Guru Nanak and the Brahman

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One day a fanatical Brahman came to Satguru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj and begged for alms. Guru Ji, who was at his break fast, invited the Brahman to join him.

The Brahman replied that he would not eat food in that way. He would only eat what he had cooked himself. He would first dig up the earth to a depth of a cubit so that all impurity of the surface might be removed, and he would also make a cooking square into which none but himself might enter. He would then dig a span deeper, and make a fireplace on which he would put firewood which he had washed.

Guru Sahib had not attended to these formalities, and the Brahman spurned food otherwise cooked. Guru Ji told him he would give him uncooked viands which he might cook himself.

He then went outside and began to dig up the earth, but wherever he dug he only turned up bones, which he deemed a still greater abomination than Guru Sahib's food. He continued digging all day, but with the same result. At last, overcome by hunger, he went and threw himself at Satguru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji's feet, and asked for the cooked food he had previously rejected. Guru Ji was pleased to gratify him, and then composed the following

This Shabad is by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Raag Basant on Pannaa 1168

QUOTE bsMqu mhlw 1 ]

basa(n)th mehalaa 1 ||

Basant, First Mehl:

suieny kw caukw kMcn kuAwr ]

sueinae kaa choukaa ka(n)chan kuaar ||

The kitchen is golden, and the cooking pots are golden.

rupy kIAw kwrw bhuqu ibsQwru ]

rupae keeaa kaaraa bahuth bisathhaar ||

The lines marking the cooking square are silver.

gMgw kw audku krMqy kI Awig ]

ga(n)gaa kaa oudhak kara(n)thae kee aag ||

The water is from the Ganges, and the firewood is sanctified.

gruVw Kwxw duD isau gwif ]1]

garurraa khaanaa dhudhh sio gaadd ||1||

The food is soft rice, cooked in milk. ||1||

ry mn lyKY kbhU n pwie ]

rae man laekhai kabehoo n paae ||

O my mind, these things are worthless,

jwim n BIjY swc nwie ]1] rhwau ]

jaam n bheejai saach naae ||1|| rehaao ||

if you are not drenched with the True Name. ||1||Pause||

ds AT lIKy hovih pwis ]

dhas at(h) leekhae hovehi paas ||

One may have the eighteen Puraanas written in his own hand;

cwry byd muKwgr pwiT ]

chaarae baedh mukhaagar paat(h) ||

he may recite the four Vedas by heart,

purbI nwvY vrnW kI dwiq ]

purabee naavai varanaa(n) kee dhaath ||

and take ritual baths at holy festivals and give charitable donations;

vrq nym kry idn rwiq ]2]

varath naem karae dhin raath ||2||

he may observe the ritual fasts, and perform religious ceremonies day and night. ||2||

kwjI mulW hovih syK ]

kaajee mulaa(n) hovehi saekh ||

He may be a Qazi, a Mullah or a Shaykh,

jogI jMgm Bgvy ByK ]

jogee ja(n)gam bhagavae bhaekh ||

a Yogi or a wandering hermit wearing saffron-colored robes;

ko igrhI krmw kI sMiD ]

ko girehee karamaa kee sa(n)dhh ||

he may be a householder, working at his job;

ibnu bUJy sB KVIAis bMiD ]3]

bin boojhae sabh kharreeas ba(n)dhh ||3||

but without understanding the essence of devotional worship, all people are eventually bound and gagged, and driven along by the Messenger of Death. ||3||

jyqy jIA ilKI isir kwr ]

jaethae jeea likhee sir kaar ||

Each person's karma is written on his forehead.

krxI aupir hovig swr ]

karanee oupar hovag saar ||

According to their deeds, they shall be judged.

hukmu krih mUrK gwvwr ]

hukam karehi moorakh gaavaar ||

Only the foolish and the ignorant issue commands.

nwnk swcy ky isPiq BMfwr ]4]3]

naanak saachae kae sifath bha(n)ddaar ||4||3||

O Nanak, the treasure of praise belongs to the True Lord alone. ||4||3||