The great (brihat) narrative (katha) of Gunadhya.

Gunadhya was the minister of a king who wanted to learn Sanskrit as quickly as possible. Gunadyha wanted to teach him within six years, another minister within six months. The king chose the latter. Gunadhya left the kingdom, wandered through the wilderness, met pishacas (demonic beings) and learned their language.

He met a forest dweller, a heavenly one, who was cursed to live as a human on earth. The curse would be released if he told a certain story to Gunadhya and he made it famous. The forest dweller spoke the language of the pishacas.

Gunadhya asked him to tell the story that Shiva once told.

The forest dweller began … the heavenly ones gathered and listened … when he finished they brought him back to heaven.

Gunadhya arranged what he had heard, wrote it on tree bark with his blood and sent the work to the king. He threw it away.

Gunadhya had kept a seventh. He read this aloud, the animals of the forest listened to him. So when the king tried to hunt, he found no prey, for all the animals were with Gunadhya. The king went to Gunadhya and learned of the curse. He took the seventh of the story, called it Brihatkatha, translated it into Sanskrit and made it world famous.

See also Kathasaritsagara.