Thursday, March 17, 2011

The good shepherd

For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear:
(With thanks to Dennis ... )

There is an Eastern tale which speaks about a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. But at the same time this magician was very mean. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on, and above all they ran away, for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins and this they did not like.

At last the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them first of all that they were immortal and that no harm was being done to them when they were skinned, that, on the contrary, it would be very good for them and even pleasant; secondly he suggested that the magician was a good master who loved his flock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them; and in the third place he suggested to them that if anything at all were going to happen to them it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore they had no need to think about it. Further the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all; to some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians.

And after this all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and skins!

P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching.


  1. Unbelievable really that the tale even has to be told. People are so desperate to be told they are not bad/unworthy/losers. But the truth is we are all nobody special and nor is anyone else.

  2. I know this story told by Ouspenski and always thought it is silly, because first: sheep wander off, fall into ravines etc, but they don't know, or don't like that the magician is after their flesh and skins, that is why they are called SHEEP.
    Second : the Magician is stupid because he just had to hypnotize the sheep to believe them to be immortal, the rest is not relevant and the last suggestion means, that they just start fighting and killing each other.
    But anyway the conclusion we can draw from this story is : don't trust sheep and magicians, because you don't know who is who.
    But since Guru and disciple are one, even this conclusion becomes pointless.

  3. Yes,the magician of this story told the sheep flock the same as Poonja:"Do not struggle for liberation,just relax,you are already That!". So the flock was very happy,it came to Tiruvannamalai to bring us the good news: no meditation, no studying of the works of the Masters,no need of eradicating one's vasanas (look at Papaji,he has many vasanas,but still he is the Master!),just relax and enjoy the nonsense.

  4. Tiruvannamalai teaches us spiritual ambition is deadly, not divine. Every guru is blown up large before our eyes (forgive the pun) and then comes their inevitable fall from grace. Nothing is sacred. Not even gurus. Nothing to worship and nothing to destroy. Beware the one who claims they are enlightened. And beware the one who gets too involved with them.

  5. The big bad wolf...yes he does exist! Nevertheless the Tradition of seeking, evaluating, accepting, and following a Guru is deeply rooted in Hindu Society from the time of the earliest Hindu writings. In Hinduism, it is believed that certain individuals have developed spiritually to the point where they can lead others to liberation (moksha), or give them access to spiritual states either in this life, or after death.

  6. Glow, I think we have all grasped your kiddies' guide to Hinduism several aeons ago. Hinduism and gurus have nothing to do with truth and neither does attaining spiritual states.

  7. Religiosity in all its multiplicity of forms is as Karl Marx described it "the opium of the people".

  8. Swami, today saw the birth of the Tiruvannamalai Resistance Force (or Fruitcakes, Fairies or Frantics). The TRF aims to get rid of all the silly buggers, who are polluting the holy city of Tiruvannamalai with their presence, and to restore peace and happiness.
    Already some members on Facebook, but they think it is a joke, well we'll see about that!

  9. Join the TRF, the Tiruvannamalai Resistance Force. Send a friend request to Sisterklaus Kumari on Facebook. Don't delay the revolution starts now!

  10. The Secret Teacher*

    A man found the secret teacher Khidr working as a ferryman.
    Khidr read his thoughts, and said to him:
    'If I approach people in the street and tell them what to do, they will
    think that I am mad, or am doing it for myself, and they will not do
    it. If I dress like a learned or a rich man, and advise them, they will
    disobey, or else simply try to please me, instead of trying to please that
    which I represent. But if I mix with the people and say a word here and
    a word there, some will listen, just as you yourself recognized me, and
    a thousand others did not.

  11. I have no problems with Papaji. He had visions of Krishna for years until an effulgent look and few words Ramana spoke stopped him cavorting with Krishna and he had a light bulb moment.
    Years later he told the largly Osho crowd 'call off the search' or you've been fed 'lollipops for the ignorant' all these Western teachers are 'drive throughs' or 'fake coins'
    At the beginning, in the middle and at the end, self is spotless, immaculate.
    Still effort and insight are needed and ulimately grace is all.

  12. When the disciple wakes up it's because they've assimilated the guru's grace, not because they've done sadhana. Paradoxically, one has to do sadhana to create the kind of resonance that allows the assimilation to occur.

  13. Glow: there is no prescribed route and there are no qualifications. Grace is not bound up with the guru and the guru may not be necessary at all. The same goes for sadhana. Sadhana does not always open you to grace, only in some cases. In fact sadhana usually builds ego and spiritual ambition. There are no prerequisites.