NANAK AS THE CAREFREE SHEPHERD Guru Nanak did not take much interest in worldly affairs and was a man of few words. Seldom did He speak uselessly or indulge in frivolous chatter. Observing His detachment, His father was worried for His future and always tried to indulge Him in some activity to divulge His interest away from devotion and God, and make Him business minded or work oriented. With such an intention, He was handed the responsibility of looking after the grazing cattle. He loved the solitude of the afternoon and utilised this time in divine contemplation. Once it so happened, that some of His cows entered the fields of a ready crop and had a feast. The angry field owner launched a complaint to the village owner Rai Bular, urging him to have a look at his destroyed crop and get him compensated for the same. When Rai Bular came to the fields, they were lusher and greener than ever. The field owner looked with disbelief. The crop which earlier looked like the victim of a major storm now stood silently still, and any sign of any animal having broken into the field was nowhere to be found. The field owner remarked, “Mehta Ji’s son is a miraculous person and God has worked this miracle for Him.’ Rai Bular walked away thinking about the incredulous event.

SNAKE PROVIDES SHADE TO GURU NANAK On a hot summer afternoon Guru Nanak retired in the cool of a tree’s shade and fell asleep. As time passed, the sun moved taking the shade in a different direction, exposing His face to the scorching heat of a simmering summer afternoon Sun. A snake who happened to notice it, stopped by. It spread its hood over His face keeping the sun at bay. Incidentally Rai Bular, the village owner, happened to pass by in a tonga (Horse Cart). He ordered his men to stop the carriage and rushed to save Nanak, who he thought had been bitten by the snake. He could not believe his eyes when he saw the deadliest of reptiles, sitting in such close proximity to Guru Nanak, to provide Him shade. The snake whiskered away as he went close without causing any harm. Rai Bular was now convinced that Guru Nanak was an incarnation of God.


Guru Nanak’s father was very skeptical of His future and tried his best to get Him initiated into business. He gave Him twenty rupees to buy some merchandise which could be sold for a handsome profit. He asked Him to make a fair, a just and an ideal deal. Guru Nanak set off to a neighbouring village to make an honest deal. On the way, He encountered a group of Saints, who had not consumed a morsel of food for several days. He thought to Himself, that no deal in this world could be more profitable than serving the hungry. So He spent all His money to buy food and clothing for them and went home empty handed, yet satisfied and with a content soul. When His father came to know of the proceedings, he was so enraged that he did what he had never done previously in his life. He slapped Him for committing what he considered, a grave mistake. He was about to deliver another when sister Nanki requested her father to stop. When Rai Bular came to know that Mehta Kaloo Ji had slapped Nanak, He was very disappointed and rushed to see him. Rai Bular believed that He was a messenger of God. He could not tolerate anyone punishing or troubling his God. He requested Mehta Ji to forgive Him for anything He did and offered to pay for all material losses incurred due to any of His mistakes, on the condition that He be never scolded.


Guru Nanak’s sister was married to Jai Ram, a revenue officer under Daulat Khan, the Nawab of Sultanpur. He managed to get Him appointed as the incharge of Nawab’s provisional store. He worked in this job position for more than eleven years, but all through He remained absorbed in the colour of God. He was involved yet detached. He thus taught the world that you can work and remember God at the same time. He did not recommend taking recluse from normal life and to give up one’s responsibilities to chant God’s Name. He was a unique Saint who believed that family life and spiritual elevation could go hand in hand. As He counted the items while selling, sometimes He got stuck on thirteen. Thirteen, in punjabi, means ‘Tera’ or yours. He went on chanting ‘Tera’ endlessly, implying “All is thine God ! You give us everything” and floodgates of provisions would open up for the poor and the needy. He would keep distributing the provisions but the stocks never seemed to finish. The onlookers would complain to the Nawab that He was giving away a large portion of the stock for free. However, whenever accounting was done, surplus stocks were found. Little did they realise that He was the source of everything, and how could His stocks ever fall short. All accounting was in vain and the ashamed people slowly realised that it was futile to complain.

DISAPPEARANCE INTO VAI RIVER Nanak was twenty eight years old when He went mysteriously missing for about three days. There were rumours that He had drowned in the Vai river while taking a bath, carried away by its strong current. His sister Nanaki, however, was sure that the saviour of the world could not drown; and she was proved correct when three days hence Nanak returned. It is believed that Guru Nanak had disappeared into the heavenly abodes and returned with celestial powers. Soon after He announced to the world, “There is no Hindu or Muslim ! Everyone is a child of God.” He was now ‘Guru’ Nanak. Nawab Daulat Khan’s royal Priest however was very skeptical of Guru Nanak. He wanted Him to prove that He really believed in His words by accompanying them to the mosque and reciting the Nawaaz. Guru Nanak was born in a Hindu family and thus believed to be a Hindu by some people. He accompanied them to the mosque. While the Nawaab and his Qaazi (the Priest) recited the prayer, He stayed quiet. The Qaazi, for a while, thought that he had won the battle as He did not say the Nawaaz. He asked Nanak, “Why didn’t You say the prayer ?” Nanak replied, “What was the use of saying your prayer, when your mind was concentrated on and still thinking of the colt delivered by the mare back home.” The Qaazi was stunned, as the most intricate of the thoughts in his mind while saying the Nawaaz, had not only been read, but revealed in front of the Nawaab. The mare (female horse) back home had delivered a baby horse that day. The Qaazi had been thinking of it all through the Nawaaz. He stood trembling and ashamed of challenging the integrity of someone so pure and powerful. Nanak emphasized, “The form of prayer and the rituals are not important. It is essential though that one’s thoughts are concentrated on the divine when offering his prayers.” A few days, hence Nanak started on the real mission of His life, spreading His message by travelling across the world. His journeys are called ‘Udaasees’ and He made five major journeys in His earthly sojourn.

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