Guru Nanak's Guide to Happy Living

God is far vaster than our mind and we rarely see the hidden patterns of God’s will.

Nanak’s guidance about how to live your life is both simple as well as unparalleled. Your success in life depends upon surrendering to God. Surrendering to God means you don’t worry about the outcome of your efforts and don’t lose sleep if things are not going your way. Also, do not assume yourself a genius if things fall into place according to your plan. Simply accept life as it unfolds; without complaints, discontentment, or resistance. Learn to save yourself from the mental struggle once you have given your best effort and accept the outcome without raising any doubts in your mind, remembering that God is far vaster than our mind and we rarely see the hidden patterns of God’s will.

 I will share an interesting and inspiring story with you. It is about a cancer specialist, Doctor Mark, who was on his way to an important conference in another city, where he was going to be honoured for his exceptional research work on cancer. He was excited to attend the conference and wanted to reach there well in time. He had worked hard for many years on his research and felt contented regarding his efforts which had won him the much-deserved award he was about to receive.

 He took a flight to the city. However, minutes after taking off, the plane developed a technical problem and made an emergency landing at the nearest airport. Afraid he wouldn't make it in time for the conference, he rushed to the reception area only to find that the next flight to the destination was on the following day. Learning his urgency, the receptionist suggested that he rent a car and drive to the conference city which was only a few hours away. 

With no other choice apparent, he agreed to the idea, despite his hatred for driving long distances. And so, he rented a car and started his journey. However, soon after he left, as luck would have it, the weather suddenly changed and a storm broke loose. The heavy downpour and hailstorms made it very difficult for him to see, and he missed a turn he was supposed to take.

 After an hour’s drive, he realized he had lost his way. Distraught, and hungry, he frantically began to look for any sign of civilization. After struggling for some time, he finally found a small, dilapidated house. He got out of the car and, with desperate hope, knocked on the door.

 A beautiful lady opened the door. He explained the matter and asked if he could use her telephone. To add to his distress, the lady told him that she did not have a phone. But, she was courteous enough to let him settle inside, and wait till the weather improved.

Exhausted and unhinged, the doctor accepted her kind offer and walked into the house. The lady gave him hot coffee and food to eat which brought him to his normal senses. After some time, she offered that he join her for prayer. But the doctor smiled and said that he believed in hard work and knowledge rather than God, and that she should continue with her prayers.

Sitting on the sofa reviewing his speech for the award function, the doctor looked at the woman in the dim light of candles as she sat next to a small baby crib in which a child was sleeping, and prayed. Each time she finished a prayer she would put her hand on the child’s head and start another one. So, the process continued.

 The doctor could not control his curiosity and asked, "What do you want from God. Do you really believe God will ever listen to your prayers? Who is this child in the crib that you are praying for?"

The lady gave a pained smile and said, "This is my son. He's suffering from a rare type of cancer. Doctors say the treatment he needs is not currently available. They say a doctor by the name of Doctor Mark lives in a far-off city and has researched and found the cure for this rare cancer. But, he is not within our reach. Moreover, he is very expensive and I don't have the money to afford his fees.”

With tears flowing down her cheeks, she continued, "I am praying to God for help. My prayers have not been answered yet, but I have a firm belief that He will carve some way out for my child. I am scared about what will happen to him, but my faith in God gives me the strength to overcome my fears."

Hearing this tale of a terrible tragedy and undying faith, Doctor Mark found himself stunned, and speechless. 

He recollected the sequence of events that had occurred since he left his home, and wondered to himself, wow, the malfunction in the plane, its emergency landing at a remote airport, the renting of the car, the heavy downpour and hailstorms that made him lose his way and finally finding shelter in this women's isolated house. 

The story ended happily as the doctor eventually treated the child and cured his cancer. But, it gives you food for thought. On countless occasions, you see similar situations in your life and yet, your ego hinders you from accepting God’s will. If you properly learn, focus, and give your best, you need not worry, because the outcome will only be good, even if you may not immediately be happy about it. Do not complain or feel bad; rather try grasping God’s hidden motive that you can’t see by your ordinary vision. 

The point Nanak makes is that discerning vision comes by surrendering to God, which he referred to as the HUKAM (command.) Once you abide by the HUKAM of God, sufferings will end and your life will be transformed into a celebration.

Manjeet Singh

I have studied various world religions in my search to find the purpose of my life on Earth. My search for the truth ended with my own religion, Sikhism.

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