108 – Gratitude

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


One day in a forest, a man was chased by a Tiger. The man spotted a tree and climbed on it.  After couple of minutes, he saw a gorilla, also sitting in the same branch. He was very scared that the gorilla would either kill him or push him down. The gorilla could read the man’s mind and comforted him   saying  “Do not worry. I will not harm you or push you down. You can be safe here till the tiger goes away”. The man was very grateful to the gorilla for its gesture.

Couple of hours later, both the man and the gorilla fell asleep. The tiger was however awake and was hoping to eat one of the two and leave the  place. The man woke up and saw the tiger still looking at both of them alternately.  He knew that, if the tiger ate one of them, it would leave the place. He saw the gorilla sleeping and immediately, hit upon an idea. He pushed the gorilla in its sleep, to the ground. The gorilla as it was falling down, woke up and could immediately understand what had happened.  It fell down right in front of the tiger. The gorilla wanted to escape from the tiger. It told the tiger that, it was shocked by the action of the man, whom, it had saved.  It pleaded with the tiger to spare it and offered to push the man down as a punishment for his act. The tiger agreed to this offer. The gorilla started climbing up the tree and the man started trembling. When the gorilla came nearer to him, he fell down at its feet and apologized for his act and pleaded for mercy. The gorilla said “Even though, I am shocked by your act, I have decided to forgive you and forget your dishonesty, just because, you have sought my help.  Do not worry.  I will not push you down”.  Not convinced, the man asked, why then, did it make the offer of pushing him down after climbing up?  The gorilla said, the offer was made just to escape from the tiger and it never intended to offer him as its prey.

Moral of the Story

Never forget the help one offers. Also try to forget the ungrateful acts of others.

Couplet 108 of Thirukkural emphasizes the same.

நன்றி மறப்பது நன்றுஅன்று நன்றுஅல்லது
அன்றே மறப்பது நன்று

Nandri Marappadhu Nandru-andru Nandru-alladhu
Andre Marappadhu Nandru

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

நன்றி மறப்பது நன்று அன்று -ஒருவன் முன் செய்த நன்மையை மறப்பது ஒருவற்கு அறன் அன்று; நன்று அல்லது அன்றே மறப்பது நன்று – அவன் செய்த தீமையைச் செய்த பொழுதே மறப்பது அறன். (இரண்டும் ஒருவனாற் செய்யப்பட்ட வழி, மறப்பதும் மறவாததும் வகுத்துக் கூறியவாறு.).

It is not fair to forget the good deeds rendered to one by others, whereas it is a virtue to forget any mis-deeds done by others. Which means, good deeds should not be forgotten and bad deeds should be forgotten.

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

க்ருதானா முபகாராணா மத₄ர்மோ விஸ்ம்ருதிர் ப₄வேத் |
விஸ்ம்ருதிஸ் த்வப காராணாம் ஸத்₃யோ த₄ர்ம: ஸ கத்₂யதே ||