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The First Punjab Tour

The mind and soul of Guru Nanak were in a state in which his whole inner being was irradiated with His light, and bathed in His presence. He had now reached the point where his contemplation of truth was engulfed in action and his will had become one with God’s Will. He now wanted to change the field of his activities. He had worked and contemplated within the narrow limits of his home, town and district. Now he wanted the whole world to be the stage of his action. Bitterly opposed to doctrines of escapism and renunciation of society, he opened wide the gates of his spiritual experience. Bracing himself for establishing an entirely new social order, he sought in solitude, grace and blessedness, strength and creative power to throw himself into the current of world-life. From his personality radiated an extraordinary energy, a daring realistic vision of truth, a powerful conception of new social order, and a determination to face the national crisis and international situation of his times.

God was revealed in full splendour to Him and his soul lived in the Spirit of God. There was no more mystery about Him and His purpose of creation. His individual problems had vanished and his agony and sorrow about the human situation dispelled; everything was flooded with light. He could look into the, soul of things. A superabundance of vitality flowed from the springs of his inner being. He felt truth flowing from its fountain head like an active force. He could no more help spreading it abroad than the sun can help diffusing its light. The love which consumed him was no longer the love of man for God. It was the love of God for all men. Through God, in the strength of God, he loved mankind, and now he wanted to serve humanity with his body, mind and soul.

Elected Solitude

From Sultanpur Guru Nanak moved slowly towards Western Punjab, followed by Mardana the bard. He was wearing a turban, a robe like that of Sufi fakirs, a loin-cloth and carried a saffron sheet with him.1 Ever since Daulat Khan Lodhi had become his disciple his fame had spread far and wide. He kept away from the cities and visited some humble dwellings now and then. He allowed Mardana to go to the cities and get as much food and personal requirements as he desired, but he did not allow him to carry anything with him. He was ordered to distribute amongst the poor whatever surplus food or clothes he got from the people in the name of Nanak.

Guru Nanak himself slept little, ate very little and lived a very austere life. Mostly, he slept on a bed of stones and earth, and ate whatever fruit or leaves nature afforded.2 He was planning to travel all over the world, meet the people of all nations and countries. He was going to open a spiritual dialogue with the divines of all faiths to achieve unity of thought, and deeper understanding of the spirit of truth in various religions. For this mission he had to go to inaccessible territories through forests and deserts, and had even to cross mountains and rivers. So now, during his Punjab tour, he started moulding his body to the hardest life of a traveler. He disciplined his mind to all stresses of hunger, fatigue and dangers of life in alien lands. He gave up all material comforts. He made the hard ground his bed. He made the fruit and leaves of the forests his food, when no other food was available.3 He performed tapasya (askesis) to achieve an unshakable determination to fulfil the mission of God.

Mardana was surprised at the severe austerities to which the Master submitted his body without mortifying it. He had suddenly given up all comforts of life. Frank and outspoken as he was, he asked Guru Nanak, “Exalted One, why must you lead such a life of austerities after receiving perfect enlightenment.” Guru Nanak replied : “God has bestowed me the light of His Word and the grace and gifts of humility. I am now living in austere contemplation to make these gifts inseparable part of my inner being. I seek now from God His abiding assurance to help me in my mission and to guide me as the Father would guide His Son.”4

From Sultanpur Guru Nanak moved to an uninhabited region where he meditated for some days. This place later came to be known as Goindwal. From here he moved to a small mound in another forest. Here also he meditated for many days in detached solitude under a tree.5 History and tradition says that it is on this mound the sacred Harimandir (the Golden Temple) was built, and around it was dug the tank by Guru Ram Das.6 Mardana one day felt very hungry. Guru Nanak asked him to go to the neighbouring village. The people in the village were good, particularly the Uppal family. Nanak asked him to eat as much as he liked or take things which he required for personal use, but he should not bring any money, clothes or anything that may be offered to him. If people do offer him something he must immediately distribute them among the poor. Mardana promised to abide by the Guru’s command.

When Mardana went to the city people came to know that he was a disciple of Baba Nanak. Muslims and Hindus touched his feet, offered delicious food, clothes and money. The Uppal kshatriyas of the village showed great devotion and offered costly gifts. They asked many questions about the whereabouts of Nanak but Mardana kept silent. After some time Guru Nanak saw Mardana coming towards him with a big bundle of rich garments and fruits. Guru Nanak burst out laughing, and according to the Janam Sakhis laughed so heartily that he “rolled on the ground in complete abandonment” to the amusement created by Mardana’s innocent submission to temptation6. “Well Mardana, I asked you not to bring anything but what is all this?” “Master,” said Mardana, “People were offering many things in your name. I felt that I would be committing a great sin if I failed to convey their offerings to you. Now you can do what-ever you like with them. I have not brought these things for myself.” Guru Nanak was amused the way his innocent disciple tried to rationalize his temptation. “All right, Mardana,” said the com-passionate Guru, “It is good of you to think like that, but please dispose them off. Give them away to the poor. We will not carry anything.” Mardana gave away all the things to the poor and the needy.7

