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Guru Nanak on the Roof of the World

Great men create history, culture and civilization by superhuman efforts. Time and barbaric revolutions throw them into oblivion, and thankless generations ignore them, doubt them, disbelieve them, or at best let them linger in human memory as legends. An agnostic and skeptic attitude of denying forthwith what they cannot understand, decipher, or interpret old historical records, has been the safest refuge of some of the historians and scholars writing on Guru Nanak. They brush aside as unbelievable what they are linguistically, intellectually and spiritually unable to grasp. By not applying their mind seriously to the analytical and comparative study of old and more reliable manuscripts of Janam Sakhis and other Sikh records, or local evidence, and by depending only on discursive logic they have gone to the extent of saying without disproving available historical facts that Guru Nanak did not go outside India. If logic could make and unmake history, they might as well prove that Guru Nanak did not go outside Punjab.

Guru Nanak visited both Eastern and Western Tibet and the impact of his visit on this region is so profound that even long before Chinese occupation of Tibet there never has been a time when Tibetans did not trek hundreds of miles to pay homage to the ever-living spirit of Guru Nanak at the Golden Temple. They consider Nanak to be the eighth incarnation of Buddha, and the sacred pond near the Golden Temple is considered to be the place of spiritual birth of Rimchope (Precious Teacher), a name which they use for Guru Nanak and some earlier Siddhacharyas.1

In 1960 I saw a Tibetan sitting in the precincts of the Golden Temple and reading some Tibetan Manuscript, as if he was invoking some prayer to the Lord of the Golden Temple. A little distance away a group of Tibetans were sitting. Out of curiosity to know what he was reading I took the risk of disturbing him and asking him what was the book about. Unfortunately he did not know even Hindustani. An educated Tibetan from among the other group came there and helped me as an interpreter. The man in tattered clothes told me that the book was about the ten Sikh Gurus, and each Guru had a Tibetan name. Guru Nanak is known as Guru Rimchope, and all the ten Sikh Gurus had a different Tibetan name. To my surprise, he gave in correct order the Indian names of all the Gurus as well as the Tibetan names. Unfortunately I did not have my notebook with me, and the piece of paper on which I scribbled the names has been lost. But this incident and the readings from that Tibetan book convinced me that there is considerable literature in Tibetan not only about Guru Nanak but about the other ten Gurus also.

I asked this Tibetan to sell this manuscript copy of Sikh history in Tibetan for any sum between a hundred to five hundred rupees. He refused to part with it even for five thousand rupees. “This is more important to me,” he said, “than any other possession. It appeared at that moment that this half-naked Tibetan was richer than any of the glamorously dressed Sikhs of Amritsar. I asked this Tibetan whether there were other manuscripts about the Gurus, and whether he could tell me in how many Tibetan monasteries the Word of Guru Nanak is studied. His look of extreme surprise seemed to say, “You Sikhs of Punjab do not even know this much about your Guru, when we know so much about holy shrines in Punjab”? “There are more than six hundred monasteries that I know of, where Guru Nanak’s Dhamma is studied. In every monastery there are some scriptures about the Gurus and also large size pictures of Nanak. When Guru Nanak went to Tibet he put on Tibetan dress. Our pictures are in Tibetan dress,” said he.

Six months later I met an officer of Tibetan army for a short while at Delhi. He surprised me by asking me, “Have you been to Sapta-Sring Hemkunta?” “No?” I said, “How are you Tibetans interested in Hemkunta?” “It is the place where the tenth Master Guru Gobind Singh performed tapasya in his earlier life. Do you not know that?” he asked ‘‘But this is a fact,” said I, “stated only in Guru Gobind Singh’s autobiography, Bachiter Natak. Have you read it?” “No”, he said, “but this fact is stated in our books and every Tibetan, who worships the Gurus as the incarnations of Buddha, knows this fact. I have been to HemKunt twice.” Unfortunately I was never able to contact him again. But I am convinced that the Tibetans know much about the Guru that we do not know.

The third surprise information came to me from the Everest hero Mr. Sonam Gyasto who till recently was Principal of Mountaineering Institute, Sikkim. Mr. Sonam Gyasto was in the second team of two who reached Everest peak in the 1965 expedition He gave me a vivid portrayal of the places visited by Guru Nanak in Sikkim, and Bhutan and the stories connected with them. He gave me the address of Karma-pa Guru Rimpoche, the direct successor of Guru Nanak’s mission in Tibet, and he proudly said he was himself his disciple. And then he said, with a strange glow on his smiling face, “It was Rimpoche Guru Nanak who helped us in our mission to the Everest. It was he who saved my life at a very critical moment.” Mr. Sonam Gyatso had been frost bitten while coming down from Everest Peak to the last camp under almost impossible conditions. It was his unswerving faith in prayers that enabled him to carry on.

