Who’s your master?

As you know, WhatsApp is getting a lot of bad press these days for the fake forward messages. I’m fortunate to have some friends who send me meaningful posts – one such posts is what I’m sharing below. While the source of the below message is unknown, I got it from my friend, Anup Gulati.

Anup – Thank you for sharing this with me.


Once upon a time, a cow went out to graze in the jungle. Suddenly, she noticed a tiger racing towards her. She turned and fled, fearing that at any moment the tiger would sink his claws into her. The cow desperately looked for someplace to escape and at last, saw a shallow pond. Barely evading the tiger’s reach, she jumped into the pond, and in the heat of the chase, the tiger blindly leaped after her.

To the surprise of them both, the pond was extremely shallow yet filled with deep recesses of mud. After toppling over each other, the cow and the tiger found themselves a short distance apart, stuck in the mud up to their necks. Both had their heads above water but were unable to free themselves no matter how much they writhed.

The tiger repeatedly snarled at the cow and roared, “I am going to enjoy the sound of crunching your bones between my teeth!”

He thrashed about in fury but soon became fretful as he found no prospect of escape.

The cow thoughtfully laughed as the tiger struggled to free himself and asked him, “Do you have a master?”

The tiger disdainfully replied, “I am the king of the jungle. Why do you ask me if I have a master? I myself am the master!”

The cow said, “You may be the king of the jungle, but here all your power has failed to save your life.”

“And what about you?” Retorted the tiger. “You are going to die here in this mud too!”’

The cow smiled mildly and said, “No, I am not.”

“If even I, the king of the jungle cannot free myself from this mud”, snapped the tiger, “Then how can you, an ordinary cow?”

The cow gently replied, “I cannot free myself from this mud, but my master can. When the sun sets and he finds me absent at home, he will come looking for me. Once he finds me, he will raise me up and escort me home sweet home.”

The tiger fell silent and coldly glared at the cow.

Soon enough, the sunset and the cow’s master arrived. He immediately recognized the plight she was in and lifted her to safety. As they walked home, the cow and the master both felt renewed gratitude for one another and pitied the tiger they both would have been happy to save if only the tiger had allowed them.

The cow represents a surrendered heart, the tiger represents an egoistic mind, and the master represents the Guru. The mud represents the world, and the chase represents the struggle for existence therein.


My learnings from the above story:

1) Be Humble – no matter who you are or what you are, you always need a partner/coach/friend/Guru

2) Asking for help doesn’t make you weak…on the contrary, it makes you stronger

3) Being independent doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a super hero and can accomplish everything on my own – even superheroes these days are fighting it out in groups 🙂

What did you learn from the above? What is your experience having a coach/mentor/friend/guru? Feel free to share your experience(s) in comments.



  1. what a creative way to learn

    1. Thank you, Chakkradar

    2. Very nicely put buddy…. simple and effective…. good to see your thoughts in words….

  2. Hey aaditya..
    Nice story.. if u ask me moral of the story I learnt from.. Will explain in Hindi..
    Kisiko ko marne ya girane ki koshish me apne aap ko uss mod tak mat pahuncha do ki khud ko bachana mushkil ho jaye… jo dusron ko nuksan pahochana chahta hai kuchh hadd tak apne aap ko kabhi na bharpayi honewala nuksan kar baithata hai … N yes I have my master (guru) who always guide me the right way when I need to take any important decision..
    Thanks for sharing such a nice story

    1. Thank you for giving a different perspective, Jolly.

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