Just the other day I
was reading one of Ramakrishna’s parables. I love it. I read it again
and again whenever I come across it. It is the whole story of the Master
being a catalytic agent.
The story is:
A tigress died while giving birth to a cub, and the cub was brought
up by goats. Of course, the tiger believed himself to be a goat also. It
was simple, natural; brought up by the goats, living with the goats, he
believed that he was a goat. He remained a vegetarian, eating and
chewing grass. He had no conception. Not even in his dreams could he
dream that he was a tiger, and he was a tiger.
Then one day it happened that an old tiger came across this herd of
goats and that old tiger could not believe his eyes. A young tiger was
walking amidst the goats! Neither were the goats afraid of the tiger nor
were they aware that the tiger was walking amongst them; the tiger was
also walking like a goat. The old tiger somehow got hold of the young
tiger, because it was difficult to catch hold of him. He escaped – he
tried, he cried, he screamed. He was afraid, he was shivering with fear.
All the goats escaped and he was also trying to escape with them, but
the old tiger got hold of him and pulled him towards the lake. He would
not go. He resisted just the way that you are doing with me. He tried
his best not to go. He was scared to death, crying and weeping, but the
old tiger wouldn’t allow him. The old tiger still pulled him and took
him to the lake.
The lake was silent like a mirror. He forced the young tiger to look
into the water. He saw, with tearful eyes – the vision was not clear but
the vision was there – that he looked just like the old tiger. Tears
disappeared and a new sense of being arose; the goat started
disappearing from the mind. He was no more a goat, but he could not
believe his own enlightenment. Still the body was shivering a little, he
was afraid. He was thinking, “Maybe I am imagining. How can a goat turn
so suddenly into a tiger? It is not possible, it has never happened. It
never happens that way.” He couldn’t believe his own eyes, but now the
first spark, the first ray of light had entered into his being. He was
no more the same really. He could never be the same again.
The old tiger took him to his cave. Now he was not so resistant, not
so reluctant, not so afraid. By and by he was getting bold, gathering
courage. He started walking like a tiger as he went to the cave. The old
tiger gave him some meat to eat. It is difficult for a vegetarian,
almost impossible, nauseating, but the old tiger wouldn’t listen. He
forced him to eat. When the nose of the young tiger came near the meat,
something happened: from the smell, something deep in his being which
had been fast asleep was awakened. He was pulled, attracted towards the
meat, and he started eating. Once he tasted the meat, a roar burst
through his being. The goat disappeared in that roar, and the tiger was
there in his beauty and splendor.
This is the whole process, and an old tiger is needed. That is the trouble: the old tiger is here, and howsoever you try to dodge, this way and that, it is not possible. You are reluctant, you are difficult to bring to the lake, but I will bring you. You have been eating grass your whole life. You have completely forgotten the smell of meat, but I will force you to eat it. Once the taste is there, the roar will burst. In that explosion the goat will disappear and a Buddha will be born. So you need not worry about where I am going to get so many Buddhas to study, I will produce them.
Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4, Ch 8, Q 1