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I have always loved this story. This rendition made me laugh and laugh this morning as I read it. It was just perfect for what I needed today. I really enjoyed the beautiful illustrations as well. I am grateful for this moment of light-hearted grace.
California, United States
During this time of the pandemic, our home has sometimes felt like it was filled with noisy farm animals, and I, too, have wanted to run and scream!
This story teaches me that when things get intense and seem overwhelming, I must remember that being stretched and challenged can help me grow more patient, more tolerant, more flexible, more creative, less demanding, and ultimately, more appreciative and grateful for the many blessings in my beautiful life. The story also teaches me that by trusting the wisdom and guidance of the Guru—even if I do not fully understand it at first—I will be brought ever closer to the light of the Self.
Connecticut, United States
As I read the description of the field, I remembered a countryside environment I’d experienced and the serene, calm quietude I relished there. I reconnected with that lovely experience through joyful memories, and soon realized that this calm place had always been accessible, even when I didn’t remember it existed.
After I read the story a few times, I began to see Sumati’s state as a representation of my own mind. I saw how my mind becomes restless when it’s filled with thoughts, including work concerns, for example. At those times, I long for my own quiet space.
Reflecting on Gayatri amma’s brilliant strategy, I applied it during meditation. I allowed my thoughts about people and situations to come to me and then to go, to dissolve. I found myself in a deeply serene state. I realized that this experience of serenity is available, nearby, like the tranquil field I know. I felt empowered to accommodate people and situations in my field of awareness by cultivating my joyful, peaceful inner state.
The image of Sumati letting the animals out of her house has stayed with me. It makes me smile and reminds me to let the distractions, thoughts, and worries out of the house of my mind on a regular basis. I know I can watch this inner menagerie go! And then I will remember to turn around, look inside, and relish the space and the peace that were there all along.
Sumati’s struggle with her husband’s cousin brought to mind several incidents during my sadhana
when I was fiercely struggling to overcome an overwhelming emotional moment. Each time, I went inside and prayed to Gurumayi to relieve me from my painful feelings—and each time I heard Gurumayi’s response that my feelings would get worse! Nevertheless, like Sumati, I trusted and accepted the guidance, and stayed the course.
Each time, into my mind came the equivalent of the chickens, the goats, and the dogs until I felt I’d come to a breaking point, just like Sumati. And each time, instead of breaking, when I opened up inside to listen for further guidance, Gurumayi’s grace bestowed on me a remarkable teaching I absolutely needed to hear and absorb. I gratefully surrendered to the “Aha!” moment. The result? My heartfelt understanding of the teaching immediately took me to a place of profound, uplifting peace.
I’m ever grateful for Gurumayi’s inner and outer guidance, and for her teachings and compassion, which can manifest in the most surprising ways.
Oregon, United States
Reading this story, I could taste the steaming chai and see the morning light in the fields of rural India. I could hear the kathump
of Sandhya’s footfall, and the squawking, braying, and barking of the succession of farmyard animals taking up residence in the house. While such a riotous scene seems far from my daily landscape, I recognized the territory of Sumati’s mind as very, very familiar!
I live in a spacious house, and yet how “crowded” my experience can be sometimes—a succession of thoughts, a procession of one thing after another, taking up mental space and seemingly preventing me from experiencing peace. And yet, as in the story where the only thing that changes is Sumati’s perception, it is my perception that determines my experience.
This story was like a fresh breeze blowing through my mind! I feel inspired to renew my commitment to studying Gurumayi’s Message. This is the company I want to seek for my mind so that I too can perceive with clear vision—and inner peace.
What a perfect parable to honor the Guru's saving grace during this month of the Guru! It reminds me of how often the Guru's teachings simply recall us to using our common sense to deal with the perplexities of daily life. Gayatri amma so patiently and wisely leads Sumati back to the ever-present atma ki prashanti
—the “peacefulness of the Self” within—that dissolves all problems.
California, United States