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Guru Nanak in South India and Ceylon

All historical records are unanimous in stating that Guru Nanak first went to the East, then to the South, then to the North and then to the West. This has led many later writers to believe that Guru Nanak came back to Punjab after completing his eastern tour and then went to South India. But the internal evidence of all major Janam Sakhis reveal that the eastern missionary tour ended at Puri and his missionary tour to the South and Ceylon was a continuation of the eastern tour. He did not come back to Punjab from Puri but continued his journey South to Srirangam, Rameshwaram, and the Jaffna Peninsula in Ceylon along the highway which Sri Chaitanya and other savants and pilgrims traversed in their pilgrimage south to Rameshwaram.

According to Janam Sakhi Bhai Mani Singh, Guru Nanak goes straight to Rameshwaram and Ceylon from Jagannath Puri. After having influenced the saints and priests of Puri, and particularly after his legendary encounter with Kaliyuga, Guru Nanak says to Mardana: “Do you remember the trader, who helped you in performing the marriage of your daughter. He is now in Singladip (Ceylon) trading in the kingdom of Raja Shivanabh. We must go there.”1 This clearly indicates that from Puri Guru Nanak went South to complete his Southern journey. There was no point in coming back thousands of miles and then going again as is imagined by later historians. In Janam Sakhi Meharban also Guru Nanak goes to the East and from the East he goes to Deccan and from there to Rameshwaram along the sea Coast.”2 Meharban, who was responsible for a number of interpolations and falsifications of the Janam Sakhis contradicts himself by saying in another place that he came back and then went on his second Udasi. But if we follow the historical sequence of his Janam Sakhi, we find that Guru Nanak goes from Puri along the sea coast to Daccan shrines, and thence to Rameshwaram and Ceylon. In his zeal to be different from Bala’s Janam Sakhi he interchanges the historical events that take place at Puri and Shaiva centres of the South. He says that at Puri Guru Nanak met Bharathari Hari Yogi, not knowing that this alteration would become unbelievable as Puri was then a staunch Vaishnava centre, and Buddhism and Shaivism had long been eliminated from that place.

Bala's Janam Sakhi (MSS 1848 copy) says that from Dacca and Kamarupa Guru Nanak went along the sea coast to Shiva Nabh’s kingdom in Ceylon, and stayed there for five months.”3 So this Janam Stikhi also makes the Southern tour of Guru Nanak a continuation of the Eastern tour. Bhai Gurdas in his First VUr gives a brief outline of Guru Nanak’s life, stressing and detailing events on which the; Minas, Meharban and his father had thrown some doubt and given them perverted twist, as is done by him to the Mecca story. Bhai Gurdas clearly indicates: the eastern and southern journey as one trip, and after that he mentions the Guru’s journey to the eastern Himalayan retreats and then his visit to the Middle East, Mecca and Baghdad.4 Puratan Janam Sakhi,. which follows partly Bala's Janam Sakhi and partly Meharban's Janam Sakhi does not mention the visit to Puri but it says that from Dhanaseri (in Assam) where Guru Nanak met Kauda, the Guru went South along the sea-coast to a Shaiva centre where he met great Siddha Yogis, and from there he went to Ceylon. Thus there is a very clear indication that the Southern journey of Guru Nanak was a continuation of the Eastern journey.5 From Puri to Vishakapatnam Guru Nanak might have gone by boat but the Janam Sakhis indicate that he went along the sea coast. He most probably foUowed the old highway that goes from Puri to Chilka Lake, Ganjam, Chatrapur, Kalingapatam, Srikakulam to Vishakhapatnam.6

In Vijaynagar Kingdom

The prophet from the land of Five Rivers in the North now entered the “land of Five Rivers in the South, which was not in any way less productive of poets, philosophers, saints and musicians, than the land of Vedic Rishis. Tyagaraja proudly sings of the Tanjore region as the ‘Chola-simathe beautiful land in the world. He calls it Nadapura, the “Abode of Music”. Compared to Punjab in the North it is called Panchnad kshetra, the granary of grain and brain.7

Only a year or two before Guru Nanak visited the South, Krishnadeva Raya (Raja) was crowned king of the vast Vijaynagar empire which ruled the whole of South India below the Krishna river. It had towards the North the dwindling five principalities of the Bahmani kingdom: Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golkonda, Berar, and Bidar. “The reign of Krishnadeva Raya was the period of Vijaynagar’s greatest success, when its armies were everywhere victorious, and the city was most prosperous.” The Portuguese chronicler Domingos Paes who met him says, “He is the most feared and perfect king that could possibly be, cheerful of disposition and very merry he is one that seeks to honor foreigners and received them kindly. He is a great ruler and a man of much justice but subject to sudden fits of rage.”8 All South India was under Krishnadeva Rayas sway, and many quasi-independent Chiefs were his vassals.

When Guru Nanak was touring the Vijayanagar kingdom, Krishnadeva Raya had started campaigns against the Orissa ruler, Prataprudra and between 1512 and 1516 Krishnadeva had occupied Udayagiri Kindavidu, Virabhadra and Kondapalle.9 Prataprudra’s two sons, one queen and seven principal nobles were imprisoned.10 R.D. Banerjee in his ‘History of Orissa’ attributes the defeats of Pratap Rudra to the damping of his martial spirit under the pacificatory influence of Sri Chaitanya’s emotional idealism. Prataprudra sued for peace and ceded all territories south of the Godavari to Krishnadeva Raya, who also took the hands of one of the Orissan princesses, named Jagmohini.11

In Srirangam and Tanjore

Guru Nanak followed the same travel route down South which was traversed by Sri Chaitanya and other eminent pilgrims and travelers. The road led to Vidyanagar (modern Rajahmundri), on the Godawari, and Vijayavada on the banks of river Krishna. It is unbelievable that Guru Nanak, who stopped and camped at every place of pilgrimage did not stop and deliver any sermons in the very important historical places through which he passed on his way to Srirangam. Local records of these temples or some provincial historical records might reveal some startling facts. Utter lack of missionary activities in the South for nearly three centuries, and preoccupation of the Sikh people with everything except historical research and organized missionary activities, has led to the complete elimination of the missionary centres that were courageously maintained by the Udasi saints.

As was his habit to stop and meet the religious heads of all historical centres of Vaishnivism, Shiavism, Buddhism, he might have stopped and left some moral and spiritual influence in such great religious centres, as Simachalam, Bezwada, Mangal-giri, SriSailam, Mahanandni, Tirupati, in the present Andhra State. From here Guru Nanak probably followed the road that goes through Udayagiri to Tirutani, the hill temple also called Neelagiri and from there he went to Kanchipuram (Conjeevaram), the place which attracts all visitors. Kalidasa considered Jasmine the sweetest among flowers, Rambha the most beautiful among women, Grihas-thashrama (householder life) the best among four ashramas, Kanchipuram the best among the cities.” As regards learning it stood second in glory only to Benaras. The Buddhists, the Shaivas, the Vaishnavas had their centres here. Research work into the local records might reveal Guru Nanak’s encounter with some learned men, but so far we know no more than that he passed through the city. The temples of this place are almost the Museum of Vijaynagar Art and Sculpture. There are 108 Shivite temples and 18 Vaishnava temples.

