I was just listening to some audio by Ajahn Nyanadhammo, once the abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat. You can hear it at the link below. He was talking about being at a cave monastery and sitting meditation in a cave one time when a 4-meter king cobra entered the cave and came up onto his lap. He said he the cobra was close to his face and hissing. He could see the white circles on the hood of the cobra. He realized that it could spit venom, and he jumped up all in one motion, up onto the bamboo bed in the cave.
There are just a few things about this…
1. King cobras do not hiss. If you are within an inch or so you can hear its breath, there is never an audible hiss.
2. King cobras have no white rings, those are monocled cobras, and the circles are on the back of the hood – not the front where he would have seen them, as the snake was facing him.
3. King cobras don’t spit.
4. He said he was chanting and the king cobra started swaying back and forth… king cobras do not sway like that. In India the monocled cobras sway when faced by a flute playing snake charmer who is also swaying.
5. He said another monk was meditating and then felt cool. He opened his eyes and a large king cobra had wrapped around his body and put his head on his shoulder. This is also highly suspect, as a snake knows what living beings are, and in all likelihood would avoid him.
So, whether Aj. Nyanadhammo’s memory is fading, or whether he was in a strange state of mind, I can’t say. What I can say is that there are a few things about his story that absolutely do not match up to the reality of behavior / appearance of king cobras.
Our memories are faulty. I have had many experiences where I’m relaying a story that happened 20 years ago with my family members, and they are shaking their heads no. It didn’t happen that way in their minds. It is bizarre that we can remember an event so differently.
As logical as we think we are. As objective, as much as we think we are basing our behaviors, our lives, on the truth that we are experiencing through our minds. We are off. We’re not seeing through a clear glass. Our experience, and our memories, are distorted a bit. Twisted. Blurred. Soft.
Ajahn Nyanadhammo’s Audio Talk – about supernatural experiences (their page moved, sorry!)