It’s a Wonderful Book that every one should read and apply it on a day to day basis in there lives even in doubt and conflict situations that we come across.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

The Panchatrantra is a collection of animal fables dating long before Aesop and created with a strategic purpose. They were composed in 300 AD with the purpose of teaching three slow witted  princes how to be good rulers. Vishnusharma was in his 80’s when he wrote the book and it follows the story within a story unravelling like an onion principle to teach the codes of kingship and various value systems.

Though the book opens with the tale of a bull and a lion with two jackals acting as doubtful go-betweens, other species of the animal kingdom and kings, jewellers and merchants follow. Not that the animals are very animal-like they seem to be as human as the humans. What the stories reveal is a measured thought process where one course of action is balanced against the other with a certain amount of wit and a great deal of commonsense.

Rohini Chowdhury’s translation coveys the essential message simply and directly and makes a classic of the ancient world available to modern young minds with a strategic bent.

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 5th May 2017

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