Saint Fareed was guided by his mother on to the spiritual path. His first journey commenced as a teenager, with his mother sending him to the forest for meditation. When he returned after twelve years, she is eager to hear his experience.
“I mediated and slept under a tree,” Fareed told her, “and I plucked tree leaves for food.” The mother asks Fareed to take a bath, after which she starts to comb his matted hair. As she forced the comb through his hair, Fareed cried in pain. “And what about the trees when you plucked away their leaves? They also must have been pained,” she asked.
She tells Fareed to return to the forest, and begin his journey afresh. She also tells him that he must stay well protected in a strong fort, eat every day from a tasty spread, and sleep only on a velvet bed. Saint Fareed is surprised. “Mother, where will I find a fort, a tasty banquet, and a luxurious bed in the jungle”, he asked.
And she told him the secrets. A person is weak when he is led by his ego, and does good only to be called good by others.
The one who is truly humble is strong, and cannot be disturbed, as though he is living in a strong fort. The one who eats only when hungry, to him every morsel is a feast. And if the body is well exercised and tired through service to others, then every sleep is more satisfying than sleep on a velvet bed.
Mother had shared the secrets of spiritual travel – humility, contentment, and service to others. Guru Granth Sahib says:
Let the Lord’s Name be the seed, contentment the plow, and your humility be the protective fence.
Doing deeds of love, the seed shall sprout, and you shall see your home flourish.