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The Guru then departed for Pasrur, and thence to Sialkot, the fortress of the Sial tribe, now a cantonment in the northern part of the Panjab. He rested under a wild caper tree, which still exists outside the city. Having taken refreshment, he sent Mardana to the market-place for a paisa, or a farthing's worth of truth and a paisa worth of falsehood. Nobody understood what the messenger meant till Mardana reached Mula, who was a Karar, or petty shopkeeper. The latter said that death was true and life false. Mardana returned with this message to the Guru. Upon this a great friendship sprang up between the Guru and Mula, and Mula afterwards accompanied him to Kabul. On a subsequent occasion when Guru Nanak and Mardana visited Sialkot, Mardana went to Mula. His wife, thinking her husband would again leave her, concealed him, and told Mardana to say he was not at home. In his concealment, he was bitten by a snake and died. On this Guru Nanak composed the following --

Friendship with Karars is false, and false is its foundation.
Mula saw not whence death would come to him.[1]

[1. Additional Sloks of Guru Nanak.]

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When his work was accomplished in Sialkot, the Guru proceeded to the south of the Panjab as far as Mithankot (in the present district of Dera Ghazi Khan), where Mian Mitha, a famous Muhammadan priest, resided. The Guru took up his quarters in a garden near the town. When Mian Mitha heard of the Guru's arrival he said, 'Nanak is a good faqir; but, if I meet him, I will squeeze the juice out of him as if he were a lemon.' Mardana, when reporting his speech to the Guru, said, 'Mian Mitha is thine automaton, and will play as thou causest him to play.' Mian Mitha continued his boasting: 'I will go to see Nanak, and, if I meet him, I will take the cream off him as I would skim milk.' Mian Mitha met the Guru and, after saluting him in the Muhammadan fashion, sat down. He challenged the Guru by the following slok:--

The first name is that of God, the second that of the Prophet.
O Nanak, if thou repeat the Creed,[1] thou shalt find acceptance in God's court.

The Guru replied:--

The first name is that of God; how many prophets are at His gate!
O Shaikh, form good intentions, and thou shalt find acceptance in God's court.

The Guru continued: 'Mian Mitha, at God's gate there is no room for a prophet. He who dwelleth there is God alone.' Mian Mitha then put the Guru two questions: 'How can a lamp burn without oil? and, How shall man obtain a seat in God's court? The Guru replied as follows:--

Act according to the Quran and thy sacred books.
Put the wick of fear into thy body
Burn in it the knowledge of truth;

[1. That is, if thou become a Muhammadan.]

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Thus shall thy lamp burn without oil.
Make such a light, and thou shalt find the Lord.
When God's words leave an impression on man
And service is performed, happiness is obtained.
All worlds come and go:
While abiding in this world perform worship;
Thus shalt thou obtain a seat in God's court,
And, saith Nanak, triumphantly swing thine arm.'

Mian Mitha then put to the Guru the question contained in the first line of the following hymn. He also inquired the condition of the souls of the wicked after death. The Guru replied as follows:--

'My brother, salam alaikum! for God's sake tell the truth; how shall man obtain distinction in God's court?'
As man soweth so shall he reap; he shall eat what he obtaineth from the Commander.
Nanak, without the true Name man shall be bound and endure suffering.
Praise be to the Creator; when man goeth down to the wretched dark grave, God's power shall be manifested.
The angels, the heralds of the Almighty, shall come with His orders.
They shall hold quivers, maces, battle-axes, two-edged swords, bows,
Lances, and shields made of fire; and put chains on men's necks.
By God's order they shall bind and lead away the back biter as well as the man without a priest.
Nanak, the true Name, the source of consolation in this last age, shall procure man's acceptance in God's court.
Ye fear lions, jackals, and snakes; but they shall make their dwellings in your graves.
Oxen shall root up your graves, and even your enemies' hatred of you shall cool.

[1. Sri Râg.]

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Brethren, friends, and lovers read the fatiha,[1] and say prayers for the departed.
Nanak, such things are false, and God alone is true.
The sinners who have committed transgressions are bound and led away.
Their luggage of sins is so heavy that they cannot lift it.
The steep road ahead is dark, while the executioner walketh behind them.
In front is a sea of fire; how shall they cross it?
Ravens stand on men's skulls, and peck at them fast as a shower of sparks.
Nanak, where shall man escape when the punishment is by God's order?
The eyes of the sinful shall be torn out; they shall be come blind, and terrible darkness prevail.
Their ears shall be pressed as if they were the sockets of oil-presses,[2] and storms of filth shall assail their noses.
Their tongues shall be cut out for breaking their promises and forgetting the True One.
They shall cry aloud when their skulls are burning in the fire.
No one can save the ignorant man who is covetous and hath no priest;
But they whose demerits are pardoned through their merits shall be, O Nanak, of the elect.
As sesame is heated and pressed, or cotton carded by means of a thong, so shall sinners be punished.
Like paper they shall be beaten with mallets, and put into presses;
They shall be heated like iron; they shall burn and cry aloud;
The wretched beings' heads shall be taken up with tongs and placed on anvils,

[1. The introductory prayer of the Quran. Its secondary meaning is prayers offered up for a deceased person.

