There once lived a venomous snake in a hole under a large tree. The tree stood in a corner of a field near a village.The cobra attacked people at the slightest provocation and many people died because of the snakes deadly bite. Fear of the cobra kept people from coming near the tree.
One day a monk was passing through the village and saw this beautiful tree and decided to meditate under its shade before he moved on. Some boys who were driving their cows back home saw the monk and warned him about the cobra .The monk continued to walk towards the tree. The boys fled.
As the monk sat down to meditate the snake came out from his hole with an angry hiss, ready to strike.
The monk chanted a mantra looking straight in to the cobra’s eyes and miraculously the cobra laid down on the ground peacefully.
After the monk finished his meditation he opened his eyes and found the snake still lying beside him. He spoke to the snake ,” Your bite is venomous and it kills people , it is a very wrong thing to do. I will teach you a mantra repeating which will teach you to be more tolerant and loving towards other creatures”.
The monk taught the snake a mantra and left the village. The cobra repeated the mantra and became very peaceful. He lived on berries and fruits that were available to it in the nearby fields. Slowly the people in the village forgot their fear for the snake.
After a few weeks the same boys passed that way and saw the snake, at first they were afraid but seeing the snake so quiet and peaceful starting taunting it by throwing stones.One evening the boys stoned the cobra and made it bleed when one boy took the cobra by it’s tail and started swinging it round and round and round and let go of it. The cobra went crashing on a huge rock. The boys clapped and laughed and left it to die.
The cobra continued to chant the mantra taught by his teacher which gave him strength to crawl back to his hole. Now the snake went out only in the dark when no one was about and ate a few dry leaves and berries.His wounds were slowly healing.
After a few months the monk happened to pass by the same village and found the cobra weak and thin. He asked the cobra about the wound on his head. The cobra replied, “Some children playfully swung me around and my head hit a rock, I nearly died. How are they to know I have changed, it is not their mistake”. Hearing the cobra the monk was deeply moved. The monk said, “Yes, I told you not to bite, but I did not ask you not to hiss”.
The cobra understood the truth in his teacher’s words. He chanted the mantra taught to him but when someone tried to harm him he hissed and that frightened them away.
Moral of the story
Stop biting but don’t stop hissing. Stop hurting others but don’t let them realize that you are not able to hurt.