Wednesday, May 16, 2012

1 The Loss of Friends

© Munindra Misra 

He that teaches us anything which we knew not before is undoubtedly to be reverenced as a master. ~ Samuel Johnson

Amarasakti ruled Mahilaropyam in the south of India anciently,
He had three witless sons who were a matter of endless worry,
 Realizing that his sons had no interest in learning sincerely,
The king summoned his ministers and spoke despondently:
Panchatantra Book 1. 1.       
“As you may have known, with my sons I am not at all happy,
An unborn, stillborn son is better than a son who dimwit be,
What good a barren cow; a supid son who bring dishonour likely,
How to make them fit to succeed – I want your advice eagerly.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 2.       
One minister suggested the name of Vishnu Sharman saintly,
A great scholar enjoying the respect of his disciples clearly,
“He is the most competent person to tutor your children surely,
Entrust them to his care and very soon they will change truly.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 3.       
The king summoned Vishnu Sharman - pleaded with him intently,
“Oh, venerable scholar, I implore – on me please do take pity,
Please train my sons into great scholars – I request earnestly,
I promise I will make you the lord of hundred villages surely.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 4.       
Vishnu Sharman said “Oh, king, listen to my pledge seriously,
Hundred villages do not tempt me to vend learning actually,
In six months if I do not make great scholars of your progeny,
You can ask me to change my name – I will honour readily.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 5.       
The king handed his sons to Sage Vishnu’s care immediately,
Sharman taught them from the Panchatantra in his monastery,
He finished the task the king entrusted him in six months actually,
And Panchatantra became popular as children's guide universally.
Panchatantra Book 1. 6.       
Now begins the Loss of Friends, first of the five strategies series,
That comprise of the Panchatantra in its grandeur unendingly,
They figure in a dialogue between animals as children’s stories,
Between two jackals named Karataka and Damanaka essentially.
Panchatantra Book 1. 7.            
© Munindra Misra 

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