From this place Guru Nanak went to the forests, adjoining Saidpur. Here in this forest, Guru Nanak meditated for many days, in a place now known as Rori Sahib. While Mardana went to the city for his food Guru Nanak depended upon what nature gave him. At times he took the ak fruit which particularly grows in sand, as it is sweet and harmless. The place where he meditated became a hermitage and the people of Saidpur who came to know about the austerities of Guru Nanak called him Nanak, the hermit (tapa). It is during this tapasya (askesis), says Bhai Gurdas, Guru Nanak achieved the supreme perfection, in which God treated him as the manifestation of His own Spirit8. He stood face to face with his beloved God once more, in the realm of Truth, eager to have from Him, the sustaining grace to fulfil His command, which he had received at Sultanpur. Etherialised into the very perfume of devotion, he felt in the throb of divine joy, the assurance that throughout his mission on earth he would constantly retain the supreme vision of Truth and be an inseparable part of it. From this transcendent state Guru Nanak saw the tragic realities of human existence. His kindling vision saw the whole humanity groaning under tyranny, oppression, social injustice, and moral degradation. Apostle Bhai Gurdas, a near contemporary, puts it as follows:

“After he had performed great tapasya (askesis)

Through the grace of God, Nanak attained perfect union. Baba Nanak ascended to the realm of Truth,

From God he acquired the treasure of His Name and humility Baba Nanak then cast his omniscient vision on the earth.

He saw that the whole world was burning in flames. Without the Enlightener of Truth, there was darkness;

In ignorance and sorrow the world wailed in pain.

The cries of suffering humanity moved him deeply”9

(Bhai Gurdas : Var I p: 24)

After these days of silence and solitude in the forest retreats, Guru Nanak jumped into the life of action and liberation of humanity. Mardana was happy at the Guru’s decision to visit the cities and carry the Word of God, the Light of Wisdom, and the peace of soul, and goodwill to the most crowded centres of the world religions and human civilisations.

Blood of the Oppressed and Milk of Honest Labour

Close to the forest-hermitage of Guru Nanak was the city of Saidpur, which was symbolic of the degradation of human society and religious institutions. In the city was a fort under the charge of a military Governor, named Nawab Zalam Khan. The chief administrator of the Nawab was a very corrupt Hindu, named Malik Bhago (Bhag Mai). On the outskirts of the city but very close to Guru Nanak’s hermitage, there lived a very hardworking, God-fearing and honest carpenter named Lallo. Being a member of the low-caste people and extremely poor he lived almost as an outcaste of society. But being a devout and noble soul, he led a sinless and contented life.

After his tapasya (askesis), when Guru Nanak decided to go to the city, to Mardana’s surprise he chose to visit Bhai Lallo carpenter’s house first. Without questioning who he was, Lallo offered him hospitality which a great saint deserved. When Lallo came to know that he was the same great saint who lived in solitude in the forest-hermitage he felt blessed. He knew that Baba Nanak of the forest hermitage, was respected by both the Hindus and Muslims. The Muslims of that area called him, Nanak Shah fakir-aernish, while the Hindus called him Nanak the hermit (tapa). Lallo had also come to know that Brahmins had gone to him, and had lost the debates and discussions which they held to show their superiority and wisdom.10

Bhai Lallo felt, that according to Hindu social laws, he could not entertain a high caste Kshatriya like Guru Nanak. He offered rations to Nanak and asked him where he would like to make his cooking square. Guru Nanak smiled and said: “Bhai Lallo, the whole earth is sacred to me. Every inch of this earth of God is pure for cooking purposes. I will take food prepared by your hands. Your hands are holier and purer than those of any Brahmin in the city, because the hands of the Brahmins are the hands of vain idlers, swindlers, hypocrites, and sinful people, who commit every abominable crime under the cloak of their high caste. Your hands are the hands of a virtuous, honest, God-fearing labourer, who earns his living by the sweat of his brow. Your hands are pure and sacred in my eyes, and whatever is prepared by them will be full of the milk of humanity and goodness. Your deeds and your honest life of labour and love have made you higher and nobler than any Brahmin. So I will eat whatever you offer me.”11

Guru Nanak and Mardana took the simple food of barley, bread and boiled green herbs. Mardana was surprised to note that the Master found it very delicious. Guru Nanak accepted Bhai Lallo’s hospitality to stay with him for about a month.

