A brilliant moral story [The Cobra & Sanyasi]

Reading and narrating short moral stories to kids is fun. In the process of reading & narrating, adults also get an opportunity to visit their childhood. Today’s short moral story is about a snake, a King Cobra & a Sanyasi (monk). Hope it will be a nice read. This short moral story is a famous story from “Tales of Sri Ramakrishna”.

The dangerous King Cobra

Once upon a time, there was a snake, a King Cobra who lived in a hole under a Banyan tree.
All people in the village were afraid of the Cobra. Many villagers fell victim to him. He was dangerous & used to bite anyone who passed by the tree where he lived.
The cowboys used to go to the field with their cows through the field where stood that banyan tree.
The cowboys were always scared incase the King Cobra attacked them.
While returning back home in the evening, they hurried back. They were always careful to keep themselves out of the Cobra’s way.

The monk (Sanyasi) arrives

One evening, when the sun was setting from the west, a monk, wearing saffron clothes arrived in the village.
The cowboys at that time were returning back home with their cows. They saw the monk going to the temple.
The next morning, when the cowboys were taking their cows to the field, the monk came along and walked with them.
The cowboys greeted the monk – “Namaskar”
The monk returned their greetings & walked alongside the boys.
When they reached the corner of the field where the Cobra stayed, the monk asked –
“Boys! I need a peaceful place to sit and meditate. I am going & sitting under that Banyan tree.”
The boys got terrified and told the monk –
“Maharaj! please do not go there. A very dangerous King Cobra stays under that tree !”
The monk smiled and said – “Let him stay..I will not disturb him”
The boys were even more alarmed. They said –
“No! the snake is dangerous. He bites and many of our villagers have died because of his bites”
The monk smiled & with a peaceful tone said – “He will not do me any harm”
The boys said – “How do you know? He is always angry! Please don’t go”
The monk said – “I know some mantras. Once I say those mantras, the snake on hearing the mantras will become quiet and gentle. Don’t worry !”
Saying this the monk went for the tree & the cowboys took their cows for grazing in the field.

The monk meets the King Cobra

The monk went & sat under the Banyan tree. The moment he was getting ready to start meditation, the King Cobra came out of the hole hissing….
The King Cobra was furious to see the monk sit under the tree. He raised his hood & started hissing. He was ready to bite the monk.
The monk stood still. His face was calm & had a peaceful smile on his lips.
As the snake came near the monk to bit him….
The monk recited a mantra.
Immediately, the King Cobra lowered his head, feel on the ground & laid there as an earthworm.
The monk said – “I will sit under this tree and meditate. Do not disturb me.”
The King Cobra said – “Very Well Maharaj! I will not disturb you.”
The monk started chanting hymns and mantras. He was reciting mantra after mantra in a rich musical tone.
Hours went by and when the monk opened his eyes, he was surprised…

The transformation in the King Cobra

The monk opened his eyes & with great surprise, he observed that the snake was still lying on the ground in front of him.
The monk asked – “What happened? Did you not go to your hole ?”
“No Maharaj !” replied the snake
The monk said – ” The young boys here were saying that your bite very poisonous. When you bite, people die. Don’t you know that ?”
The snake said “Yes, I know they die”
The monk said – “Then don’t you think that it is unfair…”
King Cobra replied – “I try to get rid off my bad temper but somehow I cannot control it….”
The monk said – “If someone wishes something from heart, he will definitely get it. It seems you do not try hard to achieve your goal”
King Cobra said -“I want to be good. Maharaj, teach me how to be good. I promise I will work hard to achieve it…”
The monk said ” I will tell you a holy word. Keep repeating the holy word over & over again. Do it every day and you will learn to love and be good. From today, I give you a name “Nagaraj”
The next day, the monk left that place for another unknown destination. Before leaving he told the snake –
“Nagaraj! do not forget the holy word. Keep repeating the word every day and do not harm anyone. I am leaving today but will see you after one year”
While leaving the village, the monk met the cowboys on the way. They could not believe their eyes.
The monk said – “Don’t worry! the snake will never bite anyone in the future. “
The boys did not believe in the beginning. As days went by, the villagers observed the King Cobra has transformed. He no longer bit anyone.

The fear about King Cobra gone

As days went by, slowly the fear about the King Cobra also faded away.
As the cowboys went to the field with their cows for grazing, they used to throw stones at the snake.
The cobra no longer took offense. Even when the stones hit him, he ignored and kept muttering something.
After a few days, the boys & villagers became more aggressive. They hit the stones in such a way that it hit his head & back and made him bleed.
One day, the boys hit him on his head in such a way that he started bleeding profusely. Then the boys took him by his tail, swung him round and round over the head & threw him in the bushes.
The boys were excited about the achievement. They laughed & cheered each other thinking that the cobra was dead.

The monk returns

After a year, the monk returned to the village. He again met the cowboys while walking through the muddy lanes.
The boys greeted the monk & informed him that the Cobra is dead!
“Nagaraj is dead? How is it possible ?”
The monk knew that it is not possible for Nagaraj to die. He had given a holy word to Nagaraj and that holy word is bound to reap the fruit.
So, the monk went near the Banyan tree and called –
“Nagaraj! Nagaraj! Where are you ?”
After calling for some time, Nagaraj slowly came out of his hole.
The monk said – “How are you Nagaraj ?”
The King Cobra bowed to the monk and said – “I am well Maharaj”
“But it does not seem so, you look so thin” replied the monk.
“I no longer kill birds, rats, and frogs. I do not harm anyone; only feed on fruits and leaves” said the Cobra.
“But you look so ill! What happened to you Nagaraj ?”
On uttering the holy word, the snake had become so pure that he forgot all the incidences. He forgot how he was tortured by the cowboys.
After repeated attempts, he recalled the incidences & mentioned the same to the monk.
The monk said –
“How foolish you are Nagaraj! I told you not to harm anyone. But did I ever hold you from hissing at anyone? You will have to protect yourself. And for that, you will have to hiss to frighten bad people.
Don’t bite, but hiss to protect yourself”
Nagaraj said –
“Now I understand Maharaj. I will never make this mistake. Certainly, if I hiss at the boys to frighten them, they will definitely run away.”
From that day onwards, while Nararaj continued to repeat the holy words, he also raised his hood & hissed at anyone who tried to harm him.
The short moral story will help kids to understand the bigger picture of life. While not harming anyone in life is important, but hissing at bad people is equally vital.

Photo credit :

Mohan Moolepetlu

Nicolas Häns on Unsplash

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