July 9th, 2008

The Hitopadesa

I've been reading The Hitopadesa, by Narayana, a book of guidance in the form of animal fables and proverbial verses, a collection of traditional tidbits, arranged within an overarching framework. I've been reading this translation from the Sanskrit by A.N.D. Haksar.

Here's an example of the sort of verse that appears:
Danger one should always dread
As long as it is far away.
But once it is upon your head,
Then face it in the proper way.
Featuring tricky tales of bird and beast,
it seems aimed at the warrior, not the priest.