ਸਿੱਖ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ

Travels of Guru Nanak Sahib

During his stay in sultanpur ,Guru Nanak Sahib  every early mornings and evenings after the job,  accompanied by Mardana used to go to the Vahi  Nadi  (a small river nearby ) for taking bath, meditating, and singing hymns accompanied with Bhai Mardana who used to play  the rabab (a stringed instrumt) Nanak used to sing Dhur ki Baani in Elahi Masti.

During one of those early mornings while bathing in “Vain Nadi”  Guru Nanak heard God‘s call to dedicate himself completely to the service of humanity . He saw the world suffering out of hatred, fanaticism, falsehood, hypocrisy, and sunk in wickedness and sin. Guru Nanak did not come out of the river for a long time. Everybody except Babe Nanki though that he is drowned in the river. After three days  Nanak reappeared on the bank of Sant Ghat just five-six kilometers away. The very first sentence which Guru Nanak uttered, “.There is no Hindu and no Musalman”.  This sentence was of social significance at that time when there was a theo-political and social conflict between Islam and Hinduism.

 Guru Nanak told his family about the incidence  that He was on God’s call and God has given him a divine mission to preach his unique doctrine in every nook and corner of the World, instead of sitting  at one place. Guru Nanak then began his mission, traveled far and wide, all over the world which is called Udasis. He quit his job and distributed all that what he had, to the poor and needy. Accompanied by Mardana who had always played the rebab while Nanak sang, they left town for Talwandi to meet his parents. His parents initially didn’t want him to go as they have become old and  were in need of Nanak,s support. However, Nanak felt he had a compelling mission to offer God’s real message to suffering humanity, and he felt this mission outweighed his personal family obligations.

Before starting long journeys, he traveled Punjab. He  shown the true path of meeting God to the people of all religions, established Sangat, opened Dharmsals for Parchar, Parsaar, and Sanchar. He established various Sikh centers to strengthen the infrastructure of the Sikh Society. He even appointed certain able and dedicated followers as preachers of Sikhism who were observed, sowing the seeds of Sikhism all over India and abroad in a planned manner. Crossing Beas, guru Nanak stayed at the place where the third Guru, Guru Amardas has built Goindwal Sahib, then he went to the place where Guru Ram Das had founded a city which was called Amritsar.

For the next 30 years, accompanied by Bhai Mardana, Guru Nanak undertook four, some historians says five  major spiritual journeys,   running across all over the four directions of India,  Pakpattan Sri Lanka, present Pakistan, South Asia, Tibet, Siri Nagar, Kashmir Afghanisthan, Nepal, Bhutan, China Russia, Turkey, Mecca Madeena, Baghdad, Iram Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Europe, and Arabia- traveled far and wide covering about 50,000 kilometers at the time when there was no mode of transportation. The record for the most traveled person is held by Ibn Battuta of Morocco. It is believed that  Guru Nanak is the second most traveled person in the world and  most of his journeys were made on foot with his companion,  Bhai Mardana. At the end of every udasi, He used to stay in Punjab and fro  and set out for long travels after each udasi  from Punjab only. 

In his first long journey he travelled across in terms of modern political geography ,India, Pakistan and Bangladesh which was geographically have the entity of single country during his times. He started with Utter Pradesh, West Bengal ,Orrisa, Madras, Kerala , Mysore, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat, , Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.  The important Places he visited were Pehowa,  Kurukshetara, Delhi, Panipat,  Madhyadwar, Gorakhmata, Gola, Ajudhya, Nizamabad, Paryag, Banaras, Gya, Patna-Hazipur, Dacca, Dhubri, Gohati, Kamrup, Dhanasri Valley, Shilong, Silhat, Cuttack, Jagannath Puri, Guntur, Kanchpurum, Tiruchnappali, Nagapattinam,  Rameshwaram, Trivandrum, Bidar, Broach, Somnath, Girnar Rock, Ahemdabad, Ujjain, Chitorgarh, Ajmer, Pushkar, Mathura, Sirsa pakopattan. He also visited Ceylon, He went there from Nagapattinam and returned via Rameshwaram. Some important places associated with his visit are Batticaloa, Mattiakullam, Kurukul, Madap, Katargama, Nuwara Eliya, Avisvella (Sitawaka) Anuradhapura and Mannar.

