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Did Guru Nanak Accurately Predict The Mughal Invasion?

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by anon, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    on pages 722 and 723 of SGGS, it is written that:

    ਆਵਨਿ ਅਠਤਰੈ ਜਾਨਿ ਸਤਾਨਵੈ ਹੋਰ ਭੀ ਉਠਸੀ ਮਰਦ ਕਾ ਚੇਲਾ ॥
    आवनि अठतरै जानि सतानवै होरढ़ भी उठसी मरद का चेला ॥
    Āvan aṯẖ▫ṯarai jĝn saṯĝnvai hor bẖī uṯẖsī maraḝ kĝ cẖelĝ.
    Coming in seventy-eight (1521 A.D.), they will depart in ninety-seven (1540 A.D.), and then another disciple of man will rise up.

    Given the context of the quote in the SGGS, (written by Guru Nanak), it would appear that this is in reference to the Mughal Rule of India.

    Wikipedia suggests Babur began his campaign before 1519, however it is believed that Guru Nanak was in Saidpur (now Eminabad) at the time of writing this, so it is possible Babur invaded Saidpur in 1529. whats more interesting is that the Mughal empire did briefly come to an end in 1540 when Babur's Sucessor Humayun was overthrown by Sher Shah Suri.

    I don't personally believe Guru Nanak was capable of miracles and I don't believe he could predict the future however, if someone were to make the case that he could, it would appear convincing for a number of reason's.

    1) the prediction is correct
    2) there aren't any other predictions in SGGS of which I am aware, so its not the case that Guru Nanak threw out a bunch of predictions and luckily one came true

    I don't think this is enough to convince someone who doesn't believe in the supernatural that miracles are real, but I think it is enough to validate the opinion of someone who does believe in miracles. I am naturally inclined towards skepticism so I had a few questions for people {censored word, do not repeat.} were better experts in indian history;

    1) do the dates in the guru granth sahib (78 and 97) ACTUALLY correspond to 1521 and 1540, and if so can someone explain to me how? with sources preferably

    2) is it possible that this part of the SGGS was written AFTER 1540? it is generally accepted that Guru Nanak died in 1539, but is there any chance this script had been manipulated? if you believe it has or hasn't can someone please explain to me the manner in which this script was passed through time from the 15th century through to the compilation of the SGGS such that it was preserved maintaining its otprigional unaltered content?


    And also out of curiosity, do you believe that Guru Nanak had supernatural powers and that he could see the future.

    also when I say supernatural i mean things which defy the laws of physics such as seeing the future, i don't mean spiritual things like "he had the miraculous power of compassion" or something fluffy like that.


    EDIT: i also have a third question. can anyone give a date as to when when this passage was written and can anyone give a date as to when Saidpur was attacked?
     
    #1 anon, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
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  3. ActsOfGod

    ActsOfGod
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    Some folks might say that the "fluffy stuff like that" is what really matters.

    But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

    If he did have supernatural powers, what would it mean to you? What would it mean if he didn't?

    [AoG]
     
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  4. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
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    well said dude!


    and again..
     
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  5. swarn bains

    swarn bains United States
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    Babur attacked India in 1519 AD, then in 1522 . lost both times and went back. he attacked in 1526 and conquered India.. According to 78 and 97. 1578 bikarmee is 1521 AD, so Babur did not attack India in 1521.
    Hamaoun lost in 1532 AD and went back to Afghanistan. Guru Nanak may have supernatural powers. But one thing he definitely have is write classic poetry. The meaning of the above wording is absolutely wrong.Being a poet my understanding indicates that he used those figures of 78 and 97 was just to complete the couplet. He could have used different figures but that is what came to his mind and stuck with it. It is exactly same as page 1430 athara das bees. The scholars translate it as that God had 48 sons. but who are those 48. here also these figures were quoted to complete the cuplet, meant all are the sons of God whether 18 10 or 20. That was exactly Nanak used to complete the couplet. What it really means
    ਆਓਣ ਅਠੱਤਰੈ ਜਾਣ ਸਤਾਨਵੈ, ਹੋਰ ਵੀ ਉਠਸੀ ਮਰਦ ਕਾ ਚੇਲਾ means many invaders come and many go and some other followers of men will rise again. It different that Sahib singh and other Punjabi university scholars who translated it, i believe it is the correct meaning in both cases. s s a
     
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  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Perception, wisdom and logic can look to some as miracles or future predictions.
    for instance, telling a fat man, whilst looking at his palm, that he is worried about something, and then bringing up his health, is not a miracle, or a future prediction.