Guru Nanak’s visit to the inaccessible heights in Western Tibet had a distinctly different purpose than his itinerary to Sikkim, Bhutan and Eastern Tibet. His visit to Sumer mountain was to encounter the eminent Yogis living in inaccessible snowy retreats as Snowmen. His visit to Eastern Tibet was to carry the torch of his Faith in Tibetan monasteries. His visit to Sumer mountain is recorded in the Janam Sakhis, and his dialogue with the Yogis is described in his famous composition, Siddha Gosht, which took place on Sumer mountain and not at Achal Batala, as some present day scholars think.2 Historical records also indicate that Guru Nanak went to Sumer mountain via short cuts and routes passing through Himachal and not through Kashmir. In view of the sporadic evidence available it is not possible to present a positively certain connected narrative of the Guru’s itinerary in this region, but whatever is available is presented in historical sequence.

In Shiwalik Hills and Himachal

Puratan Janam Sakhi says Guru Nanak went to Shiwalik hills3 on his way to Sumer mountain. Old manuscripts of Bala's Janam Sakhi support this theory by saying that he passed through Himachal, which means the same thing as Shiwalik hills.4 We find a number of historical shrines of Guru Nanak in this region, notably at, Pinjor Kiratpur, Gopal mochan, near Paonta, Srinagar, Badrinath, Trilok- nath, Palampur, Ghumren, Kangra, Rawalsar, Johad- sar. There are shrines commemorating Guru Nanak’s visit in all these places.5

At Kiratpur he met the famous Sufi Buddhan Shah. His name was different, but this is how he is remembered in Sikh history. He lived a quiet and contented life on a small hillock in Kiratpur. He was so delighted to meet the Guru, that he begged Nanak to come again and accept the milk from him with the same joy as he had accepted them. “I will come,” said Guru Nanak, after many years, in a different form but in the same spirit. One of my successors will meet you again. Baba Gurditta, who was not only born on Kartik Puranmashi, but looked so much like Nanak that many people thought him to be avatar of Guru Nanak, was the first to meet him almost a century later6. A few months after Baba Gurditta’s meeting Guru Hargobind met the divine Sufi, and his wish that he should meet his preceptor Nanak once more was fulfilled in this way.

Sumer Mountain : The Olympus of the Hindus

Sumer according to Sikh historical records is a mountain peak in the Himalaya range, somewhere beyond Kailash. It is also known as Hemadri ‘golden mountain, Racnasanu; jewel peak, Karnikathala; lotus mountain, and Amarapuri or Deva-paravata or the mountain of gods. One Purana identifies it with the hills beyond, Hemkunta, and Sapta-sring where the Pandavas and Guru Gobind Singh in his earlier birth lived in yogic meditations. This is quite possible, but the exact location of this retreat of the Yogis cannot be guessed. The difficulty arises from the fact, that Tibetans have their own names of these hills, our more recent geographical surveys have given them different names, and there is no book or map available on the Puranic geography either of India or of these regions. The Janam Sakhis and the medieval Sikh records give only the Puranic names.

Bala and Mardana accompanied Guru Nanak on this journey up to certain heights, but he asked them to stay on at an unnamed place, and went further on to Sumer all alone.7 The region where Bala and Mardana were left had abundant of gold and the people were youthful and cheerful.8

East of Manasarowar and Ladakh range is the Himalayan water-shed; west of Manasarowar it is an independent Tibetan chain and has no connection with the Himalaya. The Kailash range in which the Sumer seems to be located runs parallel to the Ladakh range 500 miles to the north of it, Near Manasarowar it contains a crowded cluster of peaks, several of which exceeds 20,000 ft. and the highest of which is Kailash, 22,028 ft., and 19 miles north of Manasarowar. From Kailash to Hemkunt is a Himalayan range which has attracted saints and yogis for a quiet meditative retreat. Many of them went there not only for peace of mind but to prolong their life and live from hundred to five hundred years. The yogis believe that the mind controls the senses and the breath controls the mind and life-process. They also long, by the art of yoga, entering another’s body a technique which prefect yogis appear to have mastered.9

