Panchatantra Stories
பஞ்சதந்திரம் pañca-tantiram , n. pañcan +. The Tamil version of Pañca-tantra consisting of five books, viz., mittira-pētam, cukirl- lāpam, canti-vikkirakam, artta-nācam, acampirēṭciya-kārittuvam; மித்திரபேதம், சுகிர்ல்லாபம், சந்திவிக்கிரகம், அர்த்தநாசம், அசம்பிரேட்சியகாரித்து வம் என ஐம்பகுதியுடையதாய்த் தமிழில் மொழிபெயர்க் கப்பட்ட நூல்.
1. மித்திரபேதம் = mittira-pētam = Sowing discord among friends.
2. சுகிர்ல்லாபம் = cukir-l-lāpam = the acquisition of friends.
3. சந்திவிக்கிரகம் canti-vikkirakam  = Associating with a foe with a view to ruin him.
4. அர்த்தநாசம் artta-nācam  = Loss of wealth.
5. அசம்பிரேட்சியகாரித்துவம் a-campirēṭciya-kārittuvam , n. a-sam-prēkṣya-kāri-tva. Action without forethought.
Inspiration: Inspiration: N.Natchiyappan
Nurture of Friendship

1. On the banks of the Godavari River with clear water, there was a silk-cotton tree with a crow on it.

2. Early in the morning, the crow with its ilk took a bath in the river and dried its feathers. Upon seeing a hunter with his net, bow, and arrow, all the birds flew away. But the silk cotton tree crow stayed back in a grove and watched the hunter and his activities.

3. The hunter cast the net and spread grains around it. He hid nearby, waiting for any bird falling into the net. A flight of doves passed by, settled on the nearby the tree, and saw the grains on the ground.

4. The king of the doves was one among the doves. The king dove was intelligent and warned other doves that grains on the forest floor were a plant to trap birds. We should not eat these grains without full knowledge. If we feed, it is like a Brahmin who suffered grief because of the tiger. The king of the birds warned others.

5. One dove said to the other doves they cannot be too cautious and entertain deep thoughts for every endeavor, and if so, they will die of starvation. Whatever comes will come on time.

6. Immediately, all the doves came down from their perches, ate the grains, and fell into the net.

7. The king of birds saw the trapped doves and decided it was improper to live after all the birds fell into the net and died.

8. At that moment, a brilliant idea came to its head.

9. If they were to escape the hunter, they all should fly together, lifting the net. There was no other way to escape. The birds listened to its advice

10. All the doves took to flight at one moment to the chagrin of the hunter. He felt he lost his net.

11. The hunter ran after the birds thinking he would catch up with them when they fell from the sky from fatigue. But the birds were not tired and disappeared out of sight of the hunter.

12. The crow from the silk-cotton tree flew behind the doves to see what happened.

13. A forest was on the path of their flight. The king asked the doves to descend, and a friend of his, a rat, would help release them from the net. They all descended.

14. Hearing the loud flapping wings, the rat went hiding in its rat hole.

15. The king of doves addressed the rat by keeping its beak at the hole, “My friend! Come out.”

16. Hearing the friend’s voice, the rat emerged from the rat hole and felt bad knowing their condition.

17. The rat asked the king of doves, “How could you have fallen victim, being so intelligent?”

18. The dove king answered, “Intellect and skill cannot outdo fate, which dictates enjoyment of sweet fruits of merit or experience of sour fruits of demerit at a time and place beyond our control.”

19. Hearing this, the rat bit the net into pieces and released all the birds. After spending some time with the rat, the king dove took leave of the rat and flew away with the doves.

20. After their departure, the rat went into its hole.

21. All this time, the silk tree crow followed the doves, and knowing the rat’s help, it developed a liking for the rat.

22. The rat remaining in its lair asked who called.

23. The crow: "I followed the doves and am now attracted to you, coming to know of your nobility, good character, friendship, respect, and loving relationship. I, too, desire your friendship. That was why I called you."

24. The rat: “I am normally food for you. You kill rats and eat them. Our friendship may end up in my fatality. It is like the friendship between the fox and the deer, with the latter caught in the net. I may be on receiving end of evil. I cannot be your friend.”

25. Hearing that, the rat answered with a melting heart.

26. The crow: “Ayyo rat! What have you said just now? You spoke not knowing me. If I kill and eat you, it is not enough to appease my hunger. A friendship between us will serve us well for a long time."

27. “If you remain friendly with me as you are with the king dove, I will remain friends for the rest of my life. That is true. No deception here.”

