Katha Sagara

To serve with love

Guru Amar Das' elder daughter, Dani, was married to a pious Sikh named Raina. His younger daughter Bhani, was married to Jetha who was also most devoted to serving the Guru and his Sikhs.

One day, a gathering of followers came to the Guru and said, "Both Raina and Jetha are equally related to you and both perform their work with great devotion. Although Raina is older, you seem to favour Jetha. Would you please tell us why?" The Guru said, "I am looking for the one who serves with greater faith, devotion, humility, and obedience. I am going to make a trial of Jetha and Raina; whoever fulfills my wishes the best will be the worthier of the two."

The Guru sat next to a sacred tank and called the two men. He ordered each of them to make a platform for him to sit on, one for the morning and the other for the evening. He said that whoever did the better work would receive the greater honor.

They began working and after sometime finished the platforms. Raina bowed to the Guru and showed him his platform; he thought he had done a very good job. The Guru looked at the platform and said," It's crooked. Tear it down and build another." Raina said that he had tried very hard to make a beautiful platform to please the Guru. The Guru said he was sure this was so; still, he was not satisfied. Raina built a second platform, yet this one also failed to please the Guru. Raina tore it down, but refused to build a third one. He mumbled, "The Guru has grown old, he must be senile." The Guru replied, "Raina does not know how to obey, how can he lead others as the Guru?”

The Guru then went over to Jetha's platform and, treating him in the same manner, said, "Your platform does not please me; tear it down and build another." At once, Jetha tore the platform down and built it again. When he had finished, the Guru said he was still dissatisfied and asked him to do it again. Over and over he ordered Jetha to rebuild the platform, so that he had to work all day and all night. Finally, after Jetha had rebuilt the platform for the seventh time, the Guru looked at him and said, "As this platform pleases me, so do you. As you have obeyed my order seven times, so shall seven generations of yours sit on the Guru's throne."

Turning to his followers, the Guru said, "I have tested both of my sons-in-law. You have seen why Jetha is my most beloved. He is a perfect being who has come to save mankind." Soon after, the Guru bestowed the spiritual crown on Jetha. Thereafter, he was called by his given name, Ram Das, and became the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das.

To Reflect Upon

bulletIs it better to rely on what one knows to be true than what others make us believe?