Period 11 – Friendship

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Beware of the Company You Keep

Once a hunter captured two beautiful parrots. He sold one to the butcher and the other to a Haridasa, that is to say one who gathers devotees around him and glorifies his Lord Hari through song and story. After six months the hunter happened to pass by the side of the butcher’s stall. He remembered the parrot. He stepped into the stall. Immediately he heard the parrot’s shrill voice, “Catch, kill, carve, slice.”

He left the stall ruminating over the words uttered by the parrot. He was curious to know about the other parrot. He walked into the ashram of the Haridas. The parrot in the cage fluttered its wings with joy and cried out, “welcome ! welcome! Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!” . He was delighted at the sight of the parrot and the sound of its words. As he was walking towards his hut, he marveled at the words uttered by the two parrots which were poles apart in their tone, temperament and content.

The words of one were outrageous and repulsive. Those of the other parrot were sweet, soothing and sublime. It is the environment and the constant company in which they had grown up that made all this difference. Rightly has it been said,.

“Tell me who your friends are, I shall tell you what you are”.

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