The Panchatantra is an ancient work, perhaps more than 2000 years old, which was originally written in Sanskrit. Over the years many translations have been made into more than 50 languages, proving its timeless endurance and popularity. Although a work of fiction, it contains numerous references to the Indian scriptures loosely known as the Vedas. Indeed, the Panchatantra itself is considered a kind of scripture, known as a niti-sastra, which means a text on worldly wisdom. Certainly the purpose of the work is much more than mere entertainment. As its author Visnu sharma says in the Preamble, it aims to 'awaken the intelligence,' and equip its readers with the ability to handle most situations they are likely to encounter in this world.
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