Author: Anant Pai
Illustrator: Jeffrey Fowler / Ashok Dongre / VB Halbe
Publisher: India Book House
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175082348
The Panchatantra was written by Pandit Vishnu Sharma between the second and third centuries B C, but Hitopadesha came much later. Narayana, the author of Hitopadesha, drew most of his material from the Panchatantra. He reconstructed the first three tantras and added about fifteen new tales.
A certain Indian king was perturbed that his three sons were a averse to any kind of learning. Taking the advice of his counsellors, the king sent the princes to one Vishnu Sharma who was not only a learned Brahmin but was also a remarkable teacher within a short period of six months, the pandit instructed the princes in the art of politics and wordly wisdom, by telling them stories about bird, beast and man. Each character in his stories becomes a vehicle of some precept, either directly or indirectly.
The two stories included in the third title in this special issue are from Anwar-i-Suhaili, a Persian version of the Panchatantra, written by Hussain Ali Waiz. In Waiz's version of A Bag of Gold Coins the bag is stuffed into the mouth of a cow, which is later killed. To avoid hurting a vast section of Indians, we have shown a goat instead.
Hitopadesha: Choice of Friends and other Stories
Hitopadesha: How friends are parted and other stories
A Bag of Gold Coins