The second tour of his udasi took Guru Nanak Sahib into the interior of Himalayan region where he visited the Kangra Valley, the Kulu Valley, the Spiti tableland, Western Tibet, Ladakh, Kashmir and Pakistan (West Punjab), Some of the prominent places associated with his visit are Kiratpur, Mandi Rawalsar, Jwalaji, Baijnath, Manikaran, Kulu, Mulana Kailash Parbat, Manasarowar Lake ,Gartok, Gumpha, Hemus, Leh, Basgo, Skardu , Kargil, Amarnath, Matan Sahib. Aanatnag, Srinagar , Baramula, Hasan Abdal(Panja Sahib), Tila Bal Gudai, Sialkot, Pasrur, and Saidpur.

After returning from Himalayan Guru Nanak  Sahib decided to travel Muslim Countries of West Asia wearing a dress of a Muslim devotee. He travelled in Sindh, Baluchistan, Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, According to Janamskhies of Mehrban and Bhai Mani Singh his travel took him to Palestin, Syria, and Turkey, Although there is no definite supporting evidence ,yet some modern writers extend the range of his travels to some countries of Central Asia as well. Some prominent places connected with his tour of the Guru are Multan, Uch, Lakhpat, Hinglaj, Mecca, Medina Baghdad, Mashad, Herat, Kandhar, Kabul, Parachinnar and Gorakhhatri (Peshawar)’

This was the time when The peoples of the world were confused by the conflicting message given by priests, pundits, qazis, mullahs,  sadhus, yogi, sidh, etc. Guru Nanak was moved by the plight of the people of the world and wanted to tell them about the “real message of God”. He brought all confused people together on the right path, from all walks of life, from beggars to kings, thieves, daku, adam Khor, murderers, and slaves. Guru Nanak visited head centers of all religions and had discourses with head priests of various sects of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Parsees, Yogees, Sidhas, Sufis, Muslims, Christians. He met people of different religions, tribes, cultures, and races. He spoke in the temples, mosques, churches, and at various pilgrimage sites. Wherever he went, Guru Nanak spoke out against the false rituals of the society, caste-system in the society, the difference between poor and rich people, the difference between different religious sects. Guru Nanak promoted the equality of all mankind and upheld the causes of the downtrodden and the poor, laying special emphasis to assert the equality of women.  Guru Nanak attacked and condemned the theocracy of Mughals rulers Everywhere he out came in Spiritual discussions which resulted in having followers from all religious backgrounds. Never did he ask his listeners to follow him. He asked the Muslims to be true Muslims, the Hindus to be true Hindu, and Christians to be true Christian.

 During  these journeys, he preached the new concept of God as “Supreme, All-powerful and Truthful, Formless (Nirankar), Fearless (Nirbhau), Without hate (Nirvair), the Sole (Ik), the Self-Existent (Saibhang), the Incomprehensible and Everlasting creator of all things (Karta Purakh), and the Eternal and Absolute Truth (Satnam)”. Guru Ji taught people that the ‘One’ God dwells in every one of his creations and that all human beings can have direct access to God without the need for any rituals or priests. Setting up a unique spiritual, social and political platform based on equality and fraternal love, Guru Nanak attacked the citadel of the Hindu Caste System and condemned the theocracy of Mughal rulers. He described the dangers of egotism, falsehood, and hypocrisy, and called upon the people to engage in worship through the “Naam” (the name of God). He rejected the path of renunciation (Tyaga), emphasizing a householder’s (family) life based on honest conduct, selfless service (Sewa), and constant devotion and remembrance of God’s name. Guru Nanak promoted the equality of all mankind and upheld the causes of the downtrodden and the poor, laying special emphasis to assert the equality of women

In 1521 After his fourth Udasi guru, Nanak Sahib came to Eminabad to meet Bhai Lalo, He happened to come across Baber in Ahmedabad. He openly criticized Babar for his dictatorship and the atrocities, his army was doing on the people.  He strongly opposed Lodhis who were responsible for the prevailing social conditions of the society, which was not easy at that time.  Once Pundit Bodhin said to Sikandar Lodhi that Hinduism and Islam both are good religions, he could not tolerate and got him murdered. After watching the atrocities of Baber’s army, looting and murdering public with no fault of theirs, Guru Nanak Sahib challenged Babar also:- 

