Sufis have a beautiful way of teaching. Most humans are moral only in their minds, not in their deeds. In the sense, humans use religion only to believe in not to act upon. Or they simply believe their religion is true, but they do whatever they like. They simply take whatever they like and leave whatever they don’t like. But they firmly believe whatever their religion says is true. Here is a Sufi Parable that will explain how humans use their religions or morals.
A Sufi Parable – A Man and A Lion
There is an old Indian Sufi Parable. One Christian missionary was passing through a forest. Of course he believed in love, so he was not carrying a gun. Suddenly he saw a lion approaching. He became afraid. He started to think; “Now the Gospel of love won’t do. It would have been wise if I had a gun.”
He was in emergency and he wanted to do something for the situation. Then he remembered somebody has said somewhere that if you run, then the lion will follow you, and within minutes you will be caught and dead. But if you stare in the eyes of the lion, then there is some possibility, he may get impressed, hypnotized. He may change the mind.
And there are stories that many times lions have changed their minds; they have slunk away. So it was worth trying, and there was no use in escaping. The missionary stared. The lion also came near. He also started staring into the eyes of the missionary. For five minutes they were standing face to face, staring into each other’s eyes. Then suddenly the missionary saw the miracle.
Suddenly the lion put his paws close together and then bent over them in a very prayerful mood – as if he was praying. This was too much! Even the missionary was not expecting so much – that a lion should start praying. He was happy. But then he thought, ”What is to be done now? What I should do?” But by the time he was also hypnotized – not only the lion – so he thought, ”It is better to follow the lion.”
He also bent over, started praying. Five minutes again passed. Then the lion opened the eyes and said, ”Man, what are you doing? I am saying the grace, but what are you doing?” The lion was a religious lion pious, but just in thought. Indeed, he was a lion, and he was going to be a lion. He was going to kill the man; he was saying grace.
This is the situation of the whole human phenomenon, the whole humanity – just pious in thoughts; in deeds, man remains the animal. And this will be always so unless we don’t cling to thoughts but create situations in which thoughts change.