After attending the ratha-yatra in June-July at Puri, Guru Nanak reached Srirangam, a small town now on the outskirts of Tiruchirapalli, the city of the famous Rock temple, sometime in November when the festival of Vaikuntha Ekadeshi is held here. The festival continues for 20 days, and Guru Nanak must have found good opportunity to meet the Vaishnava saints and seekers from all parts of India. Here at Srirangam he established a manji (missionary centre) which lasted up to the end of the last century. It was there when Gyani Gyan Singh, and Pundit Tara Singh Nirotam visited it.12 Srirangam is spoken of as the paradise on earth (Bhoolokavaikunthani) and some or the other festival is always taking place throughout the year.13

From here Guru Nanak went to Tanjore, the Tamil name of which is Tanjavoor. The Punjabi historical records to which we will frequently refer in this chapter, call the whole of South India, Bidar-Tanjavur, indicating it by two very prominent Capitals of that period. There was Sikh Sangat at Tanjore upto the time of Guru Arjan. Punjabi traders stayed in the Dharamsal on their way to Ceylon.14 The Saraswati Mahal Library one of the biggest in India possesses about 33,433 manuscripts in Sanskrit, Marathi, Tamil and Telegu, and it would not be a surprise if some manuscript relating to this period has some important historical information about the visit of Guru Nanak to the South, or his meeting some divines of this area. This library according to Dr. Fernall houses the largest old manuscripts in the world, and most of them are very rare and unique.

At Madurai and Kaliyar Koil (Kodikottai or Kodikulam) : Tilangji

From Tanjore Guru Nanak went to Madurai, the oldest temple city of the South and truly representing Dravadian culture. “European scholars have compared it to Athens and Greece, and has been since long the seat of Tamil Academy.”15 This has also been the Capital of the Pandyan Kings who intermarried with the Ceylon rulers, and even up to the time of Guru Nanak, religious, cultural, and linguistic dominance of Madurai spread upto the Jaffna peninsula, where Guru Nanak is said to have met Shiva Nabh, the ruler of a principality in the Jaffna peninsula. The great sage Agastya is said to have acted as spiritual guides to the Pandyan kings who were Shaivites.

From Madurai Guru Nanak wended his way to Kodikottai, also known as Kodikulam.16 In the Janam Sakhis the place is called, Talangji.17 This is one the 14 important shrines of Shiva worship. The place is associated with Sage Agastya. The shrine is actually known as Kaliyar Koil. It also came to be known a Kodikottai (Kodi means flag, Kotai means fort). It is also known as Kodikulam {kulam means tank). In the month of Chaitra (February-March) a flag hoisting ceremony was usually held by the Shaivite Yogis.18 Guru Nanak went there and set up his own flag, and under the new flag he started singing congregational songs. All the offerings that were made by the people to the Guru were used to open a free-kitchen for the pilgrims in which the Brahmin and parhia, the rich and poor, monks and laymen could sit and eat in a group as one human family. Under Guru Nanak’s flag the caste barriers fell, the gap between the holy people and laymen disappeared, and the high and low sat in one congregation of seekers of truth (satsang), to meet in the unity of the worship of One God, and the service of Man who is dedicated to the love of humanity and God.

The Yogis, the Shaiva priests, the Nathapanthis were seriously disturbed, on seeing the crowds that gathered around Guru Nanak, attracted by his dynamic personality and his unique Path. Proud of their knowledge and yogic powers, and confident that they would demolish and drive this strange intruder out of their realm of Shaiva-cult by debating with him on metaphysical doctrines, and on the mysteries of inner life, which they thought they knew best, they came to Nanak in a group each representing his sect or school. One of them asked Guru Nanak : “Every day you distribute amongst the people everything that comes as offerings to you. Can you distribute among ten or twenty of us what we offer you? We do not believe it is possible or even wise to share whatever you are offered by the devotees with all the common rabble sitting around you.”19

“You can share everything you have with the needy,” said Guru Nanak, with all the conviction of his faith in social idealism, “if you have the will to do so, if you have the feeling that the needs of other human beings are as important as yours, if you really believe that God is our Father and we are all his children, and as members of human family we have a responsibility towards those who have less than, us, or those who have nothing, while we roll in wealth. You can share everything if you believe that the Light of God shines in all human beings and by serving others we are serving God.”

A Yogi of the Gorakh Nath school offered a linseed to Guru Nanak and asked him to distribute it among all those sitting there, and prove by a practical example that everything can be shared and his views of charity, equality can really be put into practice. Guru Nanak asked his disciple Bhai Bala to grind the linseed thoroughly and dissolve it in a bucket of water, and then distribute the linseed dissolved in water to all sitting there.”20 Yogi Mangal Nath was profoundly impressed. He said, “Every saint who came here was overpowered by the knowledge and occult powers of the Yogis, but everyone felt powerless before you. What is wrong with Yoga as we practise it, and how does your philosophy differ from that of the Yogis?”21

Guru Nanak replied, “Yogis have become self-indulgent and slaves to lower passions and degrading pleasure-seeking, yet they preach self-restraint, and renunciation to others. They dwell in lonely forests and even spend their nights in graveyards, yet they covet worldly vanities, and sensuous pleasures and go from door to door, begging for their food and seeking association with women. Alas, these Yogis are neither pious recluses nor worldly men. If you are a real Yogi you should spend your days in contemplation of God and depend on Him to send your food where ever you are. But you Yogis have neither that deep faith, nor have you any control over your desires, and driven crazy by cravings, you knock from door to door, begging for food, begging for money and searching opportunities for sensual pleasures. As a Yogi you must not hanker after material gains and pleasures but should accept what comes to you naturally. Your heart and soul, your mind and thoughts are burning with the fire of lust and low passions. The fire in your heart finds inflammable material in abundance ignorance and hatred, pride and jealousy, lust and attachment keep the flames raging within you. Let the cooling stream of divine Word flow in your hearts, and only with a pure spotless mind wedded to truth can you attain enlightenment. Outward forms of holiness which you assume by matted hair or by smearing the body with ashes, do not constitute religion or affect the mind. What use is wearing the ascetic garb of a Yogi when your mind is immersed in worldliness. A Yogi who dwells in forests and caves and yet covets worldly pleasures is a worldling, while a lay man who leads a pure life and contemplates God can achieve enlightenment. In your efforts to escape error and illusion, you Yogis have built around yourself another ascetic prison of error and illusion. True religion is to get out of these nightmares. No Yogi can attain liberation till he attains the Wisdom of the Word (Sabad). Without compassion and charity, purity and nobility in your heart you cannot attain any peace, joy or enlightenment, What use are your tattered clothes, your begging bowl, and your display of ascetic habits while your mind is always worried about your next meal, and comforts of worldly life? How can anyone attain mukti without pure living, charity and contemplation. Wear the earrings of divine knowledge instead of those of stones, and metal. If after, taking the vow of asceticism, the Yogis run for satisfaction of physical desires, in what way are they better than animals. He alone is a true Yogi who is disciplined in self-restraint truth and devotion to God.”22

Mangal Nath asked: “Can the mind be controlled better through Yoga or Knowledge?”23 “It all depends,” said Guru Nanak, “on what type of Yoga you practice and what type of knowledge you aspire after.” “Divine knowledge is a bird having two wings, the wing of Love and the wing of spiritual effort, which I call Yoga. For flights into the realm of truth both the wings are necessary. With only one wing the balance will be lost.”24 Through divine love you can attain knowledge if you live a life of self-restraint and contemplation. ‘Is it easier to love God, as an ascetic or as a householder?” asked the Siddhas.25 Only that love of God is fruitful which is free from hypocrisy, pride, vanity, selfishness and low cravings. A Yogi loves God through penance, and yogic practices; a householder loves Him through service and contemplation.”26 “But,” interrupted the Yogi, “the mind cannot be controlled or purified without Yoga.”27 “The mind can be purified”, said Nanak, “by bathing it in the ambrosial nectar of the divine Word. This is true Yoga. There are four ethical doors to this path of purity and enlightenment: satsang: communion with the enlightened; sat: speaking the truth, keeping the mind in truth, and acting in conformity with truth; savtokh: contenment, peacefully accepting the Will of God and complete absence of cravings; samdam: control of the mind by completely identifying the mind with the light and music of the divine Word. Whether a man is a Yogi or a householder, he must pass through these four doors of ethical conduct in order to reach the realm of Truth.”28 The yogis reverently bowed to the Guru. Nanak established his missionary centre here which lasted till recently, when Gyani Gyan Singh visited it.

