Thursday, March 25, 2021

Panchatantra Stories For Kids

 The Panchatantra is a collection of fables written in Sanskrit. It is one of the most popular collections of stories from the ancient Indian civilization. The tales, most of which are based on animals, come with a strong moral message. Panchatantra stories for kids have a strong plot with different characters, making them interesting.

About Tales Of Panchatantra

The legend goes that King Amarashakti, who used to rule Mahilaropya in southern India, had three dull-headed sons. The king appointed scholar Vishnu Sharma to educate them. After realizing that conventional tools and techniques of teaching will not work with his new students, Vishnu Sharma decided to write a collection of more than 50 stories that focused on five strategies:The collection is divided into five volumes, and hence the name Panchatantra (‘pancha’ means five and ‘tantra’ means systems).The Panchatantra was translated into a number of languages, including English, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Greek, Syriac and almost all Indian languages. The German version of the Panchatantra was one of the earliest books that the Gutenberg Press printed after the Bible.

Stories From Mitralabha (Gaining Of Friends)

1. The Hermit And The Mouse

A hermit took care of a temple in a small village. He took alms and shared it with a few people who helped him clean the temple. There was a mouse in the temple that kept stealing the hermit’s food and causing trouble for him. The hermit could not get rid of the mouse no matter what he did. The mouse continued to steal food, even when it was kept in an earthen pot hung from the roof.

Distraught, the sage sought advice from a friend, who told him to find the mouse’s food reserves and destroy them. After a thorough search of the premises, the sage found the stockpile of the mouse and destroyed it. With its food gone, the mouse was unable to jump high up to the roof for food. It became weak and got caught by the hermit, who threw it far away from the temple. The mouse was hurt and never returned to the temple.

Moral: Strike at the enemy’s source of strength to defeat him.

2. The Foolish Weaver

A weaver and his wife lived in a village. He went to the forest to get wood that he needed to repair his loom. As he began to chop the tree, a djinn appeared and asked him not to cut his abode. In return, the genie offered to give anything that the weaver wanted. The weaver left the forest to discuss this with his wife. 

The greedy and dimwitted wife told the weaver to ask the genie for an extra head and two extra hands so he can think more and work more.The stupid weaver agreed and went back to the djinn, which immediately granted the wish. The weaver happily walked back to the village, where people thought him to be a monster and beat him to death.

Moral: Lack of proper judgment can lead to several missed opportunities.

3. Four Friends And A Hunter

A deer, a turtle, a crow and a rat were friends. They lived happily in a jungle. One day, the deer was caught in a hunter’s trap and the friends made a plan to save him. The deer struggled as if it was in pain and then it lie motionless, with eyes wide open, as if it were dead. The crow and the other birds then sat on the deer and started poking it as they do to a dead animal.

Right then, the turtle crossed the hunter’s path to distract him. The hunter left the deer, assuming it dead, and went after the turtle. Meanwhile, the rat chew open the net to free the deer while the crow picked up the turtle and quickly took it away from the hunter.

Moral: Teamwork can achieve great results.

Stories From Mitrabedha (Losing Of Friends)

4. The Jackal And The Drum

One day, a hungry jackal wandered into a deserted battlefield in search of food. The place had nothing but a drum that the army left behind. When the wind blew, the branches of a tree moved and hit the drum, making a loud noise. The jackal was scared and decided to run from there. On second thoughts, he decided to explore the noise. As he drew closer to the sound, he found the drum and realized that it was harmless. When he approached the drum, he found food nearby.

Moral: Do not react blindly with fear.

5. The Crows And The Cobra

Two crows, husband and wife, and a cobra lived on a banyan tree in a forest near a small kingdom. The cobra was wicked and ate the crows’ eggs when the crows left the nest in search of food. The crows went to a wise jackal and ask for advice. As per the advice of the jackal, one of the crows went to the royal palace and stole a very precious necklace belonging to the queen as the guards watched. The crow flew slowly to its nest, so that the guards can follow it.

On reaching the banyan tree, the crow dropped the necklace in the tree’s hollow cove, where the snake lived. On finding a cobra in the hollow, the guards killed it and retrieved the necklace. The crows thanked the jackal and lived happily.

Moral: Even the most powerful enemies can be defeated with intelligence.

6. The Lion And The Camel

In a dense jungle, a lion lived with its three assistants – a jackal, a crow and a leopard. Due to their proximity to the king of the jungle, the assistants never had to look for food. One day, they were surprised to see a camel, which usually lived in the desert, wandering in the forest. On inquiry, they learnt that the camel lost its way. The lion gave it shelter and protected it.

One day, the mighty lion was injured in a battle with the elephants. Unable to hunt, the lion and the assistants were left hungry. The three assistants suggested that they should eat the camel, but the lion refused to kill it. The assistants hatched a plan to make the camel offer itself as food to its protector. The crow, the leopard and the jackal each offered itself as food to the lion, which it refused. Seeing this, the camel also did the same and was instantly killed by the lion.