Early in the morning and late in the evening spiritual discourses were held near the house of Bhai Lallo. Hindu and Muslim devotees flocked to the place to listen to the melodious voice of the Master. The Brahmins were upset by the growing popularity of Guru Nanak. Out of jealousy of his increasing influence they started condemning him for living with a low-caste carpenter and for having a Muslim bard as his companion. Both Guru Nanak and his devotees were dubbed as Kurahiyas (unorthodox backsliders). In the day-time Guru Nanak went to his forest-hermitage and meditated for many hours of the day.

During this period, Mardana asked the Master’s permission to go to Talwandi and see his people.12 When he reached Talwandi Guru Nanak’s father, mother, and uncle made anxious inquiries about the Master. Bhai Bala had just arrived from Sultanpur. Rai Bular made a touching appeal to Mardana: “Do me one favour, Mardana. I am old and cannot travel; so please bring Guru Nanak at least once before he goes to distant lands. I am waiting impatiently to see him and touch his holy feet. Tell him that his humble devotee Rai Bular, implores him in the name of Allah to come, at least once, before he goes far away13.” Mardana promised to convey Rai Bular’s request but asked him to send Bala Sandhu with him. Both of them could easily persuade him to come. Bala Sandhu agreed to accompany Mardana at the request of Rai Bular14.

Malik Bhago had fixed the marriage of his son. He made arrangements to feed the Brahmins and high-caste Hindus. The feast was called Braham bhoj (feast for gods). Among others, Guru Nanak was also invited through a Brahmin messenger. But Guru Nanak politely declined saying: “What has he to do with the feast of Malik Bhago. That is for the high- caste people. I am a fakir and my place is with the lowly.”15

Guru Nanak then came to know that Malik Bhago had driven away from the feast all sadhus and fakirs who belonged to low-castes. Malik Bhago felt so slighted by Guru Nanak’s refusal to attend his “feast for gods”, that he immediately summoned Guru Nanak to his presence, and sent policemen to bring him by force if he refused to come.16 When Nanak went there Malik Bhago asked: “Why do you, a Kshatriya from such a high family eat from the hands of a low-caste carpenter and why have you refused to take food from my “feast of gods.” Calmly but sternly, Guru Nanak said: Your “feast for gods” is given from your ill-gotten wealth in which I see the blood of the poor whom you cheated, exploited, and looted to amass your fortunes. This “feast of gods” is poison to a Man of God like me. The food of Bhai Lallo has the milk of humanity in it. It is as pure as his mind and soul. It is the bread earned by this noble soul by the sweat of his brow. It is the bread which gives peace to the mind and strength to the soul. What is your high caste and that of these Brahmins worth when all the evils which lower a man’s character and status in society ever reside in you?” The Brahmins began to grumble. Malik Bhago boiled with anger and said: “You are adding insult to injury. Prove it otherwise I will punish you for what you have said.” “Bring some food from your “feast for gods” and I will prove it,” said Guru Nanak calmly but firmly. He asked Bhai Lallo to bring some food from his house also.

Guru Nanak took some bread from Malik Bhago’s “feast for gods” in one hand and Lallo’s coarse bread in the other and squeezed them. To everyone’s surprise, out of Lallo’s bread oozed milk, while out of Malik Bhago’s bread blood was dripping. Malik Bhago was stunned to see his cruelty and sins exposed.17

Overcome with shame and humiliation he was speechless. Nawab Zalam Khan’s son was seriously ill. Physicians failed to cure him. Someone suggested that the blessings of some saint might save the boy’s life. The wicked Malik Bhago suggested that the best thing was to imprison all saints and not release them till someone cured the boy. The unwise Zalam Khan accepted the proposal. All the Hindu monks and Muslim fakirs were imprisoned. This was the moment to test the spiritual powers of Guru Nanak, thought Malik Bhago. So he threw Guru Nanak also into the prison.

Bhai Lallo was seriously upset. Shedding tears of woe, he asked Guru Nanak what was likely to happen now. Inspired by a vision of the terrible future which awaited such tyrants Guru Nanak said:

As the word of God descendeth on me,

So I make known, the wisdom of divine justice, 0 Lallo, With bridal procession of sins. The Invader shall hasten from Kabul To seize by force his bride:

The wealth of Hindustan, O Lallo.

Modesty and righteousness have both vanished,

I Falsehood leading the van, holds the field, O Lallo.

Both the Qazi and the Brahmin will be out of work, The devil shall read the marriage services.

Muslim women reciting the Koran In their agony will cry on God, O Lallo , Hindu women of high, or low caste Will meet the same dire fate;

Men will sing the songs of murder

And instead of saffron, smear their hands with blood.

This shall be a city of corpses',

Nanak praiseth the Lord in it,

And uttereth a prophetic truth.

