Pancatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom

Overview

The Pancatantra is the most famous collection of fables in India and was one of the earliest Indian books to be translated into western languages. A significant influence on the Arabian Nights and the Fables of La Fontaine, the Pancatantra teaches the principles of good government and public policy through the medium of animal stories. Its positive attitude towards life and its advocacy of ambition, conventional enterprise, and drive refute any perception of passivity and other-worldliness in ancient Indian ...
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Overview

The Pancatantra is the most famous collection of fables in India and was one of the earliest Indian books to be translated into western languages. A significant influence on the Arabian Nights and the Fables of La Fontaine, the Pancatantra teaches the principles of good government and public policy through the medium of animal stories. Its positive attitude towards life and its advocacy of ambition, conventional enterprise, and drive refute any perception of passivity and other-worldliness in ancient Indian society. Patrick Olivelle's new translation vividly reveals the story-telling powers of the original author and presents the Pancatantra in all its complexity and rich ambivalence. A detailed introduction examines central elements of political and moral philosophy in the text, while extensive notes illuminate aspects of ancient Indian society and religion for the non-specialist reader.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A timely new translation and introduction, intelligent, and well informed. Olivelle has done a beautiful job in making these clear and faithful translations. His approach makes these timeless stories accessible to ordinary readers. His introduction offers background and sharp analysis."--William J. Jackson, Indiana University at Indianapolis

"This is an up to date modern translation which will be found useful for all those interested in ancient fables of India."--John Grimes, Michigan State University

"This is without question the best English translation of the Pancatantra."--Richard Lariviere, University of Texas at Austin

"A very useful introduction and an excellent modern translation suitable for all ages. A welcome and long-awaited translation."--N.S.Salgado, Augustana College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199555758
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,158,566
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Texas at Austin
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Note on the Translation
Bibliography
Guide to the Pronunciation of Sanskrit Words
Pancatantra 1
The Prelude to the Story 3
Bk. I On Causing Dissension among Allies 5
Story 1 The Monkey That Pulled the Wedge 8
Story 2 The Jackal That Tried to Eat a Drum 18
Story 3 The Adventures of an Ascetic 22
Story 4 How the Crows Killed the Snake 27
Story 5 The Hare That Outwitted the Lion 30
Story 6 How the Louse Got Killed Trying to be Nice to a Bug 37
Story 7 How the Lion's Servants Got the Camel Killed 46
Story 8 How the Sandpiper Defeated the Ocean 50
Story 9 The Bird That Tried to Advise a Monkey 60
Story 10 Two Friends and Betrayed Trust 62
Story 11 The Iron-Eating Mice 66
Bk. II On Securing Allies 71
Story 1 The Ascetic and the Mouse 81
Story 2 How Citranga Got Caught in a Trap 98
Bk. III On War and Peace: The Story of the Crows and the Owls 105
Story 1 The Ass in a Leopard's Skin 112
Story 2 The Owl is Elected King of Birds 113
Story 3 How the Rogues Tricked the Brahmin 122
Story 4 The Old Merchant and his Young Wife 126
Story 5 The Thief, the Ogre, and the Brahmin 127
Story 6 How the Unfaithful Wife Tricked her Foolish Husband 129
Story 7 The Mouse That Turned into a Girl 131
Story 8 Frogs Go for a Ride on the Back of a Snake 137
Bk. IV On Losing What You Have Gained 146
Story 1 The Ass without Ears or a Heart 152
Bk. V On Hasty Actions 155
Story 1 Building Castles in the Air 156
Story 2 The Barber Who Killed the Monks 158
App. I Concordance of Stories 160
App. II Stories in Other Pancatantra Versions 162
Explanatory Notes 165
Glossary of Names 181
Index 187
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