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Bhai Gopal was a simple man. He was a very loving devoted Sikh of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, the 5th Guru. He worked honestly at his job. He kept a storage area Everyone trusted him with their stuff, and he would store it for them. One time a man named Jamaal Khan came to his storage place to leave 500 gold coins for storage. Bhai Gopal was pretty busy that day and said, “Oh sure, just leave it here, I’ll take care of it.” But in the confusion of the day, he forgot to write it down and to store the coins.

Later, Jamaal Khan came back, “OK Bhai Gopal, thank you for storing my stuff, I’d like it back now.” Bhai Gopal looked around for the Jamaal Khan’s coins but didn’t find them. “Are you sure you stored your coins with me? I don’t see them.” Jamaal Khan got angry, “You stood right there and told me that you would take care of my stuff. What kind of a fool do you think I am?!” So Bhai Gopal went and checked again but he still didn’t find the coins, “Mr. Khan I don’t think you are lying, it’s just that I don’t see your coins, maybe we can work something else out...” “I’ll work something else out! I’ll bring you to the emperor for stealing my money!”

Jamaal Khan brought Bhai Gopal to the Emperor. The Emperor knew that Bhai Gopal was a Sikh of the Guru and that he would not lie. He also knew that Jamaal Khan wouldn’t lie either. So he had an idea, “Get a big bowl and fill it with oil. Light a fire under it and boil the oil. Then put a coin in the boiling oil. Both of you will have to try to pick out the coin from inside the bowl of boiling oil.” Both men were shocked. “Bhai Gopal you will go first. Try and pick the coin from the hot oil.” So Bhai Gopal folded his hands in prayer. “Guru Ji, you are my  protector, you always take care of me when I am in need. I know you will save me now. Thank you, my beloved Guru.” He reached his hand out and began to put it in the burning hot oil. His hand kept reaching and reaching until he had pulled it out with the coin. “Bravo!” Said the Emperor. Look! His hand was not hurt or burned at all!

“Jamaal Khan now you try.” Jamaal Khan folded his hands in prayer, “Hazrat Main Mir, help me, Khawaja Habib-Ullah Attar, come to my protection, Shah Sharf Abu Ali Qalendar, save me, Ali Hujwiri Data Ganj Bakhsh, give me your hand, Farid-ud-Din Shakar Ganj, be kind to me and reveal your greatness.” After invocating several saints he reached his hand in the pot to try and get the coin at the bottom. He barely touched the oil and yelled, “Owww! My fingers! Oww! Oww! It hurts!!” He immediately got burned.

The matter ended there and everyone went on with their lives. Some time later Bhai Gopal found Jamaal Khan’s coins in a corner of his storage building. He rushed over to tell him, “I have your coins, you wouldn’t believe it, they were there the whole time!” Jamaal Khan said, “I don’t want them anymore, you embarrassed me in front of the Emperor! You keep the money.” Bhai Gopal said, “I’m a Sikh of the Guru, I can’t take what’s not mine.” Jamaal Khan said, “OK fine. I’ll take my money back on one condition... I want to meet this Guru of yours.”

So Bhai Gopal took Jamaal Khan to meet the Guru. Jamaal asked, “Both of us were being honest. I got burned and he didn’t. Why is that?” Guru ji told him, “When Bhai Gopal did his ardas, he did it with total faith. When you prayed, you called several pirs and saints but you didn’t have total faith in just one.” Jamaal Khan was amazed the Guru knew his thoughts, “You know my inner feelings. It’s true that’s how I prayed.” Both men felt very high being in the presence of the Guru.

The universe answers our prayers to the same amount the we know that it will. A person who prays with a pure heart, with their whole being and with a deep focus of their mind, truly that persons prayers will come to be.

Guest Storytellers:  Mr SikhNet Gurumustuk
Age ranges:  13 - 17, 7 - 12