A lioness, huge with an unborn baby lion in her body, was growing weak from lack of food. As the baby lion grew heavier within her, she could not move quickly enough to catch any prey.
Roaring with sadness and hunger, and heavy with the baby lion, the lioness fell asleep at the edge of the forest near a pasture. As she dozed, she dreamt of seeing a flock of sheep grazing. When, in her dream, she pounced on one of the sheep, she jerked herself awake. With surprise and great joy, she discovered that her dream was true: a large flock of sheep grazed in the pasture right near her.
Forgetting the heavy baby lion in her body, and impelled by the madness of hunger, the lioness pounced on one of the young lambs and took it into the depths of the forest. The lioness did not realize that during the exertion of her mad leap at the lamb she had given birth to the baby lion.
The flock of sheep were so paralyzed with fear by the attack of the lioness that they couldn’t run away. When the lioness had departed and the panic was over, the sheep woke from their stupor. They began to bleat out lamentations for their lost comrade, when, to their great astonishment, they discovered the helpless baby lion crooning in their midst. One of the mother sheep took pity on the baby lion and adopted it as her own.
The young lion grew up amidst the flock of sheep. Several years passed, and there, with a flock of sheep, roamed a huge lion with long mane and tail, behaving exactly like a sheep. The sheep-lion bleated instead of roaring and ate grass instead of meat. This vegetarian lion acted exactly like a weak, meek lamb.
One day, another lion strolled out of the nearby forest onto the green pasture, and to his great delight beheld this flock of sheep. Thrilled with joy and whipped by hunger, the great lion pursued the fleeing flock of sheep, when, with amazement, he saw a huge lion, with tail high up in the air, fleeing at top speed ahead of the sheep.
The older lion paused for a moment, scratched his head, and pondered within himself: “I can understand the sheep flying away from me, but I cannot imagine why this stalwart lion should run at the sight of me. This runaway lion interests me.” Ignoring his hunger, he raced hard and pounced upon the escaping lion. The sheep-lion fainted with fear. The big lion was puzzled more than ever, and slapped the sheep-lion out of his swoon. In a deep voice he rebuked, “What’s the matter with you?! Why do you, my brother, flee from me?”
The sheep-lion closed his eyes and bleated out in sheep language, “Please let me go. Don’t kill me. I’m just a sheep brought up with yonder flock.”
“Oh, now I see why you’re bleating.” The big lion pondered again, and a great idea flashed upon him. He caught the sheep-lion by the mane with his mighty jaws and dragged him toward a lake at the end of the pasture. When the big lion reached the shore of the lake, he pushed the sheep-lion’s head so that it was reflected in the water. He began to shake the sheep-lion, who still had his eyes tightly closed, saying, “Open your eyes! Look! You are not a sheep.”
“Bleat, bleat, bleat. Please don’t kill me. Let me go. I am not a lion, but only a poor, meek sheep,” wailed the sheep-lion.
The big lion gave the sheep-lion a terrible shake. The sheep-lion opened his eyes, and was astonished to find that the reflection of his head was not, as he expected, a sheep’s head but a lion’s head, like that of the lion who was shaking him with his paw. Then the big lion said, “Look at my face and your face reflected in the water. They are the same. My face roars. Now! You must roar instead of bleating!”
The sheep-lion, convinced, tried to roar, but could only produce bleat-mingled roars. As the older lion continued to exhort him with slapping paws, the sheep-lion at last succeeded in roaring. Then both lions bounded across the pasture, entered the forest, and returned to the den of lions.
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The above story aptly illustrates how most of us, though made in the all-powerful image of the Divine Lion of the Universe, have been born and raised in the sheepfold of mortal weakness. We bleat with fear, lack, and death, instead of roaring with immortality and power, and preying on wisdom and unlimited prosperity.
These teachings are the new lion that will drag you to the crystal pool of meditation and give you such a hard shaking that you will open the closed eyes of your wisdom and behold yourself as the Lion of Divinity, made in the image of the Cosmic Lion. Those of you who strive continuously will forget your mortal fears of weakness, failure, and death, and will learn to roar with the power of almighty immortality.