Don’t be mistaken: Tales are not only meant to entertain you. They are there to teach you lessons, or to remind you of facts that you should not forget, unless you want to find yourself with problems or remain stupid and ignorant. The stories below will probably make you smile, but they’ll also keep you thinking for a while, after you read them.
How much Truth in Tales?
How much truth does a tale hold? As much as you are willing to give them, is the only right answer. In the occidental culture, the very core of our world is depicted, by some, as humans coming to life directly from the earth, in the form of Adam and Eve. There are some people that believe this to be the whole truth about our race, while others claim that we are simply a result from evolution. To prove the point, there is a new story claiming that Lucifer is not the devil and that he did not tempt Eve with an apple. Instead, he became human, from his love for her and then they became eternal lovers, coming back over and over again on earth, only to have to search for each other and reunite.
This story, called The Triality, is a much more humane version of how things started for us all. Does that make it more believable than the original? Is it any less true, because it is only coming out today? You see the point. No matter what the creators of the Triality World had in mind when they wrote the story that way, they probably knew what we just said: Tales only hold the truth you are willing to lend them. Here are a couple of Indian tales that (may or may not) hold a part of truth. That said, we certainly believe there are many lessons you can learn from them…
The Mouse Wedding
The story says that a sage was coming out, after bathing in a river, when he saw a mouse drop from the sky, left flying as a hawk lost it from its grasp. The sage caught the mouse, and to make sure that the hawk would not eat it, he turned it into a beautiful baby girl. He liked her so much, that he decided to take her with him to his house. He then raised her along with his wife, until she became a beautiful young woman, ready to be married. Convinced it was the work of God, he couldn’t do things any differently.
However, when he started presenting the girl to the various gods for marriage, things did not go so well. The first one was the sun god. The girl simply refused to marry him, without any explanation. Then, he took her to the King of Cloud, the Lord of Winds and the Lord of the Mountains, with the same results. Finally, it is the Lord of the Mountains that suggested to the sage, to meet with the King of Mice. And what was to be, simply was. She loved him the minute she saw him. And so, the sage transferred the girl into a mouse again, and she got married that very day.
We are what we are, tells this story. Is there anything more that should be said?
The Story of Akbar and Birbal
Birbal was an intellectual and an artist. He was recognized in the court as part of the nine jewels (navratnas). His wit and astuteness kept him one head above the rest. Every man was jealous of him, and the stories of his repartee with Akbar were famous all over the land.
One day Akbar asked the people in his court to make a line he had drawn in the sand, shorter. However, the rule was, they could not erase any part of it. Many tried to solve the puzzle, but no one ever got close to an answer that made sense. That is before Birbal arrived. He immediately took a stick in his hand and drew a longer line, parallel to the other one; thus making it shorter than the new one.
Thinkers outside the box are recognized as those that go far, today. But it would seem like they always were, indeed.