Alberuni, in his book on India, written in about 1030 A.D. gives different accounts of the location of Sumeru or Meru mountain. He rejects the views of Brahmagupta and commentator Balabhadra and quoting Matasya Purana says : “It (Sumeru) is golden and shining like fire which is not dulled by smoke. It is 86,000 yojanas high and 16000 of these yojanas lie in the earth. There are rivers of sweet water running in it, and beautiful golden houses inhabited by spiritual beings. Also asuras, daityas and rakhshasa are living in it. Round the mountain lies the pond of Manasa (Manasarover) and round it on all sides are Lokpalas. Mount Meru has seven knots i.e. great mountains. The great mountains round Meru are the following: Himavant, always covered with snow; Hemkunta, the golden; Nishada, Nila, inhabited by siddhas, Brahmrishis and anchorites; Sveta and Sringavant. Not far to the north of the mountain there are mountain passes full of jewels. The region between Himavanta and Srigavant is called Kailash.”10

Both Mahabharata and Guru Govind Singh refer to Sapta-sring and Hemkunta. In the Adi-purva, chapter 119, slokas 47-50 Mahabharata says: “The Kaurava Rajakumara Pandu, living on fruit and roots as his diet went with both his wives to Nagshat mountain. There they stayed for some days. Then he crossed the Chatrath, Kalkut and arrived at Gandhmadan. The siddhas and maharishis of the mountain attended on him. From here they reached Indra-dyanum sarover. A little beyond Hanskut (afterwards called Hemkunt) Maharaja Pandu arrived at Sapta Sringa where he performed tapasya.

Guru Gobind Singh also performed tapasya here. In his autobiography he writes:

Now I will tell you my own story,

How from, a life of austere contemplation,

I came here in this world;

Where there is the Hemkunta mountain,

There is a place called Sapta-sringa,

Sapta sringa is the name of the place,

Where Pandu {father of Pandavas)

Went to perform tapasya.

In this place I meditated deeply on God.

(Guru Gobind Singh : Bachiter Natak)

We now come to the conclusion that Sumeru is one of the inaccesible peaks out of these seven great mountains of the Himalayan range from Kailash to Hemkunta. Unfortunately no Indologist has done sufficient research work on the geography of ancient India and located these peaks exactly. Sumer is one of these peaks situated to the North-East of Kailash. The tendency to call anything a present day scholar does not understand, dubious and legendary, has done considerable harm to the study of Guru Nanak’s travels. Some scholars have found this negative criticism a convenient instrument of their so called rational methodology, but all rational methodology in history should be based on correct knowledge, understanding and evaluation of old historical manuscripts, in the light of historical and geographical names of persons and places of the period. It should not be a negative thesis based on imaginary doubts, motivated dissent and the so called scientific skepticism. Agnosticism in religion may make an individual a fool, but agnosticism in history destroys something that is precious and important, and it consciously or unconsciously damages geographical and historical facts. This is the method that has been followed by obviously unsympathetic scholars from Dr. Trump to Dr. McLeod whose works and dubious comments have done more harm to their fair name and motivated scholarship than to Sikh history and theology. If they do not understand what Kamarup, Dhanesari, Sumer, Japapatnam (Jaffnapatnam) are in the Janam Sakhis they dismiss them as legendary. If they cannot probe into the authenticity of historical facts of Janam Sakhis by additional research work, they condemn it as doubtful and unbelievable, and call this game methodic research work in history.

Here on Sumer mountain lived Gorakh’s companions, or perhaps his direct successors, Loharipa, Charpat and others.11 They were surprised to see a young man from the world of men among them. Ades, Ades: (Hail, all Hail to thee) said Guru Nanak. Charpat was the first to ask: “Who are you ? What is your name ? By what powers have you come to these inaccessible heights of our caves ?” “My name is Nanak,” said the Guru, “I have dedicated my life to the love and contemplation of God, and it is through His grace I have come here.”12 As they were quite old and mature and Guru Nanak was comparatively young, hardly forty-five, they addressed Nanak as Bala: Child, Son. This is how they addressed him, says Bhai Gurdas, and this is how Nanak says in his Siddha Gosht the Yogis addressed him.13

These Siddhas had been long away from the world of men. They did not know what social and political changes had taken place during this long period of their retreat. They therefore asked Nanak what were the political, social and cultural conditions in mataloka, the world of men in India.14 “Truth, in the world is like a full moon,” said Guru Nanak, “which has disappeared behind the clouds of sin and falsehood. The dark night of falsehood has enveloped the whole world. Enlightened sages and Yogis like you who could redeem the world have retired into mountain retreats and have hidden themselves. I wander here in search for Truth. To know and establish Truth I have travelled to the farthest countries.”15

