We may encounter people of different natures in life. What must we persevere with in such situations? Bhagawan instructs us with a memorable story.
A hermit was one day bathing in the Ganga when he saw floating downstream, on a piece of wood, a scorpion. This is God encased in the scorpion form and name, he felt; he wanted to save the scorpion. So he took it on his palm; but, when it stung him, he dropped it on the waters. Then he was stricken with remorse and so he lifted it up again. Thus it stung him five or six times; but, he persisted in his mission of mercy and at last, managed to drop it on dry land so that it could go its way, alive and happy. Many people watched his efforts and laughed at him for his stupidly exaggerated sympathy. The hermit told them that the scorpion had taught him a lesson and he was thankful for it. They asked him what it was. He said: “Stick to your innate nature, whatever may happen – that is what it has taught me.” Its nature is to sting; it stung, regardless of whom or when. Man’s nature is to achieve Jnana (wisdom); Ananda is man’s essence. Love is the bloodstream that sustains him; peace is the vision that guides and directs him.
– Divine Discourse, Apr 22, 1967.