Of lessons from animals….

Many times we learn lessons of life from animals around us,even though they do not speak our language,they convey powerful messages full of symbolism.
There are a few shubhashitas in Chanakya neeti also which describe the teachings of different birds and animals and what is to be learnt from them.
Chanakya neeti chapter six,verse 15 -22 describes the characteristics of different animals and birds which is to be learnt and practiced by us humans.

Simhadekam,bakadekam shikshecchatvari kukkuTaat,
Vaayastpaccha shiksheccha shaT-shunastrNi garbhadat
One lesson is to be learnt from lion,one from crane,five lessons from crow,six from dog and three lessons from donkey,these are described in next six verses.

Prabhutam karyam,alpam va yannaraH karturmicchati
sarvarambeNa tatkaryam simhad ekam prachakshate.

Whether the prey is small or a big one (in size) the lion has a same approach towards them by attacking its prey with full force and killing its prey to effect.
This lesson from lion teaches us to be unbiased towards the different kinds of work we do in our daily life and that we should give 100% to each task we undertake no matter whether its small or a big one.

IndriyaNi cha sa(n)yamya bakavat pandito naraH deshakalambalam gyatva sarvakaryaNi sadhyet.

What the wise men have learnt from a crane is have senses under control. A Crane is known to stay perfrctly still in water till it spots and gets hold of fishes which swim towards it since it is standing so still and at the same time Crane(always) has full knowledge of the happenings in its surroundings.One hint of presence of its predators (like crocodiles) the crane makes no haste in taking off into the sky. this lesson of Crane teaches us to be in control of ourselves as well as of whats happening around us-It applies to individuals and business undertakings as well.

Pratyutthanam cha yuddhaam cha sanvibhagam cha bandhushu swaymatramya bhutam cha shikshecchatvari KukkuTat.

Waking up early (every-day) and having immense fighting spirit,giving due share of meals to its peers and also fighting with a lot of courage for its own share of food or defending itself from enemies,thus a Hen teaches us four vital lessons which are to be learnt by an individual and business undertakings.

Gudha-maithunacharitvam kaalE kaalE sangraham apramattam-vishvasam pancha shikshEccha vaayasaat.

Making love inconspicuously,abstaining from eating lavishly,saving (food) for adverse times and not wasting time wandering or acting foolishly( a crow is never found loitering unnecessarily) and never having trust in someone completely rather blindly. These are the five lessons to be learnt and practiced by everyone.
There are many stories in Panchatantra narrating the intelligence of crows also Vishnu-Puran narrates the story of ‘Kag-bushunDi’ a crow which is an ardent devotee of Shri Rama , and the intelligence of crow is well acknowledged by lord Vishnu himself.
Some-time back a documentary was shown on earth’s most intelligent creatures by National geographic in which crow occupies a prominent place.
Also read: This article

Bahyavashi,swalpsantushTaH sanidro laghuchetanaH , Swamibhaktashcha shoorashcha ShaDEtE shwanato guNaHa.

Eating to content when food is available and ability to go hungry when in scarcity or non availability, being fiercely loyal to its master and courageous alike. Being able to sleep anywhere and being alert even in sleep are the six qualities of a dog to be adopted by human beings.

Sushranto-Api vahed bharam shito-ushNa na cha pashya ti SantushTcharitE nityam triNi shikshEccha gardabhat.

Carrying (unbearable) burden even when tired, working hard indifferent of seasons(surroundings) and being contented with whatever provided are the three things to be learnt from a Donkey.

Ya etana vashati guNana aacharishyati manavaH
KaryavastHatasu ajeyaH sa bhavishyati

Anybody learning the above six verses and applying it in their lives,such human beings will emerge victorious in all undertakings.

Thus completes Chanakya’s take on lessons from animals.


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