The Crow-Rat Discourse
Once upon a time, A crow seeing good deeds done by rat come to the rat home to seek his friendship,
Crow called from outside and said “I am Laghupatanaka, the crow.”
The rat further retreated into his fort and said, “Go away at once, I don’t know who you are.”
“I have come on an important business. Why don’t you meet me?”
“What do I gain by meeting you?”
“Sir, I thought friendship with you would be useful in such a crisis. I am seeking your hand.”
“Very odd! You are the diner and I am the dinner. How can there be amity between the two? Where there is enmity, there cannot be friendship. Didn’t you hear the elders say:
Friendship or marriage is always
between equals in caste and wealth.
There cannot be any sort of bond
between the weak and the strong.
“He who seeks friendship with someone who is not an equal will earn ridicule. So, please go.”
The crow replied, “Hiranyaka, I am waiting here at your doorstep. If you reject my hand, I will starve here to death.”
“But friendship with you is not possible. However hot the water, it still kills the fire.”
“We haven’t even seen each other. How can there be enmity between both of us?”
Hiranyaka then explained, “Enmity is of two kinds. The first is natural and the second is artificial. The second kind disappears when what caused it disappears. But natural enmity ends only with the death of one of the two enemies.”
“Can you make it clearer, asked Laghupatanaka.
“Yes, artificial enmity is always based on some reason. Natural enmity is like the one between a snake and a mongoose, water and fire, Devatas and Rakshasas, dogs and cats, the rich and the poor, the learned and the illiterate, between women of virtue and vice.”
The crow then pleaded, “Sir, what you say is unreasonable. There is always a reason behind friendship and enmity. That is why a wise man should always seek friendship and not enmity.”