God the Creator created men for a purpose Sitting aloof He watcheth their deeds.

Just and true is the Lord,

Just and true is His judgement.

Bodies of men shall be cut to shreds like pieces of cloth And let Hindustan remember what I say now.

(Guru Nanak: Rig Tilang. p: 722)

Frightened and deeply moved, Bhai Lallo asked: “Master have you cursed the whole city? Have you condemned everyone here?” “No Lallo,” said Guru Nanak, “it is not a curse. To me all human beings are an embodiment of His Spirit. But I have just stated how nemesis will overtake the tyrannical rulers. God is not silent when wickedness abounds. The wicked are ultimately punished. Corrupt society and cruel rulers are ultimately doomed. This is the law of God’s Justice.”18

Just then Nawab Zalam Khan came there, along with Malik Bhago, and ordered the imprisoned saints and dervishes to cure his son. Guru Nanak burst into loud laughter. “What makes you laugh Nanak Shah?” he asked. “Listen Nawab,” said Guru Nanak: “Can anyone cure a dead man?” “Certainly not,” replied Nawab Zalam Khan. “Your son is dead,” said Guru Nanak, “how do you expect anyone to cure him?” A few minutes later the Nawab received the news of the death of his son. He repented over the maltreatment of saints and fakirs. He blamed Malik Bhago for misguiding him.19

Soon Bala and Mardana arrived with a message from Rai Bular. People were at this time going to Sheikh Farid’s shrine at Pakpattan. Mardana asked Guru Nanak if he would like to visit Pakpattan. The Master at once agreed.20 On the way he stopped at Talamba, where a Sufi Saint named Sajjan had made special arrangements to entertain both the Hindu and Muslim devotees, received the Guru and his companion. Sheikh Sajjan showed the utmost courtesy to the visitors and it was his practice to murder them at night and deprive them of their belongings. When it was time to sleep Guru Nanak did not sleep. He sang a soul-stirring song which shook from its very depth Sheikh Sajjan’s conscience:

Like a hypocrite, the bronze shines brightly,

Rub it, its blackness sticks to your hands.

True Sajjans [friends) are they,

Who stand by thee beyond death;

Where man has to render account for his deeds. Hypocrites are like palaces, mansions, painted from outside But empty and hollow within, useless and decaying. Hypocrites are like white cranes in holy rivers,

Sitting in meditative mood to devour innocent creatures. The body of the hypocrite becomes an imposing figure Like the Simmal tree, which never yields any fruit;

He is like a blind man carrying his load of sins up a mountain.

He needs the eyes to see the path

Without the inner eyes he cannot climb the mountain;

His false virtues, his hypocritical service, and his cleverness, Are the pitfalls of his deem.

Remember 0 Nanak, the Name of God So that you may be saved from the snare of death.

(Guru Nanak: Suhi. p : 729)

Each word of Guru Nanak’s hymn lifted from Sheikh Sajjan’s face the veil of his deception, he was wearing. He stood exposed in naked sinfulness before the Master, and more so before his own conscience. Trembling with fear, and repenting bitterly over his dreadful life, he came to the Master and fell at his feet, begging him to give him the eyes of true faith, and save him from the terrible doom that was in store for him.

Guru Nanak asked him to distribute all the property of his victims among the poor and completely dismantle and destroy his mansions of deception, and all the snares he had built for his victims. Sajjan obeyed the Guru. Guru Nanak then initiated him as his disciple and asked him to live a simple life by earning his bread by his own labour and by serving the needy. Sajjan in due course built a temple to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak.21 The Janam Sakhis call it the first Sikh temple. Sajjan the thug became Sajjan the saint, whose services to the poor and suffering are still remembered with respect in that region.

Sheikh Ibrahim of Pakpattan

Sheikh Ibrahim was the twelfth Sajjaaanashin of Sheikh Farid’s khar.qah at Pakpattan.22 He was popularly known as Bala Pir. When Guru Nanak met him he was quite young and known for his piety, simplicity, and wisdom. One day his disciple Kamal was collecting fire wood from the forest for the langar (free kitchen) of the Khanqah. At a distance of two miles from the city he saw a divine man sitting under a tree with a bard and an attendant. In a very melodious voice he was singing the following song:

The Spirit of God is the tablet,

In His Hand is the Pen,

He writes the destiny of mankind.

Think only of One God,

Why ever reflect on any other.

