siṁhameṣa nyāyaḥ (lion and sheep)

A lion cub once strayed into a village where he mixed with a pack of lambs. He even learned the lamb's language and adopted their habits. After some time a forest lion came there, whereupon the small lion-lamb recognized its own nature and rejoined the lions.

There are several similes like this depicting the living entities' existence in a foreign material environment, which they involuntarily get accustomed to. Actually, it is an intrinsic option of every jīva to forget one's own nature and succumb to external mundane influence. Jīva gets habituated to a foreign or alien environment that is termed as his second nature. But when a person, fully realized of his spiritual nature as a servant of Śrī Hari, moves amidst the strayed men, he reminds them of their true nature, habits, speech, even cuisine, dress, de facto whole culture, such people spontaneously gravitate to their inborn and forgotten character of existence, and return back to sweet home, back to God's abode.

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