39. Guru Nanak teaches Bhai Mardana a lesson on Greed

Once, on the way from Sultanpur to Lahore after a long day of walking they stopped to rest and get some sleep. As was their custom they woke at dawn, bathed and afterwards Mardana played his Rabab as Guru ji recited a hymn in praise of God. Later Mardana asked Guru ji’s permission to go to a nearby village to get something to eat and drink. Along with food the village people gave him some clothes, as well, as they often offered to the frequent hermits and fakirs who would pass through their village. When Guru ji saw Mardana returning with the bundle of clothes, he said, “Bhai Mardana, distribute these clothes among the poor, by gathering things offered in charity one becomes greedy. A greedy man entangled by the urge to accumulate possessions can never do any good for mankind.” So acting upon the command of Guru Nanak, Bhai Mardana gave away all the clothes to the poor as well as the extra food.