56 Caterpillar

There is a story of a boy who had a good heart. Once this boy saw a caterpillar in his garden. He began to carefully observe it. He found that the caterpillar was in a difficult situation. It was bound by a cocoon and was struggling to release itself from this cocoon. It strove very hard to come out of it. But try as it may, it was not able to come out of it even by a centimeter. But it never gave up its efforts. It tried and tried.

This boy was moved by the effort of the caterpillar and, having a heart filled with compassion, decided to help the caterpillar in its suffering. He ran inside his house and got a pair of scissors and slowly and carefully cut the cocoon of the caterpillar and released it.

What did he see when he cut the cocoon? He saw that the caterpillar was actually developing wings to become a butterfly. And because he had cut the cocoon before time, the wings of the caterpillar were very weak. They did not have the strength to handle the weight of the caterpillar and so the caterpillar could not fly.

Similarly, sometimes when we struggle in our lives, it may seem painful to someone who is watching. But those very struggles actually make us strong and powerful. Many people ask, “Why does God allow us to suffer?” We can learn from this boy; if he had allowed the caterpillar to suffer a little more, then it would have soared to the sky, flown from one flower to another and been appreciated by the world for its colors and beauty.

– Radhanath Swami