Is there one God for the Rich, and one for the Poor?

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On their travels, Guru Nanak and Mardana met a Muhammadan notable called Shaikh Wajid. The Shaikh alighted under a tree, and his bearers began to shampoo and fan him. This afforded matter for contemplation to Mardana, and he asked the Guru whether there was not one God for the rich and another for the poor. The Guru replied that there was only one God. Mardana then put his question in another form:

"Who created this man who rideth in a sedan of ease while the bearers have no shoes to their feet? Their legs are naked while they shampoo and fan him."

The Guru replied with the following verses:

They who performed austerities in their former lives, are now kings and receive tribute on earth.

They who were then wearied, are now shampooed by others.

The Guru continued in prose: "O Mardana, whoever is born hath come naked from his mother's womb, and joy or misery is the result of actions in previous states of existence." Upon this, Mardana fell at the Guru's feet.


  • Macauliffe, M.A (1909). The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus Sacred Writings and Authors. Low Price Publications. ISBN 8175361328.
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