A lioness was jumping from one hillock to another. While doing so, she gave birth to a cub. The cub fell down into a flock of sheep that was passing by. He got mixed up with the sheep and started to live and behave like them. He had no idea that he was a lion. He had never roared like a lion; sheep don’t roar; He had never been alone like a lion; sheep are never alone. They are always in a crowd, which is cozy, safe. They are afraid of being alone.
Then, the cub started growing up. It was a strange phenomenon. Mentally, he identified with the sheep but biology did not follow suit. Nature takes its own course! He became a beautiful young lion, but because things happened so slowly the sheep also got accustomed to the lion as he got used to them. The sheep thought he was a little crazy – did not behave, kept on growing, pretending to be a lion! He couldn’t be a lion. They had seen him from birth; they had brought him up, given him their milk. And though he was non-vegetarian by nature, this lion had lived like a vegetarian because sheep are vegetarian. He ate grass with great joy. So they accepted the fact that he was bigger and looked like a lion. A very wise sheep said, “It is just a freak of nature. It happens once in a while. “
The lion himself also accepted this. The very idea that he was lion was improbable! He was surrounded by all those sheep, and sheep psychoanalysts said: “You are just a freak of nature. Don’t worry. We are here to take care of you.”
One day, an old lion passed by and saw this young lion among the sheep. He couldn’t believe his eyes! He had never seen or heard of such a thing, that a lion was in the middle of a flock of sheep and no sheep was remotely afraid. And the lion was walking exactly like the sheep, grazing on grass. The old lion forgot he was going to catch a sheep for breakfast. He felt so strange that he tried to catch the young lion. But he was old and slow; the young lion escaped. Though he believed he was a sheep, the presence of danger eliminated all such identification. He ran like a lion, and the old lion had great difficulty in catching up. But finally the old lion got hold of him and our young sheep-lion wept and said, “Forgive me, I’m a poor sheep!”
The old lion said, “you idiot! Come with me to the pond.” The pond was without ripples, like a mirror. The old lion said, “Look at my face and look at yours. Look at my body and look at yours.” In a second, there came a great roar! All the hills echoed it. The sheep disappeared! He was a totally different being – he recognized himself. His identification with the sheep was not a reality, just a mental concept. Now he saw the reality. The old lion said, “Now I need not say anything. You have understood. “
The young lion felt a strange energy, which was dormant till then. He could feel tremendous power, though all this while he had been a weak, humble sheep. All the humility, all the weakness, all of it simply evaporated.
This parable is about the master and the disciple. The master’s function is only to bring the disciple to see who he is and that what he goes on believing is not true.
Your mind is not created by nature, your brain is. Remember the difference. Your brain is the mechanism that belongs to the body, but your mind is created by the society in which you live – by the religion, by the ideology your parents followed, by your educational system, by all kinds of things. That’s why there is a Christian mind and a Hindu mind, a capitalist mind and a communist mind. Brains are natural but minds are created. It depends on which flock of sheep you belong to.
The reality is that you are not mind, you are something beyond mind. Hence it is absolutely necessary that the mind stops being and you continue, so that for the first time you can know that you are not mind because you are still there. Mind is gone, you are still there – and with greater joy, greater glory, greater light, greater consciousness, greater being. Mind was pretending, and you had fallen into the trap.
What you have to understand is the process of identification – how one can get identified with something which he is not.
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