Giving vivid details of the utter degradation and decadence that was plaguing the whole society Guru Nanak said : “The age is like a drawn sword, the kings are butchers; goodness has taken wings and disapeared.”16 The rich are like street dogs that live in these dark times on the blood and bones of exploited ones (the poor and helpless: murdar). The kings live in vice and sin and instead of protecting the people they have brought pestilence to the country, and the fence is swallowing the garden.”17 “The rulers are blood-thirsty tigers, the ministers are like blood hounds. They torture and insult the conscience of humanity. The officials bleed the innocent people with their claws of greed. The ministers like blood hounds, lick and drink their blood.”18 “The Yogis of your schools, have become hypocrites and cheats. They put on ashes and go about showing miracles. The sannyasins, and yogis have become cheap gurus, and they run to the houses of people for food and money and degrade themselves and degrade their teachings. The Qazis, openly accept bribery and give perverted judgments, and if any truth loving person protests, they swear by the Koran and rosary and terrorize them. The human relation between man and wife has been reduced to the lowest level. If a man can provide ample money, the wife pretends to be loyal, otherwise she forsakes him for her personal luxury. There is no moral discipline left in family life.”19

The Yogis thought that if they could win Guru Nanak to their school of thought they could score a great victory for Yoga and its future. One of the Yogis gave him a bowl and asked him to fetch some water from the valley below, after which they would serve him with some food. When Guru Nanak went down to the valley he found no water. The valley was a mine of gold and gems.20 The Yogi thought that the wealth of those treasures would attract Guru Nanak and he would do anything to be so rich and powerful. Unmoved and undisturbed, Guru Nanak came back and said, “Natha ji, there is no water there. What I found there, did not interest me.”21

Then started a discussion on metaphysical questions. They put question after question and on each problem they gave their own point of view. Guru Nanak gave his views, sharply criticizing some of their thoughts:

Loharipa:

Understand the way of Toga,

Keep away from cities and highways,

Live in the forests and detached in retreats Roots and fruits should be his food.

Thus must the yogi live,

A life of pure contemplation

Guru Nanak :

 Even while living

In cities and near highways,

The mind should be alert;

Covet not anothers5 wife;

Without divine Name No peace can be achieved;

Nor the desires silenced.

The divine Enlightener has shown,

The real life of the cities,

The real life of market place,

Is within us, in our hearts and soul.

We must trade in truth.

We should eat but little.

We should sleep but little

(Guru Nanak: Siddha Gosht: 7,8)

Loharipa and other Yogis felt that all efforts should be made to win Nanak to yoga and he asked him to accept the leadership of one of the twelve sects of yoga.22

Loharipa :

Accept the garb of Toga Darsana,

Its symbols are patched coat,

Ear-rings, a beggar's wallet,

Out of the six systems,

Adopt the supreme system of Toga,

Out of the twelve sects of yogis Enter curs, the leading one,

Though thou say it, only those Whom God hath enlightened Have truly grasped God,

Control thy mind by my rules,

And then you can attain yoga.

Guru Nanak :

My own system is constant

Contemplation of the Word;

My way of wearing ear-rings;

To discard pride and attachment.

My patched coat and beggar's wallet:

Are seeing God in all things,

Only God can make me free.

The Lord is the Truth,

Truth is His Name, says the Guru,

He who will may test this.

(Siddha Gosht: 8, 9)

When Guru Nanak condemned all types of renunciation, Loharipa asked him a pertinent question: kis karan greh tajio udnsi, kis karan eh bhekh nivasl. Why have you left and renounced your home, and why are you putting on this garb of a recluse (Udasi)23 To which Guru Nanak answered:

In search of God-illumed Men I have left home like a recluse;

I have put on this garb

To gain access to the sanctuary of Divine Men.

I am a trader in Truth,

With the grace of God,

I have crossed the ocean of samsara.

(Guru Nanak: Siddha Gosht, 18)

Then followed a profoundly deep discussion. The Yogis put forward nearly twenty metaphysical and mystical doctrines of their own. On each of them Guru Nanak commented, giving a critical view of their approach and establishing his philosophy and mysticism as distinct and more illuminating. Bhai Gurdas sums up the outcome of this great historic dialogue, saying: “Guru Nanak minted a new coin of his Faith and proved distinctive philosophy of his Religion.” He won the Siddhas in debate with the doctrine of the Word.24 Guru Nanak ended his Siddha Gosht, the great dialogue with the Yogis by giving the essence of his doctrine of the Word in the last two verses.25 Those who wanted Nanak to become their disciple accepted him as the Master, the True World Teacher.

