Duni Chand of Lahore : Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana

continued to travel, on and on. One day, they arrived near Lahore. The Guru decided to stay outside the city.

He sat on a green, grassy spot near the river Ravi. Sitting there, he fixed his thoughts on God. Bhai Mardana sang the Guru’s sacred songs or hymns.

Sometimes, the Guru himself would begin to sing them.

Soon, people began to gather around the Guru. They liked to hear the sacred songs. They liked to hear the Guru’s talks. One day, a rich man of Lahore came to the Guru. He asked him to go with him to his house. The Guru said, T am all right here. I am not fond of grand houses. Moreover, my visit to your house might cause you some trouble.’

But Duni Chand repeated his request, again and again. The Guru agreed, at last, to go with him to his house. On reaching there, the Guru saw a number of flags flying on Duni Chand’ s house.

He smiled on seeing the flags.

Duni Chand took the Guru and his companion inside the house. He gave them good food to eat. He gave them cool water to drink. Then he sat near the Guru, with folded hands. After a time, the Guru said, ‘ A number of flags are lying on your roof. What are they for ? What do they mean ?’

Duni Chand replied, ‘They are to show how much wealth I have. Every flag is a sign of one crore rupees (one crore is ten millions). The seven flags show that I possess seven crore rupees.’

The Guru said, ‘Then you are a very rich man. But are you happy and satisfied ?’

Duni Chand replied, ‘Holy man, I must not lie to you. Some people are much richer than I. This makes me desire more and more. I want to be the richest man in the city. I cannot feel happy and satisfied until my desire is fulfilled.’

The Guru said, ‘But the people richer than you must also be trying to become richer and richer. Thus, there is a race between them and you.

Perhaps, you may not be able to beat them in this race for wealth. You may, threfore, never be happy. Have you ever thought of that ?’

Duni Chand said, ‘Holy Sir, I have no time to think such thoughts.’

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

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

The Guru took out a needle, and said, ‘Please keen it with you. Give it The Guru took out a needle

to me, when I ask for it, in the next world.’

Duni Chand took the 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, 6 Are you mad ? How can a needle go to the next world ? How can we carry it with us there ? Go back, and return it to the holy man.’ Duni Chand went back to the Guru and said, ‘Holy Sir, take back your needle. It cannot go to the next world. We cannot carry it there.’

The Guru smiled and said, ‘The needle is small and light. You say that it cannot go with you to the next world.

How can the seven or more crores of rupees go there with you ? What good can this wealth do to you there ?’

Duni Chand fell at the Guru’s feet and said, ‘Tell me how my wealth may go with me to the next world.’

The Guru said, ‘Give it to the poor in the name of God. Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked. Help the needy.

What you spend thus will go with you to the next world.’

Duni Chand accepted this advice.

He gave away all his wealth to the poor.

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