One day, an ascetic named Hans arrived at Anandpur, and sought audience with Guru Gobind Singh. In the days that followed, Hans proved himself adept at philosophy and painting, but despite many requests, the Guru did not meet him. Many devotees approached the Guru on behalf of Hans, and requested that he be admitted into the Guru’s presence.
The Guru called for Hans, but told him that he was not willing to be in the company of a cruel person. But Hans protested, and said he was a man of God, without any malice. The Guru then sent out a party to a cave on Dhauladhar mountain. He said that they will find a very fragile person in the cave, and he should be brought to Anandpur. The expedition did find such a person, and brought him to the Guru.
Upon being asked, Hans said that he did not know the man from the cave. In the meantime, the Guru had the cave dweller attended to, and gradually he regained his health. Hans now recognized that he had been a teenager in a monastery, where Hans was the head ascetic. One day, Hans found him playing with a young girl, who was his childhood friend. Upon this, Hans sentenced him to a penance of twelve years, by sitting alone in a cave, which the child resolved to undergo, as a command of his teacher. The girl, on hearing this, became a nun.
The Guru now had the girl traced, and asked her relatives to bring her to Anandpur, where she met her childhood friend again, and the Guru had their marriage ceremony performed. The Guru told Hans that he had missed the first step on the path to God —compassion. Rather than consider himself to be adept, Hans had better start as a beginner!
Guru Granth tells us:
Dharma, he is the son of Compassion,
It holds all creation in a fine balance.