A story from Panchatantra..

The Bird with Two Heads

The Panchatantra is a legendary collection of short stories from India. Originally composed in the 2nd century B.C, Panchatantra is believed to be written by Vishnu Sharma along with many other scholars. The purpose behind the composition was to implant moral values and governing skills in the young sons of the king. The ancient Sanskrit text boasts of various animal stories in verse and prose. During all these centuries, many authors and publishers worked hard to make these fables accessible and readable by a layman. The grand assortment has extraordinary tales that are liked, perhaps even loved by people of every age group.

The Panchatantra is the best guide to enroot moral values in children since its each tale has a moral lesson in its end. The Panchtantra is a great book where plants and animals can speak and converse with human beings too. The etymology of term ‘Panchatantra’ suggests that it is a combination of two words, ‘Pancha’ (five) and ‘Tantra’ (practice/ principle). So, the five principles or practices illustrated by Panchatantra are ‘Mitra Bhedha’ (Loss of Friends), ‘Mitra Laabha’ (Gaining Friends), ‘Suhrudbheda’ (Causing discord between Friends), ‘Vigraha’ (Separation) and ‘Sandhi’ (Union). Here are provided some of the popular tales from Panchatantra.

              Here is a story from the album of Panchatantra. Once upon a time, there lived a strange bird named Bharunda. He lived on a banyan tree near the banks of a river. The strangeness of the bird lies in the fact, that he had two necks, but shared a common stomach. One day, the bird was wandering on the banks of the lake and found a red-golden fruit, which appeared delicious at the first sight. One of the two heads mumbled, “Oh what a fruit. I am sure the heavens have sent it for me. I am so lucky.” He started eating the fruit with immense pleasure and claimed that it was the most delicious fruit he had ever eaten.

Hearing this, the other head said,” O dear, let me also taste the fruit you are praising so much”. The first head laughed and replied "You know that we've only one stomach, whichever head eats, the fruit will go to the same stomach. So, it makes no difference whether I eat it or you eat it. Moreover, I'm the one who found this fruit. So I've the first right to eat it". The other head became silent and disappointed after hearing the first head. This kind of selfishness, on the part of the first head pinched him very much.

Later one day, the other head found a tree bearing poisonous fruits. He took the poisonous fruit and told the first head, “You deceitful fellow. I will eat this poisonous fruit and avenge your insult which you have done to me”.

The first head yelled, "Please don't eat this poisonous fruit. If you eat it, both of us will die, because we've a common stomach to digest it." The other head replied, “Shut up! As I have found this fruit, I have the every right to eat it.” The first head started crying, but the other head didn’t bother and ate the poisonous fruit. In the consequence of this action, both of them lost their lives.

Moral: Sharing of a good thing with others is always good.

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