Waterfall supplies water to Tat Wale Baba Ashram.





Vincent J. Daczynski

Chapter 2

A Cobra for a Pet

Sri Swami Shankardasji does dish washing chores at top of stairs at the Tat Wale Baba Ashram.
Sri Swami Shankardasji does dish washing chores at top of stairs,
outside the entrance of the Tat Wale Baba Ashram."

I continued my interview with Swami Shankardasji, "I heard a rumor that Tat Wale Baba had a giant cobra snake for a pet. Was that true?"

"Yes. The snake was twice this long," Swami said as he extended his hands to the limit at each side of his body.

"That would make the snake about twelve feet long," I confirmed.

"Yes, and it was so big." To illustrate its girth Swami joined his finger tips of both hands, forming a circle about six inches in diameter.

"My guru would feed it milk. The snake would come and take milk from the cup. He liked to stay in the cave where my guru would meditate. But, when my guru entered the cave the snake would leave. He would come down through a crack and emerge at a hole which was here." Standing in the main room of the ashram, about twenty feet below Tat Wale Baba's cave, Swami pointed to where the exit hole was. "The snake would rest inside the crack with his head sticking out of the hole by about a foot. My guru had the hole sealed because people coming to see him were disturbed at the sight of the snake."

"Is the snake still here?"

"Yes," Swami continued. "There are two now. I think one is male and the other female. I hear the rustle of brush as they play above the ashram. Then they come down. They give me much trouble. Sometimes, when I open my eyes after meditating I jump when I see a snake resting just a few inches from my feet. I never know where the snakes are. They come in and out of the ashram as they please. There are many cracks and openings by which they can enter."

"Do they ever take an attacking position?"

"No, they are friendly. But, I stay away from them to avoid a mistake."

"Where are they now?"

"Sleeping for the winter. Once the weather warms they come here often."

"There is a story circulating that Tat Wale Baba had contacted the King of the Cobras and asked him to make sure that no cobra would harm anyone. Is there any truth to that?" I asked.

"Yes, and I know of no snake bites to anyone in this area," Swami said confidently.