Hindi Language Blog

Tales from the Panchatantra Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Hindi Language

The Panchatantra पंचतंत्र (पंच pancha = five;  तंत्र  tantra = treatises)  is an ancient collection of animal fables from India. Surviving works have been dated back to 300 BC although the stories themselves are believed to be much older. Currently, the Panchatantra is considered to be the most widely translated Indian text around the world, including Persian, Arabic, and European languages.
Written in Sanskrit संस्कृत prose गद्य (gadya) and verse पद्य (padya), the stories are intended to be a sort of guide on good practices and practical wisdom. The stories are intertwined, and the main characters are animals that bear characters, vices अवगुण (avaguN), and virtues गुण (guN) of humans.
The tales of the Panchantantra are clever and entertaining on the surface while they are metaphors for deeper lessons in life. However, the messages in these stories have been debated by literary scholars. For a deeper look into the Panchatantra and it’s history, go to the Panchatrantra Wikipedia page for more insights and links.

The Panchatantra consists of five books:

मित्र भेद Mitra-bheda — The Loss of Friends (मित्र = friend; भेद = differences)
मित्र लाभ Mitra-lābha — The Winning of Friends (मित्र = friend; लाभ = gain)
Kākolūkīyam (Sanskrit word) — On Crows and Owls (कौआ[/highlight] = crow; [highlight]उल्लू  = owl)
Labdhapraṇāśam (Sanskrit word) — Loss of Gains
Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ (Sanskrit word) — Ill-Considered Action

The stories have been widely adapted and published for a young and older audience alike.  Here is an animated adaptation.

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About the Author: Nitya

Namaste, friends. My name is Nitya. I was born and raised in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I'm a native Hindi speaker. However, as life took me through school, college, work, and waves of friends from different parts of India, my repertoire of Hindi flavors and dialects grew and added dimension to my native fluency. Casual, formal, colloquial, and regional ... Hindi is a language with incredible variety and localization. Through this blog, I will help you learn Hindi through conversations, vocabulary, colloquialisms, and glimpses of Indian culture. आओ, मिलकर हिंदी सीखते हैं। (Aao, milkar Hindi seekhte hain!) Come, let's learn Hindi together.


  1. c.k.v.raman:

    It will indeed be very nice, if you could add a few more words – say 50 words per mail or so.

    Good work.
    Please keep it up.

    God Bless.

    C.K.V.Raman – Chennai

    • Nitya:

      @c.k.v.raman Dear Mr. Raman,

      Thank you for the feedback. I will try to add a few more words from the story in a couple of days.

      Regards, Nitya