Tale Of The Bird With Two Heads

Moral: Union is strength. A great bird named Bharunda lived on the banks of alake.
He had two heads but a single body. One day, as the bird was wandering on the bank of the lake, he found a fruit, which was as delicious as ambrosia. One of his heads mumbled, “Oh what a fruit. I am sure the heavens have sent it for me. I am so lucky.”


Hearing this, the second head said, “O brother, let me also taste the fruit you are praising so much.”

The first head laughed and said, “Both of us have the same stomach. It makes no difference whether I eat it or you eat it. I shall give it to our beloved. She will be very happy.” Bharunda thus gave the fruit to his wife. The second head was disappointed at this action of the first head.

One day, the second head found a poisonous fruit and told the first head, “You treacherous fellow. For what you have done to me, I will eat this poisonous fruit and avenge your insult.”

The second head said, “You fool, if you eat that, both of us will die because we have the same body.”

Ignoring his warning, the second head ate the poisonous fruit and both of them died.


After listening to the story, Chakradhara said, “Friend, what you say is true. You can go home but don’t go alone. Haven’t our elders said:

“Alone, do not eat delicious food,
Do not sleep when others are awake,
Neither should you travel alone
Nor ponder alone over matters.”

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“See how the Brahmin has survived because he had heeded his mother’s advice and took a crab as his traveling companion.”

“How was that?” asked Suvarnasiddhi.

Brahmadatta was a Brahmin boy living in a city with his old mother. One day, when he was planning to travel to another village, his mother told him not to travel alone but take someone with him. The boy said that the way to the village was safe and that he was leaving on an urgent business. He asked her not to be afraid.

Knowing that he was determined to go, the mother went to the well in the backyard and took out a crab and asked his son to keep the crab with him during his travel. The boy then put the crab in a camphor box and put that box in a vessel and set out on his journey. That being summer, the day was very hot and the Brahmin halted and took rest under a big tree.

From the hollow of the tree, a snake emerged and, attracted by the fragrance of camphor, swallowed the box containing the crab. The crab came out of the box and sliced the head of the snake and killed him. The Brahmin boy woke and found the dead snake and the camphor box. When he saw the crab coming out of the box alive, he at once realized what had happened.

He then remembered the words of his mother and thought he did well by heeding her advice that saved him from death. He also recalled the words of the elders:

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“Those who feed on the rich
Do not help them in distress.
When their wealth is in tact
Everyone hovers around the rich.”

Chakradhara concluded his story telling Suvarnasiddhi how important to always have a companion. He then agreed to Suvarnasiddhi taking leave of him.

Thus ends the fifth strategy Vishnu Sharman narrated to the sons of Amarashakti.


Tale Of The Bird With Two Heads – Panchatantra Stories by Vishnu Sharma

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