Sheikh Kamal went close to Guru Nanak and after paying his homage he asked the meaning of the couplet. The Master explained it and treated Kamal with tender affection. Kamal went to his khanqah and reported to Sheikh Ibrahim that a great saint who appeared to be a Hindu, emphasised on the Oneness of God, and like the Muslim theologians, he also talks of the Writing and the Pen of God. There was such a glow on his face that he appeared to have achieved the presence of God. On hearing this Sheikh Ibrahim remarked skeptically: “If he is a Hindu then it is not possible that he has achieved the light of God, and if he has acquired the supreme enlightenment then he is not a Hindu.23 Take one of my questions to him. If he gives a satisfactory answer then everything you say is true, otherwise I am not prepared to believe that he is an enlightened sage.” Kamal brought this question to Guru Nanak:

There is One God,

But two paths: Hinduism and Islam Which one is acceptable?

Which one is to be rejected?

Guru Nanak replied:

God is One,

The Path is One.

Accept the Path of Truth Reject all other ways.24

On hearing this reply Sheikh Ibrahim at once went to pay his respects to Guru Nanak. He greeted Nanak saying Salam—alekam25 (Peace of God be with you) to which Guru Nanak replied : “ Alekh ko Salam hai” I Salute the Infinite Lord. Sheikh Ibrahim asked: ‘‘O Dervish are you a Hindu or a Muslim.” Guru Nanak replied : “If I say I am a Hindu, I would be telling a lie, I am also not a Muslim.”26 And then explaining his position, Guru Nanak continued: “The human body of both the Hindus and Muslims is made of the same elements; so I do not recognise any physical difference between them. The spirit of the same One God pervades all Hindus and Muslims. So I do not recognise any spiritual difference between them. The same God judges the deeds of all. He who serves the One God sincerely and truly receives light and grace from Him.27 It is not by mere profession of a creed that man can be saved but by his deeds. The virtues and noble deeds of both the Hindus and Muslims are blessed by God while the wicked deeds of both of them are condemned and punished by Him. I am a servant of God and a brother of true devotees of all men, no matter to which creed they belong. Sheikh Ibrahim embraced Guru Nanak.

The discussion between the two then turned on the life and slckas of Sheikh Farid. Sheikh Ibrahim confessed certain ambiguity in the slokas of Sheikh Farid which had been piously preserved in the khanqah and asked Guru Nanak his opinion about them. “Is it possible,” asked Sheikh Ibrahim, “to be so tolerant, as Sheikh Farid suggests in this sloka:

If someone smiteth your face, O Farid,

Return him not a blew for blow;

Nay, kiss his feet who smiteth thee;

Forgive him, and go home in peace.

(Sheikh Farid : Adi Granth: p. 1378)

Explaining it Guru Nanak said: “An enlightened saint should have the humility and patience of the earth. If anyone hits you with his hand, or abuses you, do not hit him back and do not soil your mouth with abuse. But say: ‘Has my bony body hurt your tender hand? If so forgive me for that.’28 “Sheikh Ibrahim was deeply impressed by this interpretation of Sheikh Farid’s ethics of tolerance.

Again Sheikh Ibrahim read a hymn of Sheikh Farid which was pessimistic and ambiguous. The Sheikh wanted to know how far Guru Nanak subscribed to this part of Sheikh Farid’s ethics. He recited the following song:

You did not launch your boat

When the weather was pleasant and calm,

Impossible it is to set sail

Now, when the sea waves storm and rave;

Touch not the flaming flower,

The flower of worldly desires.

You will be burnt in scorching fires.

On the one hand I am weak and frail,

On the other I am deprived of His grace;

As spilt milk cannot be regained.

Alas, I may not meet the Lord again.

Saith Farid, Listen my friends,

The Beloved will send a call,

The soul shall have to depUrt,

Leaving the body to mingle with dust.

(Sheikh Farid : Adi Granth: p: 794)

Guru Nanak composed a commentary verse which not only explained the mystic theme of the poem but also gave a new approach to the same problem. Guru Arjan has preserved both the hymns in Adi Guru Granth. Guru Nanak made the following comment:

Launch ye, the boat of austere contemplation,

With which it is easy to cross the rough ocean;

So smooth becomej life's journey,

No storm, no tempest can obstruct thee.

The Divine Name is the flower Of eternally fast colour;

My whole being is dyed in it,

O my Love, my Beloved!

How can the seekers true Meet the Beloved Lord ?

If you have some virtues,

He will meet thee of His own accord.

He who attains this spiritual union Will never know separation.

The cycle of birth and death will cease,

When the true Lord is one with Thee.

