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Birthday Bliss

The Devoted Chipmunk

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Today, on Gurumayi’s Birthday, I had an experience that reminded me of “The Devoted Chipmunk.”
Before meditating, I waved incense to the pictures of the Gurus throughout my home. Immediately I heard the birds chirping outside on my porch. While waving the incense in my meditation room, I opened the French doors and the bird I’d heard earlier flew to a tree near the doors. I was so delighted to see her, I waved the incense to her while silently repeating the mantra.
Suddenly, she lifted her wing that was facing me, as if acknowledging the waving of the incense. I yelped in glee and spontaneously exclaimed, “Happy Birthday, Gurumayi!” The bird hopped around on the branch to face me and I felt this deep connection with her.
After meditating, I emerged with a great feeling of happiness and lightheartedness. As I reflected on my experience, I felt the Guru had bestowed her grace upon me. And I felt I must continue to make the effort necessary to be worthy of her grace and to sustain a happy state for my entire life!

San Felipe, Mexico

This moving story, for me, shows that the chipmunk recognized its natural identity, God’s presence, in the Guru. So, it spontaneously made gestures of devotion, such as greetings and offerings.
In turn, seeing such behavior from an animal reveals the presence of God in creation. By observing this mutual and simultaneous recognition, manifesting in the cycle of giving and receiving, my heart melts in adoration.

Practicing hatha yoga poses activates the prana in my body and regenerates my mind. Similarly, performing acts of worship such as placing offerings of incense and flowers on my puja enables me to remain at the Guru’s feet in the sanctuary of my heart.

Rodez, France

I was especially moved by Bhavani’s attention to the details of the chipmunk’s behavior: the reverence, the moments of arrival and departure, the position of the chipmunk, the things that the chipmunk left as offerings. When she described Gurumayi’s presence in relation to Short Tail, I was enveloped with tears of gratitude for the Guru’s grace. I pray that I may also notice the blessings of my life and infuse them with the energy of the Guru’s presence.

Washington, United States

This incredible story brings back such fond memories; it is like a wave of gratitude surging from within and spilling its sweetness through my whole being.
As it happens, one time in spring 2018 I too was at the darshan space Bhavani described when Short Tail was worshiping Gurumayi. Before Gurumayi arrived, I’d been quietly looking out at the window at the beauty of that morning. Nature seemed very lively—and the spot of nature right by the darshan space even livelier! Just when I heard Gurumayi arriving, I noticed a chipmunk running right outside the window.
As Gurumayi sat down, she looked outside and smiled a huge smile as sweet as honey. Following Gurumayi’s gaze, we saw this chipmunk sitting quietly as close as possible to the window, with his tiny hands in front of his chest in what looked like namaste. I had never seen anything like this! He was the very picture of devotion. Throughout the darshan, anytime I looked outside, I was sure to see him, looking mesmerized by Gurumayi.
I have held this image in my heart since then, as it always evokes such tenderness for me, and the recognition of how Gurumayi’s relationship with God’s creatures is boundless.

New York, United States

Whenever I have visited Shree Muktananda Ashram, I have wondered what the animals there felt, and whether they knew that they were in a sacred place and were so lucky to be able to see Gurumayi.

Now, years later, as I read these stories of the birds and animals in the Ashram, it seems that each one has had its little heart touched by the love of the Guru.

Barcelona, Spain

This story has strengthened my faith and filled my heart with devotion for the Guru.

It reminded me of another great story from the Indian epic the Ramayana, in which, to allow Lord Rama and his army to cross the ocean to rescue Sita, many strong monkeys were building a bridge by carrying huge boulders on their broad shoulders. Among them a little squirrel was running around, carrying small pebbles in its mouth which it used to fill the gaps between the boulders.

The little animal’s devotion moved Lord Rama. Admiring its devotion, Lord lovingly picked up the squirrel in his palm and passed his fingers gently over its back. Astonishingly, when the Lord had done this, three white stripes—the familiar markings on chipmunks today—appeared on the animal’s back, representing the Lord’s love and acknowledgment of its devotion.

On the Siddha Yoga path, whenever I chant Hare Rama with beloved Gurumayi, I feel that Gurumayi is an embodiment of Lord Rama.

Sydney, Australia

The story so beautifully depicted the countless interactions between the chipmunk and Gurumayi. The image was so vivid that the chipmunk’s feeling of devotion was tangible for me.

Contemplating how these animals are genuinely honoring Gurumayi is refreshing my own longing to honor her and is inspiring me to cultivate a pure heart more and more.

Rome, Italy