Short and educational stories and tales from the Sanskrit classic, Hitopadesha. Browse through and read from our huge collection of interesting Hitop Read More. Hitopadesha Tales - Short and educational stories and tales from the Sanskrit classic, Hitopadesha. Browse through and read from our huge collection of interesting Hitopadesha tales for kids. Just click on any of the stories below to read it.
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Learning to a man is a name superior to beauty; learning is better than hidden treasure. Learning is a companion on a journey to a strange country, learning is strength inexhaustible. Learning is the source of renown and the fountain of victory in the senate. Learning is a superior sight, learning is a livelihood; a man without learning is as a beast of the field. It incorporates maxims, worldly wisdom and advice on political affairs in simple, elegant language,  and the work has been widely translated.
Little is known about its origin. The surviving text is believed to be from the 12th-century, but was probably composed by Narayana between and CE. The authorship of the Hitopadesa has been contested.
Upon the discovery of the oldest known manuscript of the text in Nepal, dated to , and the preparation of a critical edition , scholars generally accept the authority of its two concluding verses.
These verses mention Narayana as the author and a king called Dhavala Chandra as the patron of the text. Dating the work is therefore problematic. There are quotations within it from 8th century works and other internal evidence may point to an East Indian origin during the later Pala Empire 8thth century. Narayana says that the purpose of creating the work is to encourage proficiency in Sanskrit expression samskrita-uktishu and knowledge of wise behaviour niti-vidyam.
This is done through the telling of moral stories in which birds, beasts and humans interact. Interest is maintained through the device of enclosed narratives in which a story is interrupted by an illustrative tale before resuming. The style is elaborate and there are frequent pithy verse interludes to illustrate the points made by the various speakers. The Hitopadesha is quite similar to the ancient Sanskrit classic, the Panchatantra , another collection of fables with morals. Both have an identical frame story, although the Hitopadesha differs by having only four divisions to the ancient text's five.
In his own introductory verses, Narayana acknowledges that he is indebted to the Panchatantra and 'another work'. The latter is unknown but may possibly be the Dharmasastras or some other. As your life to you is dear, So is his to every creature. The good have compassion for all, By comparison and analogy with their own nature. The Hitopadesha is organized into four books, with a preface section called Prastavika. The opening verse expresses reverence to the Hindu god Ganesha and goddess Saraswati.
The Book 1 is introduced with the statement that wise and sincere friends may be poor or destitute, but it is they who may help one achieve successes in life. The book recommends that the good find good friends, they are like a vessel in which one deposits both joys and sorrows of life, and it is not words that define a friend but their behavior and actions.
The Book 2 is introduced with the statement that great friendships can be destroyed by the cruel and envious beings who envy such friendship. The book states that misinformation creates wedge between friends, as does a focus on disagreements, rash action without due investigation and a lack of communication.
The third book presents a series of fables wherein war is described as a consequence of greed, criticism of others, wicked people and their ideologies, cruel and ungrateful leader, lack of restraint, lack of preparation, poor fortifications, weak military, weak diplomacy, and poor counsel.
The fables in Book 4 state that it is always better to seek peace with seven types of people: the truthful, the virtuous, the just, the strong, the victorious, those with many brothers, and the self-destructing worthless.
May peace forever yield happiness to all the victorious possessors of the earth, May just men forever be free from adversity, and the fame of those who do good long flourish, May prudence, like a glorious sun shine continually on your breasts, May the earth, with all her vast possessions, long remain for your enjoyment.
By the early 20th-century, translations of the Hitopadesha into the following Indian languages were known: . The Emperor Akbar — commended the work of translating the Hitopadesha to his own minister, Abul Fazl , with the suggestion that the poems which often interrupt the narrative should be abridged. Fazl accordingly put the book into a familiar style and published it with explanations under the title of the Criterion of Wisdom.
The Hitopadesha was also a favourite among the scholars of the British Raj. It was the first Sanskrit book to be printed in the Nagari script, when it was published by William Carey in Serampore in —4, with an introduction by Henry Colebrooke.
Much earlier, Sir William Jones encountered the work in and it was translated into English the following year by Charles Wilkins , who had also made the earliest English translation of the Bhagavad Gita. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Medieval era Sanskrit text with animal fables. Maxim on learning Learning to a man is a name superior to beauty; learning is better than hidden treasure. Compassion As your life to you is dear, So is his to every creature.
Haksar Translator Penguin Books. Cambridge University Press. Lanman , "Notes on the Externals of Indian Books" , The Panchatantra: a collection of ancient Hindu tales in the recension, called Panchakhyanaka, and dated A. Arnold on the Net. The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma. Penzer Arthur W. Ryder Silvestre de Sacy C. Tawney Charles Wilkins Ramsay Wood. Beast fable Frame story Katha. Categories : Sanskrit texts Literature featuring anthropomorphic characters Indian folklore Political history of India.