Just like the West has its Aesop’s fables and Mother Goose ..India has Panchatantra tales. We all remember reading Panchatantra ki kahaniyain …they were bought out by Pustak Mahal. Today in the world of Bubbles we seem to have forgotten the power of Panchatantra. The months of September and October take us to celebrate a lot of festivals Ganesh Utsav, Onam, Dusshera and we thought what better time to get our children introduced to this Indian Classic. At the Learning Curve, we have curated the best of stories from all volumes to create puppet shows and read along with tales for the young ones.
So what is Panchatantra?
Penned thousands of years ago by Pundit Vishnu Sharma: Panchatantra is a collection of fables for young minds which is even relevant today. It is not preachy rather children find them intriguing and enjoy reading or listening to them. Legend has it that King Amarashakti, who used to rule Mahilaropya in southern India asked Pundit Vishnu Sharma to teach his three naughty boys who could not sit still to study. Aware that conventional techniques would not work on them, the scholar decided to use storytelling as a means to teach them new things. Panchatantra teaches the value of justice and gives important life lessons while entertaining. At no point does it becomes dreary and catches interest with the use of the animal world.
Panchatantra is a Sanskrit word (‘Pancha’ – five and ‘tantra’ – systems) which has almost 50 stories, divided into five volumes. It is based on five principles.
We all know the importance of friends and how good company leads to success. Mitra labha (gaining friends) is a collection of stories related to winning friends.
Losing Friends is traumatic and why do we lose friends. Mitra Bheda (losing friends) are a Collection of stories related to losing friends.
Action without thought is to be avoided at all costs. How important it is to think out and plan your actions is covered in Aparïksitakárakam (acting without thinking) – Collection of stories about how imprudence leads to losing what is important.
Everyone in their lifetime has to go through difficult circumstances, how we face these circumstances and come out of them without losing things like faith are covered in Labdhapranásam (Loss of gains) – Collection of stories that mention how to come out of difficult situations without losing things.
And if course as these stories were made up for educating the young princes we have stories on rules and strategies of war and peace in Kákolùkïyam (Crows and owls). Well with brand wars and market strategy everywhere they are the good training ground for young minds.
Benefits of reading Panchatantra
- Fun read
Most of the characters are animals which makes it a fun read for children. They easily remember the story and can relate to it in certain ways. Though it is not preachy still it comes with a strong moral message.
- Igniting Curiosity and Furthering Brain Development
Fable is narrated in a fun-filled manner which will ignite curiosity. Children will learn about human action and reaction in different situations through narratives having animals. Thus, helping in their brain development as they will learn how to handle real-life situations based on their learning.
- Priceless Moral Lessons
Panchatantra is the best guide to enroot moral values in children since each tale has a moral lesson in its end without being too preachy.
- Rich Indian heritage
Panchatantra fables are rich in Indian culture and values. It focuses on three objects of human desire
artha (worldly wisdom) neeti (policy),dharma (religion or morally proper conduct)kama (pleasure of the senses).
- Quality Time
Storytelling is a good bonding time for the child and parent where the parent can engage the child in the narrative and also ask questions to make it a two-way conversation. This in turn will help the child to have good communication skills and also improve her concentration as she has to pay attention to the story to answer the questions being asked.
- Reading habit
Imbibe good reading habits in your young learner at an early age so that he enjoys listening and reading stories.