1. The Tale of the Two Parrots


    This is a story of two parrots, who loved to travel far and wide in search of food and visit new places. These two beautiful birds were brothers named Radha and Potthapada. Once, they entered the palace gardens and were caught in a trap laid for birds. Both Radha and Potthapada were brought before the king, who just could not keep his eyes off the stunning birds. The king ordered his men that the birds be kept in a special cage made of gold. They were fed the choicest foods everyday.

    Radha and Potthapada were the toast of the king’s palace. Royal guests would stand by the golden cage and admire the birds. Life was very comfortable for them until the day a huge ape was brought to the palace. The ugly ape was named Kalabahu. Soon, all attention that was reserved for the parrots was now Kalabahu’s. People had not seen such a huge ape before. Kalabahu became the center of attraction of all the royal guests and palace officials. They would pour in to have a good look at the ape and his antics that made everyone roar with laughter. As a result, both the parrots started feeling neglected. Nobody cared whether they were fed on time or not.

    Potthapada, the younger of the two parrots, was deeply hurt. He confided in his elder brother, “Let us leave here and go elsewhere. Nobody cares for us anymore.” Radha, wiser of the two, replied, “Potthapada, my brother, do not feel so sad. Attention, praise and blame, and honor and dishonor are temporary facets of life. Soon, people will get tired of the ape’s antics and know your true worth.”

    And, sure enough, people started disliking the ape, as he began misbehaving and fooling around a bit too much. The king also found his acts offensive, and ordered Kalabahu to be sent back to the forest. People started paying all their attention to the well-behaved and beautiful parrots once again. And, did you know who the intelligent Radha was? He was Buddha in one of his earlier births.

    Moral: True worth and ability are always given their due ultimately.



    Source: http://www.jatakkatha.com

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Maha Ghosananda

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