Updated on: Tuesday, November 09, 2021, 12:30 AM IST

Guiding Light: The story of a needle


Dunichand was one of the devotees of Guru Nanak. He was a rich merchant who was proud of his wealth and possessions. For every lakh that he amassed, he had a flag put upon his roof-top. Several flags flew atop his house in Lahore, proclaiming his wealth to the world.

One day, Guru Nanak said to him. “My brother, will you do me a favour?”

“Master, what is there that I would not do for you?” said Dunichand with great reverence “Order and thy servant shall obey”

The Guru said to him, “I give you this needle. All I ask of you is to keep it safe and return it to me when we meet again in the next world.”

“It shall be my privilege to do so,” said Dunichand.

He took the needle to his wife. “The great Guru has charged me to keep this needle safe and to return it to Him when we meet in the next world.” he informed her.

Dunichand did not realise the implications of the task with which the great Guru had entrusted Him.

But his wife said to him, “What has happened to you? How can you take this needle and return it to the Guru when you meet Him in the next world? How can you carry this needle with you?”

When this realisation hit Dunichand, he exclaimed, “It is true, how can I carry this needle? I can carry nothing! Even my hands and my body will he left behind. How then can I carry this needle with me?”

Immediately he returned to Guru Nanak and said to Him, “Master, this work that you have asked me to do is humanly impossible. How can I do it? How can I carry this needle with me and give it to You in the next world?”

Then it is that Guru Nanak gave him a look that penetrated to the depths of his heart.

He said to him, “If you cannot carry even a tiny needle, of what use will these millions be to you?”

Dunichand learned a lesson more valuable than all his wealth!

(Dada J.P. Vaswani is humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.)

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Published on: Tuesday, November 09, 2021, 07:00 AM IST