Guru Nanak at Eminabad

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The Guru proceeded a second time to Saiyidpur or Saidpur, now known as Eminabad, where he again visited Bhai Lalo. Lalo complained to him of the oppression of the Pathans, who were leading a luxurious life caring little for others. The Guru replied that their dominion should be brief, as Babar was on his way for the conquest of India. Babar invaded the Punjab for the third time and it was the year 1521. He sacked the town of Eminabad and subjected it to a massacre, loot and rape. It was a horrible scene, which Guru Nanak himself describes that there laid in the dust, the fairy heads of the damsels and beautiful women.

Most of the writers including many Sikhs say that seeing this horrible scene, the Guru appealed in anguish to the Almighty when he said:

'Eti mar pai kurlane tai ki dard na aaya.' (Asa Mohalla 1, p-360)
'When there was such slaughter and lamentation, didst not Thou, O God, feel pain?'

Let us examine if these writers are correct. Did the Guru make such an anguished appeal to God or not?

  • A. In the very first stanza (pauri) of Japji on the very first page of Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak says:
'Hukam rajai chalna Nanak likhia nal.'
'O Nanak thus runneth the Writ Divine,
The righteous path, let it be thine.'
Again in Asa Mohalla 5, page 394, it is stated:
'Tera kia meetha lagei
Har nam padarth Nanak mangei.'
'Sweet be Thy Will,
My Lord Nanak beseecheth the gift of nam.'
The above quotations mean that whatever happens in life, should be willfully accepted. In the house of Guru Nanak, there is no room for tears or cries. There is no place for appeal before the Divine Writ. One must embrace God's Will as the sweetest gift of life. This is the first lesson preached by Guru Nanak to the humanity in Japji. How could then the Guru go into anguish? Does the Divine Jot also feel anguish?
  • B. The Guru assures that a true devotee's prayers are always answered by the Almighty and are accepted by Him:
'Nanak das mukh te jo bolai eeha uha sach howai.' (Dhanasri Mohalla 5, p-681)
'Whatever God's servant, Nanak, uttereth shall prove to be true both in this world and the next.'
Being an embodiment of Divine Light, if the Guru had appealed to the Almighty, He should have accepted his appeal and should have punished Babar. History reminds us that Babar's dynasty was, instead, blessed with a rule of seven generations as related to Babar by Guru Nanak.
  • C. The Guru had reached Eminabad before Babar's attack on the city, and he uttered the Shabad given below in which he told Lalo about the oncoming massacre. He had warned some people to leave the city and they actually did:
'As the word of the Lord cometh to me, so do I narrate it, O Lalo,
Bringing a bridal procession of sin,
Baber has hasted from Kabul and demandeth wealth as his bride, O Lalo;
Modesty and religion have vanished, falsehood marcheth in van, O Lalo;
They sing the paean of murder, O Nanak, and smear themselves with the saffron of blood.
Nanak singeth the praises of the Lord in the city of corpses and uttereth this commonplace-
He who made men, assigned them different positions,
He sitteth apart alone and regardeth them.
True is the Lord, true His decision, true the justice He meteth out as an example.
Bodies shall be cut like shreds of cloth;
Hindustan will remember what I say. (Tilang Mohalla 1, p-722)
In view of the above analysis, it seems quite evident that the Guru did not appeal to God, but the dauntless Guru Nanak Jot addressed that Shabad to Babar, who then fell on the feet of the Guru and asked for forgiveness.

Babar wrote in his memoirs, "The inhabitants of Saidpur were put to the sword, their wives and children carried into captivity and all their property plundered."

Many people were killed and most of the rest were taken as prisoners by the Babar's army. It is said that the Guru along with his minstrel Mardana, were also taken to the Mughal's holding pen where the prisoners were given handmills to grind corn to feed the Conquerors soldiers. The Guru asked Mardana to play on his rebec and he then started kirtan. As the Divine Sabad was sung- all the prisoners came and sat around the Guru and then they noticed that every grinding mill started turning automatically and the prisoners had only to add grain.

On seeing this supernatural phenomenon, the guards stood spell-bound and they sent word to Babar, who came and witnessed the whole scene with his own eyes. Babar was wonder-stuck and asked the Guru if he could offer him anything. Boldly replied the Guru:

'Hear, O Babar Mir
Foolish is the Faqir
Who begs anything of thee
Whose own hunger has not appeased.'

Babar said, "O holy man, I see God in thy face. I will do anything you ask for."

The Guru then uttered the following Shabad and laid most of the blame of the killings on Babar:

'Thou ruled over Khurasan,
Now thou terrified Hindustan (As the Mughals called India),
He has sent you the Mughal as a messenger of death,
Has slaughter and lamentations
Awakened no compassion in thee?
The Creator is the Supreme Lord,
If a strong man beats another strong man
No feelings of resentment arise;
But if a ravening lion falls on a herd, its master should
show his manliness. (Asa Mohalla 1, page 360)

This is the Shabad which other writers have attributed to as Guru's appeal to God. In actuality, this was Guru placing the blame on Babar.

The Guru asked Babar, when his army fell like a lion on these innocent men, women and children, did he feel any pain for them?

Babar was overtaken by remorse. A new moral and spiritual consciousness was awakened in him, and he fell on the feet of the Guru. He asked the Guru to be gracious unto him. (History has revealed that kings were always afraid of the curses of the holy men).

The Guru replied, "If thou, O Emperor, desireth kindness, set all thy captives free." Babar agreed on the condition that his empire should be blessed by the Guru and should be allowed to continue for generations. The Guru promised," Thine empire shall remain for a long time." Upon this the Emperor ordered all the prisoners be set free. Babar then asked the Guru for instructions to rule. The Guru explained, "Deliver just judgement, reverence for holy men, forswear wine and gambling. The monarch who indulgeth in these vices shall, if he survives, bewail his misdeeds. Be merciful to the vanquished, and worship God in spirit and in truth."

Now the question is why was Babar blessed with kingdoms instead of being punished? The Gurbani (Divine Word) says:

'Jo saran awai tis kanth lawai eho birdh swamy sanda.' (Bihagra Mohalla 5,p-544)
'God embraces him who seeketh His protection; This is the characteristic of the Lord.'

The Guru tells us that the characteristic of his Master (God) is such that whosoever begs His pardon, falls on His feet for forgiveness, He embraces him. Since Guru Nanak himself was the embodiment of Divine Spirit, he pardoned Babar when he sought for forgiveness, and he blessed him with a boon of Mughal dynasty which continued for a long time.