Tales from the Gita: The Spider’s Web

Tales from the Gita: The Spider’s Web

Aarti Natarajan Sharma

The Bhagavad Gita is an ocean of stories related to concepts of faith, karma, and dharma. These are relevant even today and prove to be beacons of hope for people to navigate through life’s obstacles. Let us look at one such story; simple, yet so powerful in the lesson it imparts. 

Once a soldier was fighting a battle that his army was on the verge of losing. The enemy’s army was rapidly advancing and the soldier’s army was slowly getting decimated. They found they had no option but to beat a hasty retreat; all the while being relentlessly chased by the enemy’s army. The soldier started running in fear of his life and found himself cut off from his comrades.

He finally came upon a rocky ledge which housed a cave. Exhausted and knowing the enemy wasn’t too far behind, he decided to take shelter in the cave. Sitting in the dark cave he prayed fervently to God, crying desperately that he should be saved from the enemy’s army. He promised God that if he was saved, he would serve God for as long as he lived. 

All of a sudden, he saw a spider weaving its web at the entrance of the cave. As he watched the delicate threads being slowly drawn across the mouth of the cave, the irony of the situation struck the young soldier. Here he had asked God for help and God seemed to have sent a mere spider to help him! It looked as though he was sure to be caught and killed by the enemy. 

Just then he heard the sound of the approaching army. A shadow fell over the entrance of the cave. It was a soldier carrying a gun examining the mouth of the cave. Behind him a number of soldiers gathered. As they prepared to enter the cave, the first soldier told them not to waste their time. He said no one could have entered the cave since the spider’s web across the mouth of the cave was intact and unbroken. The army moved on. 

The young soldier fell to his knees in thanksgiving. He realised that God works in mysterious ways—ways that are beyond the comprehension of human beings. What is needed is faith, as unbroken and strong as the spider’s web which saved his life. 

Years later when the soldier narrated this story, he told his listeners that the grace of God could make a spider’s web act as a stone wall but without this grace even a stone wall would be as flimsy as a spider’s web. 

Whom God protects, none can harm.