I meekly nodded and mumbled, “I have, but haven't had the grace of meeting any of his
“That is perhaps why, my friend, you are here,” the man prophetically said. “At the end of the recital, my grandfather and all the others present simply
surrendered themselves to the Guru. This was largely just a symbolic act because the moment each of them had seen the Guru
they had lost themselves to him. Guru Nanak graced this village for three days and three nights.
My grandfather named those days the ‘stillness days’ because he said it was
during those days that he and others learnt about the One found only within the stillness of the mind. We observe those days
like others observe their birthdays. Indeed those days were the birthday of the village's inner life.” He chuckled,
“If you are impressed with the village now, you should see the love of the villagers in those fine days. But, as is
the nature of the human mind,” the elder soberly continued, “it wasn't long after Guru Nanak’s departure
that the village began returning to its normal numb and dark existence.
This greatly troubled my grandfather and others like him who had become Guru Nanak's and
Guru Nanak's only. They tried very hard, through teaching and preaching, to keep the message of the Guru alive. Finally, after
all normal means failed they came up with the following village tradition:
Each villager keeps a diary. It is mandatory
that each night before sleep, each person make an entry in the diary. Even children
and people who cannot read or write have to get this entry made. The entry is
simply the amount of time during the day that was spent in simran or in seva, the remembrance of ONE God and selfless service.
At the end of the person's life, the entries
are accumulated and that, my dear traveler is the ‘years of life’ entry you see on the tombstones.”
The storyteller paused to let the magnitude of what he had told me to sink into me.
He continued, “It is perhaps that which allows us to be free with our love. We are reminded each and every day what real life is. The
time spent in simran or seva is the only life we consider as been worthy of been called life.”