Attractive, short, and full of wisdom- these can be some of the superlatives that can be used to describe the Panchatantra stories. In the second series of this article, I am taking four stories from the first book of Panchatantra, Mitrabheda that is, The separation of friends.
1.The wedge pulling monkey:
Once a number of carpenters where working in a forest. A monkey who was watching them got interested in their work. When the carpenters went for lunch, the monkey approached the woods which the carpenters left and started playing with the wedge. The monkey was able to take the wedge from the woods, but his body got trapped in between the logs. And the monkey died.
Moral : Don’t poke our nose into other person’s affairs. This can be applied universally with reference to both personal life and professional life.
2.The sparrow’s story:
It was rainy season. A monkey drenched in rain took shelter under a tree in whose branches there was the nest of a sparrow. The sparrow, on seeing the wet monkey started advising the monkey to build his own house. The monkey asked sparrow to mind its own business. But in spite of the warning, the sparrow kept on advising the monkey. The monkey got angry and climbed the tree and broke the nest of the sparrow.
Moral: May be we missed the first story and poked our nose into other’s business. They may politely ask us not to intrude. But if we keep on offering advice without being asked, we can be assured of sparrow’s plight. Remember the quote “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time and annoys the pig."
3. The Jackal and the war drum:
A hungry jackal was searching for food in a battle field. He heard some loud and strange noises and was frightened. But after some time, instead of running away, he made up his mind to find the source of sound. Soon, he found that it was from a war drum left by the soldiers. He inspected it and tore the drum into pieces with the hope that he could find food in it. Alas, he couldn’t find anything to eat. But he was able to get rid of his fear.
Moral: Don’t be afraid. The sound in this story can be compared to an unforeseen circumstance that may put a question mark on our abilities. But instead of withdrawing into ourselves, we should march ahead and realize our true potential. As the quote says- Don’t be afraid of shadows. It means that there is light nearby.
4.The king and the foolish monkey:
Once a king had a monkey as his pet, who served the king. One day the king was sleeping. The monkey was fanning the king. He noticed a fly on the chest of the king. Even though the monkey tried to beat the fly, it kept on coming back. At last the monkey took a dagger and stabbed it on the king. The fly went away, but the king died.
Moral: Success of the organization does not depend on the leader only. The type of members who are put on board as team members plays an important factor in the achievement of goals.
Even though written in ancient times Panchatantra stories, with its beauty and simplicity showers wisdom in present times too.