Of all the stories Osho Rajneesh has shared with His disciples through the years this story is surely one of the al time favorites:
"I have told you a story, a very ancient story, about a lioness giving birth to a cub while she was jumping from one hillock to another hillock. The cub fell into a crowd of sheep and grew up amongst the sheep. There was no way for him to know that he was not a sheep. And the sheep were not afraid, they never thought that he was dangerous.
"One day an old lion saw this phenomenon and could not believe it! He had never seen any lion walking in a crowd of sheep. The moment sheep see a lion they start running-naturally. But this young lion believed he was a sheep.
"The old lion was a man just like Joshu. He got hold of him. He started trembling, and the old lion said, 'You are trembling and weeping and crying and asking that you should be released because you want to join your group. There is something you don't know, it seems you are unaware, and I will not leave you unless I make you aware. You come with me!.
"He dragged him to a nearby lake. The lake was silent-no ripples, no wind was there. He took the young lion to the edge of the water and told him, 'Look in the water. Look at my face and your face.'
"Instantaneously, from the young lion a roar came out. It was not any effort, it was simply the fact of seeing that he is a lion immediately a roar that resounded in faraway mountains.
"The young lion thanked the old lion and said, 'You have been very kind to me. Otherwise my whole life I would have lived chewing grass with the sheep. You have given me a new birth."
Somewhere deep within us all, the message is heard clearly: we are not living as full a life as we are meant to be. Discontentedly we live on desires, dreams, wanting love and understanding, never reaching. Wondering why a sheep's life is so empty, boring, unfulfilling.
But then a master comes with soft words or a sudden leap; to shake us up, wake us from our sleep; to take us to his still and silent pool in which we see our true faces reflecting. This has been the work, the play, of all the masters down the ages: to wake us from our dreams. This is the game that Joshu was playing with his disciples eleven hundred years ago. The same game Osho Rajneesh goes on playing with us, here, today.
In these eight discourses, Osho Rajneesh brings Joshu back to life. Not just by commenting on him or his life, but by being the same kind of man-a master, breathing the essence of Zen. With the 'whack!' of a Zen stick, the shock of an outrageous joke, or the offer of a cup of tea, Rajneesh and Joshu together are saying, "Wake up, recognize your being.
From the Jacket
Joshu is one of the most loved masters in the Zen tradition. There have been great masters, but nobody has been loved so much as Joshu-and he deserved it. His working on people, on disciples, was so soft, so delicate, that only a poet can manage it
a great craftsmanship in carving buddhas out of the stones of humanity.
Every man is just a big rock. It needs a craftsman, a great artist, a sculptor, who with loving hands removes all that is unessential and leaves only that which is absolutely essential. That absolutely essential is your Buddha.
About the Author
Osho Rajneesh was born in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, India, on December 11, 1931. From his earliest childhood, his was a rebellious and independent spirit, challenging all accepted religious, social and political traditions and insisting on experiencing the truth for himself rather than acquiring knowledge and beliefs given by others.
At the age of twenty-one, on March 21, 1953, Rajneesh became enlightened. He says about himself, "I am no longer seeking, searching for anything. Existence has opened all its doors to me, I cannot even say that I belong to existence, because I am just a part of it
When a flower blossoms, I blossom with it. When the sun rises, I rise with it. The ego in me, which keeps people separate, is no longer there. My body is part of nature, my body is part of nature, my being is part of the whole. I am not a separate entity."
He graduated from the University of Sagar with First Class Honors in philosophy. While a student he was All-India Debating Champion and the Gold Medal winner. After a nine-year stint as professor or philosophy at the University of Jabalpur, he left to travel around the country giving talks, challenging orthodox religious leaders in public debate, upsetting traditional beliefs, and shocking the status quo.
In the course of his work, Rajneesh has spoken on virtually every aspect of the development of human consciousness. From Sigmund Freud to Chuang Tzu, from George Gurdjieff to Gautam Buddha, from Jesus Christ to Rabindranath Tagore
He has distilled from each the essence of what is significant to the spiritual quest of contemporary man, based not on intellectual understanding but tested against his own existential experience.
He belongs to no tradition "I am the beginning of a totally new religious consciousness," he says. "Please don't connect me with the past it is not even worth remembering."
His talks to disciples and seekers from all over the world have been published in more than six hundred fifty volumes, and translated into over thirty languages. And he says, "My message is not a doctrine, not a philosophy. My message is a certain alchemy, a science of transformation, so only those who are willing to die as they are and be born again into something so new that they can not even imagine it right now
only those few courageous people will be ready to listen, because listening is going to be risky. Listening, you have taken the first step towards being reborn. So it is not a philosophy that you can just make an overcoat of and go bragging about. It is not a doctrine where you can find consolation for harassing questions
No, my message is not some verbal communication. It is far more risky. It is nothing less than death and rebirth."
Osho Rajneesh is now residing at Rajneeshdham in Poona, India, where thousands of disciples and seekers gather throughout the year to participate in the meditations and other programs offered there.
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