Friday, December 3, 2010

The brave Parrot.

In one of the songs ascribed to Kabir, we hear of a story that is found in the Jatakas, or former lives of the Buddha. There was a parrot who lived in the branches of a sandal wood tree in the forest. One day a fire spread from a clump of bamboos in the forest, and engulfed the whole forest. All the animals and birds fled. But the parrot refused to leave the tree which had been its home. The tree spoke to the bird, saying: You have wings, so fly away. I am a tree rooted in the ground, so I have to perish." But the bird refused to leave the tree that had been its dear friend and companion. However, seeing that soon both tree and bird may be destroyed, the parrot decided to fly to a nearby pool, where it flapped its wings in the water, and carried some drops that it sprinkled on the sandal wood tree. Back and forth the bird went carrying a few drops of water from the pool in the hope of quenching the forest fire. The gods were watching this brave effort of the parrot, and Garuda, the Sun bird came down to earth to see what this little bird was doing in the burning forest. Garuda was so moved by the love of the bird for the tree, that tears began to fall from his eyes. When Garuda weeps, the clouds begin to rain, and so finally the forest was saved from the fire, and the sandal wood tree was not consumed.

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