Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Paths or Principles in The Panchatantra

© Munindra Misra 
The five Paths or Principles of Panchatantra are named:

1. Mitra-bhedha (मित्रभेद) 

- Separation of Friends 

(The Lion and the Bull)
Be wary if a friend accuses another of crime
Friendship between lion Pingalaka, king of the forest, and Sanjivaka, a bull to see, 
Karataka and Damanaka – the two jackals are retainers to the lion king certainly, 
Damanaka breaks up friendship between the lion king and bull out of jealousy, 
It the longest of the five books, roughly 45% of the work's length appoxamately.

2. Mitra-Laabha or Mitra-Samprapti (मित्रलाभ / मित्रसंप्राप्ति) 

- Gain/Advantage of Friends 

(The Dove, Crow, Mouse, Tortoise and Deer)
Cooperation among friends is vital to their survival 
A rat frees the pigeons, a crow befriend the rat, despite the rat's objections initially, 
The story evolves as their friendship grows to include the turtle and the fawn surely, 
They save the fawn when trapped, and later they save the turtle, who entrapped be, 
This is the second book and makes up about 22% of the total length appoxamately.

3. Kakolukiyam or Shatrubheda (काकोलुकीयम् / शत्रुभेद) 

- Enemy Distinction or War and Peace 

(Crows and Owls)
Mental strength and deceit are stronger in warfare than brute force 
The crows and the owls are at perpetual war – who are traditional enemies, 
A crow pretends to be an outcast and gains into the rival owl group entry; 
Learning their weaknesses and summons his group to suffocate his ememies, 
This the third book, makes up about 26% of the total length appoxamately.

4. Labdhapranasam or Viraag (लब्धप्रणाश / विराग)

- Loss Of Gains or Separation 

(The Monkey and the Crocodile)
Never betray friends and guard against own foolishness 
The story tells of a symbiotic relationship between the crocodile and monkey, 
The crocodile risks the link by wanting, for his wife, the heart of the monkey, 
When the monkey comes to know of the plan, he avoids the grim fate finally, 
This, the fourth book, makes up half of the remaining length appoxamately.

5. Aparikshitakaraka also called Sandhi (अपरीक्षित कारक / संधी) 

- Rash deeds or Treaty 

(The Brahman and the Mongoose)
Be wary of hasty judgements 
A Brahman leaves his child with a mongoose but sees blood on him subsequently,
So he slays his friend, believing that the animal had killed his child uncaringly, 
But discovers his child alive, and learns he defended him from a snake bravely, 
He then regrets having slaughtered his friend, the mongoose unreasonably.
© Munindra Misra 

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