Guru Nanak in East India
The Guru travelled many miles in the wilderness of Assam . His minstrel Mardana was very hungry and tired, so they sat under a tree. After sometimes Mardana went to get something to eat. On his way he met Kauda, the cannibal. Kauda took Mardana by surprise and bound him hand and foot by a rope and then carried him to the spot where he had kept a big pan full of oil for frying the flesh of his victims. Kauda started to lighten fire under the pan. When Mardana saw that, he was very frightened and prayed to the Guru to come to his rescue. The Guru already knew and was on his way to get him released. Kauda was trying to light the fire when the Guru appeared. This bewildered Kauda completely. The Guru looked at him compassionately and graciously and said,"Kauda! See-est thou not what thou dost, wilt thou cast thyself in the burning fire of hell?" The very gracious and holy sight of the Divine Master made such people realize their guilt and they fell on his feet and begged for mercy. Kauda whose conscience was dead with heinous crimes, suddenly came to realization and was overwhelmed with repentance. He fell on the feet of the Master and prayed for mercy. The gracious Master blessed him with the Name. Kauda was completely a changed man and thereafter lived as a devout disciple of the Guru.
After Golaghat Nagar and Dhanasri valley where cannibals inhabited in large numbers, the Guru went back to Gauhati. From there he proceeded to Shillong and to Silhet where an old Gurdwara stands in his memory.
Dr. McLeod’s omissions and Commission
- In the Puratan Janamsalht Sakhi No. 42, there is a mention of Dhanasri des. There is also a specific mention of a river and cannibal tribes. Dr. McLeod describes “Dhanasri” as an “unidentifiable and evidently non-existent place” (page 70 of his book). But had he taken more pains, he would have definitely identified this palace as Dhanasri Valley in Assam surrounded by Cannibal Naga gives the following descriptions of Dhanasri Valley:
- “Upper portion of Dhanasri Valley is a plain of considerable width shut between Nagas and Mukir Hills, covered with dense tree forests except in neighbourhood of Golaghat.
- Again on page 80 he mentions “non-existent land of Asa:. Without carefully going through contents of the Saskhi, Mr. McLeod arrives at a conclusion that land of Asa” is non-existent. But in the Sakhi there is specific mention of Raja Samunder whom Mr. McLeod has read as Sham Sunder (see page 42). According to Encyclopaedia of Religion Ethics (New York 1958, Vol..I page 135) Samunder was a Raja of Assam. It has been stated there:
- “In still earlier times when Ahoms entered the Brahmputra Valley; there were twelve subordinate rulers or chiefs who were known as Bara Bhuiya and these claimed to be the descendants of Samundra.” Hence the “land of Asa” is Assam. It may be pointed out that during the 16th century when Guru Nanak visited Assam. There existed two kingdoms. One was in Kamrup and other was in Assam. East of Assam was the Dhanasri Valley – all three have been distinctly mentioned by Puratan Janamsakhi.
Hieun-Tsang, however, has described the whole of Modern Assam Region as Damrup. Ain-i-Akbar mentions Kamrup and Assam as two separate entities as there existed two independent kingdoms.