             ਪਾਪ ਦੀ ਜੰਝ ਲੈ ਕਾਬੁਲਹੁ ਧਾਇਆ ਜੋਰੀ ਮੰਗੇ ਦਾਨ ਵੈ ਲਾਲੋ

             ਸਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦੁਇ ਛਪਿ ਖਲੋਇ ਕੂੜ ਫਿਰੇ ਪਰਧਾਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ

 Guru Nanak Sahib could not tolerate the physical violence on innocent people and complained  to God

            ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਹਿਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਡਰਾਇਆ 11

            ਆਪਿ ਦੋਸੁ ਨਾ  ਦੇਇ ਕਰਤਾ ਜਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੁਗਲੁ ਚੜਾਇਆ 11

            ਏਤੀ ਮਾਰ ਪਈ ਕੁਰਲਾਣੇ ਤੈ ਕੀ ਦਰਦ ਨਾ ਆਇਆ 11

 Baber put all the peers and fkeers including Guru Nanak who dared to criticize him in jail of Eminabaad which was called Saidpur but when Baber came to knew that Guru Nanak is not an ordinary man but a Elahi Noor, He came to meet Guru Nanak himself. Before coming he asked Ibrahim Lodhi that what gift I should take for Guru Nanak. Ibrahim Lodhi told that Nanak himself is the malik of Meeri and Peeri, You have nothing to give Him. After talking with Guru Nanak he made everyone free from prison and stopped all katleaam.  Ktleaam was stopped but from here after the enmity started between guru sehibans and Mughal Hkoomt which went a long way till 17o8 after the jyoti jot  of 10th Guru-Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.

In the later years of his life in 1522, Guru Nanak settled down at the township of Kartarpur( which means Creator’s Town) on the banks of river Ravi in Punjab which was founded and established by Guru Nanak himself earlier and stayed there for the rest of his life for 17 years till his jyot jot in 1539. He had worked as a peasant, earning his own honest living by cultivating the lands and doing Sewa, Satsang, and Simran  Followers came from near and far to listen to the Master. In the year 1539, knowing that his end was drawing near, Guru Ji, after having tested his own two sons and some followers over the years, installed Bhai Lehna Ji (Guru Angad Dev Ji) as the Second Guru.

In these journeys, he preached the new concept of God as “Supreme, All-powerful and Truthful, Formless (Nirankar), Fearless (Nirbhau), Without hate (Nirvair), the Sole (Ik), the Self-Existent (Saibhang), the Incomprehensible and Everlasting creator of all things (Karta Purakh), and the Eternal and Absolute Truth (Satnam)”. Guru Ji taught people that the ‘One’ God dwells in every one of his creations and that all human beings can have direct access to God without the need for any rituals or priests. Setting up a unique spiritual, social and political platform based on equality and fraternal love, Guru Nanak attacked the citadel of the Hindu Caste System and condemned the theocracy of Mughal rulers. He described the dangers of egotism, falsehood, and hypocrisy, and called upon the people to engage in worship through the “Naam” (the name of God). He rejected the path of renunciation (Tyaga), emphasizing a householder’s (family) life based on honest conduct, selfless service (Sewa), and constant devotion and remembrance of God’s name. Guru Nanak promoted the equality of all mankind and upheld the causes of the downtrodden and the poor, laying special emphasis to assert the equality of women

With this completion of his western tour.  the Guru  closed his period of Udasis, long missionary tours.He now threw the udasisi’ garb that he had worn ever since , he left Sultanpur and settle down at Kartarpur Sahib on the bank of Ravi for rest of his twenty years.He called  all his family member to stay with him at his new place, Kartarpur. Occasionally he visited long and short tours to the length and breadth of the areas in Punjab. In the course of these occasional tours the Guru followed the village routes and thus pass through numerous place  like Achal Batala and Multan including most of places which are not mentioned in the record.

Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki Fateh

 

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Nirmal Anand

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