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The Shopkeepers and the Accountant

Stories on Gurumayi’s Message for 2019

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This story showed me that when we practice our dharma and live in the present moment, connected to the heart, the mind stays steadfast and experiences joy and peace; things happen seamlessly.  However, when doubt or imagined shortcomings creep in, we allow ourselves to be drawn to a place of negativity that erodes all joy.
I love this story! Although it has taken me months to understand it, I am so grateful for this knowledge.

Versoix, Switzerland

Recently my mind has been "the accountant," and I have found myself repeating the mantra to dispel negativity and doubt.  "You didn't answer that question well," Om Namah Shivaya. "You should have thought to include...," Om Namah Shivaya.

The mantra allows me to step back and allow for grace to fill the cavern of self-doubt.  It gives me the opportunity to be Frieda, the wife, to my mind. 

Missouri, United States

What a wonderful story to illustrate the workings of the mind. It shows that happiness and well-being can be shattered by a single thought. What this story also demonstrates for me is that our perspective can become a positive one through contemplation and reflection or through the words of a wise being. 

Massachusetts, United States

After reading this story, I noticed that I had seen everything in the story very clearly in my mind’s eye: the customers, the produce on the shelves, the shopkeeper, and his wife. Light illuminated the whole scene.

On further reflection, I realized that the stream of words seemed to be the vehicle that carried the light from its source within, through my mind, where it brought the scene to life and generated understanding.

I felt the light was my own light since I experienced it within my own Self.

London, United Kingdom

Love doesn’t need to be measured or counted!

This accountant is a perfect spoilsport; he is what we call in France, “The paving stone in the pond.” For me, the story shows that love always has the last word. With love, Frieda put in the scale of her husband’s mind a weight of positive words, and the negative words of the accountant became insignificant.

Rodez, France

I, too, love this story. For me it is a powerful reminder of what happens when I let others determine my worth. It reinforces my understanding that I need to be responsible for keeping track of my own value. 

Utah, United States

I love this story. It inspired me to pause and ask what teaching it held for me. I realized it felt like a great example of my own mind—of the ways I can be distracted and forget, when everything is going well, that I have all I need. I understood that the shopkeeper’s wife had a pure mind and saw exactly what the problem was—her husband forgetting exactly what I forget!
I saw that when I stay connected to my Self, then I am happy, and I can trust this happiness regardless of what others say or do.

Washington, United States

When I read and contemplated this story, it became very clear to me that I must continue the practices that bring me—and help me maintain—the experience and bliss of the Self.

Bangalore, India

This story touches me so deeply. I remember feeling very confident about my finances. I always had enough for dakshina and living expenses. Then I had a professional review my expenses, and he said I didn't have enough to live on. It was perplexing, because I had been doing fine. I started accounting for every penny, possibly seeing a little improvement in some areas, but not in my well-being. Every day, I felt as if I was shrinking as I watched every penny coming and going. Eventually, I returned to my "old ways" and felt expanded again. I realized what had changed was the "accountant."

Pennsylvania, United States

I enjoyed listening to the story and admired the beauty of the narrative. For me, it was like watching a movie of all the details in the story. I even felt all the emotions! At the end, I was drawn to reflect on the nature of the mind and its tricks. I am so grateful for this study tool!

Gurudev Siddha Peeth, India

Thank you for such a wonderful story. I chuckled to myself when I came to the last page and read "The accountant!" because I was trained as an accountant! My formal training has never dictated my thinking, choices, and decisions alone, as I have always tried to incorporate Gurumayi's teachings in my work, albeit in a subtle, simple, and quietly transformative way.

The story also reminded me of what I understand about numbers. In my experience, numbers can certainly reveal a picture of reality, but it is never a complete picture. Numbers can also obscure, and that's when I need to refine my subtle vision. To me, numbers measure out, divide, and separate what is whole so that my mind and senses get a semblance of the bigger picture. But to get the full picture I need something greater—grace!

Melbourne, Australia

I love this sweet story and lovely message. For me, it is about cultivating faith and trust in what is lovingly unfolding in my life rather than listening to negative, fearful thoughts.

Washington, United States

I was naturally drawn into silence after hearing this beautifully narrated story. Then I wrote these reflections in my journal: The shopkeeper forgot he was presently happy. He thought about future worries, which made him sad. The accountant has his opinion, but the shopkeeper has his own definition of profitability, happiness, and satisfaction. For me, the learning is that there is no end to greed, and I need to stop at some point and remember what it is that brings me contentment.

Pune, India

What really touched me from this story is how Frieda compassionately helps her husband to recognize and trust that their shop and their efforts are enough to live a good life, instead of letting him lose sight of this and become anguished by someone's opinion.

The narrative is so inviting and beautifully read. I experienced my imagination expanding and diving deep into the story.

New York, United States

What a wonderful teaching. The story is so amusing and full of wise counsel. Stepping back to take in the whole panorama allows Frieda to see the uncluttered truth.

Collingwood, Canada

I love this story! I see it as an allegory for the modern mentality, badgering society into constantly changing and upgrading. The old ways of warmth and kindness are disrespected.
The accountant is heartless, refusing a friendly cup of tea, diminishing the good energy of the little shop with his foreboding predictions. Fortunately, wisdom speaks through the wife, allowing the precious dharma to live on, to let things be the way they are!
Long live the lovely wooden shops in the Alps; I have such fond memories of them from my childhood! 

Paris, France