26 February 2007

Watering the Sun

Biella writes about a humourous piece from a book by John Morreal. I was reminded of a similar story from times long long ago.

"Nanak’s teachings are best understood against the backdrop of bhakti, the devotional movement which was then sweeping north and western India, and in the context of the ossification of both Hinduism and Islam into religious faiths which inculcated blind beliefs in their followers. During the course of his travels, Nanak reached Hardwar, where he encountered Brahmins who, while standing in the Ganga, were throwing water towards the sun to appease the souls of their ancestors. It is reported that Nanak bent down and began throwing water in the opposite direction, and when asked what he was doing, he replied that he was watering his fields in the Punjab. When his reply was met with derision, Nanak reportedly told the Brahmins that if the water they were sprinkling could reach the sun, then doubtless the water could also reach his fields, which were merely a few hundred miles away."

c.f. http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Religions/gurus/GNanak.html

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