Principles in Panchtantra
The five Paths or Principles of Panchtantra
1. Mitra-bhedha (मित्रभेद) — Separation of Friends
The Lion and the Bull
Be wary if a friend accuses another of crime
Amity between forest king, lion Pingalaka and bull Sanjivaka be,
Karataka, Damanaka — two jackals, retainers to lion king certainly,
Damanaka breaks friendship amid lion king and bull out of jealousy,
It the longest of five books, 45% of the work’s length approximately.
2. Mitra-Laabha or Mitra-Samprapti (मित्रलाभ / मित्रसंप्राप्ति) — Gaining Friends
The Dove, Crow, Mouse, Tortoise and Deer
Cooperation among friends is vital to their survival
Rat frees pigeons, a crow befriend rat, despite rat’s protest initially,
As their friendship grows to include the turtle and the fawn surely,
They save the trapped fawn, and the turtle, who entrapped be,
This second book makes up about 22% of total length roughly.
3. Kakolukiyam or Shatrubheda (काकोलुकीयम् / शत्रुभेद) — Enemy Distinction or War and Peace
Crows and Owls
Mental strength and deceit are stronger in warfare than brute force
Crows and owls are at perpetual war — who are traditional enemies,
A crow pretends to be an outcast, gains the rival owl group entry;
Learning their weaknesses, summons his group to stifle enemies,
This third book, makes up about 26% of total length approximately.
4. Labdhapranasam or Viraag (लब्धप्रणाश / विराग) — Loss Of Gains or Separation
The Monkey and the Crocodile
Never betray friends and guard against own foolishness
Herein a symbiotic relationship between crocodile and monkey be,
The crocodile risks this by wanting for his wife, the heart of monkey,
When the monkey comes to know, he avoids the grim fate finally,
This fourth book is half of the remaining length approximately.
5. Aparikshitakaraka also called Sandhi (अपरीक्षित कारक / संधी) — Rash deeds or Treaty
The Brahman and the Mongoose
Be wary of hasty judgements
Brahman leaves child with a mongoose, sees blood subsequently,
He slays his friend, believing the animal killed his child uncaringly,
But sees his child alive, learns he defended him from snake bravely,
Then regrets having killed his friend, the mongoose unreasonably.