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If Birds And Animals Can,why Can't We?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    We may be post graduates,holders of research Doctorates,Engineers,medical profeesionls, Auditors,
    Caterers,builders or managerial experts or politicians
    or spiritual gurus.No one is all knowing and there are situations in which everybody slips and long for consolation and wise suggestions.


    Legend has it that a long time ago, there was a kingdom where the King had three sons. These boys hated studies, barely listened to their elders, and made any tutor mad enough to quit within days.

    As these princes were also the future of the nation, the concerned monarch asked his wisest men to gather, and offered a reward to anyone who could make responsible men out of his wayward offsprings. Everyone stayed silent, knowing the futility of the task offered to them, except for one wise sage named Vishnu Gupta. He said, “The task seems difficult, but not impossible.”

    This positive attitude encouraged the King to trust the sage with the education of his children, and he entrusted them to his care.

    The sage knows that the kids are not interested in reading scripture, so he teaches them the great morals of life through fables and stories, stories of animals and men, magic and humour, wisdom and sly trickery. The fables include the story of a lion's rotting skeleton, a fox who paints himself blue with ink, a lion who decides to spare a mouse, the princess of the mice who wants to marry the strongest one in the world, a sage who teaches parrots a poem to help them remember what happens when they fall for the bird-catcher’s trap, and so on. There are many such stories, each with a moral at the end. Each one is a wonderful lesson for children.

    Although they were written many years ago, the lessons of the Panchatantra are very relevant even today, and are in effect timeless. This makes it a must read for lovers of fables and fairy-tales.

    As for the princes, they remained illiterate but they became composed men of character and were eventually able to successfully oversee the administration of the kingdom.


    Panchatantra consists of basic priciples:-

    1. Mitra-bheda (The Loss of Friends) , is longest of the five books, making up roughly 45% of Panchtantra.
    2. Mitra-labha (The Winning of Friends)
    3. Kakolukiyam(On War and Peace: The story of the crows and the owls)
    4. Labdhapranasam (On Losing What You have Gained)
    5. Apariksitakarakam (Ill-Considered Action)
    These principles form the basic core in all the fields, personal,domestic,

    physiological,psychological ,social and at the top spiritual issues also.

    The Panchatantra by Vishnu Sarma written thousands of years ago, has much to offer by way of insight into human behavior though the
    Characters are entirely from the animal kingdom...
    It is in Five treatises , chapters interrelated animal table arranged within a frame story of animals, The Lion, The Tortoise , The Mangoose , owls,
    The Dove, Monkey, The Mouse, The Deer, The crow, The Bull, Crocodile
    The Brahman.........
    Not surprisingly the running theme of the Panchatantra is Knowledge Is the true organ of sight , not the eyes....and the practical guide to Niti, or the art of intelligent living...
    Vishnu Sharma chose the fable as the medium because he understood that humans can accept their own follies if they are presented in many ways..
    Tales of greed, treachery, stupidity, deceit, adultery, and loyalty unravel like a
    Matroshka, a succession of Russian dolls-within-dolls..
    The stories convey messages that are direct and simple..
    Malicious gossip can destroy even great friendships..Never trust an enemy, reformed enemy is an oxymoron. Deceit is the only way to overcome an unscrupulous enemy. Caste, color, and religion are no barriers to forming lasting bonds, against tyrants, unity is strength. A fool and his gains are soon parted..
    An intelligent man can overcome adversity by the use of his wit...
    The consequences of an ill-conceived hastily executed action could be DEATH..

    The morals are deep ,strong and can penetrate into you.Will be vibrant for ever.
    The stories offer us the possibility of making our lives richer and more meaningful..
    However it makes us aware of the fact that solutions lie within ourselves only..
    The use of animals to present this wonderful message to us all is significant since animals are not sentimental..

    On reading each story we get an uplift and impression,
    "if these animals can do,why can't we?"

    We get snippets on so many topics,why not on Panchatantra,the treasure house of knowledge?

    Jayasala 42
     
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  2. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Is Gupta the same as Sarma (likely Sharma) ? Apparently not so...:roflmao::roflmao:
    Not Gupta, as you had imagined, but Vishnu Sharma, as mentioned in the quote you had pasted later on into your post:
     
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  3. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    On reading your snippet, I fondly remember the days my son's whole world was stories! He literally lived absorbed in stories he listened from me or read on his own!

    Long long ago! So long ago.. Miss them!

    I had written a few in indusladies also

    DS is King and I'm the Minister ??? was about the Panchatantra

    Dadhichi and my son's questions ! was about Dadhichi

    Panchatantra MUST be taught to every child !
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:This post turned me to think as to when I heard it first of and about Pancha Than thi Raam. (P)

    This was the first story. I was in Sanskrit class( first form).

