Jagan Nath Puri


Guru Nanak along with his friend Bhai Mardana decided to visit Jagan Nath Puri, to see the temple of Jagan Nath Puri, Lord of Earth.

Jagan Nath is title of Lord Vishnu. In those days it was also a belief that those people who threw themselves in front of it to be crushed under the wheels, were rewarded salvation. Lord Krishna was exempting them from transmigration. Guru Nanak decided to free those people from such false beliefs.

Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana sat near the shrine. Bhai Mardana tuned his musical instrument and Guru Nanak sang his Divine Hymn in a very sweet voice. They were performing this act daily. The Divine music was touching the hearts of the devotees with fresh fervor. Many devotees made it a routine to attend the Divine congregation of the Guru, instead of going inside the temple.

The temple priests though were feeling angry against the Guru, but the divine ecstasy was piercing their hearts and they were also enjoying the heavenly bliss.

One day Chief Priest of the Temple invited the Guru to join the evening service of lights in the temple. The Guru agreed to go with him.

In the evening the priests lighted the tiny lamps. They placed these lamps on a jewel studded salver. Then they put some flowers and incense on it and swung the salver from side to side in front of the idol of Lord Krishna. They also chanted some holy hymns and blew conches and rang the bells. But the Guru did not participate in the ceremony. The priests felt very angry and they complained the Guru about this.

Then the Guru said, 'Your homage is too small for a God as high as the Lord of the Universe.'

Then He sang a Hymn in praise of the Supreme Lord which is unrivalled in the whole gamut of world poetry.

'The sky is the salver;

And on it placed are sun and moon the lamps.

The brightest luminous stars on the sky are the pearls.

The scented air from the sandal-clad hills is the incense.

The winds make the fan for You.

The entire blossoming vegetation is Your flower offerings.

The unstruck harmony is Your trumpt.

In this way forever goes on aarti for You.'

After completing his hymn the Guru explained them the hidden ideas and advised them that the aarties performed by them were worthless. Nature herself is performing the aarti of Great God.

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