Universally the lion is known as the king of beasts, and in several countries is worshipped as a symbol of the sun, and that of a destroyer. In Baalbek, the lion was worshipped as a god. A calf would be presented to the lion and while it was devouring the calf, adoring spectators would sing songs of praise to the lion. In Persia, Mythras, the Persian god of light, was always accompanied by a lion, and the Arabs had a lion-god, Yaghuth. In Egypt, there was a lion-headed goddess, Sekhmet. And the ancient Egyptian god, Ammit, was part lion and was believed to eat the souls of the sinful.
In modern Africa there is a lion-idol among the Balondas. It is made of grass covered in clay and is placed in the forest. In case of sickness, prayers are offered and drums beaten before it.
In India, the fourth incarnation of Vishnu, was as the man-lion, called Narsinha – half man, half lion.
It is good to be conscious of how humanity has been behaving unconsciously. It is good to know the ugly spots of man’s behavior because then you can avoid much ugliness in your life, and your energy can move in more graceful, in more loving, in more compassionate ways.
Avirbhava, bring your tiger and lion.
(In come Avirbhava in a lion costume, and Anando in a tiger costume, dancing around the podium.)
Once, Nansen told two of his disciples that he was going to take them with him to visit the National Teacher.
In those days, particularly in Japan, a certain Zen master was declared as the National Master of Zen. There were so many masters, but the National Master was attached to the palace of the king. And all the masters used to meet the National Master. Most probably he was old and well respected, a man who had helped many people to become enlightened. Nansen was enlightened; with his two disciples he was going to visit the National Teacher.
But before they started out on their journey – this is how Nansen worked. He is unique in his devices.
But before they started out on their journey, Nansen drew a circle on the road and said, “As soon as you give a right answer, we will be on our way.”
Now, drawing a circle on the road, what answer can you give?
But the disciples did certainly the best that was possible.
At that, one of the disciples sat down inside the circle and the other bowed like a woman. Nansen said, “Judging from this response, it will not be necessary to go.”