Panchtantra - How The Jackal Ate The Elephant

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Your Majesty, no one can deny your greatness. You are kind-hearted, gentle and possess all qualities of a ruler. Taking these things in the mind, all the animals have chosen you to be their King. The Elephant appeared to be happy with all the praise thrown by the Jackal.


It will be held in the middle of the forest, where thousands of animals have already gathered to get your glimpse. Our astrologers have told this is the auspicious moment for your crowning. Time is slipping fast. He always dreamt to become a King. He contemplated that the kingship ceremony will be matter of honor to him. Instantly, he got ready to accompany the Jackal to the place where ceremony was to be held. The Jackal took the Elephant deep into the forest.

On the way, they had to walk through a swampy area by the side of a lake. The Jackal walked across the swampy region easily. But as soon as the Elephant stepped on the swamp, he got stuck in it. He tried his best to come out of the swamp, but to no avail. The more he tried to move out, the more he went deep into it. I am sinking deep into the mud. You deserve this conduct.

Panchatantra How The Jackal Ate The Elephant And Other Stories by Anant Pai

You are a cruel, arrogant and a merciless creature. You killed our siblings and kids.

The Elephant and The Jackal

You have destroyed our burrows and nests of poor birds. You knew everything, but remained indifferent. The Jackal left the place immediately and the Elephant kept shouting for help. Similar animal fables are found in most cultures of the world, although some folklorists view India as the prime source. The French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine acknowledged his indebtedness to the work in the introduction to his Second Fables:. The Panchatantra is the origin also of several stories in Arabian Nights , Sindbad , and of many Western nursery rhymes and ballads.

Its literary sources are "the expert tradition of political science and the folk and literary traditions of storytelling". The Panchatantra shares many stories in common with the Buddhist Jataka tales , purportedly told by the historical Buddha before his death around BCE. As the scholar Patrick Olivelle writes, "It is clear that the Buddhists did not invent the stories. Norman Brown found that many folk tales in India appeared to be borrowed from literary sources and not vice versa. An early Western scholar who studied The Panchatantra was Dr. Johannes Hertel , who thought the book had a Machiavellian character.

Similarly, Edgerton noted that "the so-called 'morals' of the stories have no bearing on morality; they are unmoral, and often immoral. They glorify shrewdness and practical wisdom, in the affairs of life, and especially of politics, of government. However, [.. The Panchatantra, states Patrick Olivelle , tells wonderfully a collection of delightful stories with pithy proverbs, ageless and practical wisdom; one of its appeal and success is that it is a complex book that "does not reduce the complexities of human life, government policy, political strategies, and ethical dilemmas into simple solutions; it can and does speak to different readers at different levels.

The text has been a source of studies on political thought in Hinduism, as well as the management of Artha with a debate on virtues and vices. The Sanskrit version of the Panchatantra text gives names to the animal characters, but these names are creative with double meanings. For example, the deer characters are presented as a metaphor for the charming, innocent, peaceful and tranquil personality who is a target for those who seek a prey to exploit, while the crocodile is presented to symbolize dangerous intent hidden beneath a welcoming ambiance waters of a lotus flower-laden pond.

Thus, the names of the animals evoke layered meaning that resonates with the reader, and the same story can be read at different levels.

The work has gone through many different versions and translations from the sixth century to the present day. This Arabic version was translated into several languages, including Syriac, Greek, Persian, Hebrew and Spanish, [70] and thus became the source of versions in European languages, until the English translation by Charles Wilkins of the Sanskrit Hitopadesha in The Panchatantra approximated its current literary form within the 4th—6th centuries CE, though originally written around BCE. No Sanskrit texts before CE have survived.

The herb is the scientist; science is the mountain, everlastingly out of reach of the multitude. The corpse is the man without knowledge, for the uninstructed man is everywhere lifeless. Through knowledge man becomes revivified. The sage pointed to the book, and the visiting physician Borzuy translated the work with the help of some Pandits Brahmins.

Borzuy's translation of the Sanskrit version into Pahlavi arrived in Persia by the 6th century, but this Middle Persian version is now lost. The book had become popular in Sassanid, and was translated into Syriac and Arabic whose copies survive.

It is the 8th-century Kalila wa Demna text, states Riedel, that has been the most influential of the known Arabic versions, not only in the Middle East, but also through its translations into Greek, Hebrew and Old Spanish. This is considered the first masterpiece of "Arabic literary prose. The introduction of the first book of Kalila wa Demna is different than Panchatantra , in being more elaborate and instead of king and his three sons studying in the Indian version, the Persian version speaks of a merchant and his three sons who had squandered away their father's wealth.

