sadhu looked at him intently. 'It is not easy
to see God,' he said. 'First of all,
you must be able to master yourself' .
Sri Nag sighed. By
this time he had lowered his fore body; he lay prostrate at the feet
of the monk, whose aura of serenity was sweeping over him. In a
small voice he said, for he was a deeply truthful cobra, 'Sir,
I am not able to master myself. I act as I am forced to act by a
power stronger than I. Our family traditions are extremely
compelling. What can I do?' He put his head on the feet of
the sannyasin and said, 'Please teach me.'
Again there was
silence. Sri Nag felt that he was being turned inside out, that he
was shedding skin after skin. At length the sadhu spoke.
strong,' he said. 'Strike no one. It is
true that there are powerful forces at work within you, but they are
as nothing compared with the infinite power of your true Self. Be a
real Cobra! It is far greater to conquer your impulses than to obey
them and be master of this field. That is no mastery at all. It is
slavery! I will give you a mantra.' He intoned a few Sanskrit
words and asked Sri Nag to say them after him. 'Repeat
that mantra to yourself,' he went on. 'Say
it out loud whenever the impulse to strike comes over you. Can you
do that?' He reached down and laid his hand on Sri Nag's
head. The cobra felt a tremor go through his long body.
he whispered, too moved to say more.