The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

Children's Stories

Baby Crabs

My love you, my grandchildren, my daughters and sons, my brothers and sisters. May God protect our hearts, our lives, our certitude, our faith, our determination, our wisdom, and all His qualities within us.

Come, let us walk along the banks of the rice paddies and watch the crabs in the irrigation canals. Ooooh, look at that crab. Is it dead? It's not moving. Its eyes are open, yet it seems to be dead. Let's pick it up and see.

Oh! You can flip open the shell just like the hood of a car. Look at all the little babies inside. The mother used to live in this shell, but the babies have eaten her. Even though they were formed within the mother, they ate her. And look how happy the children are now!

My grandchildren, we too are like this. Our attachments, our blood ties, our possessions, our property, all that we love, all that we desire, and all the relationships which bring us pleasure are like the baby crabs. When these relationships establish a connection in our hearts and minds and grow within us, what happens? They hatch and then devour our truth and wisdom, our justice and integrity, our tran quility, our compassion, our unity, our conscience, and the qualities of God. They eat away at our very life, nibbling from within until we can no longer move. Then the ants, rats, foxes, dogs, and cats eat what is left over. We must think about this.

My grandchildren, have you noticed this? At first our children and our money seem to make us happy, but that happiness itself even tually consumes and destroys us. Like that, if we are attached to lust, hatred, mind, and desire, they will eat away at our souls, our wisdom, our truth, and our goodness. Our lives are devoured by these attach ments. We must recognize the difference between a wrong attachment and a right attachment, and then nourish only the relationships that will neither cause us pain nor destroy us.

The only right relationship is to God and His qualities, to the subtlety of wisdom, to peace, tolerance, truth, justice, integrity, tran quility, patience and contentment. We must form this relationship, trusting in God and giving all praise to Him. Such a relationship will nourish us without causing any pain. All other attachments are to the world, like the relationship between the baby crabs and the mother.

We have to think about this. Which relationship will help us? Which attachment will kill us? We have to know what is right and what is wrong in our lives. If we know what is right and follow it, that relationship with goodness will protect us in all three worlds. But if we establish a close relationship with those crabs, they will gobble us up.

My love you, my grandchildren. Please understand this. Nourish and love those things which can protect you. Nourish and love truth, faith, certitude, and determination. That will be good. Then you will escape from the baby crabs. May God protect you and establish for you a good relationship with Him. Amin.

- M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Come to the Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom