At Haridwar


After leaving Kurukshetra, Guru ji proceeded to Haridwar, the ancient place of Hindu pilgrimage on the bank of sacred Ganges. At Haridwar the river Ganges enters the plains.

When the Guru reached there a big fair was being held there. Thousands of people had gathered there to take bath in the holy river. Guru Nanak stood with the pilgrims on the one of the Ghaat, where the water of river was considered to be the holiest.

The pilgrims dipped themselves in the river to perform their ablutions. They prayed and tossed water in palmsful towards the rising sun. It was their belief that by doing so, they were offering water to their forefathers.

It was their false belief and the Guru had gone there to educate those people. The Guru always applied a unique method of teaching. Here also he did a strange thing. The Guru began to throw the water to the west. The Brahamins and other people were surprised to see this. They wondered that nobody had ever done such an act before. Many Brahamins and pilgrims gathered around him. Some thought he was an atheist and others called him a Muslim. One of them questioned him, 'Are you a Hindu or Muslim? Why are you throwing water to the west.'

The Guru smiled ans asked in return, 'Why and to whom are you making this offering of the holy water? Whom will this wtar benefit?'

They promptly replied that they were offering oblutions to the spirits of their thirsty dead forefathers. Hearing this Guru Nanak continued his procedure with more earnestness. The pilgrims were astonished to see it.

They again asked, 'Why are you offering water towards the west?'

The Guru said, 'I am watering my fields. There is my farm in Punjab which needs watering.'

The pilgrims felt amused and said, 'How far are your fields from here?'

The Guru replied that those were about two hundred kms away.

Then the Guru asked, 'How far are your forefathers from here?'

They said, 'Our ancestors are in the next world. The distance is beyond our imagination.'

Then the Guru taught them that their rituals were baseless. They should recite the Name of God. He is sole creator of this universe. The pilgrims realized that practice of offering water to their forefathers was useless. They thanked the Guru for showing them the right path. They perceived that the Brahamins had been merely misguiding them. They should believe in One God who Himself has raised all creation and Himself is performer of His wonders.

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