Guru Nanak had gone to these inaccessible heights alone. If Bala or Mardana had accompanied them, Nanak would not have gone to fetch water. This could have been done by one of his companions. The evidence furnished by Bhai Gurdas, Bhai Mani Singh janam Sakhi, and the internal evidence of Siddha Gosht proves this theory. Guru Nanak then came back to the place were Bala and Mardana were waiting for him.

Guru Nanak’s Visit to Eastern Tibet

When we present historical evidence about the visit of Guru Nanak to Eastern Tibet, the lirst question, an average scholar or laymen is tempted to ask is: “Why is the Dalai Lama silent about it? Today we naively associate the whole past and present of Tibet with the Dalai Lama, but when Guru Nanak visited Tibet, the institution had not come into existence. Nor was Lhasa the capital of Tibet. Even when the Dalai Lamas came into power, they remained the strongest political and spiritual rivals of the sect which has faith in Guru Nanak and which has devoutly preserved his life records, his relics, his footprints and his works.26

A great part of early Tibetan history is wrapped in myth and legend. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Tibet was divided between uncertain number of chiefs, religious leaders, and laymen who ruled by right of succession. Impressed by the knowledge of a Tibetan Lama, Kubla Khan (1260-94) made Lamaism the national religion of his empire. When Guru Nanak visited Tibet there were two sects, the Karmapa sect (Red Caps) and Gelupa sect (Yellow Caps). A bitter political and spiritual rivalry was raging between them.

In 1578 (long after Guru Nanak’s death) a leader of the Gelupa sect named Sonam Gyatso visited Mongolia and converted to his own faith the leading prince Altan Khan, together with a large number of his followers. The Khan gave Sonam Gyatso, the title of Tale (Dalai) meaning ocean and the title has later applied retrospectively to his two predecessors who were considered to be his incarnations.”27 For a century or more the Dalai Lama had 110 temporal influence but they soon became the rivals of Karmapas. It was in 1640 A.D. that the Dalai Lama sect defeated and killed the Karmapa king, displaced the Karmapa Lamas from their high estate and set up the fifth Dalai Lama whose name was Ngawang Lob-zang Gyatso.

During the first two centuries of the existence of the dynasty of Dalai Lama the residence of the pontiffs was at Debang and not at Lhasa. Lhasa was only a resort of the devout. Lhasa became the focus of sanctity in 1577 and it was in the middle of seventeenth century that Lhasa became the residence of Dalai Lama. It was in 1641 that the fifth Dalai Lama built his palace on the rock site and gave it the name of Potola.

Earlier many attempts were made by the Karmapa sect to capture Lhasa but they failed. Towards the end of fifteenth century, Donyo Dorje wanted to build a monastery in Lhasa on behalf of Karmapa sect, but Gelupa sect did not permit him to do so. When he built a monastery outside Lhasa and put Palkhang Chozay in charge, the monks of the neighbouring Gelupa monasteries descended on it one night and razed it to the ground. The Karma-pa Lama narrowly escaped being killed.28 Later on supporters of the Karma-pa sect were not permitted to attend the Lhasa ceremonies. Such has been the tragic political and religious rivalary between the Dalai Lama’s followers and the Karma-pa sect which has preserved the teachings of Guru Nanak, and reveres him as the eighth incarnation of Buddha.

The Chungtang Monastery of Rimpoche Guru Nanak

The Mound at Chungtang Monastery on which Guru Nanak rested
Footprints of Guru Nanak preserved at Chungtang Monastery
About a hundred miles away from Gangtok (Sikkim Capital), towards the north of Sikkim there is a monastery which has preserved the memory and relics of Guru Nanak’s visit.29 A metaled road now connects the capital with the shrine. The local people call the place Nanak-Tang. “In the middle of the valley there is a mound about 30 feet high and about 200 feet in circumference. The village people have raised a 4 feet high stone wall around it to maintain the sanctity of the place. The stone mound has cave inside, whose mouth has been walled up with stones. On the top of the mound are what the people believe to be the sacred footprints of Guru Nanak. People at times offer coins to these footprints of the Guru. On the side of the mound there are crevices a few feet about the ground level through which the water was trickling. The crevices are a few inches deep suggesting that the water has been coming out of these for the past few centuries. The story that has come down from generation to generation is that Guru Nanak stayed here in the cave under the mound, on his way to Tibet. As the water in the river was very muddy due to the rains, he produced water from the side of the mound and since then water keeps on coming out of the side of the mound.”30 Orchids grow around the mound, and no one is allowed to pluck them. The story of the footprints and the spring is an exact parallel of the Panja Sahib story.