Moral: It is unwise to trust cunning people who surround powerful or wealthy ones for their own benefit.

7. Right-Mind And Wrong-Mind

Two friends, Dharmabuddhi (right, virtuous mind) and Papabuddhi (wrong, wicked mind) lived in a village. Papabuddhi, who was wicked, decided to use the skills of the virtuous Dharmabuddhi to make money. He convinced his friend to together travel the world and earn a lot of money. Once they earned enough money, Papabuddhi convinced his friend that they should bury the money in a forest for safety. He then stole all the money one night and went back to the village.

When the friends went back to the forest to get the money, Papabuddhi feigned ignorance, accused Dharmabuddhi of stealing the money and took the matter to the village elders, who agreed that they should ask the tree spirit in the forest about Dharmabuddhi’s guilt.Papabuddhi asked his father to hide in the tree bark and speak like the tree spirit to confirm the innocent man’s guilt. Sensing something wrong, Dharmabuddhi set dry leaves and twigs on fire inside the hollow cove of the tree, forcing his friend’s father out.Papabuddhi’s father confessed to his son’s misdeed and the village elders punished him for it.

Moral: Avoid association of the wicked or you may end up paying for their misdeeds.

8. The Talkative Tortoise

Once upon a time, a tortoise named Kambugriva lived near a lake. It was friends with two swans that also lived in the lake. One summer, the lake began to dry up, and there was little water for the animals. The swans told the tortoise that there was another lake in another forest, where they should go to survive. They came up with a plan to take the tortoise along. They made the tortoise bite the center of a stick and told it not to open its mouth, no matter what.

The swans then held each end of the stick and flew, with the tortoise in between. People in the villages along the way saw a tortoise flying and were awestruck. There was a commotion on the ground about two birds taking a tortoise with the help of a stick. In spite of warnings from the swans, the tortoise opened its mouth and said: “what’s that commotion all about?” And then, it fell to its death.

Moral: One should speak only at the right moment.

9. Goats And Jackal

A jackal was once passing by a village, when it saw two strong goats fighting with each other. The goats were surrounded by people who were cheering for them. A few minutes into the fight, the goats had bruises on the body and were bleeding a little. This jackal was drawn to the smell of blood and wanted to get a bite of the goats’ flesh. It jumped at the goats at once, without thinking.

The two goats were stronger than the jackal and mercilessly trampled on the animal and killed it.

Moral: Think before you jump.

10. The Monkey And The Wedge

A team of carpenters was working on building a temple near a banyan tree. The carpenters went on a lunch break, leaving their tools and materials at the site. At this time, a group of monkeys came to the site and started playing with the tools and the material. One monkey found a huge log of wood with a wedge in it. A carpenter half-sawed a log and put a wedge to prevent the slit from closing.

The curious monkey settled inside the slit and tried to remove the wedge. After a lot of effort, it succeeded in removing the wedge. The slit closed instantly, injuring the monkey gravely and preventing it from moving from there.

Moral: Interfering in other people’s business results in more harm than good.

11. The King And The Foolish Monkey

There was once a king who had a pet monkey. The monkey always accompanied the king and even did little chores for him. One afternoon, as the king took a nap, the monkey sat next to the king and fanned him. Meanwhile, a fly came and sat on the king’s nose. The monkey tried to shoo it away, buy it kept coming back.

Frustrated with the fly, the monkey took the king’s dagger to kill it. He attacked the fly as it sat on the king’s neck, killing the king instantly.

Moral: A fool can never assist you to glory.

12. The Bug And The Poor Flea

A white flea lived between the silky sheets of a king. It fed on the king’s blood without anyone noticing and was very happy. One day, a bug came by and expressed its desired to taste the king’s blood. The flea was uncomfortable with the idea as the bug’s sting can be painful and that could expose its presence to the king.

On the bug’s insistence, the flea agreed that it can taste the king’s blood but had to wait until after he went to sleep. The bug agreed but couldn’t control itself. It bit the king as soon as he sat on the bed. The king was furious and asked the guards to check his bed for bugs. The bug quickly hid while the white flea got caught and killed.

Moral: Do not trust the words of strangers, for they could just be false promises.

13. The Crane And The Crab

An old and cunning crab had difficulty in catching fish. To avoid starvation, it came up with a plan to get food easily. It sat on the banks of the river with a sad face one day. On being asked, the crane said that he foresaw that there would be a famine, and all the animals in the pond would die soon. The naive fish believed the crane and sought its help. The crane happily agreed to carry the fish in its mouth and leave them in another lake near the mountains.

That way, the crane filled its stomach. One day it decided to eat a crab and carried it on its back. The crab saw a lot of fish skeletons on a barren land nearby and asked the crane about it. The crane confessed proudly that it ate all the fish and now it would eat the crab. The crab acted quickly on hearing this and used its claws to kill the crane and save its life.

Moral: Do not believe hearsay; check the authenticity of the information before acting.


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