Guru Nanak and the Cannibal
Guru Nanak Dev Ji traveled and taught in many places all over India. Bala and Mardana accompanied him everywhere and together they encountered lots of different people and situations. Always Guru Ji chanted and blessed every spot where he touched his feet. He healed all those he saw. He gave the medicine of Truth to everyone he spoke to.
One time Mardana was hungry and went to find food in the woods nearby. What he didn't know is that a famous cannibal, who ate humans, saw him. The cannibal, named Kauda, was hungry and captured Mardana by tying a rope around him. He then dragged him back to his dwelling to cook him. He began boiling some oil in a huge pot and was going to cook Mardana in it. And though Mardana was scared, even while Kauda started chopping food to cook with him, Mardana just kept praying in his mind, "Satnam, Satnam, Satnam...."
When Mardana didn’t return from the woods, Guru Nanak sensed what had happened. He said, "Bala, let us go find Mardana, he needs our help now." So they came to the place where Kauda had dragged Mardana and followed the trail to Kauda’s dwelling. At first when Kauda saw them he was excited that he would get to eat even more with the two new men who had come his way.
Kauda was not a happy man and his mind had been twisted almost his whole life. His body never felt real peace. Even though his actions showed he was the king of the wicked, his soul suffered from the dark path his life had taken of killing humans and eating them.
So when Kauda saw Guru Nanak, he was excited. But then he felt different somehow. Guru Nanak didn't have to say anything. His eyes spoke to Kauda gently, better than any words. Kauda knew he could not hide any secret from this new traveler with the bright eyes. He felt the Guru looking so deep into him, learning all about his life, and even his very soul. Now Kauda felt the Guru's compassion and understanding flowing from Guru Ji’s thoughts like a river onto him. He felt that Guru Ji didn't want to punish him for all the awful things he had done in his life. The Guru saw who he was and understood him. It's hard to imagine having compassion for a man who kills and eats other people, but the Guru had no fear and only radiated love.
Kauda fell on his knees and began to cry. Without even saying a word Guru Nanak had made this fearsome man helpless. Without raising a fist Guru Nanak had made this filthy murderer defenseless. Finally, the Guru spoke to Kauda, "By your actions you decide your destiny. Why do you do things which will make you burn? You have become blind and do not know what you do."
Kauda fell at the Guru's feet. Guru Ji continued, "God is Forgiveness and Compassion. If you truly want to change your ways, change them. Everyone was created by the Creator. Everyone will eventually go back to the Creator. You are a child of God. Always remember God and chant the Naam. Earn an honest living and share with others. You must do this and show all others to do the same."
Kauda took everything the Guru said to heart. He went from being filthy and dirty to being well dressed and clean. Instead of stealing from people and killing them, he worked hard and shared with others. The rest of his life he dedicated to living the teachings of the Guru. He became a righteous man and always remembered the Guru in his heart who had shown him that God loves everyone.