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Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the goldsmith
A young goldsmith one day presented himself before Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and began to fan him. He said that his father had taken the charanpahul in vogue at the time of the preceding Gurus. The youth's mother accompanied him, and Guru Ji invited them both to stay with him.
To make a trial of the goldsmith's skill, Guru Ji gave him ten muhars to convert into ornaments. When the work was subsequently submitted for Guru Jis inspection he was pleased, and ordered the treasurer to keep the young artisan supplied with gold, and store all ornaments he made in his treasury.
Guru Ji asked the goldsmith if he had any faults. He replied, 'O great King, I am the slave of your feet, I only seek the society of the saints.'
Upon this, Guru Ji replied, 'He who possesses great talents must possess some fault. What is yours?' The man possessing talent who has no fault must be in God's own image'. The young man however would not admit any imperfection.
After this he was allowed to take as much gold as he pleased to work upon. It was never weighed to him, and he was never asked how much he had taken. ONe day Guru Ji told his treasurer to weigh for the future, without the goldsmith's knowledge, all the gold dispensed to him. Upon this the treasurer weighed out twenty tolas of gold.
When the goldsmith presented the ornaments made therefrom, they were found to weigh only seventeen tolas. Upon this Guru Ji ordered that all the ornaments the youth had made since his arrival to be produced and weighed.
The treasurer found them to be far short of the amount of gold taken from the treasury. On this Guru Ji remonstrated with the young goldsmith. 'You said you had no fault. But what greater fault can they be than to misuse what is entrusted to you? Did you not recieve your wages from the Guru's house, and was that not sufficient remuneration for you? You are as evil as the masands I have been punishing. I am pleased with whose who, though they may coarse garbs, eat what they lawfully earn.'
It is said on this censure the youth reformed his ways.