Page 4 - Viṣṇu Śarmā
P. 4


            Legend has it that Vishnu Sharma was an aged

            scholar who was approached by king Sudarshan with

            a request that the former teach his three stupid sons,

            Bahushakti, Ugrashakti and Anantashakti, all that

            was needed to be known of science, politics and


            Having declined any monetary reward, Vishnu Sharma

            accepted the task of making the princes wise to the

            ways of politics and leadership within six months

            through unconventional means i.e. not by teaching

            them the scriptures and texts, but rather telling them

            a succession of animal fables where one fable was

            intertwined with another.

            By adapting stories that had been orally passed on for

            generations in India, the Pañcatantra was compiled

            into a work of five sections to communicate to the

            princes the essence of diplomacy, relationships,

            politics and administration that would be helpful to

            them when they would succeed their father.

            This strategy had the desired effect, for the three

            princes, after listening and understanding these

            stories, became highly knowledgeable in worldly

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