Stories from Mitrabedha (The Separation of Friends)
“Panchatantra is a collection of a number of short stories which were originally written in Sanskrit but translators and writers have revisited them time and again to make it more accessible to people through the ages. They are believed to be written in Sanskrit by scholar Vishnu Sharma.”
The scholar decided to use storytelling as a means to instill moral values and ethics in young sons of the kings. He wrote almost 50 stories and divided them into five volumes, and hence the name Panchatantra, ‘pancha’ means five and ‘tantra’ means systems. The stories from the Mitrabheda (the Separation of Friends) can be used to teach the kids how one can lose friends.
Panchatantra Stories: The Crows and The Cobra
Once upon a time, one crow couple lived on a big banyan tree in a forest near a kingdom. In the same tree, a cobra had made his burrow. When the nest was unguarded, the ate the crows’ eggs. This happened whenever the crows left the nest in search of food. The crows went to his friend jackal for advice. The crows decided to follow the jackal’s advice and as per the advice, one of the crows went to the royal kingdom and stole the necklace belonging to the princess which was very precious. The guards followed the crow as he flew slowly to the banyan tree.
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The crow then dropped the necklace in the cobra’s burrow. On finding the necklace kept in the cobra’s burrow, the guards quickly killed the cobra and took back the necklace. The crows lived happily thereafter.
One should not give up. Even the most powerful enemies can be defeated with the use of wit.
Panchatantra Stories: The Lion and The Camel
Once upon a time, there lived a lion in the jungle. He lived with his three assistants- – a crow, a jackal and a leopard. Due to their proximity to the king of the jungle, the assistants had several advantages and never had to look for food. They saw a camel come into the jungle one day. They wondered what was the camel doing in the jungle rather than being in the desert. On enquiring with the camel, they learnt that the camel had lost his way. The lion gave a shelter to the camel and promised to protect him.
After a few days passed, there came a day when the lion was injured in a battle. Unable to kill a prey, the lion became weak and so did his assistants. The assistants tried convincing the king of the jungle to kill the camel for food. The lion refused because he did not want to kill an animal under his shelter. The assistants finally managed to convince the lion by hatching a plan. They ensured the camel that they would convince the camel to offer himself as food to its protector. According to the plan, the crow, the jackal and the leopard offered themselves as food to the lion one by one. They said it was their duty to serve their king. The lion did not kill any of his assistants. Seeing this, the camel also offered himself as food to the king and was immediately killed by the lion.
Beware of cunning people who usually surround powerful people for their own benefit.
Panchatantra Stories: The Jackal and The Drum
Once upon a time, there lived a hungry jackal in the forest. The jackal wandered into a deserted battlefield in search of food. A battle had been fought recently in the battlefield. As the wind blew, the branches of the tree got rubbed against the drum. It made a loud noise. The battlefield had nothing but a drum. The jackal got scared hearing the loud noise and decided to hide. While he was running away, he had a second thought and he decided to look for the source of the noise. The jackal realized that the wind was causing the noise as soon as he saw the drum. He realized that it was harmless. The jackal again began his search for food near the drum. He found sufficient food and water nearby.
One should not react blindly with the fear of unknown. Only the brave succeed in life.
Beautifully illustrated, ‘Vishnu Sharma’s Complete Illustrated Panchatantra’ will be the ideal addition to a child’s library.