This is a play about an incident in the life of Guru Nanak, who was the founder of the Sikh religion. Nanak had very many Hindu and Muslim disciples and was always striving for harmony between the two faiths. Upon his death his Hindu and Muslim disciples were arguing over whether he should be cremated or burned. But when they looked at the body, they saw only fresh flowers. Each group took half the flowers so they could bury or cremate them as they wished.
This play is about Nanak's childhood and a famous incident that happened on his pilgrimage to Mecca. The play (minus the not-very-humorous asides) is taken from Sri Chinmoy's tellings of famous Indian tales, which are printed in a series called Great Indian Meals
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.
are you playing football, Nanak?
Lets use him as a goalpost!
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. His father was very worried.
The best thing is for him to go into business.
So he opened up a shop for his son. But Nanak was unlike other businessmen. He used to give away money to spiritual people, to saddhus.
I havent eaten in five days...
And you need money? Of course...
The father saw that he would soon go bankrupt if he kept his son in the shop.
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. Nanak, I wish you to get married.
As you wish.
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.
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. During his journey he happened to lie down for a while with his feet facing a mosque. But a Muslim priest saw him
Look at your audacity! You are lying here with your feet pointing directly at the mosque. This is a major sign of disrespect! What are you doing?"
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?"
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.