At School: Guru Nanak

Mehta Kalu decided to send his only son to school. Guru Nanak was then about six years old. He was taken to the village school. In that school he was to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.

At School Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak was very happy. He was keen to learn. He was a very clever child. He proved to be a quick learner. In a short time he learnt all that the teacher was filled with wonder. No child had ever been so quick to learn so much and so well.

One day Guru Nanak said to his teacher, ‘Every man has to die. No one can live forever. After death every man has to give an account of his life. He is punished for his evil actions. He is rewarded for his good deeds. What you teach can be of no use at that time. You should teach your pupils to give a good account of their lives. You should teach them to be good and truthful. You should teach them to keep away from bad people. You should teach them to love and remember God. Only in this way will they become truly learned. Only in this way can you become a truly good teacher.’

The teacher was filled with wonder all the more. ‘Dear Nanak’, he said, ‘You have taught me a good and useful lesson. You are my teacher. I am your pupil. I have learnt much from you, I shall always remember your words. I shall always follow your advice.’

The child-Guru then gave up going to the village school.

For some time Guru Nanak was free to do what he pleased. He ran about and played with his comrades. Sometimes he wandered about in the forest near the village. Sometimes he sat under a shady tree for hours. Sitting there, he used to think of God.

After some time his father decided to put him under a Muslim teacher. He was to learn Persian from that teacher. Guru Nanak gladly agreed to that.

Here, again, he proved to be a quick learner. In a short time he learnt as much as the teacher could teach him. He then gave up going to that school. But before doing so, he taught his Muslim teacher to love and remember God. He taught him to be good, honest, and truthful. He taught him to teach his pupils in the right way. He said to him, ‘Always remember one thing: God is the father of us all. We are all His children. We should all love together like a good family.’

The Muslim teacher bowed before his pupil. He said, ‘Dear Nanak, you have taught me a good and useful lesson. You are my teacher. I am your pupil. I shall ever remember your words. I shall ever follow your advice.’