Greed Is Always Their Undoing

In the first book of the Panchatantra (the classic Sanskrit collection of moral fables), the writer, Vishnu Sarma, mentions “five evils” that can befall an individual or a state:  absence or dearth; rebellion; addiction; calamities; and tactical inversions.  Each of these is explained in the following way.

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An Ancient Book Of Wisdom Spanning Continents And Cultures

Some books are so good that they become adopted by cultures outside their place of origin.  Such a book is the collection of stories and fables that has found a home in India, Iran, the Arab world, and in Europe.  The book is known by many names in all of these cultures, and various version of it exist, just as we find in Aesop’s Fables or the tales of the Thousand and One Nights.

It is known most commonly in India as the Panchatantra, in Iran as the Kalīleh o Demneh, and in the Arabic-speaking world as كليلة ودمنة (Kalila wa Dimna).  In Europe the book generally is known either by its Arabic title or by the generic Fables of Bidpai.

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