At Rameswaram

From Kodikottai Guru Nanak went to Ramanadapuram where he was shown great reverence by the people. The local Raja is also said to have paid homage to him. Up to the time of Guru Arjan there was a Sangat here also. Traders from Punjab generally camped here. From here the Guru went to Rameswaram, the second most holy place in Hindustan. Every Hindu who can manage to do so makes the pilgrimage to this place after going to Benaras. “The temple city is an island of 31 miles length and 7 miles width in the shape of Vishnu’s conch. According to mythology the island is described as Gandhamdana Hill. It is said to have been connected with the mainland of India in the past, but was subsequently damaged by storm and the land was cut off to form an island. It exists as such even now, being connected by a railway bridge at Pamban junction to Rameswaram in the mainland.”29

The place has historical associations with epic heroes Rama and Sita. Sita here proved her sinlessness by undergoing the fire ordeal while Rama expiated his sin of killing the great Brahmin, Ravana. Ravana the ruler of Lanka was the grandson of the Brahmin sage Pulastya and Rama felt remorseful for having committed the sin of killing a Brahmin (braham-hatya-papa). So he performed some acts of penance before the image of Shiva.30 Says Count Keyserling, “The whole of India seems to be represented here. I can see every colour, every costume, every type, from the dusky Tamils to the white-skinned men from Kashmir; I find proud Rajputs on the one hand and sannyasins on the other, whose hair has turned into a mass of felt. Languages and dialects without number resound in the air; a hundred different traditions speak from the different faces; caste rubs shoulder with caste and prejudice with prejudice.”31

Here Guru Nanak came with a number of his disciples. Here, after an encounter with hierophants and Hindu temple servitors he established a strong religious centre of his own, which has survived till this day in spite of the fact that no central Sikh organisation cared to look after it. Someone asked him here : “There are two distinct faiths, Hinduism and Islam. Have they been created by two different gods or is there only one God. If there is one God why are they so bitterly divided and pitted against each other.”32 Guru Nanak replied:

The Will of One God pervadeth all,

From the One has emanated the creation;

The Paths are two, but the Lord is One.

The Guru's Word revealeth His Will.

He is in all forms, all minds and creeds,

Sayeth Nanak, glorify the One Lord.

(Adi Granth: Nanak, Gaudi, p 223)

Within a century after Guru Nanak’s visit, Ceylon had been occupied by foreign powers and the Portuguese criminally destroyed the religious shrines and centres of the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. At that time Rameswaram became the headquarter of Sikh missionary activity in the South. After the death of Guru Gobind Singh Nanded acquired greater importance because the fourth major pontific seat of the Khalsa was established there. About three decades ago some local Sadhus tried to forcibly oust the legal hierophant of Rameshwaram Temple but with the help of local Sindhi and a Sikh Sardar he fought the case in the High Court and proved that the temple and all property attached to it, worth lakhs, belongs to the Sikh Community, whom he represented as legal hierophant of the earlier Udasi missionary. Proving it from the centuries old records in his possession, he established that Guru Nanak stopped here on his way to Ceylon and also on his return journey.33

Guru Nanak in Ceylon

Lanka, the Sinhalese name for Ceylon is first used in Ramayana. The Tamils call it Elankai. Vijaya, a hero king named it Tambapanni, because his hands were reddened by touching the dust of the earth. From this name the Roman and Greek historians as well as Ptolmey an Egyptian of second century called it Taprobane.”34 The Ceylonese name for the island in its correct transliteration is, Singhaladvip. The Janam Sakhis call it by this correct name and in all the Janam Sakls it is called Singhaladip. It is also called Lanka and in the Sikh scriptures it is referred to only by the name of Lanka. Even Guru Nanak refers to it as Lanka in his writings.35 The Arabs called it Serendip. From the Arabs, the Portuguese and Dutch acquired their names of Celiao and Zeilan which in English and French was converted into Ceylan and Ceylon. The Chinese called it Silan.

Although many Ceylonese scholars call Ravana of the Ramayana a myth of the Hindus, “all over the Central uplands of Ceylon, amid gorgeous setting of thickly wooded hills and glorious valleys, there are spots intimately associated with stories of Ravana and his deeds and of Sita and her sojourn in Lanka. They suggest irresistably the identity of Ravana’s Lanka with the island of Ceylon.” The names of Rama, Ravana and Sita are perpetuated in many places e.g. Rameswaram, Ravana Ella cave, Ravana waterfall, Sita Eliya, Ashoka Vana (where Sita spent her days in captivity), Ravana Kotiwa, Sita-kanda, and Sitawaka, which according to Sikh historical records was a great religious centre of Guru Nanak’s mission up to the end of sixteenth century. Ravana is pictured in the well-known classic Sudharma Lankavarta Sutra as a lay Buddhist. He is also called Vaidya Siromani and two medical books are attributed to him: Araka Prakasika and Kumara Tantram. He is also said to be author of Sivatandava Stotram. The association of Ravana with this book shows that he was a respected patron- king of the Shaiva Cult and a hero of the Dravidians who had retreated to the Ceylon as their stronghold. In modern terms Ceylon became the Farmosa of the ancient Dravidian and Shaiva Culture which the Aryan-Vaishnava culture tried to eliminate. “Rama-Ravana War is said to have taken place 1884 years before Buddha.”36

Lanka which had once proudly carried the power and culture of the Sinhalese to India and the Far East had fallen on evil days. Her riches, which had long attracted merchants from many parts of the world, were at the mercy of the strongest exploiters.

After the death of Parakrama in 1816 A.D., there were no more Sinhalese kings of note. South Indian invaders again became dominant, not only in the northern kingdom of Pihiti, now called Jaffna, but in the South-eastern stronghold of the Sinhalese, the kingdom of Ruhuna. Twenty-nine years and fifteen kings after Parakarama a fierce Malabar warrior named Magha invaded Ceylon and laid waste the splendid city of Polonnaruwa, persecuting the Buddhists and desecrating Buddhist temples. His troops and those of his Tamil successors, more interested in loot than in development, did not look after the irrigation tanks, some five thousand in number at the time of Parakarma. The rich fields around Anuradhapura and Polonnarva eventually became parched and unproductive. The Tamils retreated to Jaffna peninsula, which remained more often than not a part of one or another of the South India kingdoms. The division of the Tamils in the North from the Sinhalese in the South, emphasising differences in religion and language, has continued to this day.37

Thus the Ceylonese kings were under the domination of the Pandyan and Chola kings, the Emperor of China, the King of Malaya and the Burmese King of Pegu. One of the week Sinhalese kings of the 15th Century whose capital was in the Kandyan hills was captured and carried off to China for maltreating Chinese envoys. Three times the humiliated Sinhalese paid tribute to China between 1436-1459.38

The Tamils occupied a prominent place in Ceylon from 11th to 16th century. They succeeded in establishing themselves permanently in the Jaffna Peninsula. In older works on Ceylon the in-habitants of this part of the island, apart from Jaffna were often referred to as Wanniyas “dwellers in wild country. One of the principalities mentioned in Sikh historical records is called Kajliban, and at the time of Guru Nanak was ruled by a woman. Even during the life time of Guru Arjan a woman was the ruler of this kingdom.39 The Ceylonese of the Jaffna peninsula came from many parts of mainland including Chola (ancient name of Tanjore) and Pandya (which include a greater part of the modern Madura and Tinnevely district.” Thus it is clear that when Guru Nanak arrived here the Jaffna peninsula was ruled by Shaivite Dravidian rulers, and this is what the Janam Sakhis clearly indicate.

