- Main article: The Udasis of Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak moved by the plight of the people of world wanted to tell them about the "real message of God". The peoples of the world were confused by the conflicting message given by priests, pundits, qazis, mullahs, etc. He was determined to bring his message to the masses; so in 1499, he decided to set out on his sacred mission to spread the holy message of peace and compassion to all of mankind.
It is believed that Guru Nanak is the the second most travelled person in the world; most of his journeys were made on foot with his companion Bhai Mardana. He travelled in all four directions - North, East, West and South. The founder Sikh Guru is believed to have travelled more than 28,000 Kms in five major tours of the world during the period from 1500 to 1524.
Guru Nanak saw the world suffering out of hatred, fanaticism, falsehood and hypocrisy. The world had sunk in wickedness and sin. So he decided that he had to travel and educate and press home the message of Almighty Lord. So he set out in 1500 on his mission for the regeneration of humanity on this earth. He carried the torch of truth, heavenly love, peace and joy for mankind. For 1 year he spread his message of peace, compassion, righteousness and truth to the people in and around his home.
Guru Nanak Third Udasi (1514-1518)
1) Una, Mandi, Rawalsar, Kullu, Manikaran
2) Mount Kaag Bhasund, Garhwal, Haridwar
3) Nanak Mata, Tanda, Nepal(Kathmandu), Chungthang (Sikkim)
4) Lhasha(Tibet), Mount Sumeru
5) Leh, Anantnag, Matton, Bramaulla, Berwa(Budgam)
Guru Nanak at Sri Nagar
Guru Nanak Ji's first halt was at Srinagar. At Srinagar, Guru Nanak Ji met a Muslim dervish known as Kamal, and a Hindu pundit called Braham Das. It is said that Braham Das was a very arrogant man. Wherever he went, he was followed by three camels carrying the ancient works he had studied. He was fond of entering into lengthy arguments with the holy men he encountered. When he met Guru Nanak Ji, in the first instance, he objected to his dress. Guru Nanak happened to be wearing leather shoes and a fur robe for protection against the Kashmir cold. The Guru ignored it. Braham Das then started displaying his learning and asked Guru Nanak Ji about the creation of the world. Guru Nanak's reply was most revealing:
|For countless ages there was utter darkness; No earth, no sky, only God's will.|
No day, no night, neither the Moon nor the Sun. He sat in trance in the void.
Hearing this, Pandit Braham Das was stunned. He was amazed at Guru Nanak Dev Ji's vision. He became Guru Ji's disciple and decided to propagate the Word of God. Braham Das stayed in the valley and Kamal and was advised by Guru Nanak to settle in Kurram from where he propagated the Holy Word in Kabul, Kandahar in Afganistan.
Leaving Srinagar, Guru Nanak penetrated the Himalayas and travelled towards Tibet. When he arrived at Lake Manasarovar, he came across a large number of Yogis who had escaped from oppression and chaos in the plains and had found shelter in faraway caves in the mountains. The ascetics asked Guru Nanak Ji about the conditions prevailing in the country below. Guru Nanak chided them for running away from the hard realities of life the way they had done. Guru Nanak is well respected by Tibetan Buddhists who consider him a saint.
The Chopta Valley is at an altitude of 13,200ft. It has breathtaking alpine scenery with lofty snow capped peaks, meandering rivers and alpine flowers that bloom in June-July. It is about 20mins drive from Thangu. Gurudongmar Lake is a holy lake at an altitude of over 18,000ft, it is beyond Chopta and armed with a special permit it is possible to visit it. A Gurdwara here commemorates Guru Nanak Dev Ji's visit and is one of the holiest Sikh pilgrim shrines in the Himalayas.
Situated past the Chopta valley Guru Dongmar is a lake at a height of 18,000 feet alongside a glacial peak known by the same name. Guru Nanak visited the place during his third udasi in order to solace the Karmapa Nyingmapa sects then being hounded out from Tibet by the Gelugpa sect. These sects had fled from Tibet to the Himalayan belt of Northern India. Many from the Karmapa Nyingmapa sect were the followers of Guru Nanak, as their Head Lamas became Guru Nanak's followers in Kailash Mansarovar area after being impressed by Guru Nanak's discussions with the famous Sidhas of the age.
Lake Guru Dongmar
According to a legend some local people approached Guru Ji with an appeal for help. The lake remained frozen during most of the year and rendered it incapable as a source of water. Guru Nanak Dev Ji is said to have touched the lake and it has never frozen since. Guru Nanak's footprints, a robe and a water-carrying utensil are preserved in a nearby place called Lachen Gompha. Here the locals refer to Guru Ji as Rimpoche Nanak Guru who on his way to Tibet had rested there.
