There was a cowherd boy who took the cows to the meadows every morning and brought them back to the cow shed in the evening.

Before he left for the night, he made sure that all the cows were properly tied to their posts. 
One evening, he found that one of the cows was missing its rope. The boy was in a fix. He couldn't leave the cow untied as she would probably run away
and get lost, and as it was already dark, it was too > late to go and buy a new rope.

The boy went to the monk sitting nearby, and sought his advice. The monk said to him, "It is nothing to worry about. Just go back to the cow, stand next to her and pretend that you are tying her. Make sure that the cow sees you doing it, and that will be enough. The cow will stay where she is.''

The boy went back to the cow shed and did as the monk had told him. He pretended that he was tying the cow to the post. When the boy returned the next
morning, he found to his amazement that the cow had remained absolutely still throughout the night.

The boy untied all the cows as usual and was about to go to the meadows, when he noticed that the cow with the missing rope was still lying down next to
the post. He tried to coax her back to the herd, but she wouldn't budge.

The boy was perplexed. He once again went to seek the monk's advice. The monk listened to the boy and smiled. ''Look, my child, he said, the cow still thinks that she is bound to the post. Yesterday when the rope was missing, you pretended that you were tying her. This morning you untied all the cows except this particular one. You thought it wasn't necessary as she wasn't actually tied up. But because of your little act last night, the cow still believes that she is tied to the post. So now you have to go back and pretend that you are setting her free.''

The boy returned to the cow and pretended to untie her. The cow immediately got up and ran off to join the herd.

The monk explained "Due to our ignorance, we believe that we are bound just like the cow, when, in fact, we are completely free. As long as there is a
feeling of bondage, we need the help of a perfect Master who can show us the way and say to us, ''Look, you are not bound at all. You are the all-powerful Atman, the Self.

Come out of the illusion and soar up through the skies of Supreme Consciousness.'' The Master pretends that he is untying the rope that binds you to the post of
worldly objects and pleasures. Once the illusion is removed, you realize that you were always in that Consciousness, that you have never, ever strayed from it.

"A perfect Master's guidance and his presence is the light that illumines your path. His presence helps you to see the self-created wall of the ego.

By understanding the illusory nature of your bondage, it can easily be removed. Your wrong understanding about your relationship with people, with the world, and the objects of the world, creates the bondage."