Even before Guru Nanak came to Ceylon, a disciple of the Guru, named Mansukh, according to another Janam Sakhi named Bhagirath,40 came to Ceylon as a trader and spent four months in the kingdom of Raja Shiva Nabh. Being a Sikh not believing in idolatry, or worship of any gods and goddesses, and never observing any Hindu rites, fasts or ceremonies he got into trouble with local Hindus.41 Some took him to be a Buddhist, others considered him a Muslim in the garb of a Hindu and politically dangerous. He was produced before the Raja who asked him why he did not offer any homage to any god, and why did he not observe fasts and Hindu rites?” “Because,” said the trader Sikh,” “I have achieved without doing all these things what you are trying to achieve by fasts, ceremonies and worship before gods and goddesses.”42 He then described to him the doctrines and tenets of his religion founded by Guru Nanak. He read to Raja Shiva Nabh some hymns of the Guru and explained them to him.” The Raja was profoundly impressed and expressed an eager desire to meet Guru Nanak.” “Have faith in God and His grace.

If you remember the Guru he will certainly come here. He has already left Punjab for missionary tours., so I hear”, said the trader Sikh.

The trader Sikh went away to Punjab and the Raja anxiously waited for Guru Nanak to come to him some day. Knowing the profound respect the Raja had developed for the Guru, many saints and sadhus posed as Nanak. The Raja was shrewd enough to put them to test. He sent them money and to articles of luxury. He sent young and beautiful girls tempt them with their beauty and nudity. They all fell victims to these temptations and were driven away. The Raja’s idea of a true saint was that he should have conquered his mind and should be free from all temptations. Monks and yogis who were ensnared by these temptations were in his eyes, no better than ignorant worldly men.

The Hatha Yogi of Jaffna

From Rameswaram Guru Nanak went to Jaffna by boat. Jaffna is called Japapatam (Jaffna- patnam) in the Janam Sakhis. The boat is called mach (fish boat or Indian canoe). It is still used to cross rivers in Punjab and Himachal and is called mach (canoe) In Jaffna lived a Hatha Yogi who boasted of his occult powers and claimed to be the greatest yogi living in the country. One of his feats of Yogi which impressed everyone was that he remained in a closed cell for a month. When he came out of it the occasion was celebrated with great festivity (mela), and people offered money, and all that he demanded from his devotees and disciples.

When Guru Nanak arrived at Jaffna he attracted the attention of all types of people. They flocked to him to hear his musical songs, his enchanting sermons, and to take food in his free kitchen. He did not ask for anything but gave to the people what was offered to him. The Hath Yogi was greatly disturbed, and challenged the Guru to prove that he was superior to him in controlling his breath and in occult powers. He boasted of his siddhis (miraculous powers.”)43 “How can you control the mind without Hatha Yoga?” he asked Guru Nanak replied :

O ignorant Alan,

Why livest thou in delusion and error?

Thou hast not realized within,

The supreme Recluse, Lord of bliss.

Control the fires of lust,

By burning them to dust;

Destroy the indestructible greed,

Leave this hankering after subtle desires;

Drink within the inner self The immortal nectar of life.

Control the mind, so restless like a fish,

Train it to swim against the current,

Thy body will not collapse,

Thy soul will know eternity.

Sayeth Nanak: if you sing the Name of God,

With every breath your mind shall drink nectar,

Control the mind, restless like a fish,

Thy body will not collapse,

Thy soul will know eternity.

(Guru Nanak: 44 Maru p. 44)

“But I have such powers and so great control over my body, that no one is a match to my achievements” said the Yogi. “These miraculous powers which you call siddhis are thy bondage. They are the chains of vanity around your mind. There is a limit even to your control of your body. How long can you sit with sustained breath? And what do you gain from it but delusion, darkness and death.” The Yogi felt slighted. He publically announced that he would get into his cell and remain there for six months. He would prove that he was far superior to Nanak, who was misguiding everyone with his songs and sermons. He entered a cell and sealed its door.

Some of his disciples became anxious about him after a month. When about forty days had passed, Guru Nanak asked them to open the door arid see what his condition was. He was found dead.45 All his disciples felt that he had met this fate because he had not heeded Guru Nanak’s warning against trusting Hath Yoga techniques beyond certain limits. Some of his prominent disciples, became the followers of Guru Nanak. One of them was a rich trader from Punjab of the Bhatda clan. A shrine was built commemorating the Guru’s visit.46

Nanak in Shiva Nabh's Kingdom

The kingdom of Shiva Nabh was one of the seven semi-independent states of Ceylon, located located probably in Jaffna peninsula. The name of his queen is given by Puratan Janam Sakhi as Rani Chanderkala, while Bala's Janam Sakhi (MSS 1848) gives the name of his Vazir as Paras Ram. Guru Nanak camped in a garden which had been deserted.

Now it blossomed with congregational singing, sermons of the Guru on piety, purity and God, and existential charity which people saw in operation, when they saw the Guru distributing food to the hungry, and attending to the personal sorrows and troubles of the devotees. Raja Shiva Nabh asked his minister Paras Ram to put him to test. Some offerings were sent on behalf of the Raja which Guru Nanak refused. At night some beautiful damsels were sent, who displayed their beauty and nudity to win over the handsome Master from Punjab. Guru Nanak smiled sadly and compassionately, and then in a melodious voice said:

A woman desires to be lovely,

And to abandon herself to passions.

She reddens her lips with beetle leaves,

She adorns her body with scented flowers,

The more she enjoys these sensuous pleasures,

The more she sinks in sorrow.

She who seeks the Love of God,

Her vital desires are fulfilled.

Go my daughters go,

Go lovely princesses go;

Contemplate His Name;

Live in Truth all day,

Serve the One Beloved.

Make His love your sustenance.

Dispel all poisonous passions,

Through nectar-laved Word of the Guru.47

(Guru Nanak: Basant p 1187)

Their smiles, their naked beauty, their disentangled hair, their bewitching charms failed to tempt Guru Nanak. Only Guru Nanak could quench the thirst that leads to dead waters. Only he who stood in Light could give a hand to those tender and helpless slaves of princes who were stumbling in darkness. The deep and gentle light of the Guru’s eyes fell on them like a benediction, and their pride and passion to conquer by tempting him was changed into shame and sorrow. “The compassionate words of the Guru resounded in their hearts: “Go my daughters, go lovely princesses, live in remembrance of God who is Love, Beauty and Truth”. Shiva Nabh was unnerved. The real Nanak had at last come. Instead of showing reverence to him he had sinned against him. He sent his Minister Paras Ram with jewels and offerings. Guru Nanak refused to accept them. “I do not need any such thing” he said. Then Rani Chanderkala went with rich offerings to pay homage to the Enlightened One. Guru Nanak blessed her but refused to accept any offerings. “Give them to the poor, the destitute, the needy,” he said. Then Raja Shiva Nabh went in all humility and begged forgiveness for all he had done to test him. “I have been groping in the dark, searching for thee, Master, and my eyes beclouded with ignorance could not see thy Light. Forgive me, and make me thy humble disciple,” said Shiva Nabh.

Shiva Nabh became an initiated disciple of Guru Nanak.48 As the Guru refused to go to his palace and stay with him, he built a lovely temple and some rooms for the Guru’s stay, which later came to be known as Guru Nanak’s dehra. The Guru disciplined him into the Sikh code of conduct saying: “Rise up early in the morning and contemplate the Name and Presence of God. In the day time whenever you get opportunity serve the poor and holy, recite the word of the divine Guru, and ever seek truth and live in purity and humility. You will then attain liberation.”49 Almost every day Raja Shiva Nabh came to the Guru and questioned him on the mysteries of inner life. He was a learned scholar and well versed in Yoga and Shaiva philosophy. So all his questions and the Guru’s answers were in the same terminology. These sermons were recorded by a companion of the Guru, and a compiled volume called Pran-Sangli (The Doctrines of Life-Breath) were left with Shiva Nabh.50 Copyists have distorted a good deal of the original language. It is not a composition of Guru Nanak in the sense Japji is, but it is decidedly based on the sermons of the Guru and being recorded by a companion, it carries much of Guru Nanak’s thought in its pristine originality.51 When Guru Arjan started compiling the Adi Granth, he sent Bhai Paida to get the copy of Pran Sangli. As Guru Arjan found it either to be a composition of a Sikh and not of the Guru, or he did not consider it to be the original version, he did not include it in the Adi Granth. Bhai Paida recorded his journey which was briefly included in Bhai Banno’s Granth and is found in many old recension of Adi Granth. It is called Haqiqat Rah Mukam Singhladip, Raja Shiv Nabh ki Rajdhani. The copyists have ignorantly distorted the original version. They have changed Sitawaka to Sitawada, because Punjabi can easily be misread as ‘d’ in old manuscripts. Mayadunne has has been changed to Mayadauni and Kavi Santokh Singh changes it further into Maya Medni.