“When Guru Nanak came here he brought his rice meals packed in banana leaves, (a custom still prevalent in Tibet and Burma.) The two commodities were unknown to hill folks. The Guru having noticed their inquisitiveness bestowed them with a share of this strange cereal.”31 He asked them to sprinkle some of it all over the meadow and to bury the banana packing in a corner. From that the place got its first rice harvest and plantains.32 The people still believe that they owe their rich harvest of rice and banana to Guru Nanak’s far-sight and gift. This is one of the few places were rice and banana grows in the land of maize and apples. The Everest hero Mr. Sonam Gyatso, believes it to be a miracle of Guru Nanak.33

Thyangboche Monastery

The Monastery of Thyangboche
His Holiness the Lama Incarnate of Thyangboche who has hand written documents of Guru Sahib
On the road that leads to Everest Base Camp there is Thyangboche Monastery which has preserved not only the pictures of Guru Nanak, but also some writings which they believe to be the writings of Guru Nanak. Describing the monastery the leader of the Everest expedition writes: “The atmosphere in the room was deeply religious and mystical. There were colourful frescos on the walls, and the ceiling bore mythical motifs with a display of exquisite idols of varying sizes in bronze and other materials. There were a large number of sacred texts, presumably the original hand written manuscripts, stacked in pigeon holes. The idols were of the founder and the later incarnate Lamas and of the venerable Gurus and the like. We were shown one of Guru Rimpoche, the Tibetan name of Guru Nanak, the Founder of Sikh religion, who in his truth-seeking wanderlust, had covered great distances for pilgrimages to the seats of religious learnings and held debates discussion in places as apart as Tibet, Mecca and Benaras.34 The manuscripts preserved in the monastery have some vital information about Guru Nanak and some of them are alleged to be Guru Nanak’s writings in his own hand. If they are contemporary records they are likely to throw great light on Guru Nanak’s itinerary in this region.

In the Paro valley of Bhutan there is another Tiger’s Nest monastery built almost into perpendicular cliffs which is supposed to be the heavenly abode of the Guru Rimpoche. It is possible that Guru Nanak rested here during his visit to Bhutan. It is difficult to assess by which route Guru Nanak went to Tibet. He might have gone through Khatha-mandu where there is Guru Nanak’s mutt commemorating his visit and through Thyangboche towards Eastern Tibet in Sikkim and Bhutan. Or he might have entered Sikkim through Nathu-La pass and come back from Tibet through Kathamandu. He might have even followed the Tibetan Highway from Manasarowar to Lhasa side which was followed by Heinrich Harrer author of “Seven Years in Tibet”. There is no doubt that Guru Nanak visited Tibet and his impact on the religious and cultural life of the people has been considerable.

Notes and References

  1. The great Siddhacharyas who introduced Buddhism into Tibet and China are known as Guru Rimchope or Precions Teacher He is called the Lotus born and his spiritual birth is connected with the Holy Pond around Golden Temple, Amritsar. (Bhikshu Sangahrishite: A Survey of Buddhism)
  2. I have discussed this in detail in my article, “Siddha Gosht da Itihasik pichokad”, published in the Punjabi Magazine “Sis Ganj” May-June 1966. The arguments are repeated in the footnotes below, wherever there is an internal evidence to prove this theory.
  3. sava-lakh parbat langh ke age Sumer jae cadhya jahan Mahadev ka asthan tha, tab age, Mahadeo ate Gorakh Nath ate Bharthari, Gopi Chand, te Charpat baithe the. (P.J. p 109)

Bhai Vir Singh considers Sawalakh to be Kailash. Prof Sahib Singh in an article in Punjabi Dunya interprets Sawalakh to be 125000 hills and he sarcastically remarks that so many mountains cannot be found in the whole world. All that the author of Janam Sakhi means to say is that Guru Nanak crossed the Shiwalik hills, in the present Himachal State. The Shiwalik hills are the lower Himalayan range made out of debris coming out of the Himalayas. It does not mean 125000 hills as Prof Sahib Singh explains, nor Kailash as Bhai Vir Singh suggests

  1. tan Himachal nu udari Utl; jae Himachal upar khade hoe. (J.B. (MSSI 1848) f J.B. (Dacca MSS) f 130 )

es taran Shiwalik parbat da sair kar Gangodadi ja pahunce. (T. G. K p 116)

  1. T. G. K. pp 116, 117
  2. Kavi Santokh Singh in his Suraj Prakash says, because Baba Gurditta was born on Kartik Puranmashi and because his face resembled that of Guru Nanak, he was called avatar of Guru Nanak.

