One day a sannyasi was sitting on the bank of a river silently repeating his mantram. A scorpion fell from a nearby tree in to the river. The sannyasi seeing it struggling in the water, bent over and pulled him out and set him back in the tree, but as he did so the creature bit him on the hand. He paid no heed to the bite, and went back to repeating his mantram. This happen two more times and each time the scorpion bit him on the hand and he went back to his mantram.
As this happed a villager, ignorant of the ways of holy men, had come to the river for water and had seen the whole affair. Unable to contain himself any longer he asked the sannyasi. "Swamiji, I have seen you save that foolish scorpion several times now and each time he has bitten you. Why not let him go?"
"Brother," replied the sannyasi, "the scorpion cannot help himself. It is in his nature to bite."
"Agreed," answered the villager. "But knowing this, why don't you avoid him?"
"Ah, brother," replied the sannyasi, "you see, I cannot help myself either. I am a human being; it is my nature to save.