Per request from some very
dear online friends decided to translate some tales from Kelileh &
Demneh, two legendary Jackals. The goal is to show the influence of the
Indian literature into Farsi and especially the Sufi literature. The
origin of Kelileh & Demneh is the ancient Indian book called
‘Panchatantra’ which was first translated by a young Indian physician
called Borzoyeh Tabib (Doctor) Marwazi commissioned by Anu_Sharwān
Khosrow the son of Qabād the Sāsāni king but Borzoyeh did add more tales most of the
from other Indian legends.
After the Islamization of Iran
‘Ibn Moqaf-fa’ translated the book into Arabic and called it the
Kelileh Wa (&) Demneh and based upon the original Farsi and this
Arabic rendition the legends were translated into many other languages.
During the reign of the Sāmānian ‘Abu ‘Abdallah Roodaki translated (320
HQ or 900 CE) the ‘Ibn Moqaf-fa’ version into versed Farsi poetry. And
during the reign of the Bahrām Shah Ghaznavi a writer called Manshā’
again translated the ‘Ibn Moqaf-fa’ version into Farsi prose (not
versed like Roodaki). And the manuscript for this translation is indeed
that of the Manshā’. (Manshā’ full name: Abul-Ma’āli Nizāmol Molk
Mo’yed-din Nasrollah Ibn Mohammad Abdul-Hamid Ibn Ahmad Ibn
Kelileh & Demneh were
taught from the king’s courts down to the grammar schools indeed as a
manual for teaching wisdom and conduct in the society.
I have dissected the chapters
into more sections since it is hard to read and translated the longer
Illustrations of Kelileh va
Damaneh by Abolmaali Nasrolah, Harat school, early 15th century.
Chapter1: The Lion & The Ox
Section1: The Jackals
Dara O. Shayda