The Guru decided to set their camp outside the city. He sat on a green, grassy spot near the river Ravi.
Sitting at this tranquil spot, the Guru fixed his thoughts on God and meditated for a little while. Bhai Mardana began singing the Guru’s sacred songs or hymns called Shabads.
At times, the Guru himself would join in and begin to sing them as well.
Soon, people who heard these simple but very heart rendering melodies began to gather around the Guru and Bhai Mardana. Folks everywhere loved to hear these sacred songs.
They also liked to hear the Guru’s talks about life and the importance of meditation or Simran.
Guru meets Duni Chand
One day, during such a melodious recitals, a rich man of Lahore came to the Guru. He asked the Guru to go with him to his house.
The Guru said, "I am all right here. I am not really fond of grand houses. Moreover, my visit to your house might cause you inconvenience and unnecessary trouble."
But Duni Chand was insistent and continued to repeat his request, again and again. The Guru agreed, at last, to go with him to his house. On reaching there, the Guru saw a number of large prominent flags flying on Duni Chand’s house. He smiled on seeing the flags.
Duni Chand took the Guru and his companion inside the house. He gave them a huge selection of food to eat. He gave them cool water and other juices to drink. Then he sat near the Guru, with folded hands.
After a time, the Guru said, "A number of flags are flying on the roof of your house. What are these for? What do they mean?’
Significance of the flags
Duni Chand, with pride replied, "They are to show how much wealth I have. Every flag represents ten million rupees (one crore is ten millions). The seven flags show that I have the accumulated wealth of seventy million rupees."
The Guru said, "Then you are a very rich man. You must be very happy and contended with yourself?"
Duni Chand replied, "Holy Sir, I cannot lie to you. There are some people who are much richer than I am. This makes me sad and I desire to have more wealth. I would like to be the richest man in the city. I cannot feel completely happy and satisfied until my desire is fulfilled."
The Guru said, "But aren't the people who are richer than you also trying to become even more richer? It seems that there is a race between you and them to become the richest in this city. "
"Perhaps, you may not be able to beat them in this race for the most wealth. In that case you may never be happy. Have you ever thought of that?"
Duni Chand explains his life's mission...
Duni Chand said, "Holy Sir, I have no time to think such thoughts. I just work day and night to gather more and more wealth"
Guru Nanak smiled and said, "Will you have time to do a small thing for me?"
Duni Chand replied, "Most gladly, holy Sir. What can I do for you?"
The Guru took out a needle, and said, "Please keep this safely with you. Give it to me, when I ask for it, in the next world."
Dunj Chand took the needle from the Guru. Later, he took this needle to his wife. He gave it to her and said, "The holy man wants us to keep the needle for him. He will take it back from us in the next world."
She said, "Are you mad? How can a needle go to the next world? How can we carry it with us to there? Go back, and return it to the holy man."
Duni Chand went back to the Guru and said, "Holy Sir, please take back your needle. We cannot take this to the next world. We cannot carry it there. That is not possible"
The Guru smiled and said, "Duni Chand, this needle is small and light. You say that it cannot go with you to the next world. How can the seventy million rupees go there with you? What good will this wealth do to you there?"
Duni Chand's mind is awaked!
Duni Chand realised the futility of wealth and fell at the Guru’s feet and said, "Please Guru Ji, tell me how my wealth may go with me to the next world."
The Guru said, "Give it to the poor in the name of God. Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Help the needy. What you spend your honestly earned wealth on righteous things, then it will go with you to the next world. Otherwise, it will be plundered here by others."
Duni Chand realised the truth in the Guru's message and accepted this advice. He established many institutions in Lahore and spent all his wealth to serve the needy and the poor of the city.
The Guru explained to him his golden rules of life. Duni Chand became the Guru’s Sikh. He began to live and act as advised by the Guru and followed the true message of God.
- See also Guru Nanak and Duni Chand
- This article with thanks to realsikhism.com and book
- Stories from Sikh History Book 1, Hemkunt Press, A-78 Naraina Ind. Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110028