The story of a snake and recluse.
story told by Saibaba.
I remember this story told by Sathya Saibaba to the audience comprising of his devotees and students. It was interesting as well as pertinent to the present day.
There was a ferocious snake which was causing harm to the passers by. People feared to tread along the path where the snake was lying in its pit. However one day a recluse was going through the path and suddenly he saw the snake hissing ferociously and threatening to bite him. Being a recluse, he had no fear. Hence he addressed the snake thus, "Oh snake! why you are behaving so cruelly? Do not frighten the passersby any more. His words of wisdom calmed the snake and it had promised that it won't frighten anybody anymore.
The snake followed the advise of the recluse sincerely. Finding that the snake has become docile, the street urchins started pelting stones and hitting it with sticks etc whenever it came out to eat its food. It has become emancipated since it could not come out too frequently as before. Hence it starved and its body was full of wounds inflicted by the mischievous boys. One day, the recluse was again passing by the same path, he wanted to inquire about the welfare of the snake. He called out the snake but it could not move since it was feeble. However it replied to the recluse in a feeble voice. It was complaining to the recluse, the ways of the world and how the boys hit her. The recluse was sad at the unhappy turn of events due to his advice. He thought over his advice and he told the snake, "My intention was that you should not cause hurt to any but you can always hiss when somebody comes nearer to you. By that way, the boys won't dare to come near you. This was the sage advice which is applicable to us also. We may adopt patience as a virtue and we should not harm others. At the same time, "hiss at those who try to harm you". This will make them think twice before they try to harm you!