by SS Deva Singh Khalsa, Pompano Beach FL
Guru Nanak was born to middle-class parents in India in 1469. Early on, Nanak’s father was very upset that his son had little interest in worldly ways. He was always impatient with Nanak because he was worried that his son would not be able to support himself or his future family.
Training Nanak to work seemed impossible, as each time his father got him a job, Nanak would become immersed in a deep meditative state, while trying to do the work. He saw God in all, was fair to all, and gave food and money to those in need. As is the case with many parents, they failed to see the expansive consciousness of their child, yet many others could see Nanak’s greatness.
There is a story of Guru Nanak that resonates and stays with me. Guru Nanak’s sister, Nanaki, was a few years older than him and was very attached to her brother. She loved to just look at him because it would bring her great peace. The uplifting, peaceful glow, and radiance about him were felt and noticed by many.
Nanaki had married and moved to another town, and missed her brother deeply. Nanak’s exasperated father willingly sent Nanak to live with his sister and her husband, Diwan Jai Ram. Since Jai Ram worked for the governor of Sultanpur, he was able to find a job for Guru Nanak as a storekeeper in charge of the Governor’s storehouse.
In India at this time, landowners paid their taxes in several forms: cash, food, grain, crops, cotton, etc. Nanak was in charge of keeping the inventory of goods and of selling the goods to raise money for the governor, as well as depositing the money into the treasury.
When Nanak would distribute the grain from the storehouse, he would start counting out the quantity of grain to be sold. When he got to the number 13, Tera, he would continue to repeat Tera as it also means “Thine.” As he went into the ecstasy of consciousness that “All is Thine,” he would continue to distribute grain without counting above thirteen, and so did not charge customers for the additional grain.
All this was noticed by other workers for the Governor who reported to him that the storehouse was going to go bankrupt due to this storekeeper that gave food away. The enraged Governor came himself for an accounting of the goods and cash. After much turmoil and accounting, it was found that there was actually a surplus, not a loss. When you trust in God and meditate on God, there is always a surplus. This was one of Guru Nanak’s teachings.
Guidance from Guru Nanak
In my life, an experience of Guru Nanak came in the midst of a business dilemma. I had been praying to Guru Nanak for guidance and direction on this problem, while immersed in the uplifting sound current of the Golden Temple in India. It was my last visit to the Golden Temple before departing early that morning, and I was walking out without my “answer.”
When I bowed outside and made my last prayer for guidance, I looked up and saw for the first time that there was an embossed picture of Guru Nanak and his traveling companions above the entrance to the Golden Temple. This picture almost came alive with a bright light coming off it which engulfed me, and then my prayer was instantly answered.
As the owner of Nanak’s Landscaping, I have the wisest, most powerful, and giving advisor anyone could ask for in Guru Nanak. Since that moment, Nanak’s Landscaping has expanded beyond my dreams. It now provides a very good living for hundreds of people.
Many times as I walk through the office and pass by managers in their offices, I hear them say “Nanak’s Landscaping” countless times each day. It reminds me of the story of “Tera,” and how it is all Thine, and how in that consciousness, Guru Nanak is so humble and giving.
SS Deva Singh Khalsa was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 1976. He has been a long-time student of the Siri Singh Sahib, with service on our organizational boards. He is married to SS Deva Kaur Khalsa and is a father and grandfather.