October 1

Let That Be Your Nature: Loving and Giving

October 1st Reading

by Sri Swami Satchidananda | Click play button to listen

Once a man went to a river for a bath and found that the river was in flood. As he approached the rushing water, he saw a scorpion being carried away by the current. He took pity on it and thought, “Oh, he is going to die.” So he reached forward and took the scorpion out of the water. As he was taking it out, the scorpion stung his hand. As he got stung, he jumped and the scorpion fell back into the water. Again he felt pity, “Oh, I am so sorry. No, I will not let you die.” He took it out, got another sting and again dropped it.

A friend was standing behind him watching the whole thing. As he reached in to take the scorpion out of the water one more time, the friend said, “You fool. Every time you pick up the scorpion, it stings you. Don’t you have any common sense?” “Well,” the man said, “I don’t know about common sense. All I know is my nature is to feel pity for something, to be compassionate and, if possible, to save it. That is just the way I am.” The friend replied, “But don’t you see that the scorpion is stinging you and will continue to sting you?” The man explained, “What can I do? That is its nature. I cannot change its nature. And in the same way, you cannot change my nature.”

He did not hate the scorpion because he understood and accepted the nature of the scorpion. Let our nature be like this. That is our true nature: loving and giving. Of course, you can probably use a stick to lift the scorpion out.

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