THE FIVE WISE WORDS OF THE GURU.1
Once there lived a handsome young man named Earn Singh, who, though a favourite with everyone, was unhappy because he had a scold for a step-mother. All day long she went on talking, until the youth was driven so distracted that he determined to go away somewhere and seek his fortune. No sooner had he decided to leave his home than he made his plans, and the very next morning he started off with a few clothes in a wallet, and a little money in his pocket.
But there was one person in the village to whom he wished to say good-bye, and that was a wise old guru, or teacher, who had taught him much. So he turned his face first of all towards his master's hut, and before the sun was well up was knocking at his door. The old man received his pupil affectionately; but he was wise in reading faces, and saw at once that the youth was in trouble.
' My son,' said he, ' what is the matter ? '
' Nothing, father,' replied the young man, ' but I have determined to go into the world and seek my fortune.'
' Be advised,' returned the guru, ' and remain in your father's house ; it is better to have half a loaf at home than to seek a whole one in distant countries.'
But Bam Singh was in no mood to heed such advice, and very soon the old man ceased to press him.
' Well,' said he at last, ' if your mind is made up I suppose you must have your way. But listen carefully,
1 A Hindu religious teacher or saint; in this case a Sikh.