A moral story on Discipline and Devotion

Guru Ram Dass, the fourth Sikh Guru, had several disciples. Every disciple remained busy doing his duty. One of the disciples war Arjun Dev. His particular quality was that he devotedly kept himself busy with the duty assigned to him. Ever since he became the Guru’s disciple, he was given the work of scrubbing the utensils.

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Other disciples used to ask him, “Arjun Dev you are always busy in cleaning utensils, you should serve the Guru also sometimes.”


Arjun Dev replied, “This work of cleaning the utensils, I do with Guru’s orders.”

They said, “But only cleaning the utensils does not comprise the whole service. The Guru will not be pleased in this manner.”

Arjun Dev said, “I do not try to please the Guru. My duty is to obey him.”

The other disciples were quiet. They though, it was wasting time to advise him.


The time passed on. Whenever there was a sermon or religious congregation, Arjun Dev was always busy in doing his duty. Guru Ram Dass’s end neared. Every disciple though that he had the right to succeed the Guru because he had all the qualities of service and devotion in him. The Guru had written down the ‘will’ for the announcement of his successor. The ‘will’ was to be opened after his death.

Guru Ram Dass died. Everybody was eager to hear what was written in the ‘will’ so that he might know his fortune. When the ‘will’ was opened, Arjun Dev had been declared the successor. Everyone, particularly those who had built up high hopes, were greatly surprised. Some put up a question that how was Arjun Dev made the successor even though he had no better qualities than other disciples.

The wise men said, “In the Guru’s views Arjun Dev was the only deserving successor to him.”

The disciples asked, “But he never said his prayers. He never took part in the religious discourses. He was only cleaning utensils. Nothing else did he do. Then where lies the justification in making him the successor”.


The answer was – faith and discipline are the only prime qualities.

In fact the touch stone of eligibility is one’s innate faith, absolute devotion and discipline, not his knowledge and wisdom.

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