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Panchatantra – A Great Gift for Children
Panchatantra is a collection of fables composed in 2nd century AD in India. It is believed to be written by Vishnu Sharma, a great scholar to improve the intelligence and power of comprehension of children. Panchatantra, one of the earliest collection of stories in the world, consists of moral percepts, political maxims and life skills in verses and fables with simple illustration in prose. It has been traveled all over the world and has been translated into all of the major languages of the world.
The tradition says that sons of an Indian king, named Amarasakthi, were not intelligent and the king afraid about their future as they had to rule the country after him. He requested Vishnu Sharma to be the tutor of his children and make them intelligent and skillful. Vishnu Sharma taught the sons of the King through stories and finally succeeded in his mission. The stories he used to teach the children were compiled and that was the origin of Panchatantra.
Vishnu Sharma's used inter related stories and stories within stories to teach the children. The style of Panchatantra is simple and natural. The whole stories are divided in to five sections.
Mitrabedam - deals with the policy of divide and rule.
Mithrasamprapti – deals with friendship.
Kakolukeeyam – deals with war and peace.
Lubdapranasam – deals with carelessness.
Abreekhitakarakam – shows inconsiderate action brings ruin.
The stories of Panchatantra is structured in such a manner that the comprehension skills, reasoning power and logical thinking will increase gradually. It also uses the techniques of spiral reinforcement of essential life skills. The story telling method and narrative designs have been proved as one of the most effective tools in teaching – learning process and has been employed in the early stage of education all over the world. Panchatanta uses the same method and it has become one of the great for learning through enjoyment.
Panchatantra is an essential and inevitable gift for children in their early stage of education. It, no doubt, improve the intelligence, power of reasoning and logical thinking of them.