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When Guru Nanak was young, he stopped going to school because the teachers had nothing left to teach him, and he didn’t want to do business the way his father tried to teach him. All he wanted to do was be with saints and meditate. He spent all the time he could, finding yogis and spiritual seekers. He learned everything he could from holy people and he meditated the rest of the time. When there were no saints passing through town, he just stayed in his room by himself.

His parents thought he was acting very strangely. He just stayed in his room, and forgot about the outside world. He would forget to eat meals. He didn’t seem to want to talk to people. His parents got worried and called a doctor to see if he was sick. They told the doctor, “Our son is acting very strange indeed. We’re concerned there might be something wrong with him. We don’t know what it could be.”

So, the doctor came in to give Nanak a normal check up. In those days doctors would just feel a persons wrist with their fingers and tell everything about their health in that way. They would find the cause of any sickness and give medicines and herbs to treat it. It’s a very ancient and powerful system for taking care of people’s health.

Something was different with Nanak though. As the doctor went to take his pulse, Nanak pulled away and said, “What are you doing with my arm?” The doctor replied, “I’m taking your pulse, to feel your heart beat. Once I find the root of your sickness I can give you medicine to cure it. Don’t worry, after that, you will feel better.” Nanak laughed. He knew that it was really the world that was sick running around chasing pleasure and things. Nanak just acted differently from most people because he wanted to be with God.

He said to the doctor, “You think you can cure me. You only know how to cure the body. It is my soul that is in pain to be with God. Can you give me a medicine for that? Only God can give me medicine for my sickness.” The doctor asked him, “Well, exactly what sickness do you suffer from?”  Nanak said, “My heart longs to be with God. It is in pain when I forget Him even for a moment. How can you cure this disease doctor? Your heart isn’t as pure as God. You suffer from my same sickness but you don’t seem to care. Everyone is sick and they don’t even know it. If you are merged with God, only then can you be my doctor. Only if you live the highest truth can you help me.”

The doctor was surprised when he heard the deep wisdom that Nanak was saying and saw that he had a pure and deep love for God. The doctor was pleased and charmed to meet with such a pure and wise child. Nanak’s parents asked, “Is he OK? Is it fever? What’s wrong with him?” The doctor said “He’s not sick, he’s actually more healthy than the rest of us. Stop worrying about him, he belongs to God.” Well his parents still didn’t quite understand their own child. That’s how it is, you know. No one can know the inner feelings of a saint.

Storyteller:  Gurumeher Kaur
Topics:  Bed Time, Gurus, Guru Nanak
Age ranges:  1 - 6, 7 - 12