View Full Version : The Snake And The Rat

08-04-2011, 03:54 AM
The Snake And The Rat -Swami Shivananda

A venomous cobra had been caught and put in a basket. It was starving within. Intending tosubdue it thoroughly and bring it under his control, the snake-charmer had given it no food at all for several days. The snake-charmer was away. Over the basket a rat was playing. The cobra knew it was the rat. It addressed the rat thus: .O Rat Maharaja! You are so kind and generous. You are indeed the king of all animal kingdom. Kindly shower your grace upon me!. The rat listened: .Who are you, speaking from within the basket? Are you not the cobra, my greatest enemy? Why do you flatter me like that?. .I am not flattering you, the Emperor of emperors,. replied the cobra. .I hereby swear that I shall never again touch any rat in my life. Therefore, be gracious towards me..

Pleased with the humble attitude of the cobra and the words of praise that it had uttered, the rat said: .O cobra, you are true; I am the Emperor of emperors now, because I am beyond your reach. You are nicely caught in the basket. I am pleased with your words. Now tell me what shall I do for you.. The cobra replied: .May my forked tongue ever sing the glories, Maharaja! I pray that you might make a small hole on the top of the basket. This you can do in a minute; and that is all the favour I crave for.. .Pooh!. said the proud rat, .Is it for this small favour that you have been so humbly praying to me? I will do it in a second.. The rat instantly set to work. Even before the hole could be completely made, the cobra sprang out of the basket and swallowed the rat first, before escaping from the snake-charmer.s dwelling. On the way the cobra met the snake-charmer and bit him hard, so that he, too, died of the poison.

The Snake-charmer is the Sadhaka. The snake is the vicious mind.the lower impure mind full of vicious Samskaras and Vasanas. The basket is the little Tapasya and Sadhana that the Sadhaka does to keep the vicious Samskaras in check. The rat represents just a little bit of good
Samskaras formed in the mind which is yet laden with love of luxury and sense-pleasure. The rat thus plays a dual-role.

With great effort the Sadhaka catches hold of the vicious mind and puts it in the basket of Tapasya and Sadhana. The vicious Samskaras are starved out, by the Sadhaka.s refusing to give them their food in the form of Vishaya-Bhoga. The Sadhaka now feels that by this method he will soon be able to be a full master of the mind and make it do as he wills. But when he is away, i.e., when he relaxes his vigilance a little bit, an object of worldly pleasure approaches the Sadhaka. The vicious mind rejoices inwardly. It tries to make the friendship of the object. But the slightly illumined intellect says: .You wicked mind, you are my sworn enemy; how, then, do you think, I shall release you from this restrictions of self-control? Will I allow you to indulge the senses once again?. The wicked mind is cunning, too. It sings the praises of the object of enjoyment painting it in divine colours You are not a temptation to me at all! Wealth is an instrument for doing service and charity. Women are my divine mothers. Luxury is just the hire that I grant this body which is ceaselessly working for the welfare of humanity. I have vowed never to indulge the senses.. All hypocritical words!

It vows never to sin, never to indulge the senses, though released from the restrictions of self-control. A hole is made in self-control; there is a channel for the partially controlled mind to flow out towards the sense-objects. The vicious mind first makes a good meal of the little Viveka
that has dawned in the Sadhaka, before it enjoys the sense-objects. Then while escaping.and the natural vicious force of the mind is redoubled now, on account of the starvation of the senses, and the repression of the desires.the vicious mind goes headlong and kills the Sadhaka. The Sadhaka perishes because of the lack of vigilance, and because of the small hole made in his Sadhana, in his Tapasya, by the contact of the lower mind with sense-objects.

Oh Aspirant Beware. Beware. Beware. Slacken not your efforts, your Sadhana, or your Tapasya, even for a second. Stick to your resolves. March to your Goal.