Offerings to the the Guru are Deposits

Once, the Guru invited Pandas from Kanshi, and organised a hom through them. The Khalsa Panth was created. "Guru ji, if you permit, we would like to ask some questions," said the Pandas.

"Sure, do not hesitate," replied the Guru.

"Guru ji, the Vedas prescribe different duties (dharam) for each caste (varan) ,specifying
that a particular varan should not perform the functions of other varans. According to the
Vedas, it is the function of the Brahmins to accept offerings. And the duty of the Kshatris is
to make offerings.

You belong to the Kshatri varan. How is it that you accept offerings from the world, while according to your varan it is not in order for you to do so? The proper thing for you would be to give offerings or charity. How do you justify your accepting offerings from the public? This doubt has arisen in our minds. Kindly explain this to us."

"Respected Pandas, it is good you have asked this question. Now listen to the answer. Acceptance of offerings is of two kinds. One is accepting a charity. The other is accepting a deposit. In the latter case, he appears to be taking it. But he is in fact not taking anything. Rather he is doing a favour by accepting its custody. An illustration will make the point clear. There was a king to whom the services of astrologers were available. They were perfect, and whatever they predicted, always came true. The king had tested them several times. Once the astrologers told him, there will be a huge fire in your city, very widespread.' They predicted the month, date and the day also. The king asked if there would be any place in the town which would be safe, or everything would get destroyed.

To this the astrologers replied, 'Only your mansions will be saved. All the remaining town will be burnt.' When the time arrived, the king made a public announcement to the effect that according to the astrologers, it was the Will of God that the whole of the town burn in a devastating fife. The citizens were advised to deposit their belongings at the royal mansions, to be taken back after the calamity was over. All residents of the town belonging to all varans followed the advice, and deposited their belongings with the king.

They took their belongings back, when the danger was no more. Thus, when the king accepted their deposits, he did a favour to them. Similarly, when the public hands over money and other offerings to me, I keep it as a deposit like the king. I do not take any charity. The world is aflame with lust, rancour, etc. Whatever money is spent on such pursuits, goes down the drain. And whatever money is offered before the Guru, will be of avail to them. Whatever be their desires while making the offering, will be realised by the grace of the Guru.”

“Guru ji, we did not know that you are a philospher. Hearing your philosophy has gladdened our hearts. We are indeed very grateful to you for the answers,” said the Pandas. (15)

Episode No. 15

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