    It was in Sanskrit text book with illustrations in colours. A set of crows in tree. Their eggs eaten regularly by a black snake that resided hidden in a hole at the foot of the tree.

    How the Crow-Hen Killed the Black Snake?

    Crows discussed and decided upon a plan to do away with this black-snake. They remembered the princess of the land used to remove her jewellery from her person and leave it on a platter near the herbal filled pool before her routine bath ....

    The princess with her entourage in her palace tank was about to enjoy a herbal bath. Prince removed her diamond necklace & bangles and placed on a platter as usual, entered the pool.

    The crow-hen from near her nest in tree, flew in a sharp parabolic arc picked up from the platter the diamond necklace, held firmly in its beak and begin flying in random directions. Soon the crow was targeted by palace guards and after dodging them for a while eventually she flew to the bottom of the tree and dropped the diamond into the deep snake hole.

    Seeing this from a distance, guards collectively gathered around the tree and whacked the hole and stunned to see the emerging snake with her mouth holding princess’ diamond necklace. It got whacked and dead. The necklace retrieved back to princess.

    The moral is to how to destroy one’s powerful arch enemy by simplest means of using others ( neighbours) property without their knowing how they are being used.

    The entire class was held in awe as my Sanskrit teacher told this story well articulated. Every Sanskrit word that described the story entered the heads of all in the class including mine sitting in the last bench.

    The P in English Hindi and Tamil we read as prose & cartoons that include Amar Chitra Katha.

    Kudos to madam sister @jayasala42 for bringing out the essence and origins of the P . I thank her for this nostalgic post.

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    We get snippets on so many topics,why not on Panchatantra,the treasure house of knowledge?
    Jayasala 42[/QUOTE]

    In my opinion, today we are more interested in current topics. The second reason could be, if we have not learnt anything from this and other 'treasure houses of knowledge, there is little hope that we will learn now. There is lot of 'Jyana' floating around but listen and move on. Even those preaching do not practice.
    I am still hopeful for the simple reason that humans basically are good, circumstances make them what they are, bad or even worse. We are living in pandemic times and see how people are behaving, totally floating the Covid protocols.
    But yes, we should do whatever best we can do.
     
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  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    But then in Wikipedia I find there is a controversy about the name of the author and the period in which it was supposed to have been authored.
     
  7. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Wikipedia is the biggest falsehood propagated!! Anyone can go and edit it ...

    Please do check the primary sources for any authentic information
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  8. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    For sanskrit readers, here is a link from the 1910 print:
    Panchatantra Sanskrit Hindi - JP Mishra 1910 : shankara_2000 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    I read the Arthur Ryder (University of Chicago press) version in English. It is quite enjoyable, as the rhymes of sanskrit are preserved in the English version quite cleverly.

    Apparently Vishnusharman was an 80 year old when he took on the dunderhead princes to educate them quickly by telling them the stories. And on taking on the challenge he had said to the King:

    "0 King, listen. Here is the plain truth. I am not the man to sell good learning for a hundred land-grants. But if I do not, in six months' time, make the boys acquainted with the art of intelligent living, I will give up my own name. Let us cut the matter short. .....My boasting arises from no greed for cash. Besides, I have no use for money; am eighty years old, and all the objects of sensual desire have lost their charm. But in order that your request may be granted, I will show a sporting spirit in reference to artistic matters. Make a note of the date. If I fail to render your sons, in six months' time, incomparable masters of the art of intelligent living, then His Majesty is at liberty to show me His Majestic bare bottom."​

    I want to know how the above was said in Sanskrit. Thanks.
     
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  9. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Seriously ???

    I read the sanskrit verses from the link that you shared !!

    This is the actual translation -
    "If I do not make the boys fit for taking up the kingship, I will give up my own name. I am 80 years old and I have won over my sensual desires. I do not consider Ma Saraswathi's blessings as a joke and will not exchange it with wealth. O King, note down the dates. If I do not transform your sons to extraordinary scholars in 6 months, let me not be deserving of the Devamaarga of the Gods."

    He doesnt mention boasting. He says let me declare this in the presence of so many audience.

    "in order that your request may be granted, I will show a sporting spirit in reference to artistic matters" is absolute nonsense!

    And I'm not even commenting on the last line!!

    Western Indology loved to make a mockery of our religion and its texts!
    They created so much atrocity literature, but the sad part is, even after 70 + years, we are still following their english translations instead of studying the original texts and creating our own presence in the academia!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  10. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Sadly there aren't many sanskrit savvy among us. Thanks for clearing my doubt. Unfortunately, the Arthur Ryder version is given as required reading in American Universities. Lots of English versions are whittled down to children's stories -- whereas, in reality The Panchatantra is about tactics/tricks/strategies for life.

    I knew there was something fishy... because mooning as a practice to shame someone is a very european thing. We see them in foreign movies: In "Braveheart", the Scotts did that to the English at a famous battlefield.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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