(A cave deep in the forest. A Sage is meditating and his dog is lying on the floor next to him. The dog gets up and goes out for a minute. Soon the dog re-enters, running.)
DOG: Master, save me, save me, save me! I have been attacked by a leopard, which is chasing me. It wants to kill me.
SAGE: Don’t worry, my little friend. I have occult power. I shall turn you into a leopard, so that you won’t have to be afraid of him.
(He turns the dog into a leopard. It is now very happy and secure.)
LEOPARD: Master, I am hungry. I am going out to eat but I shall come back soon.
(Exit leopard. The Sage meditates. Soon the leopard re-enters, running.)
LEOPARD: Master, a tiger! A tiger is chasing me! Save me! Save me!
SAGE: A tiger? Don’t worry. What can a tiger do to you? I shall turn you into a tiger.
(The leopard becomes a tiger.)
TIGER: Oh, now I am really powerful. I am so grateful to you, Master. Now I don’t have to be afraid of anything. I am very hungry. Let me go out and eat since there is no food here. I will soon come back to guard you.
(Exit tiger. The Sage smiles and continues meditating. Re-enter tiger running.)
TIGER: Master, an elephant! An elephant is trying to kill me! Save me, save me, O Sage!
SAGE: Don’t worry. What can an elephant do? I am here to save and protect you. Let me turn you into an elephant.
(The tiger becomes an elephant. It is now full of confidence.)
ELEPHANT: Now I am really hungry. What I have eaten since morning is not nearly enough to support this bulk. Let me go and get food from somewhere. I shall come back to you soon.
SAGE: Yes, go with my blessings.
(Exit elephant. The Sage continues meditating. Soon the elephant comes back running.)
ELEPHANT: Oh, a lion! A lion wants to kill me now! How is it that God has not made me as powerful as the lion? I have to bow down to the lion. Save me, save me! Please, Master, this time make me as powerful as the lion.
SAGE: Don’t worry. I have the power to stop the lion from killing you. I shall turn you into a lion.
(The elephant turns into a lion.)
LION: Ah! Now I am really powerful. Now I don’t have to worry about anything. I can destroy anything; I can kill everything. When I want to eat, I can eat whatever I choose. Now I am the king of the animals. Let me take a little rest. Nobody will dare to come and bother me now. You meditate.
(The Sage gives the lion a smile and starts meditating. He chants from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita.)
LION: O Sage, I am hungry. There is no food here and I am hungry.
SAGE: Then go out and look for some food. I am a poor man. I have no food to give you.
LION: No, I won’t go out to look for food. Why should I? I don’t have to. I am the strongest of all. I can kill you. I can eat you. I don’t have to go out at all. What can you do about it?
(The lion comes near the Sage menacingly. The Sage immediately turns it back into a dog. The dog humbly tries to come near the Sage and sit at his feet.)
SAGE: No, I will not allow you, you ungrateful creature! Get away from me! You were a dog, and out of my infinite compassion I turned you into a lion. Then you wanted to devour me. Get away from here.
(The Sage turns the dog out into the forest and continues meditating. After a while he starts thinking aloud.)
SAGE: Have I done the right thing? The poor dog is helpless. I have turned it away in this thick forest.
(An angel appears.)
ANGEL: You have done the right thing, O Sage. In this world you have to be careful that when you give something to someone, that person deserves it and is ready to receive it. For only when a person has receptivity will you be able to bring down infinite Peace, Love and Light from above and manifest the Supreme in him. If he cannot receive your blessingful gift properly, he will misuse it. He may be so ungrateful that he will even use it against you. In the spiritual life, many spiritual Masters have taken their disciples right from the gutter, from lives of darkness and impurity. With their love, affection and concern they have given these disciples new life. Solely by their grace, they have lifted these disciples from darkest ignorance to Light and Delight. But the disciples are such ungrateful people. They feel that it is their own effort or their own merit that has brought them so high. When other disciples come later and gain favour with the Master, they feel that the Master is unjust, undivine. They criticise and insult the Master in every way and leave him.
So, Sage, in this world do not encourage the undeserving. If you help people indiscriminately, they will not appreciate the blessings of your Divinity. You will see happen to them what you have seen happen to your dog. You helped the dog in order to protect it. You transformed it into a leopard, then into a tiger, then into an elephant and finally into a lion. Then you saw what happened. When the lion became hungry, it was ready to kill you. In the spiritual life also, when people become really hungry for more name, more fame, more favour, more satisfaction, more power to lord it over others, they will stand against their Master and be ready to ruin his mission.
So be wise, O Sage. Only help those who deserve your love, affection and blessings. Only help those who are ready to be under your guidance with utmost humility all the time, from the day they accept you right up to the day they receive their illumination from you. When a disciple becomes great, divinely great, he has to feel that it is by your grace and not by his personal effort. What little effort he made was due to your grace, for it was you who inspired him to cry for a better life. Your disciples have to know and feel that from darkest inconscience your grace brought them into Light.