is a story about Bhagwän Mahävir when he was a monk.
He used to fast, meditate and perform penance. He was traveling
barefoot from place to place and village to village. Once Bhagwän
Mahävir decided to go to the village of Vachala. On his way
there, he would have to go through a forest where there was a
poisonous snake named Chandkaushik. It was said that Chandkaushik
could kill a person or animal just by casting its evil and angry
glance at them. All the people of the villages near that forest
lived in absolute fear.
the villagers learned about Mahävir’s intention to
pass through the forest, they begged him to take another route.
Mahävir had no fear. He practiced supreme non-violence. He
had no hatred towards anyone and considered fear and hatred as
violence to the self. He was at peace with himself and all other
living beings. There was a glow of serenity and compassion on
Bhagwän’s face. He convinced the people that everything
would be all right and he proceeded to the forest where Chandkaushik
lived. After a while, he noticed the beautiful green land fading.
The forest looked like a desert. Trees and plants were dead so,
he thought this must be the land that the villagers were talking
about where Chandkaushik lived. So, Mahävir stopped there
to meditate. Peace, tranquility and compassion for the well being
of each and every living being flowed from Mahävir’s
sensed that someone had come near his land so he came out of his
furrow. To his surprise, he saw a man standing there. He became
furious, thinking, "How dare he came this close to my land?”
Chandkaushik started hissing to threaten Mahävir. He did
not understand Mahävir’s tranquility. He became angrier,
came closer to the Lord, and swayed his head, ready to strike.
He saw no sign that this man would run away or even felt threatened.
This made Chandkaushik even angrier and he blew poisonous venom
towards Mahävir three times. The venom neither affected Mahävir
nor disturbed his meditation. Chandkaushik was not ready for this.
Now he became more irritated and bit Mahävir’s toe.
When he looked at the man again, he was surprised to see that
not only had nothing happened to him, but also instead of blood,
milk came out his toe.
Mahävir opened his eyes. He was calm and there was no fear
or anger on his face. He looked at Chandkaushik in its eyes and
told it, "Wake up! Wake up Chandkaushik! Realize what you
are doing!" There was love and affection in those words.
Chandkaushik calmed down and felt as if he had seen this kind
of a person before. He suddenly remembered his two previous lives.
Chandkaushik then realized the truth of life and what the anger
and ego of his last two lives had done to him. He bowed his head
respectfully to the ground.
peacefully retreated to its furrow with its head inside while
most of his body was outside. After a while when the people came
to know that Chandkaushik was no longer harmful to anymore, they
came to see it out of curiosity. They saw it lying quietly. Some
started worshipping, pouring milk on it, and offered food. While
some were still mad because their loved ones had died due to it.
They threw stones at it and hit it with wooden sticks. Blood,
milk, and food attracted ants. Chandkaushik willingly suffered
biting, beating, and remained in peace without any anger. This
self-restraint and control on its feelings destroyed many of its
bad karmas. Therefore, at the end of its life, it went to heaven.
hatred and ego are really violence to one’s self, and not
to anyone else. Chandkaushik depicts this from the anger and ego
he had committed during his past lives. Self-realization through
the help of Bhagwän Mahävir made him realize his mistake
and led him to repent his deeds. This ultimately washed away his
bad karmas and led him to heaven. Learning from this story, we
should remain calm and avoid anger, ego, and all forms of violence.