The snake bite

Two new disciples, a father and son, were living together in Balananda's ashram. One night the son was bitten by a poisonous snake. The father called in a doctor who said it was a hopeless case, and that it was just a matter of hours before his son would die.

Then the father said, "There is also another doctor. Let me go to him." So he left the doctor and his son in one room and entered into his meditation room. He sat down in front of his shrine and prayed to his Master to save his son. In half an hour's time he came back and said to the doctor, "I have received an inner assurance that my son will be saved by my Master."

The incident took place at three o'clock in the morning, and the father did not dare to inform the Master outwardly at that hour. By seven o'clock the son was completely cured and he was very happy and cheerful.

The father said to his son, "When I was meditating on our Master, I saw four messengers of death, very ugly-looking, who came to take you, and I saw our Master chase them away with his trident. Therefore, I was quite confident that you would be saved, my son." The father, the son and the doctor were all in a very cheerful frame of mind.

Just then, quite unexpectedly, the Master's main attendant came in and said that the Master wanted to hear the snake story. They told the attendant what had happened, and then he said, "Now I have a story to tell you. Around two o'clock this morning I heard Master's voice saying to someone, 'Get out, get out of this place'. I rushed into his room, turned on the light and saw a snake with its hood spread, about to strike the Master. I was horrified. The Master again said, 'Get out, get out'. After a few minutes the snake left. Even now the thought of that particular scene is frightening me."

The father said to the attendant, "I knew, I knew. Master came to me in a vision. I saw him chasing away the messengers of death. Our Master is all compassion. I have only one prayer, and that prayer is to have a heart of constant gratitude."