(Guru Nanak: Adi Granth. p. 729)

Guru Nanak then stayed as Sheikh Ibrahim’s guest for some days. According to the Janam Sakhis Sheikh Ibrahim, who was a young man, entertained Guru Nanak for many days. He asked Guru Nanak to compose a prayer of glorification of the One God, and in response to this request _Guru Nanak is said to have composed his famous Asa-ki-Var, which is sung by the Sikhs early in the morning. Guru Nanak left the copy prepared by his own hands with Sheikh Ibrahim and it is said Guru Arjan procured it from his successors when he wanted to compile the Adi Granth. In return Sheikh Ibrahim gave Guru Nanak a correct copy of the mystic poems of Sheikh Farid, which was preserved by Guru Nanak and given to his successors.29 The Diwan of ChawaJi Mashaykh who was a close friend of Sheikh Ibrahim came to know that the famous dervish Baba Nanak had come to Pakpattan. He went there and invited Guru Nanak to Multan. The Master accepted the invitation and stayed at the house of Diwan of Chawali Mashaykh. Multan was under the spiritual jurisdiction of the descendants of Sheikh Bahau-ud-din Zakariya Suhrawardi. Guru Nanak held spiritual discourses with the saints of the Suhrawardi Silsala and won their respect and love. The Diwan of Chawali Mashaykh changed his house to a shrine of Guru Nanak, which is still preserved by the Pakistan Government as a historical Gurdwara. A fair used to be held here annually to commemorate the visit of the Master.30

From Multan Guru Nanak hurried back to Talwandi, stopping on the way in a number of places for a day or two and enlightening people       with his spiritual and moral influence, and bringing about a unique social and cultural awakening.

Notes and References

  1. Babe jl de sir ute safa badha hoya gal kafnl pedhl hoi ate bhagvcn rang dl cadar ute lai hoi, ted, kufin, is fakir ves nu dekh Chaiido Rani ion Katfkl jiven bijii katfkdl (J.B (LI) p 107)
  2. tab Guru Baba vasdlkadejah nahi, jankrde ukhma jage tan Mardane no Guru Baba Nanak ji kahe: Purkha tainu kich ukhma jagi hai ate sedh ik pind hai, ut pind jai kar tun baca parsad lai ao (J.Mb. 106)

tab Baba jl aujadh ko cale; tab kite   vasdi vade nahi, kite jangal kite daryao, kithai tike nahi, kade je Mardane nu bhukh lage tan Baba akhe Mardanya bhiikh lagi hai, tan Mardana akhe ji tun sabh kich janda hai. (P.J. I, II. (MSS) P: 23, p 25)

  1. Babe akhya, he Mardanya; asanii Parbrahm then Nam dl te garibl dl pehle bakhsh hoi hai, so asln tap karne han, jo isde thehravne vaste karde han, arhunasan dyhan karke ditha hai tan sara jagat trisna vie paya hai. (J.M.S. (MSS) f 134)
  2. Baba mastana hi phire, ate je bhukh lage tan ret dl tali cae mare ar kad! kadi do patar khae tode. (ibid)
  3. Beas par ho, Goindwal jithe hun bauli hai othe, brich heth a baithe; ik jat the chalian cabaiaii; Mardane ne prem nal sabad gavya, te Guruji bole,: “Bhai ethe ik satpurkh baithke nam da te an da sadavrat calvavaiga, curasi katega; othon tur Fathehabad rat kat ke Sultanpiiid di juh vie ik dhab de kinare cangi chaya dekh biraj rahe, jithe hun Amritsar hai, Guruji bole ethe bhog mokh da pravah calu. (T.G.K. p. 66-67)
  4. Babe di khusi hoi, Mardana ik din sehar nu bhejya; bhejdian nal puja bahut lagi; jan gaya tan sara sehar ae pairin paya, jan gaya tan panjihe kapde pand banh ke lai aya; Baba hasda hasda niletu hoya. Baba vekhe taii banih pand, lai anda hai, tab Babe aldiya: “Mardanaia kia anda hai.” (P.J. I and II. p. 24, 26)
  5. tab Mardane akhya. “ji sace Patsah, tere navain da sadka sara sehar seva nil uth aya; jio Patsah mai akhya, jo eh vast kapde Babe pas lai javan; “tab Guru bolya,” Mardanya ando bhalo kito par eh asade kite kam nahi.” ibid.
  6. pehlan Babe paya bakh^ dar, pichon de phir ghal kamai, ret ak ahar kar rodan ki gur kari vichai; bhari kari tapasya, bade bhag hari sion ban ai. (Bhai Gurdas Var 1, 14)

tab Babe Nanak tap arambhya; kaisa tap bars dina ik tali ret di bhakhe ar ik ak di khakdi bhakhe. tapasya Guru Babe thaliyan vie arambhi, maha udyan vie, purab ki dharti, duiih, kohan upar dai badhi, ik saha, ik saha simrin karda karda, parmeswar japda japda, Ot dheri jae kadi ot dheri jae. (J.Mb. p III)

