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The Boy with the Cup
Rendered by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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Yesterday morning I read Gurumayi’s story “The Boy with the Cup” and contemplated it all day.

After reciting Shri Guru Gita this morning, I took my Guru‘s advice, and I placed my cup in the ocean. I dove right in. I had one of most joy-filled and deepest meditations I have ever had.

Colorado, United States

As I read this story, I felt it was describing my life. I was always pushing myself to read the scriptures and to intensify my practices, hoping to have a deep spiritual experience. But the more I did so, the more elusive that experience became. My heart was heavy. I felt lost.

Contemplating the words “Throw your cup into the water,” I realized that the cup I was holding all along was the cup of lack and expectations. I understood that focusing on these prevented me from seeing the many beautiful experiences I was blessed with.

With this understanding, I immediately felt light as a feather. I could breathe freely. And I threw my cup into the ocean of Guru’s compassion, the ocean of Guru’s love.

This meant accepting my life as it unfolds and respecting every experience as being perfect. I am resolved to keep this understanding in the forefront of my consciousness and refresh it every day.

Hosur, India

As I sat for meditation shortly after reading “The Boy with the Cup,” many thoughts were going on in my mind. Remembering the story, I perceived these thoughts as my own “tiny cup” and threw it into the vast ocean of Consciousness. I was gradually drawn into a calm and blissful state for the duration of the meditation session and for many hours after.

Such a powerful teaching story! 

California, United States

First the story made me laugh at the foolishness of human nature. And then I cried tears of joy as I felt the opening of unlimited possibilities.

Florida, United States

This morning after meditation I read this story, and it touched me deeply. For some time I have been trying to comprehend in my mind certain aspects of my sadhana, and it has not been working. After reading the story, I suddenly realized: Yes, that’s it—I have forgotten Gurumayi’s grace, which is available all the time. Instead of listening to my limited ego, I can surrender it to the vast ocean of Gurumayi’s grace again and again and see what happens.

It is such an amazing gift to have a living Master, who can change the inner state of a disciple who is ripe for it.

Berlin, Germany

After reading the story, I prayed inwardly, “How can I throw my cup into the ocean?” Immediately, I felt a yearning to meditate. After meditation I captured in my journal what I had just experienced.
I recognized the many ways the Guru had taught me to “throw my cup into the ocean”: communing with nature, giving to others, caring for my surroundings, chanting, praying, honoring a creative impulse, offering puja. I remembered a time in my life when I was in crisis and there was nowhere to turn but within. It was within myself that I reconnected with my strength and joy, and I felt the Siddhas buoying me through the storm.
“So why,” I asked, “after all these years and experiences, do I stand in front of the ocean holding a cup?!” The earnestness of my question made me laugh. Gurumayi’s loving retelling of St. Augustine’s story has lightened my heart and pulled it toward her as the moon pulls the tide.

California, United States

What stood out for me in the story was that St. Augustine offered his compassion and understanding to the boy, and through giving, Augustine received the answer to his life’s quest.
I am learning from this story that giving “empties” me and creates the space within me to be able to receive.

Brossard, Canada

This story resonated so strongly with me as I stared at all my books and lessons and workshop material that call to me from my desk: “You need more knowledge and you need to study more!” That voice always demands more, more, more! I often feel like the boy standing at the ocean, especially when I participate in a class where the teacher seems to be “so much more advanced” than I think I am.
So I realized that for me, throwing the cup into the ocean means trusting that I will absorb whatever I need for going deeper into my sadhana. Often that means to simply stop what I’m doing, go inside, and let the shakti wash over me as I meditate. I haven't thrown my cup into the ocean completely yet, but this story is a great reminder that I have a Guru who guides me and gives me all that I need for today.

Delaware, United States

This is a story that I have loved most of my life. I first heard it at school from the nuns, who described the small child as an angel. Over the years I have often identified interactions that have helped me break through into new understanding as a meeting with an angel. These angels have taken many forms.
Gurumayi’s beautiful rendition of this story has opened an entirely new dimension for me. I both shudder and laugh at how perfect the image is of me standing on the shore with my precious cup, eyeing the ocean with intent. Gurumayi’s words bring me such lightness, such a feeling of joyous freedom. “Throw your cup into the ocean!”
These words will now be with me forever.

Hampton, Australia

In the early 90s, I was fortunate enough to spend a week at Gurudev Sidha Peeth in India. Before I left, I was walking past the statue of Goddess Durga and experienced intense, beautiful, sparkling shakti everywhere. Though it was a great experience, I felt a tinge of sadness—for I was aware that I had only a very little cup to hold even the tiniest portion of that shakti.  
When I read this story, that lingering sadness disappeared because, by Gurumayi's grace, I again experienced being immersed in that beautiful, sparkling shakti. I also became aware that Shakti and grace have always been with me. All I have to do to experience this truth again is to get quiet and remember that we and everything else are That.

Oklahoma, United States

I want to thank my beloved Gurumayi for her beautiful rendering of this great story. Years ago, I too was one of those boys with an empty cup, standing at the edge of the ocean. But from the moment I first met Gurumayi, she has been teaching me that I need to throw my cup into the ocean—and has been showing me, patiently, lovingly, how to do it.

