The Second Tantra - Union with Friends - Gaining Friends


May 1, 2019
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There was a city named Mahilaropya in southern part of India. There was a large Banyan tree near that city. Innumerable birds fed on its fruits. The hollow of its trunk was filled up with worms and insects. Moreover travelers passing by that tree used to rest in its shade.

There used to live a crow named Laghupatnak on that Banyan tree. One day, while he was flying towards the city, he saw a fowler heading towards the Banyan tree. The fowler was carrying a net and obviously his intentions were not good.

The crow feared about the lives of the birds living on the Banyan tree. He flew back to the Banyan tree and warned the birds of the fowler's arrival. He said-

"The fowler would sprinkle rice grains all around the tree to trap you. Do not fall in his trap".

In the meantime, the fowler arrived. He sprinkled rice grains all around the Banyan tree and hid behind the bush, waiting for the birds. But all the birds remained at their positions and showed no interest in the grains.

Right then the king of the pigeons, Chitragreeva arrived accompanied by his flocks. Laghupatnak warned him also but he did not pay heed to his advice. As a result, all the pigeons were trapped in the fowler's net.

When the fowler saw the pigeons trapped in his net, he ran towards it to catch the trapped birds. Chitragreeva advised the other pigeons to remain calm. Because only a man of unwavering intelligence can come out of the calamity successfully.

Chitragreeva advised all the pigeons to fly along with the net.

"We would try to make ourselves free from this net, as soon as we are out of his sight", said Chitragreeva.

All the pigeons followed the instruction. The fowler too followed them, thinking that very soon the pigeons would start quarrelling among themselves and would fall down. But this did not happen and the fowler returned to his home, with a sad face. He had not only lost the birds, but also his net, which was the means of his livelihood.

When Chitragreeva saw that the fowler was not following them, he advised all the pigeons to fly towards Mahilaropya where his friend Hiranyak the mouse lived, who would free them from the net cutting it with his sharp teeth.

Hiranyak the mouse lived safely in his burrow, which had one thousand openings and resembled a fort.

Reaching the burrow, Chitragreeva called out to Hiranyak. Hiranyak rushed out of his burrow when he heard Chitragreeva's voice. He wanted to free Chitragreeva, first of all but Chitragreeva forbade him from doing so, because he wanted the other pigeons to be free before himself. He said-

"Hiranyak! As a king, I have the responsibility towards my subjects. Suppose, while freeing me, your teeth gets broken, my subjects would remain trapped in the net. If this happens, I would certainly go to hell".

Hiranyak was very pleased with his friend's sense of duty and responsibility. He freed all the pigeons first and then Chitragreeva at the end.

Laghupatnak the crow was flying behind the pigeons trapped in the net, curious to know about the final outcome. He was amazed to see all the pigeons being freed from the net. He was very impressed with Hiranyak. He wanted to make friends with him.

Laghupatnak called the name of Hiranyak imitating the voice of Chitragreeva. Hiranyak thought that perhaps Chitragreeva was calling him again. He peeped from his burrow but when he saw somebody else, he asked-

"Who are you?"

Laghupatnak then introduced himself and expressed his desire of having a friendship with him. But Hiranyak refused to have a friendship with him for the reason of the natural enemity, which exists between a crow and a mouse.

Laghupatnak then told Hiranyak -

"Learned men become friends if they pronounce just seven verses together or if they walk seven steps together. I have come to your place to be your friend. If you do not want to come before me, just assure me that you would talk to me, whenever I come here. I will be satisfied even by that".

Considering Laghupatnak to be a truthful scholar, Hiranyak at last agreed to become his friend but warned him against entering his burrow. The crow agreed.

In due course of time, both of them became very good friends. They used to converse, exchange their food etc. But still, their friendship was superficial. After some days the mouse had developed such faith in the crow that he used to talk to him sitting under the shade of his expanded wings.

One day, with tears in his eyes, Laghupatnak said to Hiranyak-

"Friend! I will no longer stay at this place because I have become disenchanted with it".

Hiranyak asked about the reason for his disenchantment. Laghupatnak replied that, the place had been severely affected by famine and it had become difficult for him to survive. Hiranyak then asked him where did he intend to go.

Laghupatnak replied -

"My best friend Mantharak, who is a tortoise, lives in a deep lake full of water. This lake is situated in a dense forest. Mantharak would provide me with fish everyday and this way I would pass my time happily".

Hiranyak too expressed his desire to go along with him saying that he too was facing severe hardships at that place. Laghupatnak was wondering as to how would he take Hiranyak along with him. He said-

"How can you come along with me? You do not know how to fly?"

Hiranyak then requested Laghupatnak to carry him on his back. Laghupatnak was very proud of his flying skills. He agreed to carry Hiranyak on his back.

Hiranyak swiftly climbed on his back. Laghupatnak flew towards the lake, where his friend Mantharak lived.

When Mantharak saw this extraordinary crow, carrying a mouse on his back, he became frightened and entered into the water. Laghupatnak the crow kept the mouse in a hollow of a tree and then went to meet Mantharak. He called out to Mantharak.

After identifying the voice of his friend, Mantharak came out. Both of them were very pleased to see each other. Mantharak then asked him about Hiranyak. He said-

"Who was that mouse sitting on your back? A mouse being the natural enemy of the crow, how was it possible for you to befriend him?"

Laghupatnak told him that the mouse was his friend Hiranyak. In the meantime Hiranyak arrived and after greeting Mantharak sat quietly.

Introducing Hiranyak to Mantharak, Laghupatnak said -

This seemingly small Hiranyak has innumerable great qualities. He too has become disenchanted just like me".

Mantharak then asked about the reason for his disenchantment.

Hiranyak narrated the following story -