  1. bhari kari tapasya, bade bhag Hari sion ban ai; Baba paidha sac ‘khand nau nidh nam garibi pai; Baba dekhai dhyan hai, dhar jalti sabh prithmi dis ai; bajh Guru gubar hai, hai kardi suni lukai. (Bhai Gurdas Var 1, 24)
  2. Muslamman Nanak Shah te Hindu Nanak tapa bolde san; Kazi Pundit sare hi Babe nal dvaiihan ke carca karan aven te har man ke cale javefl. (T.G.K. p. 68)
  3. Bhai Lallo jitni dhartl, hai, titnl cauka hai, jahan kahan parmesvar byap rehya hai, tan Bhai Lallo . eh bat sun kar praSad age S.n rakhya. jan Mardana dekhe tan kodre dian rotian han ate saron de sag di pinni tan mardane ji vie gintl khadi. (J.B. (L) I. P. 129)
  4. Ja doe din hoe tan Mardane akhya ji tUsin tan mabina tike ho, je mainu hukam hovai tan Talwandi phir avail. (J.B. (MSS 1826 A.D.))
  5. asin birdh hoe han te Nanak ji nu milya lodde han so kiven tun Nanakji no ethe todl lai a, eh cangiai asaii nal karsi tan asin tera ehsan mana ge. (ibid)
  6. Mere nal Bala Sandhu mile asin doven javia ga te tuhadi tarfon benti kariye ga. (ibid)
  7. 15.          Guru Nanakji kehya: Pandha, Malikde pas mera kya kam hai,     (J.B. (L) l p. 132)
  8. Malik ne gusa khada, gusa hoe kar akhya, he Punja misar, tu jae kar Tape nu pakad lyae taii Brahmin ne jae, kar Nanakji nu tambia kita ate kehyos eal Nanak Tapa, Malik guse vie aya hai ate je nahi jafivega tan auh dekh admi pakad ke lai javange. (J.B. (L I) p. 132)
  9. Sri Guruji ne saje hath vie kodhre di roti liti, ate khabe hath vie lucian kacodian litian, dono hathan nu ghutya, tan kodhre di roti vicon, dudh simya, taii lucian kacaudian vicon lohu simya.; jitni majlis baithi hai si so sabh dekh kar bismad hoi ate Guru Nanak ji kehya, “sun Malik, eh brahm bhoj admian de lahu da kita hai, ate eh vekh sudar de ghar di roti, so brambhoj Lallo de ghar nit hunda hai (ibid p. 133)

Meharban’s Jaman Sakhi and PTiratan Janam Sakh completely ignore the historical events in which Bhai Bala and Bhai Lallo come in. Incidently they mention the hymn in which Lallo is mentioned. Meharban excludes all lines from the hymns in which the Mughals are directly criticised.

  1. he Lallo je tun akhen inah sadhafine kop hoe sarap pathana nu dita hai, so asan srap nahi dita; asln sarb nu parmeswar rup jande han par jo akal purkh di agya ai, hai teha mai kehna han.

There is an interesting prophecy about the Sikhs also: “Je apas vie itfak karan ge tan hora valayatan da bhi raj mal lavan ge, ate apas mai virodh karange tan Hindustan vie hi pae dukh pavange.”

If they are united they will rule beyond the borders of their country, but if they quarrel among themselves, they will suffer even within India,”    (J.M.S. (MSS, LI) f 266)

  1. sehat putar ki mangte ho, aur kaid fakiron ko karde ho eh kaun sa nyao hai jis putar ke vaste eh yatan kyia hai us ki khabar to mangvao; voh guzar cuka hai; .. ..Khan ne eh sun Diwan ko kaha: ai Malik Bhago, ladke nu raji karan lai fakiran nu pakad vaya si, acha raji kiya hai. (J.B.(L) I p. 153)
  2. Mardana mirasi Baba nu an milya, so tad lok Farid ji di jyarat nu jande san, tan Mardane kehya, Baba ji je tun calen ta asin bhi jatra valyafi nal jyarat kar aie. (J.M.S. (LI) p. 60)
  3. Tulamba the place where Guru Nanak met Sajjan Thug is situated on the Grand Trunk Road midway between Harrapa and Multan. The Samadhi of Sajjan is still found there.

I do not understand why Meharban in his Janam Sakhi says that Tulamba is in South India. Prof. Kirpal Singh in his editorial note to Meharban’s Janam Sakhi suggests that the Tulamba and the Sujjan Thug mentioned by Meharban are different from Sujjan Thug of Tulamba near Multan. The story as given by Meharban is exactly the same as given by other Janam Sakhis and even the hymns quoted are the same. We know that there is a place called Tulamba near Multan but we know of no such place in South India. Meharban commits a serious geographical error here and this is not the only one.

tab Babe Nanak kehya, je, purkha eh mahal dhah; khade Babe ne oh mehal hduae dur kite; jithe kbun honde othe dharamsal badha an, jo jia nu marde se, se lage jian di rakhya karan. (J. Mb p. 239)

tab Sheikh Sajjan hukam manya, bast lai aya; khudae nae lutai; Guru laga japan; naudhrikh Sikh hoa, pehill dharamsal othe badhi. (P.J. (I and II) p. 26)

