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Panchatantra Stories

The Lion That Was Brought to Life

In a city in ancient India, there lived four friends. Three of them were learned scholars but fell short on common sense. The fourth one, Subuddhi, wasn’t very educated but had a lot of common sense. One day, they all decided to travel and seek the patronage of kings so that they could make a lot of money. Two of the learned friends didn’t want to take Subuddhi along and share their earnings with him since he was unlettered. However, the third learned friend said, “We have played together since childhood and he is one of us. We shouldn’t really abandon him like this.” Finally, the other two were convinced.

During their travels, the four friends reached a forest. There they saw a heap of bones. One of them said, “Here is an opportunity to test our learning. It looks like some animal is dead. Let us bring it to life using our knowledge.” So the first scholar used his powers to assemble the bones into a skeleton. Then the second learned man filled it with flesh and blood and covered it with skin. Just as the third friend was about to create life in the animal’s body, Subuddhi, the one with the common sense exclaimed, “This looks like a lion. If he comes to life, he will kill all of us!”

But the other three were in no mood to listen. They didn’t want to lose this glorious opportunity to test their learning. So Subuddhi quickly climbed up a nearby tall tree, seeking safety. As soon as the lion became alive, he saw the three learned men and killed them instantly.

Moral: Become wise, not just learned.

The Tortoise and The Geese

Read more Panchatantra moral stories here...

Once upon a time there lived a tortoise in a big lake. He was great friends with a pair of geese. One season, the area was hit by severe drought and the big lake was drying up fast. So the three friends decided to leave the place immediately and move to a new lake. The problem however was that the tortoise couldn’t fly.

After much thought, the geese came up with a clever plan. They asked the tortoise to hold on to a piece of sturdy stick with its mouth. The geese would then hold it on either ends and fly together with the stick and tortoise. The only condition was that the tortoise would remain silent throughout the journey. If he uttered even a word, he would fall off the stick from a great height and meet his death. The tortoise agreed to this.

So the geese started flying along with the stick and the tortoise. They crossed plains, rivers, and big valleys. When they arrived over a city, the people there saw this strange sight and started laughing, making fun of the three friends. Upon hearing the commotion, the tortoise became very anxious and wanted to know what was going on. And then he opened his mouth to ask what the people were laughing about. Immediately, he fell down from the skies and died. If only, he had remembered to keep quiet, he could have saved his life!

Moral: Think before you act! Foolish actions can lead to dangerous outcomes.

The Story of Three Fish

Read more Panchatantra moral stories here...

There lived three fish in a small pond - Anaga, Pratyu and Yadbhavishya. One evening, some fishermen were passing by. When they saw the pond filled with lot of fish, they decided to come the next day to catch them.

Anaga happened to overhear the fishermen’s conversation. So he summoned all the fish in the pond and warned them of the impending danger. He also suggested that everyone should move out of the pond that night. He said ”According to wise men, the weak should flee when the strong invade or seek refuge in a fort.”

Upon hearing this, Pratyu supported Anaga and said “Yes, let's go somewhere else. Those who are not afraid of foreign lands who can prosper anywhere.” However, Yadbhavishya laughed loudly and said “That’s doesn’t make any sense. Why should we leave this pond, the home of our forefathers, just because of the fishermen? If we are destined to die, we cannot escape it even if we go elsewhere. And if we have God’s blessings, no one can kill us.”

So Anaga and Pratyu left the pond that night, leaving behind Yadbhavishya. The next day, the fishermen came as per plan and caught a whole lot of fish. Yadbhavishya was one among them and he soon lost his life.

Moral: Those who can foresee problems and deal them in a timely manner always win. Those who just trust their fate and do nothing always lose.

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