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Know How To Die Before Death To Achieve Real Freedom And Happiness – Story

A Persian businessman had a pet Indian parrot. It was a special parrot which spoke like a human being. It was a beautiful and wise bird. The businessman would often talk with it about religious matters or seek its advice on some problem he was facing. Though he liked the parrot very much, the businessman kept it in a cage where it had no freedom of movement.

Once the businessman decided to visit India for business. Before leaving he asked his friends and relatives what gifts they would like him to bring for them from India. When he asked the parrot, it said that, as a gift it wanted him to ask its Indian relatives how to gain freedom from its imprisonment in the cage.

After finishing his work in India, the businessman purchased gifts for his friends and relatives but forgot all about the parrot’s request. On the return journey, when he saw several parrots flying by, he remembered his parrot’s request and so asked them to answer his pet’s question – ‘How to gain freedom from the cage?’ But the parrots did not bother to listen to him. Finally, one parrot stopped, heard his question, and the next moment dropped dead! The businessman concluded that the parrot suffered a heart failure saddened by the thought of his parrot relative being confined in a cage in some far-off land.

When he returned home, he distributed gifts to his friends and relatives, but avoided going into the room where the parrot was kept because he did not want to convey the sad news that its question had led to the death of one of its relative parrots in India. One day, however, he accidently entered the parrot’s room. The parrot immediately asked, “Dear Sir, what about my question?” Left with no choice, he related the sad story of what had happened when he asked the question. Hearing it, the pet parrot too dropped dead!

Deeply saddened at the turn of events, he picked the parrot from the cage and placed it outside. The next moment, the pet parrot flapped its wings and flew to a tree in the courtyard. After he recovered from the sudden turn of events, the businessman approached the tree and asked for an explanation. The parrot replied that it had followed its Indian relative’s message which was, “If you want to become free you have to pretend to be dead.”

By feigning death, the businessman’s parrot had regained its freedom. The businessman too learnt the lesson that, “If you know how to die before death, you can achieve real freedom, peace and happiness.”

Rabindranath Tagore says, “All the great souls of the world taught that one must die before one’s real, natural death if one wants to become great.”