The Hitopadesa by A.N.D Haskar, NARAYANA


Generally learn and liked for greater than 1000 years, the Hitopadesa (Book of excellent Counsels) is an anthology of people knowledge that gives funny and profound reflections on human lives and loves, philosophies and follies. Drawing on conventional resources, Narayana offers vintage stories as narrated by means of animals, leading to a piece that could be a attention-grabbing combination of fantasy and satire.

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December 1997 New Delhi A. N. D. H Prastāvikā Prologue May success tend good people’s labour (1) By grace of him, on whose brow gleams The moon’s delightful crescent favour, Bright as foam on Gangā’s streams. Study of these counsels benefic, (2) Gives to speech felicity, Skill in words, diverse and specific, And knowledge of right policy. The wise will strive for wealth and learning, (3) As if to time and age immune; But not delay good works, discerning That death may strike one very soon. Of all things, learning, seers declare (4) It best by far, beyond compare: Always prized, it can’t decay, Nor be seized or forced away.

The wanton mother is an enemy, (21) The debtor father is a foe. An enemy is the wife too pretty; The unread son is no less so. Maidens are no better than (22) Poison for the aged man; And the public assembly For the man in penury; As eating is for any person Who is suffering indigestion; And learning for the person who Puts it not to practice true. Lauded is the person dextrous (23) No matter what his pedigree. Though of purest cane, a stringless Bow will always useless be. Alas, my sons, you ignored learning; (24) Your nights were spent in luxury.

Said the deer. ‘Let us relax and continue our conversation at ease. For, No one is by nature (72) Another’s friend or foe. ’ ‘So be it,’ agreed the crow, and each went his way in the morning. One day the jackal told the deer privately, ‘Comrade, there is a field full of corn in another part of the forest. ’ This being done, the deer began to go to that field every day to feed on the corn. Eventually he was spotted by the farmer who set a trap for him. On his next visit the deer was caught in the trap.

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