28. The crow continued to press his point. “Plunging a fiery torch into the ocean will not dry up the ocean. The torch will extinguish. The intelligent and the lofty will entertain burning anger. With their mind, they will extinguish the fire of anger.”

29. The rat: “Your disposition as a crow is unstable. Your friendship will not in any way help my efforts. It will be fruitless. How can we ever be friends?”

30. “The ship sails in the ocean and not on the ground. The chariot runs on land and not on the seas. If the incompatibles join together, that relationship will never be stable, and nothing special comes out of it."

31. “World has never seen a worthwhile friendship with the evildoers. It is like having a poisonous snake in the waist pouch, which is always a source of worry.” The rat rejected the friendship of the crow.

32. The crow: “What you said is true. We should never seek the friendship of the evildoers. Please do not reject me because I am a crow. I will be your lifelong and true friend. If you reject my offer of friendship, I will give up my life. It is a certainty.”

33. “Because of wealth, a friendship between men may take place. Birds develop friendships by group feeding. Anger may bind a friendship between evildoers of the same ilk.

34. “A delicate needle gets attached to a magnet. Shards of iron will stick together only upon suffering the heat of melting. Good people become friends at first sight. The depraved join together to become friends after punishment.”

35. The crow: “Your brilliant intellect, nature, and upholding of your friendship attracted me to you. You must understand my position. Love is the only motive of my plea.”

36. After this assurance from the crow, the rat believed the crow from the silk-cotton tree. Its confidence showed on its face. With a happy look, the rat said, “From now on, we are friends.”

37. From that day forwards, the crow shared the meat and other foods with the rat. They continued their friendship for a long time. One day, the crow addressed the rat, saying it was hard to find meat in the forest, he knew a turtle by the lake, and it will fish in the lake and give us the fish to eat. The rat agreed to meet the crow later by the lakeside since he had some business to do at the lakeside.

38. The crow picked up the rat by its claws and flew to the lakeside to meet the turtle. (First proof, he is friendly.)

39. The turtle welcomed the crow and asked who the rat was.

40. The crow: ‘My friend! Because of our good merits, we have this rat as our friend. No one can describe the greatness of this rat.’ The crow narrated how the rat released the king dove and its doves from the hunter’s net once before.

41. Hearing this life-saving episode, welcomed the rat as a true friend and guest and entertained them with a dinner for the crow and the rat.

42. One day, the turtle asked the rat where it lived, what his story was, and why he came to the lakeside.

43. The rat narrated its story.

44. "My place was in Sambakavathi, more precisely in a hermitage of a Saiva saint-recluse. The hermit went begging for food, and after he ate, he gave away the leftovers to needy people from a vessel. I ate from the utensil to the fullest every night without getting caught by the hermit. Life went on like this for a long time."

45. "One day, a Sannyasi came to the hermitage, and they discussed sastras for a long time. They continued the discussion past my dinner time. I was so hungry I had hunger pains. Before their bedtime, I ate from the vessel. As I was eating, the recluse heard my noise, threatened, and gave me the boot. That moment, it seemed a thought dawned on him."

46. Seeing the host in a reflective mood, the guest asked his host what caused his pensive mood.

47. The host: Seeing the galloping rat made me think. I went street after street begging for food. This rat staying comfortable in the hermitage ate the food from my begging, grew fat and ran fast. I could not catch it. I never saw such a fearless and fat rat in my life.

48. The Sannyasi asked the host whether there was more than one rat on the premises.

49. The Saiva hermit said there was only one rat that he knew of in the place.

50. The guest: "If so, it could not have grown this fat. There must be another reason for its adiposity. We must dig this place."
51. The host: “Why?”

52. The guest: “Adiposity is common in a person with riches. Likewise, there must be a buried treasure under the ground.”

53. They dug where the rat hole was, found a buried gold treasure, and took the gold coins. Fearing them, I went into another rathole. When I went to eat, the Saiva hermit chased and beat me up, and I sustained injury. Since then, I never went back to his hermitage. I lived in the forest for about a year.

54. Intelligence, education, virtue, fruits, strength, and pleasure proceed from material wealth.

55. Poems without a pitch, a country with no relatives, poetry by the ignoramus, a home without a wife, and a beauty on a lass without a husband go to waste. For those without riches, worldly life is a disaster.