Raja Shiva Nabh did not have a son. Guru Nanak blessed him saying, You will have a son under whom all the seven kingdoms of Singhladip will united into a most powerful rule. Keep the Light of the Guru’s mission burning and maintain a free kitchen wherever possible.” After five month’s stay with Shiva Nabha Guru Nanak left his kingdom. “Master I would like to be in your presence day and night. I would like to listen to your ambrosial words every day. Tell me how is it possible for me to live in company with thee. If you permit I will renounce my kingdom and follow you to the end of the earth. I shall deem myself most fortunate if you kindly stay here and make Lanka your permanent abode”. “Guru Nanak replied,” Know me in two forms. My physically manifest form (sarguna rup) is this body. It is like your body. I will discard it someday, when God so wishes it. My other and real form is the nirguna rup (the Formless Spirit), my real being and personality. My formless Spirit is also manifest in the Divine Word which I imparted to you. When you remember God through the Word, I shall be ever with you. The Word is the Guru and the Guru is the Word.”52

Guru Nanak’s prophecy was fulfilled. His son Maya dunni and grandson Raj Siriha conquered all the territory in the north and were the only non-Buddhist King of medieval Ceylon. With their capital at Sitawaka, they stood as a formidable foe of invaders, and symbol of nation, al unity of the Singhalese. “One brave young Sinhalese leader stands out in the sordid story of treachery and bloodshed that marked the ascendency of the Portuguese in Ceylon. His name was Raja Simha I, King of Sitawaka, his capital from 1554 to 1593 in the foothills of Central Ceylon’s high mountains, thirsty-six miles from Colombo. He dethroned king Dharmapala, defeated the Portuguese in open battle, drove the Kandyan king into exile and raised a formidable army. At one point he was the master of Ceylon with the exception of Colombo.”53

In Haqiqat Rah Mukam it is clearly indicated that Bhai Paidi met Mayadunne and his son Raja Singha (called Rai Singha by Janam Sakhi) Haqiqat Rah Mukam says: “When Guru Nanak went there, 1400 cities and villages comprised seven kingdoms. By the blessing of Guru Nanak it all came under one ruler of Sitawaka. At present the ruler is Mayadunne, son of Shiva Nabha. Raja Sinha is grandson of Shiva Nabha. The Sikh traditions are maintained there. The community kitchen feeds thousands of people every day54. This indicates that the King had opened many langars, free kitchens, to feed the monks and the poor. Further says the Haqiqat Rah Mukam” In South India, “there is the rule of the Aravati ruler, the real power is with Rama Raja.55 This fact is also borne by historical evidence. After Krishna deva Raya of Tuluva dynasty for some time the tituler heads were his nephews, Venkata and Sadasiva (1542-76), but the whole power passed on to his son-in-law Rama Raja husband of Tirumaladevi and this rule is classified as the rule of Araviti (Tamil : Aravidu) dynasty. Says the historian of the Vijayanagar kingdom” For the first seven or eight years after his coronation Sadasiva was the only king; but the real power was always in Rama Raya’s hands and in due course Rama Raya assumed the Royal titles. Sadasiva was kept under close guard although Ram Raya and his brothers Tirumala and Venkatadri went on one day every year and prostrated themselves before their lawful sovereign in token of his rights over them. Farishta says that Rama Raya destroyed many of the ancient nobility and raised his own family to the highest rank, a point which is confirmed by the evidence of other writers and of the inscriptions.56 Thus the Aravati ruler Ram Raja of Sikh historical records is Ram Raja of Aravati dynasty of South Indian History.

Shiva Nabha: Vijayabahu VII

One of the oldest copy of Haqiqat Rah MukUm Shiva Nabha ki states : tahah sat raje the, Guru Babe ke bacan ik raj hoa, Shiv Nabh Raja ki santat Satawad sehar hai”. Here the careless copyist has changed Sita waka to Sitawada. The old style Punjabi ‘k’ and ‘d’ did not differ much and some copyist misread an older version. The correct translation of this statement is : “There (in Ceylon) there were seven kings (at the time of Guru Nanak). By the blessings of Gurn Baba (Nanak) they were united into one kingdom.”

Haqiqat Rah Mukam then states “takht gah tahan ab raja Mayadaune (Mayadunne) ki hai, Raja Rai Singh (RajaRaja Simha), tiska beta, Raje Shiva Nabhakapotra.” The present ruler there (in Ceylon) is Raja Mayadunne. Raja Raja Simha I is his son and is the grandson of Shiva Nabha.” In the later versions of the text of this statement the word tis has been eliminated as an oversight error. The meaning without this word changes completely. It becomes Mayadunne son of Raja Simha and grandson of Shiva Nabha. Mayadunne was father of Raja Simha and not his son. Later copyist carry on this error.

The geneology of Raja Simha is given to me by learned historians of Ceylon as follows: 57

  1. Dharma Parakramabahu IX 1506-1529
  2. Vijayabahu VII (brother of No'. 1) 1528-1559
  3. Buvanakabahu VII (son of No. 2) 1529-1550
  4. Mayadunne (son of No. 1 and brother of No 2) ruled from Sitawaka 1535-1581
  5. Raja Simha I (son of Mayadunne) ruled  from Sitawaka  1581-1593

Even in the Ceylon’s historical records there are; variations in dates. Sometimes kings ruled simultaneously in different capitals. There are four, main kingdoms of Kotte, Sitawaka, Kandy and, Jaffna at the time of Guru Arjan. After Raja Simha’s death Sitawaka was reannexed to Kotta. Raja; Simha did not have any surviving son to succeed him.

Who was Shiva Nabha in Ceylonese history? It is now not difficult to answer Haqiqat Rah Mukham rightly states that both Mayadunne and Raja Simha ruled from Sitawaka a Capital founded by them. It also states that Shiva Nabha was Mayadunne’s father and Raja Simha’s grandfather. This leads us to the inevitable and positive conclusion that Vijayabahu was Shiva Nabha. Shiva Nabha was; his original name, but when he ascended the throne of his brother he took up the royal name Vijayabahu VII. This is an old practice in India and many kings have been assuming the name of Vikramaditya.

At the time of Guru Nanak Shiva Nabha (Vijaya-bahu VII) ruled over a small kingdom the history of which should not be difficult to trace if we go into the early life-history of Vijayabahu VII. His brother Dharma Parakramabahu IX died in 1528, and Vijayabahu who was already old ruled over his kingdom for one or two years. He was succeeded by his eldest son Buvenekabahu VII but his second son Mayadunne established his Capital at Sitawaka.

After winning over Shiva Nabha (Vijayabahu VII) Guru Nanak went to the kingdom of Dharma Parakarambahu IX whose mind was wavering between Hinduism and Buddhism. Brahmanical Hindus dominated his court but a very learned Buddhist monk Dharma kriti-sthavira who was known as Sangharaja exercised a great influence on the mind of the monarch. The king expressed his willingness to accept the religion of Nanak if he defeated the Buddhist divine in debate. Guru Nanak accepted the challenge.

A slab bearing a Sanskrit inscription preserved in the Archeological Museum at Anuradhapura (Number in Museum Register M 111) gives a vivid account of this encounter of Nanak with the Buddhist Bhikhu in the court of Dharmaparakarmabahu IX. The slab inscription has been located and desciphered by eminent archeologists and historians Dr. Sadhamangala Karunaratna arid Dr. Paranavitana. I am indebted to these learned historians for all the information in this connection and the information of these Ceylonese kings.

