(Phew, what a relief! It’s not the same “Snake and Rope”)
In the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna tells a parable of a snake to explain how to deal with the wicked.http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/
The primary message from this story is clear, “You must hiss at wicked people. You must frighten them, lest they should do you harm. But never inject your venom into them. One must not injure others.”
Interestingly, this short parable also talks about importance of repetition of Holy Name (Japa) as discussed below.
1. The brahmachari said: ‘Look here. Why do you go about doing harm? Come, I will give you a holy word. By repeating it you will learn to love God. Ultimately you will realize Him and so get rid of your violent nature.’
2. The snake bowed before the teacher and said, ‘Revered sir, how shall I practice spiritual discipline?’ ‘Repeat that sacred word’, said the teacher, ‘and do no harm to anybody’. As he was about to depart, the brahmacharisaid, ‘I shall see you again.’
3. About a year later the brahmachari came that way again and asked about the snake. The cowherd boys told him that it was dead. But he couldn’t believe them. He knew that the snake would not die before attaining the fruit of the holy word with which it had been initiated.
4. The snake had developed the quality of sattva; it could not be angry with anyone. It had totally forgotten that the cowherd boys had almost killed it.
5. Snake: ‘Yes, revered sir, now I remember. The boys one day dashed me violently against the ground. They are ignorant, after all. They didn’t realize what a great change had come over my mind. How could they know I wouldn’t bite or harm anyone?’