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Freedom Parrot – Osho

A man, a great man, a fighter for freedom was traveling in the mountains. He stayed in a caravanserai for the night. He was amazed that in the caravanserai there was a beautiful parrot in a golden cage, continually repeating “Freedom! Freedom!” And it was such a place that when the parrot repeated the word “Freedom!” it would go on echoing in the valleys, in the mountains.

The man thought: “I have seen many parrots, and I have thought they must want to be free from those cages… but I have never seen such a parrot whose whole day, from the morning to the evening when he goes to sleep, is spent in calling out for freedom.” He had an idea. In the middle of the night, when the owner was fast asleep, he got up and opened the door of the cage. He whispered to the parrot, “Now get out.”

But he was very surprised that the parrot was clinging to the bars of the cage. He said to him again and again, “Have you forgotten about freedom? Just get out! The door is open and the owner is fast asleep; nobody will ever know. You just fly into the sky; the whole sky is yours.”

But the parrot was clinging so deeply, so hard, that the man said, “What is the matter? Are you mad?” He tried to take the parrot out with his own hands, but the parrot started pecking at him, and at the same time he was shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” The valleys in the night echoed and re-echoed, but the man was also stubborn; he was a freedom fighter.

He pulled the parrot out and threw him into the sky; and he was very satisfied, although his hand was hurt. The parrot had attacked him as forcefully as he could, but the man was immensely satisfied that he had made a soul free. He went to sleep.

In the morning, as the man was waking up, he heard the parrot shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” He thought perhaps the parrot must be sitting on a tree or on a rock. But when he came out, the parrot was sitting in the cage. The door was open.


5 Responses to Freedom Parrot – Osho

  1. Sanjeev

    I read the above story.. but what is the inference?
    As I understood from it, the parrot which wanted freedom, no matter how sincerely it was been helped by the man to get its freedom, still dint wanted the freedom. It was, may be, used to being a slave.
    When I just generalized the whole story. The parrot is “us”. No matter how much we crave and shout for freedom and no matter who will help us, its “we” who has to take a step and determine ourselves to get out of the slavery. Mere shouting for help and receiving it fetch us nothing until and unless “we” are determined.
    This is what I understood from it. If I am missing anything please do literate me. Hope you would correct me in this regard.

    Thank you,
    Sanjeev Kulkarni

  2. SVM Sastry

    most of us profess that we want freedom ( mukthi or liberation) we shout like parrot that we want freedom, but when some guru shows the way how you can attain real freedom, and even throws you out of sansara like the good samiritan in the story you come back and embrace to bondage but continue to shout freedom.
    ramakrishna paramahamsa similar story is there. parrot chants rama rama. when cat jumps at it, it shouts kyar kyar i.e when death catches it. By chanting rama like worn out portion of gramaphone record we do not become devotees of rama,like this parrot we shout freedom (mukthi) just to tell the world we have are great bhaktas. but do not realise what is real freedom- liberation or mukthi which is not attained by going on saying ‘ i want mukthi. i want mukthi. without leaving the mamakara ( cage in this story )


    I remember a story of the same parrots. When a man does not act according to his senses, the effect is effectively portrayed in this story of the birds. This was told by our ex.sarasanghachalak Sri.Sudarshanji. Once a hunter came, spread a net and went away. Seeing the grains many birds flew. They were caught. This repeated for a week. The head of the leader called a meeting and addressed -’Our population is dwindling day by day. So better we shall all cry at the same time the following slogans – Here comes the hunter, he has laid the net, he has sprinkled the grains, Never Go Never Go’. The next day, the hunter repeated his work. All the birds cried “As above”, but atlast flew into the nets. Spiritual meaning – We also speak, but not to act. The story of the Freedom Parrot also is the same I believe – that we only utter the word freedom, but cling only to the word but not for the real freedom. True?

  4. Venkatesh Murthy

    Dear Sanjeev,
    Your inference is right. Often we think that the world is binding us. But in reality, we are the one holding on to the worldly things. Once we let go, world is no more binding and we can be free and happy.


  5. Almitra

    What if the parrot was already free? Sometimes we are so desperate to so-called free others that we ourselves are caged-in to an idea of freedom. We even attempt to martyr ourselves to this idea. Once the cage was open and he whispered in his ear he was complete. Being a slave to his idea of freedom he started to force the parrot to do what he himself could not. Be free as he chooses. The parrot is clear what his purpose in life is.

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