kitak lok im karat bicar Sri Nanak ko eh avatar. (Suraj Prakash Ras 5 Ansu 37)

  1. so unanu othe chad ke BabajI Gorakh Nath pas Sumer parbat gae. (J. M. S (MSS) f 370)
  2. othon updes karke Sumer parbat de pas ik nagar sabh svarn ka utam sa, ar raja parja othon ee sabh hamesa juan rehande se so othon de manukh mahan hi sunder rehande se. jab una ne sunya sabh an pairin pae. (ibid 367)
  3. See (i) Tibetan yoga and Secret Doctrines p 26

(ii)   Maurixe Bloomfield: “On the Art of Entering Another's Body

(iii)  Hemchandra’s Yoga Shastra (VI, 1)

The art of entering another’s body (parapuraku-yapravesa) is preceded by the art of separating soul from body called vedhaviddi.

  1. Edwaid G. Sachan : Alberuni’s India Vol. I 246-7
  2. pher ja cade Sumer par, siddh mandall dristl ai, Caurasi siddha Gorakhadi man andar ginti vartai. (Bhai Gurdas, Var 1: 28)

pher Sumer te jae cadhe; Siddhan da ja darsan kita; caurasi siddh jo ahe Gorakh thl adJ, tina de man ginti al; jo eh Bala Sumer parbat te kion kar aya hai (J.M. S. (MSS) f 381)

Guru Nanak according to Bhai Gurdas and Bhai  Mani Singh met Gorakh, Charpat, Loharipa on the Sumer Mt. These are the characters of Siddh Gosht. At Achal Batala he had met Bhangar Nath a leader of the worldly type Yogis. His name does not occur in Siddha Gosht.

  1. sidh puchan sun Balia , kaun sakat toh ethe lyaj, haun japya parmeSro, bhau bhagat sang tadljai; akhan siddh sun Balia, apna nau turn deh batai; Baba akhe Nath ji, Nanak nam jape gati pal. (Bhai Gurdas Var 1: 28)

kavan tumai kavan nau tumara kaun marag kaun suao. sac kahon ardas hamarl haun sadt jana bal jaun keh baisoh keh rehiai Bale keh avo keh jaho Nanak bole sun bairagi kya tumara nau. (Guru Nanak : Siddha Gosht 2)

Only the Siddhas of Sumer mountain who did not know what was happening in the world could ask such questions: What is your name? where do you live? what is your faith? The yogis of Achal Batala already knew Guru Nanak and they could not have asked any of these questions. (Achal Batala is only a few miles from Kartarpur) In the dialogue between Bhangar Nath of Batala and Guru Nanak, quoted by Bhai Gurdas, it is quite clear that Batala yogis knew who Guru Nanak was. So this proves Siddha Gosht is Sumer Dialogue and not Achal Batala Dialogue.

  1. sidh skhan sun Balia kiv darsan eh leve Bain (Bhai Gurdas: 1.31)

keh rehiai Bale (Guru Nanak Sidha Gosht. 2)

The Achal Batala Yogis became jealous and bitter as soon as Guru Nanak arrived because all the people started paying homage to Nanak. They address him in bitter terms and Guru Nanak gives replies in equally sarcastic tone. This again is internal evidence that Siddha Gosht is Sumer dialogue.

  1. phir puchan sidh Nanaka matlok vie kya vartara. (Var 1:29)

sidh puchan lage ji matlok da ki vartara hai (J.M.S. (MSS) 382)

  1. Babe kehya Nathji, sac candarma kud andhara kud amavas vartya, haun bhalan cadhya samsara pap girasi pirthami dhaul khada dhar heth pukara. sidh chap baithe parbatln kaun jagat kau par utara. (Bhai Gurda Var 1:30)
  2. kal katl raje kasal dharam pankh kar udar gaya kud amavas sac candrama dise nahi keh cadia haun bhai vikunl hoi. (Guru Nanak: Majh p 145)
  3. kal ai kute muhi khaj hoa murdar gusain raje pap kamavde ultl vad khet ko khai, parja andhi gyan bin, kud kusat mukhon alai, (Bhai Gurdas Var 1:30)
  4. raja s'lnh mukadam kute jae jagaen baithe sute, cakar neh da paen ghau, rat pit kutoh cat jah. (Guru Nanak, Malar: 1288)
  5. istri purkhe dam hit bhaven ae kithaun jai, (Bhai Gurdas Var 1: 30)

istri purkha da maya nal pyar hai, so bhaven purkh ave bhaven jave (J.M.S (MSS) f 382)

istri purkhe khate bhau bhaven avae bhaven jao (Guru Nanak : Var Ramkali p 951)

