Tales of Ancient India is the book that inspired the Fables et maximes series of my blog. While this series briefly presented part of the stories contained in the book, the source material reveals not only the full stories but also valuable contextual data and much information about karma and dharma.
Guy Tétreault hereby initiates us to the secrets of niti, the practical wisdom taught to young princes to teach them how to govern wisely. He further explains that such wisdom based on ethics not only helps people to obtain success in all their undertakings but also to carefully choose their friends and to cultivate the principles of dharma, which ultimately lead to spiritual realization.
Excerpt from the preface
by Dr Satya Narayana Dasa – Author and director of the Jiva Institute
This book of wisdom is closely linked to other Vedic classics, such as the Bhagavad-gita, the Mahabharata, and the Puranas, since many of the stories and maxims found here come from these texts. It also exposes some of the fundamental principles of Vedic thought, such as the law of karma, the role of fate and free will, the importance of proper action to avoid bad karma, and the art of choosing one’s entourage.
The author of this book, Guy Tétreault, who has been my student for many years, has here nicely adapted the subject matter found in my own earlier book, The Hitopadesh of Sri Narayana Pandit. With the support of important partners, like Vincent Comiti and the Approach series team, he has managed to make an enjoyable and accessible presentation of this classic of practical wisdom.
I hope you enjoy meditating on the treasures of knowledge contained in this book, which itself states its value in the following words: “The wealth of knowledge is greater than any other, as it is the root of all other wealth; it increases when given in charity, is not a burden to carry, and no one can forcibly take it away from you.” (Shukra-niti, 3.180).