56. Sakhi Bhaai Mardaana ji and Ants

Guru Nanak arrived in Eminabad, in those days called Saidapur, after the invasion of Babar. The followers of Ibrahim Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi, had resisted and Babar's army had decimated the town. The buildings were burned and in ruins and women and children walked among the dead, weeping and wailing. As they walked among the destruction Mardana asked, "The Sultan was not so very popular here. Why were the lives of so many innocent people ruined?" "It's justice," said Guru Nanak. "This can't be justice," said Mardana. "Most of those killed were honest, hardworking men. And what could the women and children have done to deserve this? I don't see how God could let something like this happen." "I have business in another part of town," replied the Guru. "Why don't you rest here, and I will explain it when I get back?" Mardana lay down under a banyan tree and was soon fast asleep. He awakened suddenly to a bite on his leg. Looking down, he saw that he was covered with ants. He jumped up, slapping his legs and stomping his feet. When he was satisfied that all the ants were gone he looked up to see Guru Nanak smiling at him. "Only one of those ants bit you," said the Guru, "and look what you've done to their whole population. Just how many did you cripple or kill? And where is the guilty one ?"