Guru Nanak requests a slice of poverty with His meal.
Narrated by Anand Dev Singh.

Bahavel Huk then said (to Guru Nanak), 'We thank thee for thy presence. We request that you dine with us.' The Guru remained silent. He asked again, 'Please Lord will you dine with us?' The Guru replied, 'If a holyman does not listen to another holyman  then who will he listen to? Of course I will dine with you.'

Bahavel Huk then asked, 'Since there is no difference between us  I will not hesitate to ask is there anything special that you would like us to prepare for you?' The Guru said, 'You can make anything you wish, but whatever you prepare make sure that you also place a slice of poverty on the menu. This is my special food which gives me my strength. Without this I become weak.'
Bahavel Huk could not believe what the Guru was asking for. He had never heard of such a request before. He asked, 'I have never come across such a dish. I have never seen it being sold in market place. Where shall I find it my Lord?'

The Guru was not talking about poverty in the sense of a person who is starving  or does not have any clothes or a roof over his head. The Guru was talking about being humble. He was saying that one should impoverish oneself  on the inside. One should consider oneself below others and not above them. This mental diet or conditioning  leads one to humility. One should
renounce one's own view of inner worth and look upon others as being worth more. It is not about the renunciation of life or withdrawal from the common real world.

He replied to the spokesman, 'When you go to worship and meditate how far do you go? Do you hear God's voice?' Bahavel Huk said,'Yes when I get into deep meditation I hear voices from God's  heavenly court.  They ask me what I would like.
However I never ask for anything for myself. I always ask on behalf of others.' Bahavel Huk was a good man who served others. Despite he was proud of the fact that he refused  help himself or asked  God to help him. This had the effect of making him look highly upon his own worth.

The Guru said,'When you meditate ask God for the poverty which I have need.' All his life Bahavel Huk had prayed to God and prayed to see God. As yet his inner most wish remained unfulfilled. Now he was going to pray to God and ask for something new for himself.

He began his worship in the mosque and soon was embedded in deep meditation. The voices began to talk to him. He said ,'I have never asked for anything, but today I would like something.' A voice came back, 'I always look towards my faithful servants. I always want to help them and give them what they need.  Come tell me what you want and I will be very pleased to give it to you.'

Bahavel Huk said, 'I would like some poverty or humbleness.'

The voice came back, 'No one has ever asked for this, save Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak whenever we talk always asks for the same thing. He alone has understood this gift which I can give, He isn't by any chance staying with you?' Bahavel Huk said,'Yes he is with us today.'

The voice of God said, 'Did you know that when I made the Universe I also made this gift. The Guru Nanak  recognises that this is the greatest gift of all. He has in his possession three quarters of this gift. He  has three quarters of all my power under his command.  One quarter has been left in case someone like you should have some need for it.'
Bahavel Huk suddenly jerked wide  awake from his mediation. He suddenly realised that the Guru Nanak had three quarters of
God's infinite power. All his life he wanted to see God and now three quarters of that  divine power was at his home  in the form of Guru Nanak. He rushed home from the mosque to where the Guru was and fell to his knees and then prostrated himself before the Guru clutching his feet. He begged the Guru, 'Lord you are master of the gift which you asked from me. Please lord give this poor servant a tiny portion of this gift to from dust upon which your feet rest.'

In humbling himself his Ego was washed away and new gifts or blessings settled upon Bahavel Huk giving him joy. Such is the power of being humble. To become humble is the greatest goal anyone can possibly reach. It brings with it inner joy. The only joy which can never be undone or removed. The poverty of  inner worth yields God's true riches. Humbleness brings God to one's soul and his true power shared. In such a pure state the game of life is won.

Based on the posting by Anand Singh to the Merton-L Discussion Group.

Last updated: 2001/11/06