Wednesday 2 August 2023

The Monkey And The Crocodile

We at India pride ourselves for "Unity in Diversity."

We world citizens take pride and are amazed at our diversity too.

Nature has gifted our world and there is amazing biodiversity. The world's biodiversity is truly mind-boggling.

As per the World Wildlife Fund (WWF):

Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you'll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life.

There are borders between nations, but all this is our collective wealth.

I thought of all this when I saw today's Greentoon by Team Economic Times.

Artist Manjul has presented this thought via a popular story of the Panchatantra- "The Monkey and the Crocodile."

In fact, when you must have seen the title of this post, you might have recollected the same story.

In the story, the monkey outwits the crocodile, gets back to safety, and spoils the latter's meal plan!

Do you know this story has been depicted in a centuries-old temple situated in the capital city of Odisha?

This temple, built in 950 AD, is called the "gem" of Odisha architecture.

To learn more about the temple, check out this post-

The writer of Panchatantra, Shri Vishnu Sharma, belongs to Ganjam district of Odisha, India, as per existing texts.

This had been mentioned before by eminent researcher Dr. Ananta Ram Kar Koundinya.

However, why is Vishnu Sharma being said to belong to Kashmir when he was from Kalinga i.e. present-day Odisha?

This writer had asked him last year in this Facebook post:

Dr. Koundinya had replied thus in Odia:

"ପଞ୍ଚତନ୍ତ୍ର ର କଥାକାର ପଣ୍ଡିତ ବିଷ୍ଣୁଶର୍ମା କଳିଙ୍ଗ ତଥା ପ୍ରାଚୀନ ଗଂଜାମ ର ପାରଳାଖେମୁଣ୍ଡି ଏବଂ ଚିକିଟି ମଧ୍ୟବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ଅଞ୍ଚଳରେ ଜନ୍ମଗ୍ରହଣ କରିଥିଲେ।ସେ କଳିଙ୍ଗ ର ମାଠର ବଂଶ ରାଜା ଅନନ୍ତ ଶକ୍ତି ବର୍ମାଙ୍କ ସଭାପଣ୍ଡିତ ଥିଲେ, ପାରଳାଖେମୁଣ୍ଡି ନିକଟ ଖରଷଣ୍ଡା ଏବଂ ଚିକିଟି ନିକଟ ଭିଲିଙ୍ଗି ଗ୍ରାମ ରୁ ବିଷ୍ଣୁଶର୍ମା ଙ୍କୁ ଭୂମିଦାନ ସମ୍ପର୍କରେ ତାମ୍ର ଫଳକ ମିଳିଛି।"

English Translation:

"Pandit Bishnusharma, the speaker of Panchantra was born in Kalinga and ancient Ganjam's Paralakhemundi and Chikiti. He was the chairman of the dynasty of Kalinga Matha Raja Ananta Shakti Verma, Kharsanda near Paralakhemundi and Bilingi village near Chikiti, copper plaque has been given to Bishnusharma regarding land giving."

But, as per another comment on the same post received from Shri Dilip Kumar Choudhury:

"About Pandit Vishnu Sharma ( Sanskrit) nothing specified about his birthplace on any records.But due to his explanations in panchatantra geographical and animals explanation it is predicted that he might be born at Kashmir and later he was a official Guru of kashi prince during 320 BC.But regarding bhumi Dana at Gajapati also expressed his presence somewhere Mahendragiri situated inbetween ganjam and gajapati dist at present and those days Kalinga kingdom.As puri kingdom is closely related with kanchi kingdoms he might have visited with those kings either from Kalinga to kanchi or vice-versa ."

Panchatantra is our nation's intellecutal property and we are blessed to have this treasure.

The facts must also be known by all and right appreciation and credit is due. 

The real facts must be brought to light.

This can be done by people who know and care to make all aware.

They say- "Truth always wins."- Satyameva Jayate.

But, victory can happen by timely action by using knowledge and skills - just like the monkey did and won its life back, saving itself from the crocodile couple's sinister plans!

Have you read this story about the monkey and the crocodile?

Did you know about the author of Panchatantra- Vishnu Sharma?

Please share in the comments below.

1 comment:

Your words mean a lot to me.

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