Panchatantra Stories in English

This article will inform you of facts about Panchatantra stories and offer a list of Panchatantra books in English.

Panchatantra stories origin, author, five principles, and books in English

Origin of Panchatantra

Guruji Vishnu Sharma is the original author of Panchatantra. Somewhere around 200 B.C., in Kashmir, he wrote these stories in Sanskrit. They were in the form of interconnected verses and prose. 

What makes these stories special is their diverse characters, mostly animals, who have human qualities and circumstances. Moral lessons can be derived from the way characters deal with their friendships, their fights and war, foolishness, maintaining peace and love, and their wisdom and cleverness. 

Also read: Jataka Tales in English

Initially, a middle eastern physician took the Indian Panchantra stories to the middle east. From there on, the stories migrated to Europe and the rest of the world. As time went by, various other cultures adopted the Panchatantra and made their versions.

Who wrote Panchatantra Stories and Why?

Neeti Shastra by Kautilya, is the basis of these Indian folk tales and stories. The purpose of Panchatantra stories was to teach lessons of wisdom and management. The three heir princes to King Amarshakti of Mahilaropya benefitted from these stories. King Amarshakti’s three sons were dull and uninterested in managing the kingdom.

Guru Vishnu Sharma, a learned scholar, came to the kingdom to teach the princes. The prince had to stay at the guru’s Gurukul. Within six months of learning, the prince was smarter than before and ready to take care of the kingdom.

Panchatantra stories in english sculpture in 7th century temple
Image credit Wikipedia, creative commons CC BY-SA 4.0. Panchatantra sculpture in Nalanda temple from 7th century CE

The Five Tantras in Panchatantra comprise Five Thoughts of Wisdom.

  • Discord between friends
  • Gain of friends
  • War and peace
  • Loss of gains
  • Action without thought

These days we find various other fables from Europe based on Panchatantra. There are over 200 translations of Panchatantra in more than 60 languages of the world. Later fables with animals as central characters have their origin in the Panchatantra. We find several popular stories like Sindbad and Arabian Nights based on Panchatantra. Kids learn morals and spiritual lessons from these ancient Indian folktales on how to conduct themselves in their life.

Also read: Tenali Raman Stories

Panchatantra books – moral stories and fables for kids in English

The importance of the Panchatantra stories lies in its simplicity of educational relevance to living a fruitful life of dignity.

Panchatantra Moral Stories (Illustrated) – Large Print Story Book for Kids

This is an illustrated, colourful, large print story book published by Maple Press in 2020. The reading level is 8 years above but if your child is less then 8 years old then try reading aloud to your kid. Picture talk is an engaging teaching-learning experience.

These books are great for improving vocabulary and developing imagination. Kids learn moral values and life lessons from these stories. Try pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading activities like finding alternative endings to the stories. Ask them if something similar happened in their experience.

101 Panchatantra Stories for Children: Colourful Illustrated Stories in English

Published by Om Books, this book has 64 pages of good quality with large colourful illustrations. Kids above 8 years can read this attractive book. As the name suggests, there are 101 stories from Panchatantra. The stories are timeless and short so that kids can easily understand them. Stories are based on important life lessons. Great stories for learning new words, fun to read and retell stories.  

Large Print: Most Loved Tales from Panchatantra (Hardbound) 

Publisher by Om Books. The paper quality is good, illustrations are large and colourful. Language is easy and the font is readable and large. Great for readers above age 7. There is a Hindi edition as well. The hardbound sturdy book has 80 pages. Stories are concise and have great moral values.

To Sum up

After reading this article you know the origin of Panchatantra, who wrote them and why. 

Each story of Panchatantra has a wonderful message or moral that can be very useful for kids and people of all ages.

Though the time these stories were written so long ago, the morals are relevant even today.

The books listed in the article have Panchatantra Stories in English, making them accessible to anyone who can read or listen and understand the language. 

Also read related articles

Vikram Vetal Books and Stories

Great Folktales for kids: India and around the world

Best Fiction Books For Middle Grade Readers

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