Hiss But Not Bite

Hiss But Not Bite
Once there lived a big poisonous snake in a field near a village. It used to bite anybody who dared enter the field and so nobody went there.

One day a Saint came to the village. Villagers told him not to go to the field where the snake lived. But since the detour would cost him a lot of time the Saint decided to go through the field anyway. Soon the snake approached him with the intention to bite, but as he neared he was overpowered by the spiritual energy of the Saint. When the Saint saw him he advised the snake not to bite anybody and the snake agreed.

After a few months the Saint was on his way back and he decided to check on the snake. When he found him he was shocked to see his state. He was all beaten up and nearly dead. Since the snake had stopped biting, the village boys had thrown stones at it and nearly killed him.

The Saint told the snake, “Look, I told you not to bite, but who told you not to hiss?”

The moral of the story for us is that as we progress into our spiritual journey we will find that our ego shrinks. But let us never forget that we are surrounded by egos and though we should give up biting let us not stop hissing. The ego is a great servant but a bad master. As we grow out of our ego we should learn to use it as a tool without allowing it to control our lives.

“How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.” – Joseph Campbell

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah. The inspiration is a parable first told by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

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One Response to Hiss But Not Bite

  1. One of the most confusing thing about non-dual thinking is how we want to extinct the ego, but yet we need to think. This parable was really helpful to me in understanding this.

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