Previous life of Gurunanak Ji
Many illuminating stories from the life of Guru Nanak are recorded in Dabistan. They give insight into the life, mind and teachings of the great Guru. Some of them amply explain the Guru's reincarnation and appearance on the earth. Why did the Guru come to the earth? What was his purpose? Did he do justice to the duty given to him. Did he achieve the goal that was behind his rebirth. These and many other questions have been answered well. Many small but significant incidents have been recorded in it.
This simple incident has far-reaching implications and connects Guru Nanak with his previous life.
In his previous life, Nanak was a very dedicated and pure soul who helped all. When he died, his soul came to an intersection. On one side was the way to hell, on the other was the way to heaven. He had to choose. Guru Nanak deliberately moved towards hell.
When Nanak reached the gate, the darkness around hell vanished because of his virtues. The miserable and tormented spirits in hell felt relief. Their pain was lessened and they felt comforted. The dark underworld was no longer dark. The gate silently opened. The ill-fated spirits, who had committed many unforgivable crimes, came out.
All the tormented spirits followed Nanak. They soon came to the gate of heaven. There was hubbub. God appeared and said, "These spirits are sinners. They can't enter heaven until they are purged and liberated. Your piety has saved them from longer miseries. They can now take rebirth. If they do good in their next birth and are liberated, only then can they enter heaven."
"O Lord," prayed Nanak, "then send me also to the earth to help them in their efforts to be liberated."
Guru Nanak's wish was granted. So, he took rebirth to liberate sinners. On earth, he liberated millions of men and women during his long stay. Even today, 500 years after his final departure, he is showing the way and liberating cursed souls.