Panchtantra - By Esther Lyons

manisha-large.jpg (11034 bytes)PANCHATANTRA is a collection of short stories which has moral values or
are fables mostly with animal characters. The word PANCH means "five" and TANTRA means doctrines or skills of conduct or techniques of action. The stories were written in Sanskrit originally by Pandit Vishnu Sharma in India for the three sons of a Rajah (King). The three sons of the king were not doing well in their education and the king was worried. He asked this great teacher Pandit Sharma to help educate them so they could be wise successors of his. Pandit Sharma based his stories on the collections of folk tales made by a Buddhist monk Bidpai. Aesop's Fables are also based on the same folk tales of the Buddhist monk from India. I have translated some of the stories in English for the children to read overseas. Since the stories were written many years back, I have tried to explain the various culture of the time while relating the stories to the children. Technology and science has
changed some of the cultural background yet the human responses to situation have remained the same and needed to be explained. The stories have animal characters mostly because in those days the ancient Indians recognised the
animals' right to co-exist with man, and therefore, they were loved, brought up, and even worshipped. To show the importance of the animals, they were given the status of god and goddesses. They believed that God the Almighty had also manifested in different animal forms. To develop love towards
animals among children, animals were made heroes and heroines in the stories, legends and folktales in ancient times. Offcourse one of the reasons being that there were more jungles and animals existing in the land of India. The book also has good illustrations and has hard cover. It is available in India too, but if it is bought in India it will have to be in Indian currency, it would be cheaper. Although I have had it published in India, I cannot bring the money here when it is sold there. So I have some with me here and am selling them so I can also avail of what I spent on publishing in India. The book is very good for the children adopted from India as it helps them to know some of the Indian cultures as well as the universal law of goodness, honesty, love for truth, and wisdom.

Esther Lyons

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