48. Sakhi Two shopkeepers
Sant Ishar Singh ji said everyone plans for the future. You study hard because you want a good job when you get older you put money away in a pension scheme so you have a good retirement. One step beyond that we need to plan for our next life. What happens to us depends on our actions now. Do good actions (karam) now and reap the fruits in the next life. (aapeh beej apeh hee khao - JapJi). Their are many types of good deeds : give money in charity, help people etc but Guru Nanak ji says that these aren't even worth a sesame seed when your accounts are read. (Tirath tap dayadat dan je ko bhavai til ka man - JapJi). The real karam is listening and obeying the Gurus's teachings, loving SatGuru ji in your mind and bathing in the temple of the heart (Sunnia mannia man keeta bhao, antargat teerath mal nao - Japji).
What is Your value, O Guru of the world, if You will not erase the karma of my past actions ? Why seek safety from a lion, if one is to be eaten by a jackal ? ||1||Pause|| (Bhagat sadhana Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji Ang. 858)
Two shopkeepers had their shops next to one another. The Gurmukh (follower of the Guru's (Gur) words (mukh)) used to go to sadh sangat every day and have darshan of Guru Nanak Dev ji do seva and come home. The manmukh (follower of his mind's (man) mukh (words) used to go to meet a prostitute. One day the GurMukh said come with me to the sadh sangat, after some persuasion the manmukh agreed, on the way the manmukh remembered his prostitute and backed out of going to the sadh sangat. He said I'm going to go to my normal activities but I'll meet you at the tree across the road tonight and we can go back together. The manmukh went to see the prostitute but she wasn't there so he arrived at the tree much earlier than expected. While waiting for the Gurmukh he started poking a twig into the ground. He found a gold coin, he quickly dug more and more but he only found a pile of ashes. When the Gurmukh returned he was limping along he'd stepped on a thorn.
Upon each and every head, the True Lord writes their destiny of pain and pleasure, according to their past actions. He bestows pain and pleasure, according to the deeds done; the record of these deeds stays with the soul. those deeds which the Creator Lord causes him to do; he attempts no other actions.
The manmukh said I do my dirty deeds and get good luck you do good deeds but get bad luck. The Gurmukh said lets ask Guru jee to explain. Guru ji told the manmukh, in your previous life you donated one gold piece to a Saint, for doing such a virtuous deed you were to receive the rewards in this life of many gold coins. But because of your sinful deeds you burned your reward away and were left with your original gold coin. The Gurmukh was told, in your previous life you killed someone with a wooden spear, in this life you were to be killed in the same way, but because of your seva to the Guru your bad deed has been reduced to being pricked with a thorn.
The record of their past actions cannot be erased. They harvest and eat what they have planted. The Lord Himself is the Protector of His humble servants. No one can rival the humble servant of the Lord. ||3|| Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji Ang.1183