The Study Of Divine Knowledge
Guru Nanak appears to have continued to attend school for some time. Gopal gave an elementary education to Nanak in language, arithmetic and other subjects that were taught during those days. Nanak loved poetry, songs and music. He easily committed to memory everything that was taught to him. Every day he wrote his lessons on a wooden slate. Guru Nanak was taught such practical subjects which could be helpful in trade, official service, and other secular pursuits.
One day he was observed to remain silent, and not apply himself to his books. The village tutor asked him why he wasn't reading. The tutor suggested, 'You can write about whatever you feel like. Why don't you learn some more accounts. It will be good for you.'
Guru Nanak inquired, 'How much do you know? What else can you teach me?' The tutor replied that he had read everything. He knew the vedas and shastras, and he had learned to cast up accounts, post ledgers and day books, and strike balances. Guru Nanak said, 'To all that you know, the study of divine knowledge is best'.
Then Guru Nanak's eyes filled with mercy. He looked towards the tutor who was sitting on the carpet and said, 'You should stop writing accounts. You should stop teaching accounts. These things entangle you in worldly desires. You should write the Lord's name and praise God, the Lord is infinite. The tutor was well aware the Guru Nanak was a very special child. He often showed how much knowledge and wisdom he had.
The tutor asked, 'How would someone write the name of the Lord and praise God?' Guru Nanak explained, 'Sentiments, 'S' is for sentiments, burn the sentiments. Let the soot of those sentiments be the ink. Let the intellectual mind, with which you teach, be the paper. Then, 'L' for Lord, Love the Lord. Let this be the pen. Let the outer mind be the student to write, just as I am the student you are teaching to write. And for yourself, dear tutor, choose a Guru. A Guru is he who knows the path to the Lord. Ask the Guru and write whatever he instructs. The Guru will tell you, write the Lord's name. Write the Lord's praises.'
The tutor was deep in thought, he asked, 'Nanak, if I start to write the Lord's name in this way, what will I get in return? If you learn the accounts that I teach, then you could become rich. What is the benefit of your type of writing?
Guru Nanak replied, 'If you learn this writing, then when you die and go to God, you will be asked, what good deeds did you do in the world? At that time, this writing will help you and God will reward you for your efforts.'
The tutor finally understood, he wondered at the depth and simplicity of Guru Nanak's acrostic [patti). One thing was clear to him. Guru Nanak would take up a spiritual life and might turn his back on purely secular pursuits of life. He found that Guru Nanak was gifted with a clear vision of God, but his thoughts did not seem to reflect the hindu faith, as he knew it.
Somehow, Gopal did not like Guru Nanak taking religion and God so seriously at such a tender age. He made one more effort to divert Guru Nanak's mind from intense religious studies and spiritual inquiries. Gopal urged him to acquire all the education and training, necessary for the life of worldly happiness and glory, saying, 'My child, those who spend their life contemplating God and Truth do not even get two square meals, but those who lead a worldly life, commit sins, indulge in evils, rule others, and never think of God, seem to be perfectly happy."
"The happiness of man," said Guru Nanak, "does not lay in the wealth and power he accumulates, but in his moral and spiritual achievements. Kings and tyrants suffer the most ignoble end, while pious devotees of God live and die in peace. The joy of surviving the physical body is only for those, who have lived righteously. Their faces shine with the bliss of seeing God, the wonderful reward of their virtuous life. Those who live in sin and evil, hide from the glare of God's presence. In the gloom that originates from their own selfishness. True judgement on man's moral and spiritual achievements is revealed only in the presence of ultimate Truth that is God. Those who follow only their base desires defile their conscience and lose the grace of God. It is sheer vanity to be a slave of bodily desires, and care for things which bring certain retribution."
Deeply impressed by the profound and convincing thoughts of Guru Nanak, Gopal met Mehta Kalu and advised him to send his son to a learned scholar who could teach him Sanskrit and hindu scriptures.
Source: Gur Balam Sakhian
Associated with Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.
This was where the young Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji studied various languages inlcuding Persian and Arabic.