Tales: The Freshest Flowers

It is said that when Guru Nanak, the inspired soul whose teaching founded the Sikh religion, reached the end of his life, in his final illness he was lying beneath an acacia tree. His followers, seeing that his time was near, gathered around him, and began to dispute as to what should be done with his remains. Some wanted to cremate his body, and others wished to bury it, each according to their custom. It was Guru Nanak himself who settled the question.

“When I am no more, let the Hindus put flowers under the shroud to my right, and the Muslims can put flowers to my left. In the morning, those whose flowers are freshest can do what they wish with the body.”

A little later he breathed his last, and the devotees did as he instructed, the Hindus putting flowers to his right and the Muslims putting flowers to his left beneath the shroud.

In the morning, when they removed the shroud, they discovered that both sets of flowers were equally fresh – but the body was not there! And overhead, the branches of the acacia tree had burst into bloom…

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