The Persian version also makes an abrupt switch from the story of the three sons to an injured ox, and thereafter parallels the Panchatantra. The two jackals' names transmogrified into Kalila and Dimna in the Persian version. Perhaps because the first section constituted most of the work, or because translators could find no simple equivalent in Zoroastrian Pahlavi for the concept expressed by the Sanskrit word 'Panchatantra', the jackals' names, Kalila and Dimna, became the generic name for the entire work in classical times.

The trial lasts for two days without conclusion, until a tiger and leopard appear to bear witness against Dimna. He is found guilty and put to death. The political theorist Jennifer London suggests that he was expressing risky political views in a metaphorical way. Al-Muqaffa' was murdered within a few years of completing his manuscript. London has analysed how Ibn al-Muqaffa' could have used his version to make "frank political expression" at the 'Abbasid court see J.

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A suggestion made by Goldziher, and later written on by Philip K. Hitti in his History of the Arabs , proposes that "The appellation is presumably taken from the story of the ringdove in Kalilah wa-Dimnah in which it is related that a group of animals by acting as faithful friends ikhwan al-safa to one another escaped the snares of the hunter. Almost all pre-modern European translations of the Panchatantra arise from this Arabic version.

The Clever Jackal

Perhaps most importantly, it was translated into Hebrew by Rabbi Joel in the 12th century. The Latin version was translated into Italian by Antonfrancesco Doni in It was the Panchatantra that served as the basis for the studies of Theodor Benfey , the pioneer in the field of comparative literature.

Edgerton undertook a minute study of all texts which seemed "to provide useful evidence on the lost Sanskrit text to which, it must be assumed, they all go back", and believed he had reconstructed the original Sanskrit Panchatantra; this version is known as the Southern Family text.

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Among modern translations, Arthur W. Ryder 's translation Ryder , translating prose for prose and verse for rhyming verse, remains popular. Olivelle's translation was republished in by the Clay Sanskrit Library. Recently Ibn al-Muqaffa's historical milieu itself, when composing his masterpiece in Baghdad during the bloody Abbasid overthrow of the Umayyad dynasty, has become the subject and rather confusingly, also the title of a gritty Shakespearean drama by the multicultural Kuwaiti playwright Sulayman Al-Bassam. The novelist Doris Lessing notes in her introduction to Ramsay Wood 's "retelling" of the first two of the five Panchatantra books, [92] that.

Until comparatively recently, it was the other way around. There were at least twenty English translations in the hundred years before Pondering on these facts leads to reflection on the fate of books, as chancy and unpredictable as that of people or nations. On the surface of the matter it may seem strange that the oldest work of Arabic prose which is regarded as a model of style is a translation from the Pahlavi Middle Persian of the Sanskrit work Panchatantra , or The Fables of Bidpai , by Ruzbih, a convert from Zoroastrianism , who took the name Abdullah ibn al-Muqaffa.

It is not quite so strange, however, when one recalls that the Arabs had much preferred the poetic art and were at first suspicious of and untrained to appreciate, let alone imitate, current higher forms of prose literature in the lands they occupied. Leaving aside the great skill of its translation which was to serve as the basis for later translations into some forty languages , the work itself is far from primitive, having benefited already at that time CE from a lengthy history of stylistic revision.

Its philosophical heroes through the initial interconnected episodes illustrating The Loss of Friends, the first Hindu principle of polity are the two jackals, Kalilah and Dimnah. It seems unjust, in the light of posterity's appreciation of his work, that Ibn al-Muqaffa was put to death after charges of heresy about CE. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ancient Sanskrit text of animal fables from India. For the Kannada film, see Panchatantra film. For lists of stories in the Panchatantra, see List of Panchatantra Stories.

See also: Hitopadesha.

India portal Children's literature portal. Oxford University Press. At this date, however, many of the individual stories were already ancient. Columbia University Press. If it were further declared that the Panchatantra is the best collection of stories in the world, the assertion could hardly be disproved, and would probably command the assent of those possessing the knowledge for a judgment. Vera Alexander ed. Motilal Banarsidass. Seeing Like the Buddha: Enlightenment through Film. State University of New York Press. The Panchatantra, he adds, is not only the oldest extant work of Hindu artistic fiction, but it is The animal actors present, far more vividly and more urbanely than men could do, the view of life here recommended—a view shrewd, undeceived, and free of all sentimentality; a view that, piercing the humbug of every false ideal, reveals with incomparable wit the sources of lasting joy.

Many words are therefore necessary to explain what niti is, though the idea, once grasped, is clear, important, and satisfying. It is as if the animals in some English beast-fable were to justify their actions by quotations from Shakespeare and the Bible. These wise verses it is which make the real character of the Panchatantra.