The Two volumes from the Hitopadesha, a collection of fables in Sanskrit written by Narayana, are taken from his Mitralabha (Gaining Friends) and Suhrudhheda (Causing Dissension Between Friends). These stories are based on the more famous Panchatantra tales written by Pandit Vishnu Sharma.
Although Narayana is indebted to Vishnu Sharma for his plots, he has introduced eighteen stories that are not found in the other versions of the Panchatantra. He reconstructed the first three tantras and added nearly fifteen new tales. The raison d'etre of both books remains the same - simple lessons of life and morality.
The two stories in A Bag of Gold Coins are adapted from Anwar-i-Suhaili, a Persian version of the Panchatantra, written by Hussain Ali Waiz. Born in the kingdom of Khurasan at the time of Sultan Hussain Mirza (1469-1506 AD), Waiz took the liberty of changing the names of character to give them local appeal.
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