Can You Tell Me Where There Is No God?

Nanak was the founder of Sikhism. He was an excellent, excellent Guru. When he was young, Nanak paid very little attention to sports. Unlike most of his friends, he didn’t care for games at all. Nanak always used to think of God and meditate on God. He only wanted to mix with spiritual people. In school he didn’t do well because he was all the time in his own world.

Since he was not doing well, his father, who was a businessman, said, “The best thing is for him to go into business.” So he opened up a shop for his son.

O God! Nanak was unlike other businessmen. He used to give away money to spiritual people, to saddhus. The father saw that he would soon go bankrupt if he kept his son in the shop. The father said, “In some way this boy has to become worldly-minded. If he remains all the time in the spiritual world, then he will be totally lost and our family will be disgraced.” So he asked his son to get married, even though he was quite young. Nanak obeyed.

But again it was the same story. Nanak was praying and meditating all the time. Whenever he got the opportunity, he used to go to see religious people, spiritual mendicants. His wife used to cry and cry for her husband. But what could she do? He was a hopeless case. Finally one day, without any rhyme or reason, the wife died. Nanak was quite happy. He said, “Now I can become a mendicant and go wherever I want to.” So he became a mendicant and went to many places to pray and meditate. He used to go to Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Christian churches alike. He used to go wherever he could find a place to meditate.

One day Nanak decided to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, which is the most holy place for Muslims. During his journey he happened to lie down for a while with his feet facing a mosque. A priest saw this and said to Nanak, “Look at your audacity! You are lying here with your feet pointing directly at the mosque. What are you doing?”

Nanak said, “Forgive me, I am very tired; I am simply exhausted. Please do me a favour. Will you kindly lift up my feet and point them in a direction where there is no God?”

The priest got the point. He said, “You have taught me that God is everywhere. I have been telling people that Allah is everywhere and in everything, and that the whole world is His creation. But today you have shown me that no matter which direction we face, God is there. So you have taught me a most significant lesson.”