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Guru Nanak and Raja Shivnabh

Guru Nanak Sahib Ji visited Ceylon, where he took his seat in Raja Shivnabh's garden.

At that time it was barren, but it is said to have become green on the Guru's arrival. The gardener requested the king to go and see the faqir who had caused the withered garden to bloom anew.

Raja Shivnabh’s kingdom was visited by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, the Raja was an atheist. Guru Nanak Ji went to those places where the greatest sinners and evil people were.

Shivnabh’s ministers warned him not to meet Guru Nanak Ji unless he wanted to be cursed. Four ministers were sent to meet Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and to stop him reaching the Kingdom. They offered a silver plate laden with diamonds at Guru Ji’s feet. They said, "This offering shows our King’s respect for you."

Guru Nanak at Ceylon

Guru Nanak Ji said, "Tell him how can he respect me with mere pennies?"

The ministers were taken back, all other saints had accepted this offering and left the King alone. Shivnabh was told this is no ordinary saint. Guru Ji said to the ministers, "Tell Shiv-Nabh that if he wants to make an offering then he’ll have to come and offer himself."

Shivnabh was an egotistical man and didn’t recognise how great Guru Nanak Ji was. Guru Nanak Ji saw everyone for what they were. King Shivnabh was an egotist and thought that Guru Ji was probably one too. Next he sent his dancing prostitutes to try and tempt Guru Ji but they failed as Guru Ji addressed them as daughters.

The minister told Shivnabh. Shivnabh was shaken, the fear of God entered him and he thought "Who is this uncorruptable man?"

King Asking Guru Nanak's Identity

The King came and inquired his name, caste, and whether he was a jogi. The Guru replied as follows:-

The jogi who is associated with the Name and is pure, has not a particle of uncleanness. He who keeps with him the name of the Beloved, which is ever true, has escaped birth and death.

The king asked if he were a brahman. The Guru replied:-

He is a brahman who has divine knowledge for his ablutions, and God's praises for the leaves' of his worship. There is but One Name, One God, One Light in the three worlds.

The king asked if he were a shopkeeper. The Guru replied:-

Make your heart the scale, your tongue the beam, and weigh the inestimable Name. There is but one shop, one Merchant above all; the dealers are many.

The king again inquired if he were a hindu or a Muhammadan. The Guru continued his enigmatical replies:-

The True Guru has solve the problem of the two ways. It is he who fixes attention on the One God, and whose mind wavers not, who can understand it. He who abides in the Word and ever worships day and night, has ended his doubts.

The king then asked if he were Gorakhnath. The Guru showed no inclination to directly gratify his curiosity:

Above us is the sky, Gorakh is above the sky; His inaccessible form dwells there; By the favour of the Guru, whether I am abroad or at home is the same to me; Nanak has become such an anchoret.

When the Guru had ended, the king invited him to go to his palace and see his queen. He gave him an opportunity of expounding his doctrines to her.

Crushing The Ego Of Shivnabh

Without firstly having the fear of God, love can’t enter. Without love one can’t worship Waheguru. Shivnabh had the fear of God enter into his mind. He bowed to Guru Ji then put together his two hands and made a request.

To ask for something you have to become humble. "Gareeb Nivaz, O Protector of the Poor, I’m the king of this land. Be merciful and give me some seva, or service, to do. But the service shouldn’t be small it should be great enough for a King, what can I offer you in return?"

Guru Ji said, "This is the path of love, no one else can travel this path."

Guru Nanak Ji said, "If you want to give an offering, then donate something of yours and do something that’s going to help you in your next life."

Shivnabh said, "I will donate MY kingdom to you Guru Ji." Guru Nanak Ji said, "O foolish Shivnabh, I said give me something of yours, this Kingdom isn’t yours and its not going to help you in the next world. Your father couldn’t take it when he died, your grandfather couldn’t take it either and neither can you take it because it doesn’t belong to you."

Guru Ji repeated his original question and asked, "O Shiv-Nabh, donate something of yours, the kingdom is not yours, the queen that rules it with you is not yours, no donate something that’s yours!"

Shivnabh said, "I will donate MY body to you Guru Ji." Guru said ‘O foolish Shivnabh, this body isn’t yours. Where are your father’s and grandfather’s bodies now? They had to leave them in this world, the body wasn’t theirs and its not yours either. No donate something that’s YOURS!"

Shivnabh said desparately, "What can I give? Take my name." Guru Nanak Ji said, "Shivnabh, if you want to give me your name then show me Shiva’s Navel, that’s what Shivnabh means. You aren’t Shiva, you can’t give me his navel, can you?"

Shivnabh was nervous and confused, he said, "I don’t own this body, I haven’t got riches, I don’t own my Kingdom, the Queen doesn’t belong to me, O Guru Ji what can I, I, I give?"

Guru Ji said, "But you’re in possession of such a great thing that if you give it you’ll be saved from birth and death."

Shivnabh said, "I can’t see what I, I, I can give?"

Guru Ji said, "Give this I, I, I that you keep stuttering like a goat! Your kingdom, your body and your name."

Shivnabh fell at Guru Ji’s feet a changed man, he said, "Everything is Yours, nothing is mine, nothing is mine Guru Ji."

Shivnabh, the egotistical King, had a complete change in his state of mind. Now Shivnabh, the humble servant said, "I’m nothing."

Guru Nanak Ji said, "Now go back to your duties and rule the Kingdom."

Shivnabh replied, "I can’t rule, before I, I, I was doing it, but now I’m nothing I can’t do it."

Guru Ji said, "If someone asks you who’s Kingdom you are ruling, just say it’s Guru Nanaks. If someone asks you who do you belong to, just reply to Guru Nanak.".

Shivnabh obtained the knowledge of God - Brahm Gian (The Knowledge of Universe). Guru Nanak Ji said, "Ask for something?"

Raja Shivnabh asked for God’s Name, "Bless me with Naam and that I may always have a place at your Lotus feet."

  • Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dham

    Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dham

    Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526, India.

    Associated with Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.

    Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji visited Rameswaram on 1511 and stayed for 19 days on his return journey from Sri Lanka.


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