Let the virtuous attain their ideals,
Through the favour of Lord Shiva,
Whose head is adorned by the sliver of the moon,
Like a streak of foam of the Ganges.
When listened to, this Hitopadesha,
Gives proficiency in Sanskrit expressions,
All round variety in speech
And the knowledge of the science of ethics.
As if ever young and immortal,
A wise man should think of knowledge and wealth;
As if his hair were seized by death,
He should perform religious deeds.
Amongst all wealth, knowledge alone is said to be,
The wealth that has no parallel,
By virtue of it being impossible,
To be stolen away, estimated or exhausted.
Knowledge alone though possessed by a low man,
Brings him in contact with an inaccessible king,
And thereafter with great fortune;
Like a river although flowing downward,
Takes one to the inaccessible sea.
Knowledge bestows humility upon one,
From humility one gets merits,
Merits lead to riches,
From riches one or proceeds to religious values,
And from that, one begets happiness.
Learning of weapons and that of scriptures,
The knowledge of these two (leads) to fame,
The former (leads) to ridicule in old age,
Whilst the second is always respected.
Just as the impression made on a new vessel,
Cannot become otherwise,
So under the guise of fables,
The science of ethics is told here to the children.
Acquisition of friends, breach of friendship,
War and peace too,
These are written after extracting them,
From the Panchatantra and other works.