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The Panchatantra is a collection of folktales and fables that were believed to have been originally written in Sanskrit by Vishnu Sharma more than 2500 years ago. This collection of stories features animal characters which are stereotyped to associate certain qualities with them. The origins of the Panchatantra lie in a tale of its own, when a King approached a learned pandit to ask him to teach the important lessons of life to his ignorant and unwise sons. This learned scholar knew that the royal princes could not understand complex principles in an ordinary way. So, he devised a method wherein he would impart important knowledge in the form of simple and easy-to-understand folktales. Thus, the Panchatantra came into origin. It is one of the most popular collection of Indian tales, and has influenced literature all over the world since the time of its conception. This particular version of the Panchatantra was translated by G L Chandiramani, who has also translated the Hitopadesha. Panchatantra comes from the individual words, 'pancha' and 'tantra'. While pancha refers to the number five, tantra refers to ways/strategies related to inner fulfilment. The stories in this book aim to impart the deeper wisdom of life, through the simple portrayal of animal characters. The story of two geese and an tortoise is dedicated to the moral of heeding a trusted friend's advice. Another story deals with a wise old rabbit and an angry lion who can't control his impatience.
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Vishnu Sharman also known as Vishnu Sharma (Sanskrit: ) was an Indian scholar and author who is believed to have written the Panchatantra collection of fables.[The exact period of the composition of the Panchatantra is uncertain, and estimates vary from 1200 BCE to 300 CE. Some scholars place him in the 3rd century BCE. Vishnu Sharman is one of the most widely translated non-religious authors in history. The Panchatantra was translated into Pahlavi in 570 CE by Borz ya and into Arabic in 750 CE by Persian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa as Kal lah wa Dimnah (Arabic: ).In Baghdad, the translation commissioned by Al-Mansur, the second Abbasid Caliph, is claimed to have become "second only to the Qu'ran in popularity."As early as the eleventh century this work reached Europe, and before 1600 it existed in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Old Slavonic, Czech, and perhaps other Slavonic languages. Its range has extended from Java to Iceland." In France, "at least eleven Panchatantra tales are included in the work of La Fontaine.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
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