The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

Children's Stories

Depressed as a Peacock

My love you, my grandchildren, my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters. Let us go for a walk in the jungle.

Look at that beautiful peacock dancing like an open flower. He is performing for the peahens. His long, beautiful tail feathers fan out to a height of nearly five feet. Isn't he lovely? His feathers have only five different colors, but when the sun light falls on them, the colors seem to multiply. They glisten in a full spectrum of green, blue, turquoise, hues of fire and earth, and the deepest black. Look at all those beautiful colors!

But even though the peacock is such an exquisite bird, when he looks at his feet he feels sad and cries, "Why should my feet be so ugly? God made my body nice and plump, but He gave me skinny, black legs. Why didn't He create my legs to match the rest of me?"

My grandchildren, look how worried the peacock is about his legs! Why should he be sad about this thin layer of black skin that covers his legs? Underneath the skin his legs are not black, but the peacock does not realize this. He dances so beautifully, showing off his lovely colors, but afterwards, he hangs down his head and is depressed.

My grandchildren, God also created man in many colors and hues. Look at all the colors in his eyes, in his face, and in his skin! Look at the beautiful hair on his head. Even his fingernails are pretty. Man has so many different kinds of beauty. Listen to his voice. Listen to all the words he can speak and the sounds he can make. Look at his teeth and tongue. He is the most beautiful of all creations.

Man has five colors, just like the peacock. He contains the colors of earth, fire, water, air, and ether. Strutting like a peacock, he dances upon the world in a lovely way. But his mind is black. And just as the peacock feels sad about its legs, man becomes depressed when he looks at his mind. Although he may praise his physical beauty, he becomes depressed when he looks at the sadness, the sorrow, and the differences his mind creates.

Man must realize that he is truly beautiful. If he can dispel the blackness of the mind, he will no longer be depressed. Everything within him will be beautiful, clear, and happy. All that is wrong will have left him.

His black mind is what is wrong with him. Mind, desire, ego, anger, haste, pride, jealousy, envy, resentment, doubt, trickery, deceit, illusion, and so many other bad qualities cause this darkness. If a man can dispel these, only the beauty of God will remain. What wonder, what beauty that will be! Everyone who sees it will be truly amazed.

This really is just a small job, my grandchildren. The mind that covers your heart is just like the skin pasted onto the legs of the peacock. If you peel the skin off the peacock's legs, they will not be black anymore. And if you peel off this thin layer of the mind, you will be very beautiful. Unlike the peacock which sees only its outer beauty, you will see the beauty of God both within and without.

My love you, my grandchildren. Think about this. Peel away and discard this blackness of hell. Then you will never feel depressed again. You have to cut away these dark qualities. Then you will know peace, tranquility, equality, justice, unity, grace, compassion, and the qualities of God. Then you will have a life of freedom in this world, in the world of the soul, and in the kingdom of God. Make the effort to learn what is right and wrong, and peel away all that is wrong. That will be good. Amin. Amin. Allah must help us.

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