    Telling a man with nicotine stained fingers, strained breathing, and smoky breath that he will be dead within 10 years, again, is not a miracle

    Most miracles and future predictions are simply common sense based on observation
     
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  7. Ishna

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    My word, Watson! You have summarised that brilliantly. Now, on to the next mystery!

    :bigsmiliemata:
     
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  8. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
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    true wisdom

    God bless the one making the predictions...at least he can see what is going to happen...a miracle
     
  9. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    what is a miracle in your view chazji?
     
  10. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
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    there is a saying..."Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
    i'd like to extend that to "insanity: knowing that the outcome of your actions will be negative, but doing them anyway...over and over"

    I would say a miracle is anything that prompts an individual or a group of people to step out of the above two scenarios...a change of mindset resulting in positive change...

    so in your two examples...the fortune teller is at least 'telling the truth of what is most likely the outcome"...when the person sat down is clearly insane.. :) ... if what the fortune teller says finaly gets the Fat dude to do some exercise and lose some weight, then i would say that's a miracle...
     
  11. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    Thank You very much for the response. You sound like someone who is well educated in Indian History Sikh History and Bani, and i'm hoping that I can enhance my own knowledge in these areas. The line from bani that I reference above:

    "ਆਵਨਿ ਅਠਤਰੈ ਜਾਨਿ ਸਤਾਨਵੈ ਹੋਰ ਭੀ ਉਠਸੀ ਮਰਦ ਕਾ ਚੇਲਾ" (Which I will now refer to as "The Tilang, First Mehl Line" )

    was bought to my attention from McLoeds book on the life of Guru Nanak. The details of Babur's invasion that I have read have all been from wikipedia, not exactly the best source, and I assume your sources are better.

    FIRST PREDICTION

    You said that in 1526 Babur Conquered India, but the The Tilang, First Mehl Line does not specifically make a prediction for the date for Babur's Conquering of India. I have read that many Janam Sakhis put Guru Nanak in Eminabad (Saidpur) at the time of writing Tilang, First Mehl and on Wikipedia it says that Babur reached Chenab in 1519. Using google maps it looks like Saidpur (now Eminabad) is quite close to Chenab so

    Did Babur invaded Saidpur in 1521 (Bikharmee 1578) as part of a campaign to conquer more land? (I will now refer to this as question 1)

    If we assume that The Tilang, First Mehl Line contains two predictions, and that the first prediction is given by the first half of the line ("Coming in seventy-eight (1521 A.D.)" English translation of the first half of The Tilang, First Mehl Line) then one interpretation of this first half of the line could be:

    "The Mughals (Babur) will come to Saidpur (now Eminabad) in 1521 (Bikharmee78)" (I will now refer to this as prediction 1)

    If the answer to question 1 is "yes" then prediction 1 is true, if the aswer to question 1 is "no" then prediction 1 is false. We can work out the answer to question 1 by aswering the following question:

    What exactly Babur was doing in 1521?
    (I will refer to this as qeustion 2)

    I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on question 2 or perhaps refer me to some sources.

    SECOND PREDICTION

    You also say that Hamaoun lost in 1532 and went back to Afghanistan, but again on wikipedia it mentions that Hamayun lost the Battle of Kanauj in 1540, this was east of Agra. Wikipedia also says that Hamayun crossed the Indus in retreat in 1543. Based on these wikipedia dates, it wouldn't make sense to me that Hamayun would have retreated back to Afghanistan in 1532. From these wikipedia dates it is clear that Hamayun lost control of an important part of his empire by 1540 and, although I don't know much about the seats of power in Medieval India, I would have thought the loss of Agra at the Battle of Kanauj would have represented the loss of India by the Mughal empire.

