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Guru Nanak and Duni Chand

Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana continued to travel to many different parts of the world. One day, they arrived at a beautiful location near Lahore, which is a historic city in present-day Pakistan.

Guru Nanak decided to set their camp outside the city. He sat on a green, grassy spot near the river Ravi.

Sitting at this tranquil spot, Guru Nanak fixed his thoughts on God and meditated for a little while. Bhai Mardana began singing Guru Nanak’s sacred songs or hymns called Shabads. At times, Guru Nanak would join in and begin to sing them as well.

Soon, people who heard these simple but very heart rendering melodies began to gather around Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana. Folks everywhere loved to hear these sacred songs. They also liked to hear Guru Nanak’s talks about life and the importance of meditation or Simran.

Guru Meets Duni Chand

One day, during such a melodious recitals, a rich man of Lahore came to meet Guru Nanak. He invited Guru Nanak to visit his house.

Guru Nanak said, "I am all right here. I am not really fond of grand houses. Moreover, my visit to your house might cause you inconvenience and unnecessary trouble."

But Duni Chand was insistent and continued to repeated his request, again and again. Guru Nanak agreed, at last, agreed to go with him to his house. On reaching there, Guru Nanak saw a number of large prominent flags flying on Duni Chand’s house. He smiled on seeing the flags.

Duni Chand took Guru Nanak and his companion inside the house. He gave them a huge selection of food to eat. He gave them cool water and other juices to drink. Then he sat near Guru Nanak, with folded hands. Duni Chand said that it was his father's Sraddha, and that he had fed one hundred Brahmans in his name.

Guru Nanak replied, it was two days since his father had eaten anything, and yet he said he had fed one hundred Brahmans for him. Duni Chand asked where his father was. Guru Nanak replied that he had become incarnate as a wolf, which was now in a clump of trees six miles distant. The reason his father's soul had entered a wolf was, that while he was in human form he had coveted meat which was being cooking by a neighbour, and had died in that desire.

Duni Chand's Wealth

After a time, Guru Nanak said, "A number of flags are flying on the your roof of your house. What are these for? What do they mean?’ Duni Chand, with pride replied, "They are to show how much wealth I have. Every flag represents ten million rupees (one crore is ten millions). The seven flags show that I have accumulated wealth of seventy million rupees."

Guru Nanak said, "Then you are a very rich man. You must be very happy and contended with yourself?"

Duni Chand replied, "Holy Sir, I cannot lie to you. There are some people who are much richer than I am. This makes me sad and I desire to have more wealth. I would like to be the richest man in the city. I cannot feel completely happy and satisfied until my desire is fulfilled."

Guru Nanak said, "But aren't the people who are richer than you also trying to become even more richer? It seems that there is a race between you and them to become the richest in this city."

"Perhaps, you may not be able to beat them in this race for the most wealth. In that case you may never be happy. Have you ever thought of that?"

Duni Chand Explains His Life's Mission...

Duni Chand said, "Holy Sir, I have no time to think such thoughts. I just work day and night to gather more and more wealth"

Guru Nanak smiled and said, "Will you have time to do a small thing for me?"

Duni Chand replied, "Most gladly, holy Sir. What can I do for you?"

Guru Nanak took out a needle, and said, "Please keep this safely with you. Give it to me, when I ask for it, in the next world."

Duni Chand took the needle from Guru Nanak. Later, he took this needle to his wife. He gave it to her and said, "The holy man wants us to keep the needle for him. He will take it back from us in the next world."

She said, "Are you mad? How can a needle go to the next world? How can we carry it with us to there? Go back, and return it to the holy man."

Duni Chand went back to Guru Nanak and said, "Holy Sir, please take back your needle. We cannot take this to the next world. We cannot carry it there. That is not possible"

Guru Nanak smiled and said, "Duni Chand, this needle is small and light. You say that it cannot go with you to the next world. How can the seventy million rupees go there with you? What good will this wealth do to you there?"

Duni Chand's Mind Is Awakened!

Duni Chand realised the futility of wealth and fell at Guru Nanak’s feet and said, "Please Guru Ji, tell me how my wealth may go with me to the next world."

Guru Nanak said, "Give it to the poor in the name of God. Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Help the needy. What you spend your honestly earned wealth on righteous things, then it will go with you to the next world. Otherwise, it will be plundered here by others."

Duni Chand realised the truth in Guru Nanak's message and accepted this advice. He established many institutions in Lahore and spent all his wealth to serve the needy and the poor of the city.

Guru Nanak explained to him his golden rules of life. Duni Chand became Guru Nanak’s Sikh. He began to live and act as advised by Guru Nanak and followed the true message of God.

Guru Nanak uttered the following Shabad on the occasion:

False are kings, false their subjects, false the whole world;
False are mansions, false palaces, false those who dwell therein;
False is gold, false silver, false he who weareth them
False the body, false raiment, false peerless beauty;
False husbands, false wives; they pine away and become dust.
Man who is false loveth what is false, and forgetteth the Creator.
With whom contract friendship? The whole world passeth away.
False is sweetness, false honey, in falsehood shiploads are drowned--
Nanak humbly asserteth--Except Thee, O God, everything is thoroughly false.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Slok Mahala 1, Asa Ki Var, Ang 468.

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