About 550 BC a man of northern India called Gautama achieved liberation or enlightenment after 7 days of intensive meditation. It was through this achievement that he was called a Buddha, an enlightened one.
Born and brought up in a royal family the prince Siddhartha Gautama had left his palace including wife and son to look for the real thing. He followed ascetics and lived with hermits, studied various yogic practices but was not able to overcome his inner duality; every answer he found brought more questions.
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
Certa vez, Buddha contou uma parábola:
Um homem ao atravessar um campo deparou-se com um tigre. Fugiu, correndo com o tigre atrás dele. Quando chegou a um precipício, conseguiu agarrar-se na raiz de uma videira selvagem e ficou pendurado, a salvo. O tigre cheirava-o de cima. Tremendo, o homem olha para baixo, e vê que no fim do precipício, outro tigre esperava-o. Apenas a videira o sustinha.
Dois ratos, um branco e outro preto, que ali estavam, aos poucos roíam a raiz da videira. Naquele momento, o homem reparou num vistoso e suculento morango que estava próximo. Agarrando a videira só com uma mão, tirou com a outra o morango, e o comeu. “Hum. Que delicia!”