Narayan

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Narayan (c 10th-14th centuries) Sanskrit poet, author of book of fables called Hitopadesha (Moral teachings). Narayan uses the term 'bhattarakabara' for Sunday in one of his books. This term was not in use before the 10th century. A manuscript written in 1373 and attributed to him has been found. All this leads to the assumption that he flourished sometime between the 10th and the 14th century. However, some scholars believe that the simplicity of his writing indicates that he belonged to the 4th century.

Hitopadesa is modelled on Pavchatantra, Kamandakiya Nitisara etc. It is divided into four parts: Mitralabha, Suhrdbheda, Vigraha and Sandhi. The moral stories are known as katha or fables. Popular in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, the book is included in the syllabuses of sanskrit schools. The book has been translated into several European languages and Indian languages, including Bangla. [Satyanarayan Chakraborty]