I babysit my grandson Leo, who has long had a special interest in the brass bell on my meditation table. Every day we would ring it and I'd say, “Hi, Baba. Leo's here. Grandma's here.”
One day when I was struggling inside with some troubles, Leo suddenly started yelling, “Baba! Baba! Baba!” as though he’d seen Baba right there. It snapped me out of it. Later on, whenever Leo's parents and I would become negatively affected by the pandemic circumstances, he would get the brass bell off the table and come ringing it through the house—but only when negative vibes had pervaded the room.
For me, this story of Arjuna is about the battle within us during trying times. I just realized that I can see my grandson as the baby bird and Baba and I as the comforting parents. Now older, he still rings the bell—which is now in our new meditation room, blessed by energy emanating from that bell.
Massachusetts, United States
This beautiful and uplifting story comforts me, for it reminds me that even when violent acts are going on in the world, the Guru's protection is ever present. And when inner battles are going on inside of me, peace is ever present if I follow my dharma.
Dunedin, New Zealand
After reading this story, I found myself envisioning the Guru’s protection around me in the form of a bell.
I was inspired to recall the many times Guru’s grace has protected me in ways seen and unseen.
New York, United States
Reading this story reminded me of an experience with Baba Muktananda over forty years ago when he made his last visit to the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Boston. On the last day of his visit, the Siddha Yoga students of Boston gathered at the Ashram to say goodbye. Baba sat with us and spoke to us for some time. He spoke about the years to come, and said there would be many challenges. But he said we didn’t need to worry because we would always have the Guru’s protection. He told this story of the bell, and said that just as the baby bird was protected by the bell, we would be protected by Guru’s grace.
In the years since that time, I have often thought of Baba’s words and felt reassured and protected even when there were difficulties in my life and upheaval in the world. Today I am so happy to see this story on the Siddha Yoga path website so it may inspire and reassure everyone in the Siddha Yoga global sangham.
Massachusetts, United States
Reckoning with the tumult of these times has been a struggle.
This morning after reading this beautiful tale, I happened upon a story of people around the world suffering from food insecurity. Although these families are rationing food for themselves, they still give what they can to those who have even less. I began to weep as I held both of these stories in my heart. Then, as I stared quietly at the opening illustration for “The Bell,” I thought I could see the faintest outline of a swan near the tree trunk on the upper left.
All this reminded me to use my power of discrimination to nourish myself with the goodness I find in the world—and with dharma, my sacred duty and protection. I am so grateful for this understanding.
Texas, United States
This beautifully rendered story reminded me of the time at the end of the twentieth century when historically destructive windstorms devastated the forests of my country. After the storms had passed, as I was walking among the trees lying on the ground, I exclaimed, “It’s like a battlefield, once the battle is over!“
Nevertheless, what drew my attention the most was the deep silence that enveloped the country. This wonderful silence took me into the shelter of the “bell” of my heart, the abode of the Self, and my walk among the trees became an inner walk in the loving company of God.
I feel like the mother bird in this story as I have been dedicated to protecting my elderly mother during the pandemic; she is just over a hundred years old. From the start, I have felt the Guru’s protection sheltering us both, and am deeply grateful for this blessing. Our continuing awareness of the Guru's constant protection has enabled me and my mother to function during this time not with fear, but rather with mindfulness and enthusiasm.
West Vancouver, Canada
I love the synchronicities that connect my life with the Siddha Yoga teachings and path. Yesterday, my friend was feeling distressed at the end of a longtime friendship. So I was sharing with her the story from the Mahabharata of Arjuna and Lord Krishna, and how Lord Krishna was always by Arjuna's side to support him in anchoring to his dharma so he could take the right action.
I shared with her Arjuna's initial distress about taking action that would not be easy, but was in fact for the good of all. And then I found this story—with the same lesson as the one I’d shared with her—so beautifully told as “The Bell”! I can't wait to send it to my friend.
For me, this story is a very apt reminder to listen to the wisdom of my heart and take action where I can, even without knowing who or what this action might support.
South Melbourne, Australia
In an amazing synchronicity, just the day before discovering this beautiful story, I’d been contemplating the rich symbolism of bells. Not only do bells serve as a reminder for us to "wake up" from sleep or delusion to a higher awareness, but bells rung during puja invoke the deity's presence.
How amazing it was that the egg hatched just when Arjuna lifted the bell! Perhaps the baby bird intuitively knew to emerge when he gained the new possibility of being heard by his mother. Lord Krishna demonstrated God's protection not only by leading Arjuna to the bird but by having Arjuna serve as an instrument of that protection by freeing the bird from the bell.
For me, this teaching is a wake-up call. Despite the calamities pervading the world, I don't need to wonder if I’m being protected. I see my very existence, my breath, and nature’s steadfastness as emblems of divine protection. Furthermore, everyone’s ability to serve as protectors of people and creatures more vulnerable than we are is a sign to me of God’s protection.
Pennsylvania, United States
If I view the battlefield in this story as the pandemic, laying waste the lives of many, then I feel like the baby sparrow in the egg, still sheltering under the bell.
It is so inspiring to contemplate a time when we can safely flutter free. I view the mother bird as having the constancy of the Guru, who watches over and protects her students. The leaves on the branches will grow again, and the world will renew itself. This is such a tender story, full of hope.
This morning, while sitting in the garden having my cup of tea, I heard my neighbor making a clanging sound—twice. I wondered, “Is that a bell he is ringing?” When I came inside to meditate, and opened up the Siddha Yoga path website, I saw to my surprise the image of a bell!
After reading the story about Arjuna and the bell, I felt a deep sense of peace. Although I have gone through a long difficult period, I feel that the ringing bell I heard in my garden signifies the end to all that, and that everything in my life is now “hatching” and will be nurtured in its time.