The Meditating Parrot
The king of Vijaynagar once received a speaking parrot as the gift from one of his admirers. The parrot was very intelligent and could converse in almost human language. It was also good to look at. The king was delighted to have received the gift. He immediately summoned his personal valet and entrusted the custody of the parrot to him with the instructions: “You must look after well this parrot. I love it dearly. Remember that if something untoward happens to my this dear parrot, I’d have you beheaded forthwith.”
The servant brought the caged parrot to his cell and began to look after it with due caution and care. Suddenly, one fine morning the servant found that parrot dead! Now he was pulverized. He remembered the king’s warning hence he had no guts to inform the king about the sudden demise of the parrot.
He was now convinced that only Tenalirama could save his life. He went to Tenaliram and supplicated hand bound before him. Then Tenaliram took all the details from him and assured him with the promise that he would do everything to save his life.
Then Tenalirama went running to the king and said in a hathing tone: “Your majesty your parrot—!”
“What happened to my parrot? Why are you so much nervous?” the king asked. “Sir…! Neither it speaks now nor moves. He appears to have gone in meditation!”
“What?” the king was surprised. And taking Tenalirama along, the king went near the cage. He saw that the parrot was not in meditation but dead. Then he asked Tenalirama in peevish tone: “Why didn’t you tell me earlier that the parrot had died. Unnecessarily you made me come up to its cage.”
“Your Majesty! Replied Tenalirama: “Had I told you that your parrot was dead, you would have beheaded your valet. How could anyone take guarantee of any one’s life? No one is god! Death and life are totally under the command of lord almighty!”
The king realized his mistake and didn’t punish that valet who felt immensely grateful to Tenalirama for saving his life!