56. With no sun, all objects hide in the darkness. Likewise, for the indigent, all goodness is beyond reach.

57. The hermit asked me, “Hey, you rat! You were sitting on a gold treasure, ate my food, and became obese. Don’t you have any shame, now that you lost your buried treasure? Those taunting words bother me still. For me to heal from that humiliation, you must give me a way out of it. That is why I came to you.”

58. The turtle: “Don’t you worry. You are like the treasure for your friendship with the crow. It was a great privilege that both of you came to me. We have a wealth of friendship among us. We will worship the God and stay well.”

59. The turtle brought the fish from the lake, the crow, the meat from somewhere, and the rat, the rice from the town. They dined on these every day and lived loving each other.

60. One day, a fawn came running towards them and shook in fear.

61. The threesome questioned the deer, “Hey stupid deer! Why are you shaking in fear?”

62. The deer: “A hunter, not unlike the God of death Yama, aimed a poisoned arrow at me. I escaped and came running here. You must save me.”

63. The trio asked the deer. “Well. Who are you? Where do you live? Tell us about you.”
64. The fawn: “I have no parents and no relatives. The forest is my home. If you love and rescue me, I will regard you as parents and relatives and live with you.”

65. There was some truth in what the deer said, and the trio believed the deer.

66. The three friends accepted the deer as their new friend and said, “We foursome will live like friends from now on.”

67. The deer once got caught in a net cast by the hunter. It cried aloud, and the crow heard it and crowed aloud. Hearing the distress call of the crow, the turtle and the rat hurried towards the crow. The crow met them and said, “The young deer is inside the hunter’s net, and we must release it forthwith.”

68. All three went to where the deer was and asked the deer, “How did an intelligent deer like you got caught in the net?”

69. The deer: “I will narrate to you later all the details. Please release me before the hunter kills me.”

70. The rat said, “Why are you so nervous.”

71. The deer: “Once, when I was with my mother, I avoided the net and hid in a bush.”

72. That sinning hunter chased, caught, and presented me to the king, who gave me as a gift to his children. They played with me and had a good time. They kept me on a leash to stop me from running away. One day, there was thunder and rain in the daytime. I cried, thinking when I would be free and play with other fawns of my age.”

73. The princes felt sorry for me and let me loose. I ran away to this forest. I don’t know what will happen to me if the hunter catches me again. I fear capture. Please release me from the net fast.

74. The rat, without delay, cut the net and released the fawn. The hunter cam came precisely at that moment. The fawn ran, the rat went into the hole, but the turtle was walking slow. The hunter caught the turtle and put it in his shoulder bag.

75. Seeing all these events, the crow told the rat, “The hunter got the turtle in his shoulder bag and is chasing the fawn. We have to go and rescue the fawn.”

76. The rat said, “It is unfair I live without rescuing the turtle from the hunter’s shoulder bag.” The rat chased the hunter, as the crow flew.

77. The crow found the fawn.

78. The crow addressed the fawn, “Hey Fawn! The hunter chasing you found and bagged the turtle. We should rescue the turtle. I have a suggestion. Would you listen?”

79. The fawn: “My brother crow! Tell me quickly.” The fawn was panting for breath.

80. The crow: “You see the lake ahead of you. As you near the lake, fall and pretend you are dead. I peck on you. Seeing this, the hunter will go to you to carry you away.

81. Before picking you up, he will put his shoulder bag down. At that moment, the rat will cut the bag’s cover, and the turtle will move quickly into the lake and disappear. Before the hunter touches you, you jump off the lakeside, bolt like an arrow, and hide somewhere safe. I will fly off into the forest and hide.

82. The fawn said, “Neat solution.” The fawn went to the lakeside, fell on its side, and played possum. The crow flew back to the rat and told of his plans. Later, the crow pecked on the body of the fawn as it was eating its meat.

83. The hunter chasing the fawn found the fawn on the lakeside, assumed it was dead, and thought to carry it off. He put the shoulder bag on the waterfront and was about to pick up the fawn, which was far away from him.

84. Immediately the rat ran and cut the bag into shreds.

85. The hunter neared the fawn, which was looking at him with the corner of its eye. The fawn jumped, ran, and hid in the forest. Meanwhile, the turtle escaped from the bag and disappeared into the lake. The crow flew and sat high on a branch.

86. The hunter ran, felt tired, and went home empty-handed.

87. As the hunter left the premises, the alert crow announced the departure of the hunter.

88 . As soon as the others heard the crow, the rat and the fawn emerged from their hiding, and the turtle walked back onto the lakeside. They were happy at being cooperative in saving each other. They lived happily ever after.

89. There is no gain like friendship with the virtuous.