Mahatma Guru Nanak…

Nowadays, if the children ask any questions about the aspect of Brahma, the parents will curb such curiosity by saying that they should not waste their time. They are told to think of such things only after getting old. Today, many people who are preaching the aspect of Brahman will go nowhere because they are subservient to the worldly desires. There is a small story here. On the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti today, a Guru Nanak story from Bhagawan.

Nanak was propagating sacred ideas of God and even the Muslims were attracted by his teachings. It appeared as if the teachings of Nanak were acceptable to all religions. He was one who was clearly indicating the path that one should adopt. After some time, some religious leaders started worrying that all the Muslims may take to Nanak’s religion.

They carried complaints to King Akbar and created tales about Nanak which would influence the King against Nanak. They wanted Akbar to punish Nanak. Akbar however had a very steady mind and a great respect for all religions. Even though the religious leaders complained about Nanak, he did not believe them.

Akbar decided that he should talk to Nanak directly and assess the situation. He sent for Nanak, but Nanak would not come to meet kings who rule over the material world. He said that he would go only to devotees. He said that he is a free person moving in God’s Kingdom and would not come to meet Akbar.

Such a reply further excited the religious leaders. They were planning and inquiring further to trouble Nanak. However, Akbar sent word to Nanak, again telling him that the next day there would be prayers in honour of God at the mosque and requested that Nanak attend the prayers. He also sent a palanquin to carry Nanak.

However, Nanak thought it very arrogant to go to God’s abode in a palanquin and walked to the mosque. Much before others came there, he unobtrusively sat in a corner. The religious leaders began to recite prayers; and as soon as this started, Nanak laughed very loudly. All those assembled there felt very angry. Nanak was laughing so loudly that people were not even able to hear the prayers.

After some time, Akbar began to pray and Nanak laughed even more loudly. All others who were assembled there felt angry that he was humiliating even Akbar. After that, Akbar went and asked Nanak softly why he had laughed, when the prayers were being recited. Nanak said, “Although the priest was reciting prayers, his thoughts were in his home where the child was having fever. The priest’s mind was directed towards his home. If the mind says one thing and he does something else, he cannot be a religious leader. This is not helpful at all.”

Akbar went and asked the priest if, in truth, his mind was thinking of his son when he was saying the prayers. The priest confirmed that as the child was suffering from high fever, he was thinking of his son even while reciting the prayers. Akbar then asked Nanak why his laughter continued even when he started to pray. Nanak then said, “Surely you know why I laughed. Before you came here, several horses were sent to you by the king of Panchala, and you have a great liking towards horses. Although you were praying here, your thoughts were on the horses. Is this not true?”

After Nanak gave this answer about his laughter, Akbar helped Nanak spread his religion and gave him all support. In the prayers, that we undertake, we go on striking at the mosquitoes soon after we start the prayer. Because religious leaders like Nanak of earlier days had the power to concentrate, they were called Mahatmas. Their thought, word and deed were totally united.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II