Sunday, 26 May 2013

Bhargava and the scorpion

 Once upon a time, along the banks of the Sarayu River, there was an ashram where the great guru Yogananda lived. He had many disciples living with him and learning various skills from the renowned guru.

Among the disciples there was a rather different boy by the name Bhargava. He always listened intently to the guru’s words and was a very obedient student. One evening as the guru was strolling by the banks of the rivier. Just then a huge storm hit the village and the water was lashing with all its fury. The guru was about to trace his steps back to the ashram when he saw Bhargava squatting on the banks of the river trying to pull something out of the water.  Curious to know what it was, the guru went close to Bhargava, only to find that he was trying to save a scorpion from the furious current of the water. As soon as Bhargava took the tiny little creature out, it stung him and ran away.

The boy gave out a scream and fainted. Luckily the guru who was near him took him to the ashram and treated him with herbs and medicine. Very soon Bhargava was fine and sat up bright.

The Guru called all his disciples and narrated the story to his students. He then asked them if Bhargava was right in saving the scorpion. Some of them said yes and some said no.

The guru turned around to Bhargava and asked him the same question. But this time he framed it differently. He asked Bhargava what he would do if he ever saw a scorpion struggling in water again.

Bhargava, without any hesitation said that he would once again save the scorpion. There was an audible gasp from the rest of his ashram mates. They could not believe what they had heard. Some of them shouted at him while the others said he would be called a mad man if ever he did it again.

The guru gestured his students to remain silent. He then looked at Bhargava and asked him to explain why he would do it. Bhargava said that it was his innate nature to help people or animals that are in trouble. But, said the guru, the scorpion did not realise that you have helped him. Bhargava looked earnestly at his guru and said, “Guruji, it is the innate nature of the scorpion to sting. I cannot change my nature and therefore cannot expect the scorpion to change his nature too!”

While it is difficult to change ourselves, it is impossible for us to change others.