Sufi Stories Inspiration:     In Tamil
Sufi Gnani Stories > Why did the singing bird… pretend to be dead? – Sufi Philosophy of Narrative
1. Sufi stories do not convey only one concept or philosophy. Beyond the obvious, the subtleties they convey are superb. This is one such Sufi story…
2. The businessman was a successful man in the society and a happy householder: A beautiful wife, loving children, a grand mansion, wealth, influence in the town. If everything was there, then a successful man stands out in the society! Not only these… He had something that no one else had to boast about; It was a wonderful singing bird. He kept it safely in a large cage in the backyard with all the necessary facilities. He fed the bird all its favorite foods. When guests came to the house, he took them to the bird. The bird ang. Those who heard lost themselves in its music. The merchant looked at everyone brimming with pride. Then, he threw tasty crumbs to the bird and would return home.
3. One day the merchant was getting ready for a foreign trip. He asked his wife, daughters, and sons what they would like to bring back from abroad, Jewelry, silk, toys, ornaments, something for everyone. He listened to everything. He went to the garden and told his pet bird that he was going on a foreign trip. “Ask what you want! I will buy and bring it for you’ he said.
4. "Whatever I ask, can you get it?" the bird asked.
5. “Sure… ask for what you want!”
6. “If you see a bird of my species in a foreign country or on your way back, you should say only one thing, can you?”
7. "What is it?"
8. "Just tell that bird how I am here and what my condition is."
9. “No problem at all! Don't you want anything else? Do you enjoy looking at yourself in a mirror decorated with gold? Don’t you want expensive and delicious pulses, grains...?''
10. "No." The bird said and sat on the wooden swing inside the cage on the top.
11. The merchant went abroad. The business went well. He searched and bought the things that the people in the house asked for. All the work was done. Finally, the wish of the bird he reared should be fulfilled! He searched for any birds belonging to its species. After wandering around the town, he saw them in a flower garden. On top of a tree, three birds belonging to the species of birds that he was rearing were sitting. He went near them. He introduced himself.
12. “There is a bird of your species in my mansion. It asked me to tell you its condition if I saw the birds of the same species. I am raising it in a cage, providing it with a comfortable mattress, a swing, and tasty (six-flavor) meals.
13. He didn't even finish completely. One of the listening birds trembled. It fell from the top of the tree to the ground. The fallen bird shook, and then subsided with no beath or sound. The merchant could not bear this. He realized that the bird was dead. The question ``Why did it die?' plagued his mind. He walked towards the place where he was staying with great sadness.
14. On the way back, the piercing question arose in him, ``Why did that bird die?'' He did not remember the money he earned in business, the expensive things he carried for his wife and children. Only the sight of the dead bird from the tree kept haunting him. He could not eat and didn't even like to talk to the people on board the ship. He came home, someway.
15. His wife, daughters and children were amazed to see the gifts he brought. They praised him and pushed him. He didn't answer, except for a slight nod and smile at everything. He was tormented by the agony of how he was going to see his pet bird and how to tell him what had happened.
16. The next day, somehow, he picked himself up and went to the bird. It was swinging on a small wooden swing inside the cage. The merchant, hesitating, told him what he had seen and what had happened to the birds. That's it… The body of the listening bird trembled; It bounced off the swing and fell on the bottom of the cage. It lay motionless. He panicked. He hurriedly opened the cage. He lifted the bird with trembling hands. Holding it in his palms, he sobbed and cr. Suddenly it happened… The bird suddenly flapped its wings and flew out of his hands and perched on a nearby tree.
17. He understood that the bird had deceived him. Then somehow, he calmed himself down and asked him… “What trick is this? What wrong did I do to you? Why did you pretend to be dead? Answer me now!'
18. “Now You see. My relative bird made me realize that my beautiful life is imprisoned in this cage. You fell in love with my voice. You made me sing. I also liked the way you asked me to sing, and I sang accordingly. But no bird likes cage life. I don't want that life anymore. Flying is my nature. What I want is freedom.'’
19.The bird took off into the sky, flapped its wings and disappeared from his sight.