Ganapati sees his mother in the eyes of a tiger

It was at the house of his maternal uncle that Ganapati himself almost lost his life.

When Ganapati was around eight years old, he went to visit his eldest maternal uncle in the village of Kelishahar, which was six miles away. The village was near a chain of mountains which were covered with dense forests. Ganapati was extremely fond of roaming in these mountains.

About two o’clock one afternoon, when his friends were all in school, he decided to go for a walk on one of the mountains. He had been to that mountain many times before with his friends and relatives, but they had never gone beyond the edge of the forest.

This time, since he was alone, Ganapati was getting more joy from his adventure, so he decided to wander into the thick of the forest.

Ganapati was very fond of a certain kind of fruit called jujub. There were many jujub trees in the forest, so he climbed one of them and ate to his heart’s content. When he climbed down — lo and behold! — facing him, only ten feet away, was a tiger!

But rather than showing a ferocious face, the tiger seemed all mildness. Furthermore, Ganapati saw his own mother’s face reflected in the tiger’s eyes.

Seeing his mother in the eyes of the tiger, Ganapati felt no fear and raised no cry; he remained calm and serene. The more he looked into the tiger’s eyes, the more affectionate he felt the tiger was.

After about five minutes, very slowly he turned his back to the tiger and started walking away very slowly and cautiously. When he had covered about a quarter of a mile, he looked back to see if the tiger was following him. There was no sign of the animal.

Sri Chinmoy, Compassion-affection versus deception-destruction.First published by Agni Press in 1996.

This is the 1145th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Compassion-affection versus deception-destruction, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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