Russian Federation

Every day I need the power of my mind to do my work at the office, to drive home safely in the car, to put together the shopping list for the whole week, and so much more.

After reading Gurumayi’s rendering of the story “The Boy with the Cup,” I leaned back in my office chair and realized that I am always trying to get closer to God through the same power of my mind that I use to manage my daily life. I wondered how I could throw my cup into the ocean... And the answer that came to me was: silence.

Silence is so beautiful. Silence in the mind, silence on the outside. Silence is God. In silence I am one with the ocean.

Unterlangenegg, Switzerland

Gurumayi’s rendering of this story reminds me that searching for unity outside through my senses leads to separation whereas permanent union dwells in my own heart. I had a vivid experience of this truth a few years after I received shaktipat, the inner awakening of Kundalini Shakti.

One day back then, I went up a mountain path along a stream. While looking at the stream, I became aware of my desire to search for unity with it, and I began to feel a knot tightening in my heart. This knot reached its peak when I arrived at the foot of a waterfall. At this point, I sat down and closed my eyes. The sound of the stream and the waterfall permeated my body and I entered into a deep peace. I felt that the stream and I were one, that we were perfectly united inside.

With the understanding that this world is the manifestation of universal Consciousness, I seek again and again—through meditation—to immerse myself in the experience of profound unity with it.

Rodez, France

I relocated to the West Coast over the summer, and it has been a hard transition for me. Recently I’ve realized how much I was trying to control the outcome of things since I arrived here, by trying to make them turn out the way I felt they should.

Just a few days ago as I was letting my mind run ragged, I suddenly felt the urge to offer it up. I immediately offered pranam in front of my puja and said, “I offer this all to you, Gurumayi. I surrender it completely.”

Reading this story today was a confirmation of my experience and an acknowledgment of the vital importance of letting go of the ego.

California, United States

When I woke up this morning, I was praying and asking myself how to deal with a feeling I had of deep sadness inside. I journaled about it, then I was going to sit to meditate. But first I had the inspiration to look at the Siddha Yoga path website. This story of “The Boy with the Cup” was the answer to my prayer!

I want to thank Gurumayi with all of my heart for listening to my heart, and for her divine guidance reaching me again and again throughout my life. I thank her for showing me how to let go of my limiting cup and to merge with Love. I will now dive into the ocean of her grace in ;sweet meditation.

Nora, Sweden

This is a powerful rendering of a story I remember first reading over fifty years ago. Gurumayi's rendering gives me a way to see Saint Augustine's experience in greater depth.
One of the things that impresses me so directly about Gurumayi’s rendering is the fact that Saint Augustine receives his own deep understanding after he generously gives the young boy his heartfelt wisdom. That wisdom was within Saint Augustine all along, but the altruism and compassion he gave the boy opened him up to realize this great epiphany.
One of the teachings I draw from this is to keep stepping away from my “mental patterns,” to practice the virtues, and to listen quietly for my heart’s wisdom.
What a profound blessing to know that our Guru is guiding us to “throw your cup into the ocean. Let yourselves dissolve into Love.”

California, United States

My daughter sent me a message yesterday to say that she would phone me on her way into work this morning. I made adjustments to my morning schedule so that I would have clear time to take the call. I waited, but when the time she starts work had passed, she still hadn't called.
My mind subsequently went into its usual judgments around reliability and “She doesn't care” and so forth. Just then I read Gurumayi's rendering of “The Boy with the Cup,” and realized that it was my ego that had been impacted by my daughter’s not calling. So I threw my cup into the ocean and enjoyed some quiet moments of peace.
Just as I finished writing this share, my daughter called. 

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Even though I have heard this beautiful story several times over the years, Gurumayi’s rendition has struck such a deep chord for me. 
Ever since I was a young child, I have loved God on a pure and simple level. To read the words, "Throw your cup into the ocean. Let yourselves dissolve into Love," has somehow liberated me to let everything else go and experience God's love unconditionally.
I feel like dancing and I feel I could fly!

Vasse, Australia

Reading Gurumayi’s wonderful rendering of the tale about the boy who wanted to fill his cup with the waters of the ocean reminded me in many ways of how I sometimes go about my day. Yet the moment I remember to release myself fully into the ocean of the Guru's blissful presence, I feel completely at ease and am filled with peace and joy.

Cologne, Germany

Tonight I went out walking with a heavy heart, longing for God's love to help me do the grief work that I need to do at this point in my life. I felt I needed a sacred place to visit for a while, so I entered a big church on my street where a mass was being said. I sat quietly and listened for a while. Then, feeling somewhat restored, I left.
After returning home, I tended to a few things before settling down in bed with my computer. When I opened the Siddha Yoga path website, I was surprised and delighted to read Gurumayi's rendering of this story about Saint Augustine—for the name of the church I had just visited was Saint Augustine's!
It still amazes me how many synchronicities like this one connect the Guru with her students!

Vancouver, Canada