Guru Nanak was about sixteen. He loved everybody and liked to help everyone. The Guru's father was all the more angry with him because he always gave away his clothes, books, shoes and money to the poor boys. He even gave away his food to the hungry people. He always liked to listen to the wise men and saints. But Mehta Kalu did not like it. He wanted that his son should earn money.
At last one day the Guru's father found work for the Guru. He gave Him twenty rupees. It was a great sum of money in those days. He asked him to go to the city and do some trading. When we buy things for less money and sell them for more money we call it trade. The Guru agreed. His father was very happy. He thought that Nanak would learn the trade and become a rich man. He would have beautiful clothes, a good house, rich food to eat and a number of servants.
The Guru and his friends Bhai Bala set out on their journey. They had to travel on foot. They went from village to village. In every village they asked the people to live like brothers. They asked them to think of God and help one another. One their way, there lay a jungle full of thick bushes. There in a grove they spotted a large party of bare-skinned Sadhus. They were all doing different postures of penance. Guru Nanak was very pleased to see them and he wanted to talk with them. He met their chief and said, 'Why don't you wear clothes? The chief Mahant replied, 'My dear young child, we neither beg nor we do any worldly service. We always remain in the service of true God. We wear clothes and eat only when the Lord sends these things to us.'
Guru Nanak found that the saints had been hungry since many days. He made up his mind to feed those hungry men. He took twenty rupees from his bag and poured these before the chief Mahant and said, 'Please take this money and buy food and clothings for your hungry disciples. My father has advised me to invest this money in a true bargain and I consider there is no better bargain than feeding hungry saints.' But the Mahant refused to touch the money and said, 'We don't keep money in our pockets. We have no love for these silver pieces but if you want to help us than serve us with food.'
Guru Nanak took Bhai Bala with him and they hired a cart and bought the ration and clothings for the hungry men. They loaded the cart with prepared food and clothings. Then Guru Nanak and Bhai Bala served the prepared food to the hungry Saints. Guru Nanak was very happy because it was the best bargain he could strike with his money.
Now the Guru had no money in his pocket. He could not trade without money. So He and his friends went back to their village. The Guru's father was very happy to see his son back. He thought Guru Nanak had made a lot of money by trade. He called Him to his side and asked, 'Did you do any trade?'
'Yes father, I did the best trade I could,' replied Nanak.
'How much money did you earn?' asked his father.
'Not a penny,' answered the Guru.
His father was very angry and surprised at these words.
'Don't be a fool. Tell me, what did you done with the money?' said his father, red with anger.
'I spent the money to feed twenty hungry men. What other trade can be better than this, dear father?' said the Guru.
The Guru's father was so angry that he slapped the Guru very hard. The Guru only said, 'Father, you don't know what God wants me to do.' Once again the Guru's father was left thinking about his son.
'It is through actions that some come near God and some wander away.'
'Words do not a Saint or Sinner make. Action alone is written in the book of fate' Guru Nanak
When Rai Bular heard of this incident he sent for Mehta Kalu. He advised him to be patient with Guru Nanak. He offered to compensate the money spent by Guru Nanak. He also warned Kalu Mehta and said, 'If you will maltreat Guru Nanak in future, I would be forced to keep Guru Nanak in my house.' Though in those days a Muslim could not keep a high-caste Hindu in his house, but Guru Nanak did not recognise caste or kind of restriction.