19. Testing the sikhs

To test the fidelity and patience of the Sikhs the Guru once ordered that no Sikh should leave Anandpur without his permission. Guards were stationed at all gates to prevent egress. Many of those who were loud in their professions of love for the Guru were the first to grow impatient for seeing the world outside. Before a week passed they adopted curious plans for getting out. One device was particularly very ingenious. A person was made to feign death. He was placed on a bier and taken to the cremation ground accompanied by a regular crowd who all the while kept on singing funeral songs. When the procession passed out of the town, the Guru who had somehow divined the secret ordered the party to halt. The body was placed on a funeral pyre and when preparations were being made to cremate it the man who had hitherto lain motionless threw of funeral attire and fled to the jungle to the confusion of the. men who had resorted to this fraudulent practice and to the astonishment and laughter of the beholders. The incident greatly embarrassed the delinquents and confirmed the impression that the Guru was a knower of hearts and that it was impossible to deceive him.