Guru Nanak & The Doctor

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Do you remember your visits to the doctor? There's nothing unusual to remember you'll say. However in this story things were different. For one thing the doctors in those times didn't have stethoscopes. They would measure the heartbeats with their hands. They could even tell what food the patient had eaten. Guru Nanak ji stopped taking lessons from his teacher Maulvi Kutubdin at a young age. He started meeting saints and hermits. When the saints and hermits were busy; he would stay at home and keep to himself. If anybody came to the house, he would behave as if they had just met. He use to forget to eat his meals. His strange behavior, worried his parents.

Seeing Guru Nanak grow thinner from not eating, people would say, "Money is dear to Mehta Kalu (father) than his son. He is saving money and not giving his only son proper treatment."

Hearing the people talk like this, Mehta Kalu called Haridas, the village doctor, to treat Guru Nanak his son.

When Haridas arrived, he held Guru ji’s wrist to feel the pulse. Young Guru Nanak pulled away his arm " why do you hold my arm?" He asked. The doctor explained "I'm trying to take your pulse so that I can find out what is wrong with you. Then I can give you medicine to feel better."

Guru Nanak replied " Doctor, my body is not sick. My mind is sick. A wise doctor sees the sickness and then heals it. Then the body and mind are both free from sickness. I suggest you cure your own sickness before trying to cure mine."

Upon hearing this, the doctor was upset. He asked "Nanak, which illness do I suffer from? I am quite hale and hearty. "

Guru ji replied, "You are sick with the serious disease of birth and death. This cycle of birth and death cannot be cured by your medicines. Only the doctor who does not suffer from this sickness can give medicine to cure it. That doctor, who is neither born nor dies. You are not that doctor."

Doctor Haridas knew only to cure a sick body, not the mind. However he understood what Guru Nanak had said. He took leave of Mehta Kalu saying, "Nanak has no physical ailment. He is immersed in the love of God. So stop worrying about your son. He does not need any medicine from a doctor."