was Dr. Johannes Hertel, who viewed the book as having a Machiavellian character. Other scholars dismiss this assessment as one-sided, and even view the stories as teaching dharma, or proper moral conduct.

It illustrates, for the benefit of princes who may succeed to a throne, the central Hindu principles of Raja niti (political science) through an inter-woven series of colorful animal tales. These operate like a succession of Russian dolls, one narrative opening within another, sometimes three or four deep. It consists of five books, which are called:

Mitra Bhedha (The Loss of Friends)
Mitra Laabha, also called Mitra Samprāpti (The Winning (or Gaining) of Friends)
Kākolūkīyam (Crows and Owls)
Labdhapraṇāśam (Loss Of Gains)
Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ (Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds)

Each distinct part of the book contains at least one story and usually more, which are 'emboxed' in the main story, called the 'frame-story'. Sometimes there is a double emboxment; another story is inserted in an 'emboxed' story. Moreover, the whole work begins with a brief introduction, which as in a frame all five parts are regarded as 'emboxed. Vishnu Sarma's idea was that humans can assimilate more about their own habitually unflattering behavior if it is disguised in terms of entertainingly configured stories about supposedly less illustrious beasts than themselves.

The work is an ancient and vigorous multicultural hybrid that to this day continues an erratic process of cross-border mutation and adaptation as modern writers and publishers struggle to fathom, simplify and re-brand its complex origins.
  saraswati_library_mm | Mar 15, 2010 |
The Panchatantra or Pañcatantra, ('Five Principles') was originally a canonical collection of Sanskrit as well as Pali animal fables in verse and prose. The original Sanskrit text, now long lost, and which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sarma. However, based as it is on older oral traditions, its antecedents among storytellers probably hark back to the origins of language and the subcontinent's earliest social groupings of hunting and fishing folk gathered around campfires. It is certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India and there are over 200 versions in more than 50 languages.

In the Indian tradition, the Panchatantra is a nītiśāstra, a treatise on political science and human conduct, or nīti. One of the early Western scholars on the Panchatantra was Dr. Johannes Hertel, who viewed the book as having a Machiavellian character. Other scholars dismiss this assessment as one-sided, and even view the stories as teaching dharma, or proper moral conduct.

It illustrates, for the benefit of princes who may succeed to a throne, the central Hindu principles of Raja niti (political science) through an inter-woven series of colorful animal tales. These operate like a succession of Russian dolls, one narrative opening within another, sometimes three or four deep. It consists of five books, which are called:

Mitra Bhedha (The Loss of Friends)
Mitra Laabha, also called Mitra Samprāpti (The Winning (or Gaining) of Friends)
Kākolūkīyam (Crows and Owls)
Labdhapraṇāśam (Loss Of Gains)
Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ (Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds)

Each distinct part of the book contains at least one story and usually more, which are 'emboxed' in the main story, called the 'frame-story'. Sometimes there is a double emboxment; another story is inserted in an 'emboxed' story. Moreover, the whole work begins with a brief introduction, which as in a frame all five parts are regarded as 'emboxed. Vishnu Sarma's idea was that humans can assimilate more about their own habitually unflattering behavior if it is disguised in terms of entertainingly configured stories about supposedly less illustrious beasts than themselves.

The work is an ancient and vigorous multicultural hybrid that to this day continues an erratic process of cross-border mutation and adaptation as modern writers and publishers struggle to fathom, simplify and re-brand its complex origins.
1 vote | Saraswati_Library | Feb 12, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sharma, VishnuAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ryder, Arthur W.Translatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olivelle, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014044596X, Paperback)

This collection of animal fables with a moral was the forerunner of Aesop's fables. The stories were orally narrated by a poet-narrator Visnu Sharma, but the first time they were put down in writing was in the 3rd or 2nd century BC by a Buddhist monk, Purnabhadra.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:40 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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. Enduring and profound, it is among the earliest and most popular of all books of fables.… (more)

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