“In the fifteenth year of King Parakramabahu (i.e., Dharma Parakramabahu IX) a religious teacher named Jnanakacarya (Nanakacharya) is said to have come to Jayavardhana from a village in the vicinity of Samantapattana (Sammanturai) He met the king, expounded his doctrine to Parakramabahu and requested that monarch to embrace it. Dharma-parakramabahu promised to embrace Jnanakaearya’s (Nanakacharya) creed if the latter defeated in debate Dharmakirti-sthavira who was Sangcharaja or Sangharaja designate.

A public discussion was held in the pavilion in front of the royal palace and the debate between the Buddhist hierarch and the religious teacher from abroad was conducted on the subject of a Supreme Personal Deity and an eternal soul. It is said that Jnanakacarya Nanakacharya) was able to silence Dharmakirti-sthavira. It is said that the Brahmans who were very powerful at the court did not like Dharmakirti-sthavira and desired to have him disgraced and absent from the capital. They also were in agreement with the religious teacher from abroad on the topics discussed. The outcome of public debates of this nature held at Jayavardhana-pura was decided by a majority of the votes of these who formed the audience. The Brahamins therefore saw to it that there were in the hall a majority of people who would vote in favour of Jnanakacarya (Nanakacharya).

After obtaining this victory, Jnanakacarya (Nanakacharya) saw the king and having informed that he had defeated Dharmakirti-sthavira and requested the king to keep his promise. The king replied that he would inquire about the result of the debate from the authority concerned and give a reply later.

In the meantime, the Brahmins had come to know that Jnanakarcarya insisted in his creed on the acceptance of monotheism and that he was against image worship. These doctrines were not to the liking of the Brahmins. But what the Brahmins were mostly concerned was the attitude of Jnanakarcarya (Nanakacharya) against the Supremacy of the Brahmins in a society divided into castes. They therefore became anxious about this position in the event of the king embracing the creed of this new religious teacher.

In this predicament they enlisted the support of Dharmadhvaja pandita who had been a bhiksu and had a good knowledge of Sanskrit and Pali languages as well as the doctrines of Buddhism and Brahmanism. At the request of the Brahmans, Dharma-dhwaja pandita (who by the way was the father of the poet Alagiyavanna) saw Jnanakacarya (Nanakacharya) and challenged the latter to a debate with him. Jnanakacharya accepted the challenge and arrangements were made for another public debate in the pavilion in front of the Sumangala Prasada (the Royal Palace at Kotto).

The Brahmins on this occasion saw to it that the majority of the people assembled in the Mandapa to listen to the dispute were favourably disposed towards Dharmadhwaja-pandita who was himself a much more adroit and well informed debater than Dharmakirti-sthavira. The subjects taken for debate were image worship and the pretensions of the Brahamanas. At the end of the debate the votes were taken by secret ballot of those assembled and the outcome was declared by the President as a victory for Dharma-dhwaja-pandita. After this Jnankarcarya (Nanakacharya) left Jayavar dhanapura and the promise given by Dharmaparakramabahu become invalid, Dharma-kirti sthavira also left Jayavar dhanapura and lived at his temple at Gadaladeniya. The Brahmanas thus made good use of the visit of Jnanakacarya (Nanakacharya) to get rid of Buddhist hierarch and by forcing Jnanakacarya (Nankarcharya) himself to leave the capital to make their position at court invulnerable.58

True to their inherent trickery the Brahmins of the court Of King Dharmaprakarmabahu IX first used Guru Nanak to destroy the influence of the Buddhist monk. But as Guru Nanak was against caste system and idolatry they feared that if Guru Nanak’s doctrines were accepted their faith would disappear from the court. So they used dishonest means to muster Brahmanical votes to give opinion against Guru Nanak. The king died without any surviving son and the throne passed on to his brother Vijayabahu VII (Shiva Nabh).

Guru Nanak is also believed to have visited Kurukkal Madam a village 12 miles to the south of Batticaloa on the eastern Coast of Ceylon. There is a modern Hindu shrine at the ancient site of Nanak’s shrine there. Originally it seems to have been a Buddhist shrine because a Bodhisatva image has been unearthed from there. Other places which Seemed to have been visited by Guru Nanak are Jaffna, Kotte & Colombo59.

At Kajliban

Guru Nanak is then said to have gone to the kingdom of a woman ruler, here the population was still predominantly of women folk. This place is called Kajliban. Gyani Gyan      Singh thinks it is in the South India, while the indications of Haqiqat-Rah-Mukam are that it was somewhere in Ceylon. Most probably it was one of the seven kingdoms in Ceylon mentioned in Haqiqat Rah Mukam. The queen of the land was a Shaivite and there were many prominent Yogis practising occult powers and trying to impress the queen. When the queen came in all her pompous pride and vanity she refused to bow before Guru Nanak. The brief dialogue between Guru Nanak and the queen is said to be included in this sloka of the Guru:

Be sober and of humble grace,

O beautiful and proud young maid,

Ah, my breast is high with passion,

How shall I bend low in adoration,

To touch the feet of a Sage.

I have seen huge mountains and mansions,

Built of high rocks, bricks and mortar,

Crumbling to dust out of pride,

Be not proud of your youth O maid.

(Guru Nanak: Sloka Vadhik 1)

The queen and her maids felt disarmed by the kingliness of this strange sage. They spoke of their mastery over yoga techniques, of their wealth and of their Shaiva Gurus, the Siddhas. They wanted to know the Guru’s views about yoga and special discipline he preached. Guru Nanak replied :

O maid with bewitching eyes,

Listen to the thoughts of deep wisdom;

Recognize the moral worth of a thing,

Before trading in it for your life.

Drive away evils: thy enemies,

Welcome the virtues: thy friends;

Discard all sins, imbibe purity.

The essence of happy life is to give,

One’s mind, body, soul to goodness: real friends;

Love not the transient joys of sins. .

Nanak is a sacrifice unto them,

Who have realized, this great truth.

(Guru Nanak: Sloka Vadhik 2. P. 1410)

The Shaiva priests and Yogis of Kajliban were seriously upset by the spiritual influence of Guru Nanak. They came to him and tried to cow him down by their occult powers. With his spiritual powers Guru Nanak suspended and destroyed their will to perform any occult miracles. They felt as helpless as a Lilliputian felt in the grasp of a giant.59 “They fell at the feet of Guru Nanak, and begged for spiritual enlightenment.” Guru Nanak asked them to devote their precious energy to Sahajya Yoga of a life of self-restraint and love of God.

He who has not known Love,

Nor the beautitude of the Beloved,

Is like a guest visiting empty house,

He departs disappointed as he comes.

(Guru Nanak, Suhi 790)

“If you want to attain real Yoga, the Yoga of union with God, control the five passions, maintain tranquility in the mind. Your egoism (I-am-ness) has manacled thy mind. If you remember not God you cannot attain liberation. Contemplate the Word of the Guru, your egoism will depart. True Yoga will be realised in your own self. Says Nanak Yoga lies not in living in graveyards or forests, Open your eyes, realize your Self; This is the path that leads to true Yoga.60

In Ashoka Vana

According to Janam Sakhi Bhai Mani Singh Guru Nanak first went to a Pushkar dvip, a small island, then went to Ashoka Vana where Ravana had kept Sita in captivity. The people here led a very peaceful, contented and economically advanced life. As the Janam Sakhi puts it, Streams of milk flowed there.’61 One of them said, “He who is proud and vain and considers himself superior to others is treated with contempt by us. He who considers himself to be our equal is respected. We are proud of him who is humble and gentle.”62 Probably this was a Buddhist area in the Shaiva surroundings. Guru Nanak said to them: “Know God to be a living Presence in every heart and every soul. Contemplate His divine presence through His Name. Your duality of mind will disappear. You will treat all equally. Build the temple of God here. Let it be the temple of true worship. Let it be the temple of self-less service. Look after the needs of travelers, the homeless, and the monks and saints.”63

The Portuguese and then the Dutch wrought havoc all over Ceylon. All the important religious Centres were destroyed by them with vengeance. Sitawaka, the place where Guru Nanak’s missionary centres flourished for long was completely destroyed, and now practically no sign of its past glorious history is left. Almost all the old capitals of Ceylonese kingdoms, were brought to tragic ruins by the invaders from the North, East and West.64

An intensive research work into the records which give the history of the kindgoms of Jaffna Peninsula, and the Sitawaka empire of king Raj Simha is likely to throw some light on Guru Nanak’s visit to Ceylon and his impact on medieval Ceylonese history. More of this information is likely to be available from the Tamil historians of Ceylon and South India. As the foreign invaders occupied Ceylon the Sikh missionaries withdrew bag and baggage to Rameswaram and other centres of the South.

