Story of Origin of Panchatantra

Panchatantra is one of the oldest collections of stories for children in the world and is also believed to be the first anthology of animal stories. The story of the origin of Panchatantra is as interesting as the stories in the five books originally written in Sanskrit.

Legend has it that thousands of years ago, there lived a king in India. He had three foolish sons. The king was worried about their future.

One day he asked his ministers to suggest a way to make his sons wise and fit for the world. One minister asked the king to take the help of an old teacher named Vishnu Sharma.

Eighty-year-old Vishnu Sharma was invited to the palace and king explained about the nature of his sons to the old teacher. Vishnu Sharma immediately agreed to make the princes wise and intelligent.

He took permission from the king to take the three sons for six months with him.

The three princes lived in the ashram of Vishnu Sharma for next six months.

Daily, the old teacher told them stories with a maxim. The stories were interesting as the characters in it were mostly animals. The princes enjoyed the funny situations and the maxims in the end made them sit and think.

After six months, Vishnu Sharma and the princes arrived at the palace. The joy of king knew no bounds; his sons had become intelligent, practical and wise.

King wanted to know what miracle Vishnu Sharma had done. The old teacher replied, “I merely told them some stories.”

These stories were then collected for the welfare of the world in five books and came to be known as Panchatantra.