Once, the sage Tulsidas saw a scorpion that was struggling to escape from a river. The scorpion was about to drown, when Tulsidas reached over and saved it. The scorpion immediately stung Tulsidas. In shock, Tulsidas dropped the scorpion back into the waters, where it began struggling again to keep from drowning. Tulsidas again reached over and picked up the scorpion to save it from drowning. The scorpion stung Tulsidas once again. This happened three more times, before Tulsidas was finally able to toss the scorpion to safety in the wooded land around the river.
A man who had been watching this whole incident walked over to Tulsidas, and asked him, “Are you crazy?”
Tulsidas replied, “It is the scorpion’s nature to sting, and it is my nature to be helpful to all beings. If the scorpion keeps its nature even in the face of death, why should I give up my compassionate nature in the face of his sting?”
Photo: Per-Anders Olsson