The “Pentateuch” is a world-famous collection of Indian tales, fables, stories and parables. The pliable stories “Panchatantra”, penetrated into the literature and folklore of many peoples, are united by framework stories that have this or that didactic setting
King Amarashakti had three stupid and lazy sons. To awaken their intelligence, the king called the sage Vishnusharman, and he undertook six months to teach the princes the science of correct behavior. To this end, he composed five books, which alternately told his students.
Book One: “The Separation of Friends”
A merchant leaves a dying bull Sanjivaku in the forest. From the spring water and succulent grass, the bull gradually grew stronger, and soon its mighty roar begins to frighten the king of the forest animals of the lion Pingalaku. Advisors Pingalaki jackals Damanaka and Karataka are looking for a bull and conclude an alliance between him and the lion. Over time, the friendship of Sanjivaki and Pingalaki becomes so strong and close that the king begins to neglect his former surroundings. Then the jackals who remain out of work quarrel with them. They slander the lion at the bull, accusing Sanjivak that he plans to seize the king’s power, and the bull, in turn, warns that Pingalaka wants to eat his meat. Deceived by jackals, Pingalak and Sanjivak attack each other, and the lion kills the bull.
Book two: “The acquisition of friends”
Book three: “On the ravens and owls”
On a large banyan tree live crows, and nearby in the mountain cave-fortress countless owls. Stronger and brutal owls constantly kill crows, and they are going to a council in which one of the ministers of the crows named Sthirajivin suggests resorting to military cunning. He depicts a quarrel with his king, after which the crows, having smeared him with blood, throw at the foot of the tree. Owls take allegedly wounded by their relatives Sthirajivin as a defector and settle in a nest at the entrance to the cave. Sthirajivin slowly fills its nest with tree branches, and then notifies the ravens that they can fly and set fire to the nest together with the cave. They do so and thus deal with their enemies, who perish in the fire.
Book four: “Loss of the acquired”
Near the sea grows a palm tree on which the monkey Raktamukha lives. She gets acquainted with the dolphin Vikaralamukha, who daily swims to the tree and talks with the monkey in a friendly manner. This causes jealousy of the dolphin’s wife, and she demands that her husband bring her a monkey’s heart for dinner. No matter how hard it is for a dolphin, he is forced to obey the demand of his wife because of his weakness. To get the heart of a monkey, Vikaralamukha invites her to her home and swims with her on her back on the bottomless sea. Realizing that the monkey is nowhere to go, he confesses to her in his design. Retaining the presence of the spirit, Raktamukha exclaims: “Why did not you tell me before?” Then I would not leave my heart in the hollow of the tree. ” A stupid dolphin returns to the shore, a monkey jumps on a palm tree and thereby saves his life.
Book five: “Reckless actions”
A certain hermit gives the four poor brahmanas four lamps and promises that if they go to the Himalayan mountains, each of them, where his lamp will fall, will find a treasure. The first brahmana lamp falls on a treasure of copper, the second – a treasure of silver, the third – a treasure of gold, and he offers the fourth to stay with him and divide this gold equally. But he, in the hope that he will probably get more expensive diamonds than gold, goes further and soon meets with a man with a sharp wheel on his head, staining it with blood. The wheel immediately jumps on the head of the fourth brahmana, and now, as the stranger who has rid himself of the suffering explains, he will remain on the brahmana until one more overly greedy seeker of wealth comes.