References and Notes

  1. J.M.S. (MSS) f 267-8. The whole story is given after the encounter with Kaliyuga ends.
  2. tab Guru Babe Nanak j! tin baras purab ki dharti sabh dekhi, pher purab ki dharti te dakhan kau rame;

Guru Nanak toured the East for three years. Then from r.; the East he went South. (J.Mb p 203)

  1. Karu des thr Guru Nanak ji age cale; age Singhaladip te gae; Sshar Raje Shiva Nabh ki nagri dedh mahine vie agae. From Kamarup Guru Nanak went to Singhaladip (Ceylon). He reached the kingdom of Raja Shiv Nabha in one and half month. (J.B. (MSS 1848) p 73)
  2. Bhai Gurdas Var I: Pauri 25 to 27; He Won all the Siddha- r: asanas, according to pauri 27, which were mostly in the Shaiva world of the Souh India.
  3. PJ. (MSS II) p 123.
  4. T.G.K. p 103
  5. Dr V. Raghavan: Introductory Thesis to “The Spiritual Heritage of Tyagaraja by C. Ramanujachari p 9-10
  6. Dominngos Paes quoted by K.A. Nilakanta Shastri: A History of South India, p 278.
  7. Mangalagiri Inscription Epigraphia Indica Vol. VI p 110-11
  8. Sewell: A Forgotten Empire p 320; “A History of Orissa” by Hunter and others: Vol. II 385.
  9. R.D. Banerjee: History of Orissa p 325.
  10. T.G.K. p 103
  11. Haqiqat Rah Muqam Nagapatan—Bidar-Tanjavaur (this is how the Vijayanagar kingdom is summed up) Bald’s Janam Sakhi (L I) says “tis te pare Bijapur patan hai, tis te pare asi kos Nagapatam bandar hai, on bandar Tanja- vur shah ka hai: Beyond that (Buhranpur) is Bijapur. Beyond that 80 kos is Nagapatnam, a port. This is the port of the Ruler of Tanjore. (J.B. p 345 also see J.M.S. (MSS) f 248)
  12. Haqiqat Rah mukam
  13. R.K. Das: Temples of Tamilnad p 57
  14. oh log os jaga nu Kundikottal bolde han te pothfan vie Tilganji likhya hai. T.G.K. p 101

The legend due to which the place is known as Kaliyar Koil, Devi Kottai, Kodikulam, or Kodikotai is described indetail by R.K. Das in his “Temples of Tamilnad p 85.

  1. J.M.S. (MSS) p 348.
  2. hun bhi ose pahadi par guru ji da jhanda jhulda hai; Chaitra di punya nu os dande kunde da darsan kar bheta dekar, sukhana sukhde hsn, oha log us jagah nu kundi kotal fcolde han te pothian vie Tilganji likhya hai. (T.G.K. p 101)

Even now the Guru’s flag is hoisted there, on the full moon day of the months of Chaitra (Feb-March). Even now the stone mortar and the wooden pestal with which the linseed was pounded and dissolved in water is shown. It is preserved as a relic.

  1. J.M.S. (MSS) p 348.
  2. Bale nil agya kit! isnu ghoto; ghot ke jal da kunda bharpur karke sbhana sidhan vie prasad vartaya. Sidh is kautak nu dekh ke bahut bhaiman hoe. (J.M.S. (MSS) f 348)
  3. Mangal Nath bolya: Nanak ji age ehthe bahut tapvan ae hain; siddhan da bal sabhna te rehaya hai; tudh siddhan te apna bal paya hai; tun ha^a saciar purkh nadar avadan hai. (ibid)
  4. The sermon quoted by Bhai Man Singh is based on the following hymn of Guru Nanak:

jag parbodhe madhl badhavai

asan tyag khae sac pa via.

mamta moh kaman hitkari.

na audhuti na samsari,

jogl bais raho dubhda dukh bhagai,

ghar ghar mangat laj na lagai;

gavai git na cinai ap

kion lagi, nivrai partap.

gur kai iabad racai man bhae,

bhikhya sehaj bhikhari khae,

bhasam cadhae kare pakhand

maya moh sahe jam dafid.

phute khahpar bhikh na pae bhandan badhya avai jae. (Guru Nanak : Ramkali p 903)

In the text I have given the capsule translation based on Bhai Mani Singh’s interpretation.

  1. siddhan puchya, jog karkai vasna turt khin hundi hai ke gyan karke.
  2. gyanrpuipankhidebhagti,jog,dopankhhan,jedono prapat hunde han ta gyan asthit hunda. (ibid)
  3. atit vie bhagat   visekh hundi hai ke grihsth vie. (ibid p 353)
  4. maharaj di jis vie niskapat bhagat hovai sol visekh hai. (ibid p 354)
  5. tan siddhan kehya: jog ton bina antehkaran fudh nahi hota. (J.M.S (MSS) f 354)
  6. man nu guran, de Sabad vie jodna, eh jog hai; is ke karke anteh karan sudh hota hai; car daure hain maharaj de milan de, prithme ta satsang hai, bahudo satya hai, sac bolna; te tija santokh hai, cautha samdam. (ibid)
  7. R.K. Das: Temples of Tamilnad p 70
  8. ibid p 73
  9. Count Hermann Keyserling: Indian Travel Diary of a Philosopher p 1
  10. Babaji salama, eh je doe rah hoe Hindu ar musalman tin ka kavan bicar? join rah doe hain, ke na, eko hai ? eh bat jion.hai tioft bataiai.

sunho purkha rah dovai hain, parmeSwar Hindu Turk ka khasam eko hai, karjil eki| hai, ga eko hai, bina sac te na Hindu; chutata hai na Musalman chutata hai. (J.Mb. p 216)

  1. Maharaja Ripduman Singh received the news when he was interned at Kodaikanal in South India. He sent Sardar Mul Singh Majithia to fight the case for the Udasi. Sardar Mul Singh’s grandson Sardar Narinderpal Singh, now on the Staff of G.P.C., the publishers of this book accompanied his grandfather and stayed with him at Rameswaram. He informs me that the Udasi missionary presented a good deal of evidence to show that it was the historical shrine of Guru Nanak, established when he stopped here on way to Ceylon, and won the case. Baba Nidhan Singh of Manmad and his successor haVe been good enough to look after it since then. It is still there in a dilapidated condition.
  2. Elsie K. Cook: Ceylon: Geography, Resources and People
  3. Lanka lutl da it santapai,

Ramchand mariyo eh Ravan, Guru Nanak: Siddh Gosht 40

  1. M.D. Raghavan: India in Ceylon History, Society and culture p 36
  2. Argus John Tresidder: Ceylon: An introduction to the Resplendent Land, p 92-3
  3. ibid p 94
  4. S.A. Pakeman: Ceylon p 244-45
  5. According to Nanak Prakash &nd Bhai Vir Singh’s Guru Nanak Chametkar. it was Mansukh, but according to J.M.S. it was bhagirath.

