Indian moral stories
In India, for generations people grow up listening to the stories from their grandmothers and epics. These stories tell which is good and which is bad, what to do and what not to do and what are the characters of an ideal human being. Each story has a message for all Storytelling at its best India has a great tradition of storytelling, especially oral. Children pick up moral values early in their life, listening to stories from epics and scriptures. Children learn good values from their elders, especially grandmothers, parents and teachers. There is many a message from the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, the Bhagavatha and Jataka tales and the Panchatantra. For generations people grow up listening to the stories from these epics. These stories tell which is good and which is bad, what to do and what not to do and what are the characters of an ideal human being. They had a great impact on many of our elders for, they want their children to imbibe those principles. Indian mythology is one of the richest elements of Indian Culture. Different stories in Indian mythology have been passed from generation to generation either by word of mouth or through scriptures. These stories not only make educational reading but also make a good source of recreational reading. These stories help parents to inculcate interest in Indian culture in the younger generation and to impart values to them. These stories convey subtle facts, rules and maxims to guide our daily lives. Panchatantra .
The Panchatantra is a legendary collection of short stories. Composed in the 2nd Century B.C., the Panchatantra is believed to have written by Vishnu Sharma. The aim was to impart values among the young sons of his king. But it had the message for all generations. Hence, it continues to attract children, elders alike. Every story has a moral in the end. In this book plants and animals speak and converse with human beings. In Sanskrit ‘Pancha’ means five and ‘Tantra’ means principle or practice. So the five principles envisaged in the book are:
- Mitra Bhedha (Loss of friends)
- Mitra Laabha (gaining friends)
- Suhrudbheda (causing discord between friends)
- Vigraha (separation)
- Sandhi (union)
There are so many tales in the book. We will examine a story which is interesting.
The Lion and the Rabbit
Once upon a time there lived a ferocious lion in the forest. It was greedy and started killing animals. Apprehending danger to their lives, animals in the forest gathered and decided to make an offer to the jungle king. According to the offer, every day one animal of each species will volunteer itself to be eaten by the lion. But the lion should not kill any other animal on that day. The lion agreed to the offer. One day it was the turn of rabbits. The rabbits chose a old rabbit among them. The rabbit was wise and old. It took its own sweet time to go to the lion. The lion was getting impatient on not seeing any animal come by and swore to kill all animals the next day. The rabbit then strode along to the lion by sunset.The lion was angry at him. But the wise rabbit was calm and slowly told the lion that it was not his fault.
He told the lion that a group of rabbits were coming to him for the day when on the way, an angry lion attacked them all and ate all rabbits but himself. Somehow he escaped to reach safely, the rabbit said. He said that the other lion was challenging the supremacy of his Lordship the lion.
The lion was very enraged and asked to be taken to the place of the other lion. The wise rabbit agreed and led the lion towards a deep well filled with water. Then he showed the lion his reflection in the well water. The lion was furious and started growling and naturally its image in the water, the other lion, was also equally angry. Then the lion jumped into the water at the other lion to attack it, and so lost its life. Thus the wise rabbit saved the forest and its inhabitants from the proud lion.
MORAL: Wit is superior to brute force.