Guru Nanak’s Good Bargain

Actors: Guru Nanak, his father Mehta Kalu, his mother, doctor, wife Sulakhni, sadhus, Rai Bullar

Props: shawls, food, tree

Places: Nanak’s house, bazaar, camp of sadhus, tree outside Nanak’s house


As Nanak was growing up, he spent much time alone in meditation. Often he didn’t eat or sleep at night. Sometimes he wept. Seeing these things, his father thought he must be sick. He called a doctor. But as the doctor was checking his pulse, Nanak started singing:

The physician called to diagnose an ailment

Pulls out my arm and feels the pulse.

The ignorant physician is not aware,

The malady is deep in the heart.           [Rag Malhar]

Since the doctor couldn’t cure such a disease, Nanak kept on meditating and weeping, with no interest in worldly life. And his parents kept on worrying about him. At last they decided to get him married so he would take interest in worldly life.

They arranged his marriage to Sulakhni.  Nanak was happy, and he loved his wife. They had two sons, Siri Chand and Lakshmi Chand.

Nanak’s father told him he must do some profitable work in order to support his family. Nanak agreed. His father gave him some money so he could go to a market and make a bargain that would earn some profit.

So Nanak set off for the market and bought some things that he could resell at a profit back home.

On the way, he met some sadhus.

Sadhus: We don’t have any food. We haven’t eaten for days. And it’s getting cold and we don’t have any warm clothes.

Nanak: Here. Please take what I’ve bought.

God will think this is a good bargain, for they need these things. Now they will be comfortable.

Narrator: But then Nanak realized that his father would not understand this spiritual bargain. Therefore he sat outside his house under a tree, because he knew his father would be very angry with him.

Father: You fool! You worthless person! You wasted all our money, and you brought nothing home to sell!

Nanak: But father, you sent me to make a good bargain, and this was the best deal I could think of.

Father: What shall I do with you?

Narrator: The village chief Rai Bullar saw this commotion.

Rai Bullar: This is no ordinary boy. He is a great teacher.