Some grazers projected another problem to Guru Nanak Ji. Due to the effect of altitude, their virility was affected. They requested the Guru to do something about it. Guru Nanak blessed the lake, saying," Whosoever takes the water of this lake will gain virility and strength and will be blessed with children." The people of the area have firm faith in Guru's words and consider the water of the lake as nectar. A Gurdwara was constructed in eighties to commemorate Guru Nanak's visit to the place
A story they tell is that Guru Ji had brought with him a rice meal packed in banana leaves, as is the custom even today in banana growing areas. The two commodities were unknown to the hill folks. Guru Ji having noticed their inquisitiveness bestowed them with a share of this strange cereal. They displayed forethought andinstead of eating it sprinkled the rice over the meadow and buried the banana packing in a corner. Today the village harvests a rich crop of rice and bananas
The local people of the area and Lamas of Karmapa Nyingmapa Sect confirm Guru Nanak's visit to these areas. The Lamas from these areas have been visiting Golden Temple, Amritsar, regularly to pay obeisance to their beloved Guru Rimpoche, Guru Nanak, also known as Nanak Lama in their areas. Guru Nanak's footprints, a robe and a water-carrying utensil (kamandal) are preserved in Lachen Gompha, Sikkim, commemorating his visit to the place. Records show that during his journeys to the Himalayas and the Far East, including China, Guru Nanak visited all these states around 1516 AD. This itinerary is found recorded in Janam Sakhee Bhai Bala; Janam Sakhee Walait Wali; Janam Sakhee Meharban; Janam Sakhee ; Suchak Parsang by Bhai Behlo; Mahima Parkash by Baba Sarup Chand; Parchian Sewa Das; Nanak Prakash by Bhai Santokh
Gurudwaras in Jammu & Kashmir
In the year 1516 Guru Nanak started his third udasi i.e missionary tour. This time. he visited Mansarovar, Tibet, China, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. He visited Srinagar, Anantnag and reached Mattan in the interior of the valley.
At Mattan, Guruji had discussion with a great Sanskrit scholar Pandit Brahmdas, who was proud of his knowledge. Guruji on seeing him coming with huge stock of books, recited the following couplet-"One may read thousands of books, with cart load of books to follow,
|One may study innumerable epics or fill, One's cellars with volumes of study,|
One may read for generations and generations,And spend every month in the year studying
Pandit Brahm Das was shaken and fell at the feet of the Guru. A gurudwara in memory of Guru Nanak has been built at Mattan. It is situated at a distance of 60 km from Srinagar. Large number of devotees visit this shrine in summer season.
it may be recalled that in 1675 A.D. a group of Kashmiri Brahmins of Mattan visited Anandpur Sahib to narrate their tale of woe to Guru Tegh Bahadur. He was deeply moved by their plight. For some time he was completely absorbed in thought and long unbroken silence descended upon the entire audience.
The tradition has it that at this critical moment the young Sahibzada Gobind Rai, by chance entered the audience hall from outside. He enquired his father the cause of this strange silence. The ninth Guru informed him about the grave situation that had arisen in the country in the wake of relkgious persecution of Hindus by Mughal rulers and remarked that only the supreme sacrifice of a great man could save the people. Forthwith the young Prince replied that, there could be no greater man than his father himself. This brave remark of Gobind Rai settled the issue finally. Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Delhi and made the supreme sacrifice on November II, 1675 in Chandni Chowk, for the cause of truth, dharma and freedom of faith of the masses.
Mattan, also called Martand, is an ancient town four kilometers northeast of Anantnag. Guru Nanak Dev here held a discourse with Pandit Brahm Das and converted him to his own faith. The shrine established here is called Gurdwara Patshahi Pahili. Its building constructed by Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa was replaced by the present one during the 1980s. It comprises a rectangular hall with the sanctum at one end and a verandah in front.
Gurdwara Sri Nanak Mata Sahib
Gurdwara Sri Nanak Mata Sahib is situated between Khatema and Sitarganj on the Khatema - Panipat Road, eighteen kms from Khatema and twelve kms from Sitarganj, in district Udham Singh Nagar. This Gurdwara is associated with the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji. However, the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib ji also came to this place. Guru Nanak Dev ji came here during his Third Udasi in 1514 A.D
At that time, this place was the abode of the devotees of Guru Gorakhnath and it was called Gorakhmata. The yogis who lived here did not want the local people to become learned enough to challenge their superiority. therefore, by using their occult powers, they successfully exploited the poor people. Guru Nanak Dev ji reached this place and sat for meditation under a pipal tree. The yogis were surprised to see him there as this place was quite inaccessible, especially during the winters. The weather being cold, Bhai Mardana requested the yogis for some fire but was refused. The yogis, instead, taunted him and told him that he should go and ask his Guru who was with him. At this, Guru Nanak Dev ji looked at a pile of firewood nearby and it was instantly lit. The weather suddenly became bad and it began to rain. As a result, the fires lit by the yogis were extinguished but the one lit by Guru ji was not affected at all. The yogis realized their mistake and fell at the feet of the Guru.
Next day morning, they all gathered together and came to Guru ji for a religious discussion. They again used their occult powers and tried to lift the pipal tree, under which Guru ji was sitting, out of the ground. When the tree had risen by a few feet, Guru ji simply placed his hand on it and it stopped rising. The same tree can be seen in the Gurdwara compound. Guru ji taught the yogis the path of true meditation and salvation. This place then came to be known as Nanak Mata and became a major centre of the Udasi sect.About a century later, Baba Almast came here and found that the place had again be taken over by Gorakhpanthi yogis. He could not evict them and sent a message for help to the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib. Guru ji immediately came here and restored the place as a Sikh shrine. Thereafter, Baba Almast established a very big religious centre here. The main gurpurabs celebrated here are the birthdays of Guru Nanak Dev ji and Guru Hargobind ji. The festival of Diwali is also celebrated with great fervour.
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|Travels of Guru Nanak|