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Gobind Rai and the Old Woman
Gobind Rai was born in the city of Patna in the state of Bihar. Gobind Rai; A divine soul sent from the heavens to help this earth. People always noticed that when he played with his friends, even though he was physically stronger, he was always kind to everyone. He was always having fun, joking around and he laughed all the time. And there were so many games he liked to play with his friends. Sometimes he also liked to do mischief.

Near his house there was an old woman who spun yarn and she used a wheel to spin raw cotton into yarn balls. One day Gobind Rai decided to make a little mischief, and he snuck up behind her chair. She couldn’t see him and suddenly he knocked her basket of yarn balls on the ground and ran away. The balls of yarn had taken ages to spin and got all dirty and dusty. So the old woman got really angry with him. She picked up a big stick and waved it wildly in her hand while shouting at Gobind Rai, "Come here you little brat! I've been working on that basket of yarn all day. How dare you knock it down!" She chased him, thinking she would give him a sound beating with the stick. She yelled, "I don't care who your parents are, I'll teach you some manners! Come here boy!" She almost caught him. "Now I gotcha!" she crowed. But he just ran away faster. He kept stopping and starting, dancing near to the old woman but not letting her catch him, and it was really driving the old woman up the wall.

He used to do this prank on her until she got fed up. She went to Gobind Rai’s home and began complaining to Mata Gujri Ji, his mother. She whined, "Your son! He keeps sneaking in to my work room and scattering all my yarn. All I have is that yarn. And he does it all the time. I'm so miserable. He must stop this. I have no peace of mind." Mata Gujri was a kind and wise woman, and she could see the old woman was really in distress. So she gave the woman some clothes and some money, saying, "Here, take these. It's the least I can do for you."

The old woman was very poor and she was surprised and touched by Mata Gujri. It was not often she was given clothes and money. Instantly she became very happy and changed her tune, "Well after all he is just a child. Mata Ji, we shouldn't mind if he does a little mischief. It's alright, he can still play with me..." Mata Gujri herself was ever trusting and could never stay mad at her son. She thought, "He is sent by God so I have to accept what he does. He will protect humanity."

After the old woman had gone home Gobind Rai came home from playing. He clearly had something on his mind, and he shared it with his mother, "Mata, you know that woman today with the yarn? Well, when I knocked it over it wasn't her yarn that was being destroyed. It was the stains of her soul that were being destroyed. Her poverty had to be taken away. She was poor before, but after knocking over the yarn look how rich she is. It was destiny for you to give her all the nice clothes and money."

Everyone who heard this story was amazed that this young boy, not much older than a toddler could say such things. His grandmother knew better though. She thought, "He's a real Guru. He is bringing all the wisdom he brought with him from the heavens."

After this the old woman began visiting the Guru's house more often. She was touched with how generous Mata Gujri Ji was. She began joining the sangat for early morning prayers. She thought, "There's something special about the Bani, something unique about these words, they are so beautiful." She joined the company of the saints and her life became very blessed.

This is how Gobind Rai helped people. Even when he was annoying or bothering someone, he was actually helping them. Even when he was mischievous, it always turned out better for others. On one hand, this old woman was blessed with wealth on this earth. But she was even more enriched by the blessings of the heavens. Her spirit had been touched by the Guru. 

Storyteller:  Harijot Singh Khalsa
Age ranges:  1 - 6, 7 - 12