Puratan Janam Sakhi also says it was Mansukh. J.M.S. f 73

  1. NP. adhyaya 44, 247
  2. P.J. (MSSI printed version) p 88 This Janam Sakhi says that Mansukh had copied a good many hymns of the Guru and carried them with him to Ceylon. Mansukh says to Shiva Nabha: jis karan turn vart nem sanjam karte ho so vastu mai pai hai. p 89
  3. bahudo Japapatan sshar mai jae prapat bhae; uhan ik jogi ki puja hot! thi, jogi ne kiha: mai jis vele dasven duar pran cadhavta hari sari triloki ki mujh ko khabar hundi hai eh mulk msra jita hoya hai. (J.M.S. (MSS) f 278)
  4. mude kaece bharam bhulana, nahi clnya parmananda bairagi; ajar gahu jar lai, pmar gahu mar lai, bhrant taj chod tau apio pijai. min ki capal sion jugat man rakhiai, lidai neh hans na kandh chijai. bhanat Nanak jano ravai je hari mano man pavan sion amrit pijai, min ki capal sion jugat man rakhiai udai neh hans neh kandh chijai’ (Guru Nanak, Maru)
  5. ta kyi dekhan ke jogi cde pran chut gae han. (J.M.S (MSS) p 276)
  6. canga Bhatacja jogi da sikh. si, oh bhi earn! ae laga. (ibid)
  7. The first line of the first stanza is: kaman cahe sunder bhog The first line of the second stanza is: gacho putri raj kuar.

I have translated only two stanza fromt his long hymn.

  1. Raje Shiva Nabha jog ik manji miii; Raje Shiv Nabh jog Guru ki khushi hoi. (P.J. (MSS II))
  2. pichli rat uthke guran di bani padhni, isnan karke pher je gdin hovai kise samai kirtan karna kise spmai bani padhni, kise vele sana ki tehal karnl, ar apne man andar haumai na lyavnl. eh bhaga og hai’ (J.M.S (MSS) f 306)

singladip ki rehras, jab rat pave ta sabhe ikathe ae behan dharmsal; ik sikh rati praSad keh javai, bhalke ikathe keh javan, ikis am lun raoi pavia. (P. J (MSS II) f 127)

  1. tahan pransangll hoi Saldo Sihain likh lit!, Raje Shiv Nabh og (P.J. (MSS II) f 163)

This Janam Sakhi suggests that the Pran Sangli was first recited at Gorakh-hatdi, probably some Shaiva Centre in the South or Ceylon. We have seen Guru Nanak met the Shaiva Diddhas in a number of places, and even at Jaffna. So this, composition was recorded by Saido and shihan two companions of Guru Nanak, and the first copy of the work was left with Shiva Nabh

Tan Babe othe Pran Sangli ka ucar kita tan pothi likh ke Raje Shiv Nabh de hath ditl. (J.M.S. (MSS) f 287)

tithe Guru Nanak ji pran Sangli ucari ik sau terah dhyae bole. (J.B. (MSS 1848) f 75)

bhupat yog den ke kaja, pran sangli granth su saja ek sau tera dhyae bakhane; jeh padh yog kala sabh jane (N.P. adh 49:6)

  1. Kavi Santokh Singh: Suraj Prakash; Ras 3, Ansu 32 All the printed versions of Prun Sangli have different arrangements of Chapters. I have not as yet come across some very old manuscrip. Some Chapters given in Cole- brook’s manuscript of Purntan Janam Sakhi differ from the chapters found in the Complete Manuscrtpt of Puratan Janam Sakhi which I have, and is referred in this book. Some chapters of Pran Sangali indicate that they are a dialogue between the various schools of Yogis. A few Chapters appear to be presented as sermons. There are very few chapters even in the printed version which drift away from the original doctrines. Such chapters which bear the heading: Nanak-Bharthar Gosht hoi; Gorakh Var. etc. are later editions. Some chapters are historical reproductions of Siddha Gosht giving almost the same questions and answers as are given in $iddha Gosht. It would be possible for scholars to work on it if some one takes up old Manuscripts and edits a readable version. Sant Sampuran Singh’s version is the best so far available.
  2. asnde do rup hain, jo sargun rup sarlr hai, ar nirgun rup snbad hai, par sarlr dn darsan sadiv nahi hotfi, ar sabad da dargan sadjv hota hai. (J.M.S. (MSS) 287)
  3.  Argus John Tresidder: Ceylon: Introduction to Resplendent Land p 97 “For most of the sixteenth century the Portuguese were content to trade using the Sinhalese kings as puppets, particularly one unfortunate monarch who was a convert to Christianity. More than once they were in serious danger of being driven out in particular by the rulers of one of the adjacent kingdoms, Sitawaka by name of Raja Sinha I who was unusually warlike and showed definite military skill. (S.A. Pakeman: Ceylon, p. 42)
  4. Haqiqat Rah Mukam
  5. tahnn ka raja Airpati Nayak hai; tahan valayt Ram Raje ki hai. (Haqiqat Rah Mukam)
  6. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri: A History of South India p 289
  7. Dr. Saddhamangala Karunaratna and Dr. Paranavitana: “Guru Nanak in Ceylon” a paper read at International Seminar Panjabi University Patiala, September 1969.
  8. Dr. Saddhsmangalai Karimaratua‘s letter to the author dated October 22, 1969.
  9. Kajli ban kos asl hai, tirya raj hai; tahan bhj Guru Babe ka dehra hai; Sangat Bhatadyan ke judati hai; Othe Guru siddhan nal gosht karke puja khic lit! su. tab siddh Guru ka jor ajmai ke pairin ae pae. us thau ka nau Kajliban triya rai hai. (Haqiqat Rah mukam)
  10. gursabad bicaro ap jae, sac jog man vase aet jin jio pind dita tis ceteh nahi, madi masani mude jog nahit Guru Nanak bole bhali ban turn hoh sujakhe leh pachan. (Guru Nanak Basant p 1189)
  11. Ashoka vana: puskar dip mai bade bade kautak bag te phul hai. Uhan te age Asoka ban hai: dudh dian nadian vagtian han. (J.M.S. (MSS) f 366)

“The modern trunk road between Nuwara Eliya and Uva Valley below runs between Sita Amman Koil, a small shrine which has sprung up in the past few decades with the Hakgalia Gardens in the vicinity, an area of entrancing scenic beauty, which may well have been a cross section of the Ashoka Vana where Sita is said to have spent her days in captivity guarded by Raksbashis. It is locally held that the best part of Ashoka Vana must ever elude the search of man, though it is believed that it might be in the immediate vicinity of Hakgalia Gardens. Here the trees are laden with fruits, there branches bending with the weight of luscious oranges and other fruits. It may not take away any with him, which seems to indicate that the ancients knew the spot and enjoyed the fruit grown there. (M.D. Raghavan: India in Ceylonese History, Society and Culture p 3)

  1. ethe ap son jo vada janida hai us nai irkha karidi hai; te ap te jo apne j ha janda hai us nal barbri karidi hai jo ap te te chota hota hai us te abhiman karida hai. (J.M.S. (MSS) f 366)
  2. ibid f 367
  3. Sitawaka, the Capital of son and grandson of Shiva Nabha and said to be stronghold of Sikhism was brutally destroyed by the Portuguese. When Bhai Paida visited Ceylon he found Shiva Nabha’s son Maya Medni, son of Raja Sinha I ruling at Sitawaka.

Sivanabha pravesan kina nirtpat prasang bujh sabh lma Maya Medni tis ko nam, calit panth subh gun gan dham punvan raja dharmagya gur ko sikhi bisalat tatagya Sri Nanak sikh nrtp Shiv Nabh tis ko eh pota jas labha.

N.P. Ras 3 Ansu 32 Kavi Santokh Singh calls Mayadunne—Maya Medni