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Wisdom Stories

Laugh at your anger

By Sacinandana Swami, October 2007

Once, Krishna went on a long journey with Satyaki. Because they failed to reach their destination by sunset, they were forced to sleep in the forest. Krishna asked Satyaki to keep watch for the first half of the night, and then He would watch for the second half. After making this request, Krishna went to rest on a bed of twigs, which was covered with a chadar (light blanket).

As Satyaki kept watch he suddenly saw a belligerent demon approaching. The demon addressed him in a hoarse voice. “Listen. I’m very hungry. If you allow me to overwhelm your sleeping friend and eat Him, I will spare your life. Otherwise, I will first kill you, and then afterwards fill my belly with both of you.”

Satyaki was angered at this unethical proposal, drew his sword, and began to fight the demon. But the demon was stronger. As the night progressed, and as is the way with these types of demons, he became larger and more powerful. Finally, the demon pushed Satyaki to the ground. As Satyaki waited for the death blow, he closed his eyes in naked terror.

But nothing happened. After some time he opened his eyes only to find that the demon had mysteriously disappeared.

“Maybe the demon was only an illusion,” Satyaki thought. “In this part of the forest such illusions are common.” After some time he woke Krishna as they had agreed, and without mentioning the demon, went to sleep.

The next morning, when Satyaki awoke and the sun was shining, he remembered what he thought was a nightmare and told Lord Krishna about His dream. “Oh,” said Krishna, “you saw a demon and then he disappeared? Is it this one?” With these words Lord Krishna pulled out a small demon from His waist-cloth that looked exactly like the demon Satyaki had fought during his watch in the night. Then Krishna became grave. “Listen carefully, Satyaki. – This is your anger. The moment you gave it attention, it grew stronger. Never identify with it. Just look at it, understanding that you are not identical with it, and eventually it will disappear.”

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