Kids Corner

Kids' Corner

Conquer Your Mind, Conquer The World
Living Sikhi, Lesson # 30




Lesson Objectives 

1   To learn a little more about the historical background of Guru Nanak's times.

2   To understand what an amazing event happened in Eminabad when Babar discovered the secret of happiness that gives true freedom.

3   To understand the difference between "pain" and "suffering".

4   To appreciate the importance of contentment and how it arises from gratitude and acceptance. These allow God's Grace, the Naam, to fill/ eliminate desires within.


Teachers, ask the students to say the Sikh greeting with you; then fold hands and do simran with the students.

Homework Review

Share with the class the list of the things for which you are grateful.

In the last lesson, we learned that jealousy is a terrible and painful poison of the mind and heart, and causes much suffering. What is the antidote to this poison? (Pause for answers from the students.) In today's lesson, we will learn more about an important remedy that is so wonderful that even a tyrant, Babar, wanted to learn about it.

Babar was the first Moghul to conquer India. The Moghuls had swept in from central Asia and had settled in Persia (Iran) before arriving in Eminabad in Punjab. Guru Nanak had returned from Arabia and was visiting Bhai Lalo when Babar attacked and looted the city. There was terrible violence all around. Men, women and children who survived were taken prisoner and forced to carry heavy loads and to work for nothing as slaves under cruel conditions with little food.

Read pages 99-103 in "Stories From Sikh History" (Hemkunt Press)

Why would kind and good people like Guru Nanak, Bhai Mardana and Bhai Lalo have to experience such cruelty? We can only guess from this story that they were in these circumstances, not to suffer, but to demonstrate true freedom. Those around them had lost everything - people they knew and loved, their homes, their social status. They were in a terrible state. How could Guru Nanak help them? How could he free them from their suffering?

First, let's see how lucky those people were who were in the presence of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak knew how to eliminate suffering because he knew some important principles:

a   Guru Nanak knew that, because we are human beings, everyone would have some pain in life. There is illness, loss, accident, old age and death. Pain is inevitable. Some will have more pain than others. Only God fully knows the reasons.

b   Guru Nanak knew that everything that happens is God's Will. If we truly understand, we realize that everything that happens, no matter how painful, leads us back to God and to helping others. He knew that when we accept God's Will (His Hukam) for us, we learn that pain does not cause suffering. Suffering is caused by our own minds wanting something different from what is God's Will for us.

c  Accepting God's Will and feeling gratitude to God for our lives brings contentment. It is a wonderful feeling that we need nothing more than God's Grace. We are completely satisfied. Contentment is true happiness.

The faces of those who were with Guru Nanak glowed with happiness as they performed their work. This happiness is what the guards saw. They found this so surprising and so attractive that they shared the information with Babar. The guards told Babar that these slaves worked as if no effort was required of them, as if the wheels grinding the grain moved by themselves. Babar was very interested in finding out the secret of these slaves.

Just as Guru Nanak taught the people of Eminabad about accepting God's Will and how it leads to the happiness that comes with contentment, he did not keep this knowledge from Babar, but lovingly shared it as if he were a brother. Babar was so grateful that he offered to free Guru Nanak and asked what else he could do for him. Guru Nanak asked that all the people of Eminabad be freed and that Babar reform his cruel ways if he wanted to be happy.

All of Eminabad was set free from slavery. They had already learned how to be free from suffering. By accepting God's Will and feeling contentment, they conquered their minds, the real cause of all suffering. Therefore there was nothing in this world that could cause them suffering. They were the emperors, the true conquerors of this world.


In the 28th and 29th stanzas of Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak invites YOU to become completely free of suffering. Please memorize these words, even if you do not fully understand them yet. Why? Because if you do, you will be able to play them back in your head as you grow up. Every year you will understand the advice more clearly as you practice it, so that you may one day join the Brotherhood of the Universe. Guru Nanak contrasts this spiritual panth (religious order) with the outward signs of certain religious orders like the Sufis, Siddhs or nuns who wear certain clothes, like a patched coat or nothing except ashes, or who beg for their food, or never marry. The inward or spiritual qualities that are required of you to practice are underlined:

Munda santokh saram pat jholi dheean kee kareh bibhoot

Wear the earrings of contentment; make modesty your apron and smear yourself with meditation, like ashes.

Khinta kaal kuaree kayya jugat danda parteet

Wear the remembrance of your limited time (mortality) as your patched coat, your pure life as your path and use faith as your walking stick.

Ayee panthee sagal jamaatee mun jeetai jug jeet

Join the Brotherhood of the Universe and by conquering your mind, conquer the world.

Aades tisay aades/ aad aneel anaad anahat jug jug ayko ves.

I salute God again and again. God is the First, the Pure, the Indestructible, Eternally the same through all ages. (28)


Bhugat gyan daya bhandaaran ghat ghat vaajay naad

Make divine knowledge your food and compassion your steward. Listen to the music of the soul that calls you.

Aap naath naathi sabh ja ki ridh sidh avrah saad

God is supreme and has produced everything. Magic powers and miracles are useless diversions

Sanjog vijog dooay kaar chilahvay lekhay avay bhaag

Unions and separations are the way of the world and we are bound by what is written (God's Will)

Aades tisay aades/  aad anil anaad anahat jugo ayko ves

I salute God again and again. God is the First, the Pure, the Indestructible, Eternally the same through all ages. (29)



satgur aayo saran tuhaari


February 23, 2011

Conversation about this article

Comment on "Conquer Your Mind, Conquer The World
Living Sikhi, Lesson # 30"

To help us distinguish between comments submitted by individuals and those automatically entered by software robots, please complete the following.

Please note: your email address will not be shown on the site, this is for contact and follow-up purposes only. All information will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Sikhchic reserves the right to edit or remove content at any time.