For more than two and a half millennia, the Panchatantra tales have regaled children and adults alike with a moral at the end of every story. Some believe that they are as old as the Rig Veda. There is also another story about these fables.
Vishnu Sharma was an Indian scholar and author who is believed to have written the Panchatantra collection of fables. The exact period of the composition of the Panchatantra is uncertain, and estimates vary from 1200 BCE to 300 CE. Some scholars place him in the 3rd century BCE.
Once upon a time, Amarasakti ruled the city-state of Mahilaropyam in the south of India. He had three witless sons who became a matter of endless worry for him. Realizing that his sons had no interest in learning, the king summoned his ministers and said:
Moral: One, who interferes in other's work, surely comes to grief. A merchant once started building a temple in the middle of his garden. Many masons and carpenters were working for the merchant. They took time off every day to go to the town for their lunch.
Moral: Only the brave succeed in life. A hungry jackal set out in search of food and ended up at an abandoned battlefield whence he heard loud and strange sounds. Scared, he thought, “I must disappear from here before the man who is making these sounds gets me.”
Moral: One should treat one and all, even the lowest, with respect. In the city of Vardhaman, there lived a wealthy merchant named Dantila. He held a great reception for his wedding attended by the king, the queen, their ministers and all the rich and influential persons in the city.
Moral: Do not be taken in by the sweet words of a swindler. In a monastery far away from human habitation lived a saint called Deva Sarma. He amassed a lot of wealth by selling clothes gifted to him by well-wishers and disciples.
Moral: When things go wrong, use your wit to overcome the situation. Once upon a time an old crane lived on the rim of a large lake in the middle of a jungle. Because of age, it was not able to prey on fish and other insects.
Moral: Deceive the wicked and destroy them without mercy. Bhasuraka was a lion lording over the jungle, killing deer, boars, rabbits, bisons, etc. Yet he was not happy with his kill. The victims too were unhappy and met the lion one day in a delegation.