Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Cobra Disciple

Today Chandaneswar prabhu displayed his ugra-murti, fearsome manifestation.
In the past ten years, I have never seen him that angry and I'm his wife!
What was funny about it was how he related the story to me later. He appeared to become furious with a woman for no apparent reason. I didn't know that in actuality she was bothering him for a while with the same questions even after he told her he had a migraine. At home, he stated simply, "Even a garden snake can bite." It reminded me of a story I heard about the sage Narada.
On one of his journeys, Narada muni met with a cobra who had spiritual inclinations. Naturally, Narada muni converted him to the vaishnav faith and gave him some simple instructions to follow. The snake became immersed in chanting and gave up striking humans. After some time, the locals took notice and began tormenting that pacifist cobra. On his next trek toward that part of the world, sage Narada stopped by to visit his cobra-disciple to check on his progress. When Narada met with his disciple, he asked about his well-being and progress. The cobra said he was miserable as a vaishnav. Narada quickly asked his disciple why he was unhappy. "Harinam is delightful, bhakti is delightful, so why should you be miserable?" The cobra then related how the humans were abusing him in his new-found pacifism. Narada scolded him, "I told you not to attack, I never said you shouldn't show your fangs or raise your hood."
Sometimes it is necessary to display our displeasure, anger, or frustration in order to accomplish something worthwhile... even as vaishnavs.
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