Bhai Mani Singh’s Jcmam Sakhi gives the same story but places the meeting between Nanak and Sajjan in his Eastern tour at Hastinapur, which is not correct;

  1. The line of succession was as follows : Sheikh Farid-(l) Sheikh Badr-ud-din Sulaiman, (2) Shaik Alau-ud-din (3) Sheikh Muiz-ud-din (4) Sheikh Fadl (5) Sheikh Munawar (6) Sheikh Nur-ud-din (7) Sheikh Baha-ud-din (8) Sheikh Muhammed (9) Sheikh Ahmed (10) Sheikh Ata-ullah (11) Shaikh Muhammed (12) Sheikh Ibrahim. The fifteenth Sajjadanashin a contemporary of Guru Aijan was also named Shaikh Ibrahim. The Janam Sakhis call Shaikh Ibrahim, Sheikh Brahma. No Janam Sakhis or any older record calls Sheikh Ibrahim, Farid Sani. He was sometime called Bala Pir, probably because he became the Sajjadanashin when he was quite young.
  2. Guruji Ravi nadi te Beasa de vicjahe Pattan Sheikh Farid de do kos de farak te ae biathe; Pattan da Pir, Sheikh Farid di aulad Sheikh Braham aha; Sheikh Braham da murid Khudae da pyara laktfian cunan baharvar ayasi, Kamal darvesh..             (J.B. (L) I P.)

The same thing is reported by J.M.S. J.M.b., P.J.I. and II The mystic Pen and the mystic Record are symbolic foundation of the Revelation to man in Islam. The whole of the Sura 68 in the Koran is given the title “AI Salam”, “The Pen”.

  1. Sheikh Brahm pas jae kehya, Pir Salamat Nanak sii ain Khudae ki murat hai, mai dekh aya han; Allah nu pachata. hai ; so haq tala nu apdya hai; Pir ne kehya : Hindu kya, te Khudae Id siirat kya, mera sval lai ja; jab badtos tan habo sac nahi ta sabh jhuth. (J.B. a) i P.)
  2. Originally this is the Arabic form of the Jewish greeting in Hebrew : Sholom aleichem
  3. Sheikh Braham puchia: Fakir tun Hindu ke Musalman? tan Babe kehya sloka:; “Hindu kahan tan mariya, Musalman bhi nah. (J.M.S. (LI) p. 62)
  4. eh sarlr panjan tatan ka putla hai, ar parmatma is mai gupt vartada hai, so panj tata Hindu, Musalman me ek hi hain; ar parmatma sabh sarlron me sata de riha hai; tante Hindu Musliman kis nu kahlyai. (J.M.S. (MSS, LI) f. 63)
  5. Gurmukhap ko sabh te nlca jante hain; ate sabh te uca hovte hain tante Farid ne kehya, ki jotujhe durbacan kahe usaka hi muh fika hoya hai, tera to kich gaya ha nahi; ar je tujhe must ka prahar klya, hai ta jaise uske hath ko dukh huahai taisai tere sarir ko hua hai; tante uske pain par; ke jane mainu kise ne dukh dena tha ab tere hath se jo must lagl hai so ab mere dukh ka tala hua hai ar mera sarlr bajar saman hai ar tera hath komal hai so je apnu dukh pahuncya tan muaf karna.

This is the humility and tolerance with which Guru Amar Das reacted to the insult of Datu when he kicked the Guru.

  1. All Janam Sakhis including the older copies of Balas Janam Sakhi clearly state that the slokas preserved in the Adi Granth are the compositions of Sheikh Farid. The only exception perhaps is Pur a tan Janam Sakhi which causes confusion by saying in one chapter that Sheikh Brahm was successor of Sheikh Farid and describes the meeting between them, but in another chapter describes a legendary meeting between Nanak and Sheikh Farid in Assam. There is not the slightest indication in any of these old historical records these slokas are the compositions of Sheikh Ibrahim. Slokas of Sheikh Farid began to be attributed to Sheikh Ibrahim by those Sikh scholars who would not believe that any Punjabi literature existed before Guru Nanak. In the Adi Granth, Guru Arjan makes it quite clear that all the compositions are the works of Sheikh Farid. All the poems of Farid reflect his thoughts, his moods, his age and sentiments. The author of this book has prepared a biography of Sheikh Farid along with translation of his complete poems, in which all its aspects are discussed. It will go to the press shortly.
  2. Subsequent visits of Guru Nanak to Pakpattan to meet Sheikh Ibrahim will be discussed in other chapters in greater details.