Guru Nanak whilst on his many travels with his companion Mardana was
walking through the depths of a dark jungle.
Mardana was tired and asked his Guru,'Lord we have been marching through these wilds for many days. Do you not think that it is time to return to the civilised surroundings of a town or village where we may sleep in a bed with soft pillows?' Guru Nanak smiled at Mardana and said,'Even jungles can be more civilised than town and villages if the name of God is recited and remembered with all your heart.'
After showing Mardana the inner realities of the jungle and the inner
gifts that lie there it was now the turn of the towns and villages and
to reveal what lay there. Their journey took them to a small town. Mardana
felt relief at having at last left the jungle and at having come back to
some civilisation. However he soon realised that they had come to a wild
town where the locals
were cruel and without humanity. Their only creed was to be selfish. People were being robbed, beaten up and left for dead.
The Guru having completed his morning worship, something which he never
let slip, carried on his way in the jungle once more.
However they were soon spotted and surrounded by the men from the town. The men carried axes, swords and other sharps looking weapons. They shouted, 'Stop or we will kill you slowly and with great torture!'
The Guru and Mardana stopped as they were told to do. The Guru replied to them, 'If you must kill us then I give you my permission to do so. However I have just one small request before you kill us.' The men replied,'We kill first and then rob our victims. We do not discuss what we do with those we kill!'
The Guru said,'Surely You do not wish to be caught? Is it not better
for you to dispose of our bodies with fire? We do not mind dying but at
least you should make sure that we are properly cremated so that our bodies
are not left to sprawl and rot.'
The men could not believe their ears. Usually their victims would plead for their lives and yet these men gave them some good advice. Some of the men thought about the Guru's request and agreed with it. They said,'They are right why should be leave behind their bodies forcing the police to come after us. It is better that the bodies be burnt and all the evidence mixed into the Earth or blown away.' Another man interrupted,'This is a jungle where are we going to get a flame?' No sooner had he said this than the Guru pointed with his long finger in the direction of a fire that was burning in the distance.
Some of the men stayed to guard their captives while some ran towards
the fire. The men who departed soon came to the fire.
It was a funeral pyre. The corpse was still burning. Sat nearby was a woman who prayed and grieved for the dead man. The men also saw something else to which the woman was totally oblivious. They saw some very strange creatures. Creatures who were clearly not of this Earth. They had fangs and huge eyes. They were figures which caused feelings of horror and revulsion
in the men. These creatures appeared to be arguing with another group. This other group also had some peculiar creatures but they were different. They were very beautiful. The men could not determine whether they were real or not. The vision was so surreal.
They called out to them,'Do you really exist? Are we actually seeing you here before our very eyes?' The first group responded, 'Yes we are here. We are the Jandhute. We have come to claim the soul of this man. All his life he has committed many terrible sins. He has not once acted with humanity. He has been sentenced to return to this world, and make good the huge debts he has accrued. He must suffer in his next life as recompense.' The men visibly winced at the prospect of these creatures hauling the naked bodyform of the dead man. A form which was translucent.
The other group with whom the Jandutt were quarreling then spoke, 'We too have been sent by the Almighty creator. We are the Ramgan. We have come to take this man's soul to Sachkand the realm of absolute truth. We have come to return him back to the source of all things.' The men were puzzled by this. They asked,'If this man has never redeemed himself. If all he has done is commit unspeakable sins then why are you trying to take him away out of this furnace which we call the world?' They replied, 'It is true he has done those things and yes he was destined to suffer. However The Lord Guru whom your friends have kept captive gave the signal to wipe his slate of crimes and sins clean. One point of his finger changed the judgement placed on him. According to God's law the Guru can take under his wing souls which are still stained and under God's grace will be made whole and spotless once more. Such are the blessings which God has given to the Guru. This man even after his death was able to serve the Guru and so with the Guru's blessing is able to be redeemed. In life one must follow or serve a Guru to gain this mercy.'
Upon hearing this the men suddenly realised that Guru Nanak whom they were planning to kill was none other than the saviour of lost souls. They could only imagine what judgement lay in store for them if they should kill him. They rushed back as the vision which had unfolded before them melted away. They ran back and told the other men what had transpired. They told them to let the Guru go and fell to the ground begging for the Guru's mercy and forgiveness.
The Guru said,'I will forgive you but there is one condition. You must change your ways and become good honest human beings.'
Mardana turned to the Guru and fell at his feet. He said, 'My Lord I do not understand. I was sure that our time had come to die. Yet the whole situation has turned around in an instant. Please Lord explain why this is so?'
The Guru embraced his companion and smiled at his innocence and said, 'God plays a wonderful game with all who come to this earth. He sent these men to kill us. He sent us here to be met by them. Instead of caving into this and thinking that all is lost we accepted it as God's will.We humbled ourselves to God's will. We did not resent it or argue with it. Instead we asked humbly for God to intervene. Our submission wins the game. This call upon God with such humility according to the rules of the Game brings in our favour God's grace rescuing us from the very depths of calamity. God therefore took away the danger and also saved these men from a poor fate which had hung over them. It is all his doing; everything. If only more would grasp the nature of this game and play according to its generous rules.'
Mardana thanked God for his grace once more and then walked beside his Guru to the town. The whole town was buzzing with the great news. The people welcomed the guru with great respect and honour. They begged the Guru to save them and forgive them for their numerous sins and acts of untold inhumanity. The Guru said, 'I will forgive you providing you mend your ways. You must collect all the hoards of treasure that you have stolen and kept hidden in your hideaways and distribute them amongst the poor and need. In so doing embrace a new spirit. One which gives and forgives. A new life which strives to earn an honest crust through the labour of your efforts. You are fit and well. There is good land here. Plough and sow this land with your strong arms. It will bring you many joys along with my blessings.'
They did as they were bid. They realised that a true master had come to save them. They put their faith in the Guru's words and true joy blossomed in their hearts.
Based on the posting by Anand Singh to the Merton-L Discussion Group.
Last updated: 2001/11/06