Hitopadesha : Choice of Friends

The Panchatantra was written by Pandit Vishnu Sharma between the 2nd and 3rd Centuries B.C. but the Hitopadesha came much later. Narayana, the author of Hitopadesha, drew most of his material from Panchatantra. He reconstructed the first three tantras and added about fifteen new tales. The raison d’etre of both books remain the same. A certain Indian king was perturbed that his three sons were averse to any kind of learning. Taking the advice of his counsellors, the king sends his princes to Vishnu Sharma, who was not only a learned Brahmin but also a remarkable teacher.

Within a short period of six months, the pandit instructs the princes in the art of politics and worldly wisdom, by telling them stories about bird, beast and man. Each character in his stories becomes a vehicle of some precept, either directly or indirectly. In the Panchatantra, these stories are divided into five books. Narayana’s work however has only four – Mitralabha (Gaining Friends), Suhrudbheda (Causing Dissension Between Friends), Vigraha (Separation) and Sandhi (Union). The tales retold in this Amar Chitra Katha are from the first book, Mitralabha.

Script :Kamala Chandrakant
Illustrator :Jeffrey Fowler
ISBN : 81-7508-058-2

Code 556

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