It is said that a great saint or teacher who is highly evolved spiritually can deliberately assume the form of an animal in one or more incarnations. The scriptures and literature of India contain many stories of such incarnations. So, I hope you will appreciate the theme of this story about the reincarnation of one of India’s holy saints in the body of a mother squirrel.
This saint, who had lived as a recluse, so loved baby squirrels that he wanted to incarnate as a mother squirrel so that he could bestow his maternal affection on the helpless little ones. The story tells how this saint reincarnated as a holy mother squirrel and lived with her tiny babies on the top of a tree by the sea. Devotees soon realized that this was not an ordinary squirrel, but that the furry little body housed a great soul who had reincarnated thus to demonstrate the will of God even in the animal body. Many people learned of this unusual mother squirrel, and it is said that whosoever fed her either became prosperous, or was healed of whatever affliction he possessed.
Once when the holy squirrel had gone far away from the shore in quest of food, a storm lashed the ocean into high waves and swept away the tree with all the baby squirrels. The loving mother, on her return, discovered the dark work of the sea and commanded, “Ocean, give me back my babies or I will destroy you.”
When the ocean paid no attention to her warnings, the mother squirrel was seen, day and night for seven days, dipping her bushy tail in the water and then brushing it on the sand. Seeing this curious, determined activity, an angel of God appeared and said, “Holy mother squirrel, of all the strange things, your action of dipping your tail in the ocean and rubbing it on the sand is the strangest. Please tell me the reason for your queer activity.”
The squirrel replied, “Heavenly angel, the audacious sea swallowed my babies in my absence and paid no heed to my request to return them, so I am resolved to run the ocean dry.” The angel laughed and remonstrated, “Why, mother squirrel, in seven days more you won’t have any brush left on your tail with which to attempt to run the ocean dry!”
But the tiny mother, with the determination of eternity written on her face, replied, “A thousand million lives or more will I be born again and again as a squirrel, and I will grow as many bushy tails as are required to dry the ocean.” Saying this, the holy squirrel went on with her strange activity.
Seven days later, the brush of her tail had almost disappeared, and yet the mother squirrel had not stopped her work. In fact, her dynamic will, perfected in attunement with the divine will in former incarnations, had prepared her to continue as long as the world endured. And so the angel of God came back, and with folded hands said, “Holy squirrel, your will is law; please stop punishing the ocean and we will return your babies.” Only then did the mother squirrel rest.
Remember, dear student, if all mortal methods of seeking happiness have failed you, do not be discouraged, but rouse your slumbering, all-powerful divine determination. Then you will find that the divine laws of God are bound to give you the dream-happiness that you desire.