The Panchatantra is essentially connected with one of the branches of science known to us as the 'Nitishastra' in Sanskrit, which means' A book of wise conduct in life'. It attempts to teach us how to understand people, how to choose reliable and trust- worthy friends, how to meet difficulties and solve problems through tact and wisdom, and how to live in peace and harmony in the face of hypocrisy, deceit and the many pitfalls in life.
The Panchatantra is woven round the frame of a tale of a king who entrusts his three dull sons to a learned man, a Brahmin, called Pandit Vishnu Sharma, to enlighten their minds within six months. The Brahmin promises to educate them and takes them to his 'ashram a' (hermitage). There he recites to them his specially composed tales divided into five tantras (in Sanskrit 'pancha' means five and 'tantra' means systems or parts) on how to deal with people in life.
The Panchatantra is a rare book, for in no book can one find philosophy, psychology, politics, music, astronomy, human rela- tions, etc. all discussed together in such a simple yet elegant style. This is exactly what Pandit Vishnu Sharma had in mind-to give as much knowledge to the princes in as uncomplicated a manner as possible. And no doubt not only the princes but also millions of listeners and readers for the last 2,200 years have benefited from his most unique book.
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