The ever-popular Book of Good Counsels from ancient India. One of the best-known Sanskrit classics, Narayana's Hitopadesa is a fascinating collection of animal and human fables augmented with polished verse epigrams and gnomic stanzas, many of which have become proverbial. This satirical, often irreverent and sometimes ribald text has been popular for centuries as a compendium of worldly advice on matters ranging from statesmanship and detailed battle plans to personal conduct and marital fidelity. It has also served generations of students as a model of grammatical and metaphorical excellence. In this ‘Garden of Pleasing Stories', as Narayan himself describes it, birds, beasts, men and women scheme, suffer, lust, err, grieve and rejoice, acting as perceptive social critics and astute commentators on the absurd nature of human folly. Combining his own literary genius with skilful selections and modifications of material from the Panchatantra and a host of other traditional sources, Narayan has created a refreshingly original masterpiece. This excellent new translation faithfully renders the wit and wisdom of the original.