Around 1665 AD, after the congregation purchased a piece of land, Guru Tegh Bahadur commenced construction of the city of Anandpur. The new buildings housed the community kitchen, a community  resting and prayer hall, and a clinic.Mele Shah was a local community leader in a nearby town, and his flock was not happy at the new development. They felt that the importance of their own town would decrease. To see the new settlement, Mele Shah came to stay at Anandpur for a few days. When he saw the magnificent buildings, he was not happy either. While eating at the community kitchen, he spoke to other devotees. “The Guru teaches you all that humility and detachment are the defining mark of a true devotee. Then, why are these buildings being made?” he asked. “Or perhaps,” he continued, “Tegh Bahadur has forgotten the teachings of Guru Nanak.” And he quoted from the Guru Granth Sahib:

They know that they will have to depart, why do they make such ostentatious displays?/Those who do not know that they will have to depart, continue to arrange their affairs.

As Mele Shah is leaving Anandpur, he saw a mound of sand. There were toy houses and castles made of sand, but the children who had made them had left without any attachment. As he stood there, another group of children came to play. The existing sand castles crumbled, and new ones were built. In a flash, he understood that the Guru was not making buildings for himself. He would depart detached, leaving everything for use by the community.As he returns to Anandpur, the evening worshippers are singing these words from the Guru Granth Sahib:

These generous, humble beings are beyond both birth and death.

They give the gift of the soul, they inspire the devotee to merge in Him. 

Pir Mele Shah returned to his town, to become a renowned ascetic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *