“Mustard Seed” Family Session 2

This story is taken from the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment workbook, “Walking the Straight Path.”

Audio Narrative of below text-

We all experience disappointment and even tragedy in our lives. At such times it is difficult not to give in to grief and become paralyzed. But have we ever thought that there was a cure for sorrow available to all of us?

Long ago in China there was a young woman who married a wealthy man’s son. She was gentle and kind and brought happiness to their home. With time, she and her husband were blessed with a son. But their joy was not to last. Soon the boy was taken ill and died. The woman was overcome with grief. From door to door she went asking her neighbors, “Is there no medicine, no magic, that will bring my son back to life?”

Seeing that she had lost her senses, they sent her to a man known for his wisdom. She asked him, “Do you have some medicine that will bring my son back to me?”

“I will need a handful of mustard seed,” was the answer.

Elated, the woman promised to bring it immediately, but then the wise man said, “The seeds must be taken from a house that has never known sorrow. I will use them to cure your grief”

The woman went off in search of the magical mustard seed. Knocking on the door of a beautiful mansion, she thought that surely she had come to the right place. The people inside said.  “Here is some mustard seed. Take it. It’s yours.”

But when asked if their home had ever known sorrow, they told her, “Please don’t remind us of our sadness.”

As she heard them recount the story of the terrible things that had recently happened to them, she was moved to tears. She asked herself, “Should not I, who have also known sorrow, stay and comfort these people?” She remained with them for a while and then began to search again. But nowhere, not in the cities or in the towns, on the mountain or on the plain, could she find a place that had not been touched by grief. And she became so busy helping others that, in the end, she forgot about her search for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that she had actually found the cure for sorrow.


Answer the questions below in complete sentences.

1. What was the cause of the woman’s grief? 
2. Why did her neighbors send her to the wise man? 
3. What did the wise man tell her to do? 
4. Where did the woman stop first in her search? 
5. What moved the woman to tears?  
6. What did she decide to do after hearing about the things that had happened to the people living in the mansion?
7. Why did she think she would be able to comfort those people?
8. What did she do next?
9. What did she find in her search?  
10. How did the woman come to forget about her search for the magical mustard seed? 
11. What is the cure for sorrow that the woman had actually found?



How can helping others assist us to overcome our own sorrow? 


“Happy the soul that shall forget his own good, and like the chosen ones of God, vie with his fellows in service to the good of all.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 115