Guru Nanak Arrived at a Quarrelsome Village – Stories to Transform Your Life, and, Prisoners of Our Own Habitual Thinking

Guru Nanak Arrived at a Quarrelsome Village – Stories to Transform Your Life

       “The Village”, courtesy of the 1960’s TV Series “The Prisoner”

Once, during the course of his travels, Guru Nanak arrived at a village where the people were a quarrelsome lot. He blessed them and asked them to prosper and live in that village forever. In the next village, where the people were peace-loving, Guru Nanak blessed them too but asked them to abandon the village and disperse. Mardana, his close disciple, puzzled by the guru’s strange blessings, asked him why he blessed the first village with prosperity though its people were unworthy of it, and asked the good people of the second village to disperse. Guru Nanak smiled and answered: “The quarrelsome will only spread unrest and friction wherever they go. So I asked them to remain where they were. But it is better for the peace-loving to disperse and take their good qualities with them so that all those who know them can learn the art of peaceful coexistence.”

        “Human Chess”, courtesy of the 1960’s TV Series “The Prisoner”

Prisoners of Our Own Habitual Thinking

There is a moving story often told in India about the danger of being prisoners of our own habitual thinking:

“While visiting Benares, Kabir always passed by the same man daily, who was always sitting in his garden. One day, Kabir said to him, ‘Good Sir, instead of merely sitting in your garden doing nothing, why not sit in meditation and make spiritual progress?’

“The man replied, ‘I have a family. My children are young, and I cannot find enough time for spiritual practices now. But I will practice spirituality when the children grow up.’

“Years later, after the children had grown up, Kabir met the same man again. ‘Now that your children are older, do you find time for meditation?’

“This time the man responded, ‘I am in the process of getting my children married off so they can live independently. As soon as they are all married, I will begin my spiritual practices.’

“A few years passed, and Kabir met the man again. He again inquired about the man’s spiritual life. ‘Now that your children are married, do you have time for meditation?’

“‘My children have grandchildren, and I am watching them grow up, receive an education, and then marry.’

“Some years passed, and Kabir returned to find that the man had passed away. Kabir Sahib shook his head and said, ‘The poor man has spent his whole life thinking he would find time for meditation, and passed away without devoting any time to discover his soul. His mind led him into such a deep attachment to this world that he did not take any time for his own meditations.’”

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