The Virtue of Humility : Guru Ram Das Ji

The Guru now divided his time between supervising the construction of the holy tank, and looking after Guru Amardas’s work at Goindwal where he continued to serve the Sikh community with the same devotion as before. The Guru’s message of humility, patience and simplicity had spread far and wide. Even those people who had initially not approved of Guru Amardas’s choice, were won over by Guru Ram Das’s humility.

Even Baba Sri Chand, Guru Nanak’s

eldest son, had heard about Guru Ram Das.

He had turned vdasi or a recluse as a mark of protest, when his father did not appoint him the Guru. He had since then stayed out of the Sikh community in anger, and had refused to see or meet any of the Guru after his father.

But he had heard a lot about Guru Ram Das and his humble nature, and when he saw how devoted the people were to him he decided to meet the Guru out of sheer curiousity.

He soon reached Goindwal. When the

news of his arrival reached the Guru he went to receive Baba Sri Chand himself. When Sri Chand first set his eyes on Guru Ram Das he was amazed at the strong resemblance that the Guru bore to his father. Guru Ram Das welcomed him heartily and invited him to his house, which Baba Sri Chand willingly accepted.

As they sat talking, Baba pointed towards Guru Ram Das’s long beard and asked why he had a long, flowing beard. The Guru replied with all humility that his long beard was to wipe the feet of holy men like Baba Sri Chand. Hearing this, Baba was not

embarrassed, but realised the greatness of the Guru. When the Guru actually got down to wipe Baba’s feet with his beard he got up, and embraced the Guru. He then told Guru Ram Das that he now realised the wisdom of his father’s choice, and admitted thai: humility and devotion had made him realise why he was overlooked by his father. That day, Baba Sri Chand lost all his grievances against his father and became a better Sikh, thanks to the Guru.

Like him, there were many people who developed strong faith in God after meeting Guru Ram Das. In fact, his devotees came from different cities, towns and villages.

In one such village lived an aged couple who had no child. They wanted a child very badly and had visited all the holy shrines and fakirs, but no one could grant their wish.

They had almost given up hope when they happened to meet a Sikh who told them about Guru Ram Das. Full of hope, the old couple headed towards Goindwal.

On reaching there, they were told that the Guru would be at the site where the tank work was underway. There they saw the Guru and all the Sikhs busy at work, and so they decided to wait. It was the cold winter months, and everyone present was shivering.

Seeing their discomfort the old man went to the forest, and cut loads of firewood. He then took it to the Guru’s langar so that the freezing men could warm themselves. All those present crowded around the fire, and thanked him heartily as they felt warm. The old man was very pleased and felt satisfied that he could be of some help to these men.

At that time Guru Ram Das, who had been away to a nearby place for a while, returned to the site. He was surprised to see the huge bonfire and the Sikhs comfortably seated around. When he enquired as to who had got the firewood they pointed towards the old man. Guru Ram Das was so pleased and overwhelmed by his generosity that he called him to his side, and thanked him for it. He could see that the man was a pious devotee, and one with a kind heart. Expressing his gratitude the Guru asked the aged man to ask for a boon. Though the man badly wanted to ask for a son he could not bring himself to say it. He did not want the Guru to think that he had done the good deed for the reward alone.

So, he lowered his eyes and did not say anything.

However, when he came home and

narrated the whole incident to his wife she assured him that the Guru would never think bad of his good deed, and that he should have asked for his heart’s desire. So, the next day, the couple went again to the Guru and finally, expressed their wish for a son. At this, Guru Ram Das told them that he would definitely pray for them, but he also added that he could not change their destiny. But the aged couple fell at his feet and pleaded with the Guru to grant them their one wish.

Amazed at their deep faith in him the Guru final ly told them that he himself was destined to have four sons, but now he would grant one to them and have three instead.

Saying this, he blessed the couple and asked them to name the boy Bhagtu, who he said would become a great worshipper of God and make them all proud. The aged couple cried tears of joy, and touched the feet of the Guru.

In due course of time, they were indeed blessed with a son. Not a day passed when they did not thank Guru Ram Das for it, and they remained his devotees till their death.