Baba emphasized to the boys, “Every thing is in God, but the help of the Sadguru is needed in order to know and experience God.” To illustrate this, Meher Baba narrated the following story:
Once in the jungle, a tigress died after giving birth to a cub. The cub remained hungry, without food or water for days. A shepherd found it and took pity on it. He reared it among his sheep. The cub grew up thinking it was a sheep. He did not know that he was a tiger.
One day, a grown-up tiger saw the cub playing among the flock and was surprised. He went to the cub and did his utmost to persuade it that it was a tiger and not a sheep. But the young tiger would not believe him. So the tiger took him to a pool of water and made him look at his own reflection there. The young tiger was astonished and at last was convinced of his true identity. He forgot the notion of his being a lamb and passed the rest of his days among tigers.
In this story, the sheep represent worldly people who are ignorant of the Truth. The flock of sheep represents the general public. The tiger cub is an ignorant man; the full grown tiger is the Sadguru; the pool of water symbolizes the path; and recognizing the reflection is attaining God-Realization.
Although the tiger cub was a tiger, out of ignorance, it took itself to be a sheep. And as long as the other tiger did not show it its reflection in the pool of water, this misconception continued. In the same way, though man is potentially God, being quite ignorant of his Real Self, he thinks himself to be only a man and passes through cycles of births and deaths. He continues wallowing in ignorance until the Sadguru makes him see his own true image.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 3, p. 1128.