Once a householder Sikh came to see Satguru Sri Guru Har Rai ji, maharaj the king of kings and the saint of saints, and narrated his problem: "O True King, I had a son who grew into a promising young man. He is dead now. I had hoped that he would take over the responsibilities of the household, and that I will come and stay in your service to earn salvation at your door. But my hopes have been shattered. What should 1 do in this plight? This is troubling me constantly."
"Tell me how many members are there in your family, and what do you do to make a living?" asked Guru Ji.
"O True King, there are two younger sons and a daughter, besides their
mother. I am the fIfth. With regard to livelihood, whatever I earn, is used to feed us all," replied the Sikh.
"If you are really keen to serve the Guru, start right away. Leave their care to God. He will look after them. You can make your life fruitful," said Maharaj.
"O True King, my thinking is immature. I believe that without me they will perish. You are the Guru. Everything is at your command. Please, show me something to put faith into me."
"Do an errand for me. We shall talk about faith, when you return. Deliver a message to my Sikh who lives in a village 50 miles from here."
"Please, give me the letter, Maharaj, I will go and deliver this message as quick as I can" requested the Sikh. Guru Ji wrote a message, instructing that the messenger should be imprisoned for six months, after which he should be released, and that he should be looked after well. The Sikh carried the letter and delivered it. He was detained as per Maharaj's instruction. The Sikh pleaded, "0 brother, I have four persons to support. They can eat only if I earn. Without me they will starve. Please, let me go."
The Sikh replied, "Listen brother, it is you who have brought this letter. The Guru at whose command everything happens, has instructed that the man who brings this message, should be imprisoned. You want to be released. Now you advise whether we should obey you or the Guru who is omnipotent. Consider what is proper for you and what is proper for me, and then speak."
"Who am I? You should obey the all-powerful Guru."
"You have understood the situation correctly. Now be patient. Wait for six months, concentrate on the Guru in mind, after which I shall let you go. It is in your interest to obey the Guru. Carrying out the Guru's instructions is in my interest also." The Sikh acquiesced.
At the other end, Maharaj arranged for the sustenance of the Sikh's family in this way. They went without one meal. Their neighbours asked them why they had not cooked their meal. The Sikh's wife replied, "Who earned has abandoned us. God knows what was his consideration. Now our sustenance is in the hands of God. If He gives, we shall cook and eat. Otherwise, we shall bear it quietly."
The neighbours thought it was not proper that the family should stay hungry in their midst, and that some arrangements must be made for them. To start with, each one of them brought one tray of flour for the family. There were fifty houses in the neighbourhood. Thus, fifty trays of flour were collected. Then the inhabitants of the locality gave them employment. The two sons started working as attendants, and earning. A lady took pity and gave the little girl and her mother lessons in embroidery. Thus, their sustenance was no longer a problem.
On the expiry of six months, the Sikh was released from detention. He immediately went to his family. He had been greatly worried. He was afraid that they would be no more. But when he found them hale and hearty, he was very happy. In fact, he saw that they were better off as compared to earlier times.
When his wife told him the truth about the family, it made him all the more happy. He realised that the Guru had arranged all this to put faith into him. He went to see the Guru again, and out of gratefulness, said happily, "O True King, you have taken me out of hell, and brought the reality before my eyes. Otherwise, my entire life would have been wasted worrying about food for the family. Now I have seen that in fact I was a hindrance in their sustenance. When I was away, there was abundance of everything. Now I shall devote my life in the service of the Guru. Because of your mercy I have found bliss."
"Listen, O Sikh, there were ten doors to the sustenance of your family. When were they without sustenance? God provides it even where there is no door. There is life within rocks. Their sustenance reaches there. There are beings deep inside the earth. God feeds them there. Similarly, there are beings in the sky. Their sustenance is arranged there. Listen to this story of how He looks after His creation. There is a mountain of ferrous rocks in the sea where no fanning is possible. People live there also and need food. They are surrounded by a huge ocean, which man-made boats cannot cross. For them, every year God creates ships and inspires such traders, shows routes to them, so that the ships can reach those mountains, barter iron ore day and night in exchange for food they bring from outside. The exchange does not stop. The people feel that they are drawing their sustenance from the iron ore. So, they love their occupation of mining.
Because they are ignorant of the Almighty. They give all credit to their occupation. As God has to provide sustenance to living beings, He creates the illusion that it is their effort which sustains them. Those who know that it is really God who provides sustenance, are attached to Him.”
How amazing is our beloved Satguru Sri Guru Har Rai Ji Maharaj, the king of kings, the saint of saints and the helper of the world !!