This post is again a parable which Sri Ramakrishna used to share with his disciples. He was very practical Master. He often gave very basic advice on how to manage life spiritually and in a daily context. The world also needs to be navigated. I read a post by Shalini Pandey (I am sorry I am not quite sure how to link) but there is a life experience she has shared and I think we all face such similar challenges every now and then, where we really need to stand up. You should stop by that post.

And after I read it, I remembered this story, hence sharing it.

There was once a very dangerous snake that lived under a tree. He bit people who passed by and everyone was scared of that snake and refused to walk by that path. One day a monk was passing by and he came across the snake. He told the snake , why do you harm people, you are so full of anger. The snake said, but that is my nature. The monk then told him but you shouldn’t harm anyone and whispered a mantra and asked the snake to remember it. The interaction with the monk changed the snake’s nature and as time went by he stopped harming anyone.

Now some of the boys from the village noticed this. But now that the snake was no longer harmful they took great pleasure in stoning him. The snake had transformed and instead of attacking he would just recede in a corner. This carried on for months every time he would come out, they would hurt him with stones and sticks. So much so that the snake no longer could hunt his meal.

Then one day after many months the monk was returning from the same path and he stopped to see the snake. He was surprised to see the snake all weak and hurt. It saddened him. He asked the snake, what happened to you my friend, the snake looked up and said I have given up my violent ways. The monk understood everything. He turned around and said, I asked you to stop biting, I never asked you to stop hissing.

The same way in our daily lives we face challenging meal and challenging situations, it is important not to harm anyone, but we also need to know what to make a noise for the right things. This is practical wisdom .  It’s important to respect and show compassion but it’s also important when to speak up.