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Grazing Cattle

For some time again Guru Nanak was free to do what he pleased. But his father did not like this. He said to his wife Mata Tripta, 'Our only son is wasting his time. He does not do anything useful. He must make better use of his time. How about letting him graze the cattle?'

Mata Tripta replied, 'That is a good idea. He loves to walk in the forest. As a cattle-grazer, he can spend his day in the forest. He will be doing something useful at the same time.'

Mehta Kalu told his son what he wanted him to do. Guru Nanak readily agreed to obey his father. He became a cattle-grazer. Every morning he took his father's cattle into the forest. He looked after them with great care. He took them to places where there was plenty of good green grass. All the time Guru Nanak kept his mind fixed on God.

At noon he would take the cattle to a grove of shady trees. The cattle rested there during the hot afternoon. Guru Nanak sat near them in silence. He kept thinking of God. Sometimes he lay down on the soft, green grass and went to sleep.

Guru Nanak Grazing Cattle

One day he sat under a tree to watch the grazing cattle. He began to think of God. He soon forgot all about the cattle. His mind was totally occupied with thoughts of God. The cattle went on grazing as they liked. They went into a farmer's field and ate the good green crop that was there.

Guru Nanak Grazing Cattle

The farmer who owned the field saw the cattle destroying his crop and got angry. He ran towards the cattle and drove them out of his field. The farmer then went to Rai Bular. He said to him, 'Mehta Kalu's cattle have eaten my crops. His son allowed them to enter my field. He slept while the cattle ate my crop, I have suffered a heavy loss. I am a very poor man. Order Mehta Kalu to pay for my loss.'

Guru Nanak Grazing Cattle

Rai Bular sent for Mehta Kalu. He also sent for Guru Nanak. He told them the farmer's story. He told Mehta Kalu to pay for the farmer's loss.

Mehta Kalu was very sad to hear this, he was disappointed with his son but he loved him dearly. Mehta Kalu agreed to compensate the farmer. However Guru Nanak, who had kept calm and quiet, asked Rai Bular, 'Please can you send someone to inspect the field? Let them see what damage has been done by my cattle, then you can tell us how much to pay.'

Guru Nanak Grazing Cattle

Rai Bular sent one of his men to the field with the farmer, as the two soon reached the field they saw that the crop was perfectly all right, none of it had been eaten up.

The two went back to Rai Bular. The man said to him. 'Sir, the farmer has told a lie. His crop is all right. No damage has been done.'

The farmer said, 'Great Sir, I did not lie, I spoke the truth. The cattle ate up my crop but now it's all right. In fact, it's even greener and better than before. I don't know how this could have happened.'

Rai Bular said, 'Our Nanak loves God. He always keeps thinking of Him. God loves him. God has shown his love for Nanak. He has made the crop green and whole again. I bow my head before him. He is a great one. Mehta Kalu, be kind to him at all times. If he causes you any losses, I shall pay for it.'

A Gurdwara was later built on the field. It is called Gurdwara Sri Kiara Sahib or the Sacred Field.

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