Sri Ramakrishna used the analogy of the mythical Homa Bird to explain the intense renunciation of certain special class of people. According to him, the Veda mentions about the Homa Bird. This bird lives quite high in the sky and at that height the mother bird lays her egg. Because of the height the egg keeps falling for many days. While falling, it is hatched and the chick continues to fall. While this goes on for many days, in the meantime the chick opens its eyes and coming near the earth it becomes aware of the world. It realizes about the impending death if it hits the ground. Then it gives a shrill cry and shoots up towards its mother. It keeps going in the upward direction and does not look behind.
Explaining this story, Sri Ramakrishna used to say that rare individuals who are born with God-consciousness realize the danger of coming into contact with the world. From their very childhood they are extremely apprehensive and afraid of the world and their one thought is how to reach the goal of life i.e. to realize God. They never get enmeshed in the world. Very early in life they exhibit signs of extraordinary dispassion and detachment.
Sri Ramakrishna used to categorize some of his disciples such as Narendranath who later became the world famous Swami Vivekananda in the category of Homa Bird. Although born in a wealthy family and gifted with many qualities including physical beauty, Narendranath had no attraction for the world. Even while he was in his teens, he was deeply possessed by the idea of the existence of God. It is this search which led him to Sri Ramakrishna and his transformation as Swami Vivekananda.
With best wishes,
Ramakrishna Ashram Marg,
New Delhi, Delhi 110055, India