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Once upon a time Guru Nanak was traveling with his companions when they came near a Brahman. A Brahman is a priest of the high caste. In India, even today, people are divided into four “castes” and Brahmans were considered to be above all other castes. Brahmans were the only ones allowed to read and write, “I am a Brahman, therefor I am, how should we say… favored by God. The lower caste people… can never be as close to God as we Brahmans. The low caste people cannot reach God. There is no hope for them in this lifetime. If their shadow touches me, I would become dirty, and I’d have to clean myself. People of other religions are just as bad as the lowest caste class Hindus!”  

Anyways, before Guru ji and his two companions arrived, the brahman had gone through a very long process to cook himself some sacred food. He was too concerned with purity, that everything should be clean and perfect, “I will only eat the most pure of foods because I am very special! First I will gather some earth that I bless and mix it with the holy water from the river mother Ganga. Then I will mold the special mud to create a holy oven.”

The Brahman spent a long time creating the mud oven with his hands chanting from holy books the whole time. Once the oven was created, he took a bath in the sacred river to cleanse his body and he dressed up in clean clothes. Then he put a ring of protection around his oven by scattering water in a circle around it. Now that everything was prepared, and he had a ring of protection, he finally placed it in the oven, “I have the finest organic corn for my bread. It was made with holy water and flavored with Himalayan pink salt. And as the final ingredient, I have cooked it with pure desi ghee! Now it is cooking in the special oven where the fire will purify anything it touches! Only the purest of the pure food for someone as special as me!”
After this long process he finally took out his pure food from the oven, and started his prayers before allowing himself to finally eat. Well, right about then Guru Nanak and his two companions arrived. One of his companions was Mardana who had been born into the a Muslim religion, “I, as a Muslim, know that Guru Nanak is a true messenger of Allah, he is merged with God … Ik ongkar sat nam karta purkh….”
Now remember the Brahman considered Muslims to be low caste. As Mardana got closer…. his shadow came inside the sacred protection circle around the oven! “What have you done you bloody fool! You low caste Muslim! Your shadow has broken my sacred ring, now my pure food has become filthy and useless because of you!”

The brahman was so angry he even picked up a big stick and started chasing Mardana with it, “RRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. I’ll beat you to a pulp you filthy scoundrel!!! You interrupted my ceremony you maggot!”

Mardana ran away otherwise he would have been smacked by the stick! “Woah! Leave me alone! Don’t beat me!”

Well the brahman had a dirty mouth, "You’re a donkey and I’ll beat you like a donkey!! RRRrrrrrrrr….” Mardana kept running around, he got really close to being hit! “Oh no!!! Woah, ooohhh, Guru save me!”

Of course Mardana ran straight towards the Guru while the brahman chased him, yelling trying to beat him. But then something truly special happened….. The brahman saw the face of Guru Nanak… And he could no longer be angry. He stopped chasing Mardana and he just froze.

The brahman’s tight fists loosened, he dropped his stick, he tense body relaxed, his angry face softened… and he just stood there and looked at Guru ji…" don’t know who he is…. But he makes me feel…. different….”

If you love anyone you will love Guru Nanak. His love is so beautiful... he loves you more than anyone. He loves you more than you can know. Can you imagine being around someone who loves you more than anyone else in the world?

That’s what the Brahman felt. His heart melted from Guru ji’s love, “Oh great man of God, I have met many holy men… but you are something special… I… I…”
Then Guru ji spoke... and the brahman listened to every word,

“You made a pure oven… and put a circle of purity around it…

“You put in pure food… and then you put it in the purifying fire…

“Then you were planning on putting that most, most pure food…

“...into your dirty mouth…”

Right then the brahman snapped into reality. He remembered how he had called Mardana so many bad names, “By God, you are right… I… I thought your friend was the worst... but I am the one with the problem!” Guru ji explained, “Every mouth eats food. But what use is that mouth which does not speak sincerely and lovingly?!"

The Brahman fell to his knees, “Of course you are right! I was just thinking of how important my food is… I was just thinking of myself...” Guru ji taught, “We are all equal, we are all loved by the Creator.” And the Brahman understood, “You speak the truth. I thought I was better because I am a brahman. But I am not better than a Muslim. I am not better than... anyone!”

The brahman’s heart opened and tears of love filled his eyes. From then on he treated people equally. He always shared with others and never again considered himself better than anyone else.
We should pray over our food because we want it to have good vibrations! However, what is important than what goes into your mouth? What comes out of your mouth!

The Brahman now saw Mardana lovingly, like a brother. 

ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲਿ ਪਾਡੇ ਸਚੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥

Oh priest, do not speak dirty things, just speak the truth.

ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਬਦਿ ਘਰੁ ਲਹੀਐ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

When we stop thinking of ourselves, the shabd, the truth comes home to us. (SGGS 904)

Storyteller:  Harijot Singh Khalsa
Topics:  Guru Nanak
Age ranges:  1 - 6