  1. Almost parallel to the Ganga Chhu at a distance of a mile on the south, there is a line of gold deposits extending from the Rakshasha lake right up to the Manas. During the last mining operation it was said that one gold nugget as big as a dog was found. At the place where the nugget was found a Shorten was constructed and is called Serko-Khiro. Swami Pranavananda: Holy Kailas and Mansarowar p 74-5
  2. khapar dita nath ji pan! bhar laivan uth cala Baba aya paniai, dithe ratan jawahar lala satgur agam agadh purkh keh^a jhale gur ki jhala. phir aya gur nath ji pani thaud nahi us tala. (Bhai Gurdas, Var 1:1)
  3. siddhin mane bicarya kiven dar^an eh leve bala aisa jogi kali mah hamre panth kare ujiala (Bhai Gurdas, Var I: 31)

arsan bhekh karoh jogindra mundra jholi khntha bareh antar ek sarevo khat darSan ik pantha. (Guru Nanak:        Siddh Gosht 9)

  1. kis karan greh tajyo udasi kis karan eh bhekh nivasi

Why have you renounced the world and put on this garb of an Udasi?

This question could be asked at Sumer meeting where Guru Nanak was putting on the garb of an Udasi and not at Achal Batala where he had come with ordinary clothes. At Kartarpur he had given up the Udasi dress. Baba aya kartlirpur bhehk Udasi sagal utnrn. When Baba (Nanak) came to Kartarpur he put off all robes worn in Udasi (travels) (Bhai Gurdas : Var I, 45)

Prof Sahib Singh in his zeal to prove that the dialogue took place at Achal Batala interprets this line: “Why did you wear Udasi Bhekh then at Sumer?” I do not know how a question asked in the present tense: kis karan eh (this) bhekh nivasl could be given such a grammatical twist, I do not know why the well-known grammarian throws all the rules of grammar to the wind while explaining it. The whole question is directly asked in the present tense and eh bhekh nivasl, means this Udasi garb which you are wearing now. This question clearly proved that the Siddha Gosht is a record of the Sumer dialogue.

  1. Sabad jitl siddh mandll kitos apna panth nirala (Bhai Gurdas Var 1:31)

marya sikka jagat vie Nanak nirmal panth calaya (ibid 1: 45)

  1. Sabde ka nibeda sun tun audhu bin naven jog na hoi, (Guru Nanak: Siddh Gosht 70)
  2. These Yogis were hated by the Tibetan Buddhists, and were even called Rakshashas. The Rakshasha lake near Man-sarowar seems to be one of the place were these Yogis resided. With the growth of Tibetans as political power they could not freely move in the Tibetan territories. They lived in some far off caves away from the people. The snowmen are probably these groups of yogis who live in isolated Himalayan retreats.
  3. A letter from Dalai Lama states that there is nothing about Guru Nanak in the records of his office. Mr. Sonam Gyatso the Everest hero first revealed to me that the Tibetan sect to which Dalai Lama belongs is different from the sect which believes in Guru Nanak. I then studied the early history of Tibet and it became quite clear to me that the doctrines of Gelupa sect out of which Dalai Lama cult emerged, and the Karma-pa sect which is a follower and believer in Guru Nanak are as different from each other as orthodox Vaishnavism is from orthodox Sufism. The ignorance of the Dalai Lama who generally remains confined to his palace and is strictly disciplined in the history and theology of his own sect is quite obvious.
  4. H. E. Riehardson: Tibet and its History p 41
  5. ibid Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa: Tibet: A Political History p 107
  6. The information about the Chungtang monastery was given to me in detail by Mr. Sonam Gystso verbally. He is a devotee of the Karmapa-Rinchompe and has visited the place many times. This meeting with him was kindly arranged by CDR M.S. Kohli the leader of the Everest Expedition I am grateful to the Editors of the Sikh Review for sending two articles, one published, by Major N.S. Issar and the other of Sardar Surinder Singh IDAS as yet unpublished. All the three statements are eye witness accounts.
  7. Surinder Singh IDAS: Guru Nanak in Sikkim (Unpublished)
  8. Major N.S. Issar: Rimpoche Nanak Guru: Sikh Review Jan: 1965
  9. When I suggested to Mr. Sonam Gyatse that it might have been uncooked rice he insisted on believing that it was cooked rice. Guru Nanak was a great prophet he said, and for him everything was possible.