2. The Indian oil-press is a primitive machine. A beam is made to revolve in a socket in which the seeds to be pressed are placed. The meaning here is, that the cars shall be tortured as if the beams of oil-presses revolved in them as sockets.]

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On which they shall be beaten with hammers in time according to the smith's[1] lead.
Nanak, without the true Name they shall have no rest either in this world or the next.
Iron spikes shall be driven into their feet, and the sun shall burn their heads.
They who are captivated with the strange woman's flesh, shall lose their manhood and their honour;
They shall be bound to a heated pillar, and no one will go near them;
They shall be unloosed and again tied to it; they shall repent and implore pity--
Everybody, Nanak, is an enemy of the sinner--
They shall be put into a furnace and bodkins of fire thrust into their eyes;
They shall be burnt by sand under which fire hath been kindled;
They shall be roasted in a caldron like rice, and shall then crackle and make a report.
God Himself pardoneth, O Nanak; whom else shall we address?
As the juice of sugar-cane is expressed by putting great weight on it,
So man is weighed down by eating, drinking, dressing, and pleasures which degrade his mind.
An account shall be demanded from the soul which hath dealt in such things.
Feet and legs perform the duties the soul ordereth them.
The tongue which tasted sinful savours shall stand up in court and cry out against the soul;
The ears shall also depose that it is the soul which is false and deceitful.
The nose and eyes shall also plead not guilty, and it is the poor soul which shall suffer.
The soul under arrest in Death's court pleadeth, 'It is the senses which have led the whole world astray:
'The senses united have thrown man into misery as the smith putteth iron on the anvil.'

[1. Dharmrâj, the Pluto of Greek mythology.]

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Nanak, he who meeteth not the true Guru and obtaineth not divine knowledge, shall find no rest in this world or the next.
The soul shall be filed seventy times like an arrow;
It shall be melted like gold in a mould; O soul, thou shalt suffer for what thou hast done.
The soul shall have to bear a prodigious saddle and be driven like a steed.
Nanak, it shall be bound by Death, and have to suffer transmigration again and again.
How many enemies shall it have on sea and land! the forests and glades shall cause it to suffer.
Every house shall bear it enmity; Nanak, the real thing is to meditate on the Eternal.
Death with the three bloodshot and terrible eyes shall lie in wait for the soul.
The whole world is Death's provender; merciless is the god of death.
He seizeth men, Nanak, and hurrieth them away in obedience to the Commander.
My body is before Thee; Thou art Master; Thou mayest preserve or destroy it.
There shall be no mother, father, kinsman, wife, or brother,
Son, or wealth to assist us; how shall we have consolation?
There shall be no quiver, or bow, or shield, or sword to protect us,
But a seething caldron day and night; consider this under the Guru's instruction.
Make honesty thy steed, truth thy saddle, continence thine equestrian armour;
The five virtues[1] thine arrows, and truth thy sword and shield.
Nanak, pious men who have truth in their hearts, shall obtain honour in God's court.

[1. Contentment, compassion, piety, patience, morality. The list of the five virtues is somewhat arbitrary. Truth is generally included in them, but here the Guru makes it a separate virtue.]

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Brahma who came into the world repeating the Veds cannot describe God.
What is poor Krishan who by God's order descended upon earth?
Shiv and countless gods and goddesses standing at Thy gate praise Thee.
He who turneth from God shall pine away and die; the True One is ever the Pardoner.[1]

Mian Mitha then spoke: 'What is that one Name which thou praisest so much?' The Guru replied, 'Hath any one ever known the worth of that Name?' Mian Mitha asked him to be good enough to explain it to him. The Guru then took his arm, led him aside, and said to him, 'Shaikh, hearest thou the Name of the one God?' While they were speaking, the name of the Prophet vanished amid the sounds of divine ecstasy, and when they looked again there appeared instead of it only a heap of ashes. Then came a voice from heaven which only repeated 'Allah', God's Arabic name. Upon this Shaikh Mitha got up and kissed the Guru's feet. The Guru then fell into a trance, and in that state gave utterance to the following:--


The present are favoured; the absent are not.
Faith is a friend, want of faith an infidel;
Pride is ruin, wrath is unlawful;
Concupiscence is Satan, conceit is infidelity;
The slanderer's face is black.
The man without faith is unclean; he who is tender-hearted is pure.
Knowledge is gentleness. The non-avaricious are holy the avaricious are impatient.
The honest man hath a bright, the ungrateful man a yellow face.

[1. Banno's Granth Sahib. It must be noted that this hymn is not generally accepted by the Sikhs.

2. Instruction. This too is not found in the Granth Sahib.]

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Truth is heaven, falsehood is hell.
Mildness is victuals.
Force is oppression, justice is pure.
God's praises are ablutions, the call to prayer is noise.
Theft is greed, adultery uncleanness.
Patience is humility, impatience deceit.
The right way is that of spiritual advisers; the wrong way is for those who have none.
Compassion is wealth, want of compassion useless.
The sword is for warriors, justice for monarchs.
He who knoweth and causeth others to know these things,
Is, O Nanak, called a wise man.

Upon this the Guru and Mian Mitha separated.

Next: Life Of Guru Nanak: Chapter XI