    If we interpret the second half of the The Tilang, First Mehl Line (In english this has been translated to "they will depart in ninety-seven (1540 A.D.)") then it can be interpreted as the following prediction:

    "The Mughal's (Babur's heir) will depart India in 1540" (I will call this Prediction 2)

    Then prediction 2 will have been correct if we assume that losing Agra equated to the the departure of the Mughal's from India


    PERSONAL VIEW/AGENDA

    I don't think my own personal view is relevant to this discussion at all but given the discussion about what constitutes a Miracle, I feel that if i don't put this in the discussion will move into the inevitable direction of debating the definition of the word miracle.

    This section of SPN is dedicated to Sikh History, and I regret using the word "Miracle". What I wanted to discuss was a line (The Tilang, First Mehl Line) which many people have interpreted as a prediction of events that took place after that line was written. The events that people claim this line alluded to have occurred, so what I was hoping to do was see if this line that people read as a prediction is acurte when it is read as a prediction.

    For me this is important because to some people the accurate prediction of future events constitutes a miracle. To me it doesn't, but to others it does. Some people (not all people and clearly not the majority of posters on this thread) may call themselves a Sikh because the believe that the Guru's were capable of Miracles such as predicting the future and so if the predictions of The Tilang, First Mehl Line can be verified or falsified by examining events that had actually taken place, their faith in Sikhism may also be strengthened or weakened.


    "But anon, why does it matter to you what others beleive?" i hear you ask. It matters because I believe that the truth is important. If someone believes a statement (eg circumcision can cure HIV, the moon revolves around the earth) is true, then it is important to examine their statements so that we can tell them that they are right or wrong, and so that we can modify our own beliefs based on the statements that tell us.

    I personally do not believe that Guru Nanak was capable of accurately predicting the dates of invasion and retreat of the Mughal Army, however I think it is important to examine the possibility that he was capable of this using the same logic and approach as someone who does believe this. Further more even if the predictions of The Tilang, First Mehl Line are correct and were written before 1521 I am more inclined to believe that it was luck, rather than the power of the divine that achieved the correct result.

    ASSUMPTIONS THAT NEED TO BE MADE FOR THE PREDICTIONS TO BE TRUE

    A number of assumptions must be made in order to make the following conclusion:

    "Guru Nanak accurately predicted the Invasion of the Mughal army and Retreat of the Mughal Army in the line: ਆਵਨਿ ਅਠਤਰੈ ਜਾਨਿ ਸਤਾਨਵੈ ਹੋਰ ਭੀ ਉਠਸੀ ਮਰਦ ਕਾ ਚੇਲਾ" (I will now refer to this as The Conclusion)

    the Assumptions are as follows.

    1) "
    Coming in seventy-eight (1521 A.D.), they will depart in ninety-seven (1540 A.D.), and then another disciple of man will rise up." Is an accurate and translation of the line ਆਵਨਿ ਅਠਤਰੈ ਜਾਨਿ ਸਤਾਨਵੈ ਹੋਰ ਭੀ ਉਠਸੀ ਮਰਦ ਕਾ ਚੇਲਾ.

    2) The use of the number 78 refers to the date Bikhramee 1571 (1521 AD) and 97 refers to Bikhrame 1597 (1540 AD)

    3) "Coming in seventy-eight (1521 A.D.)" can be interpreted as the prediction that: The Mughals (Babur) will come to Saidpur (now Eminabad) in 1521 (Bikharmee78)

    4) Babur Invaded Saidpur (Now eminabad) in 1521

    5) "they will depart in ninety-seven (1540 A.D.)" can be interpreted as the prediction that: "The Mughal's (Babur's heir) will depart India in 1540"

    6) The loss of Agra by an empire can be equated to the Mughal's losing India.

    I personally find the Assumption 3 and Assumption 5 to be weak, especially because the meaning of Gurbani is vague and open to interpretation. For this reason, I would reject the conclusion
     
  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Our Gurus were highly intelligent, highly perceptive, but they were not entertaining showmen who did fortune telling on the side,

    Maybe it has nothing to do with the invasion at all, maybe you are not playing round with the words enough, have you tried it with the words backwards, or using a simple code, I am sure if you mix them up enough, you could get the recipe for chardi kala ice cream!
     
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  13. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    Don't misrepresent what i'm saying and don't misrepresent what others believe. If you had read my post above you would KNOW that I don't believe the Gurus could make prophecies like in fictional stories. If you read my above post you would know that the reason why I am trying to analyse this issue is because there are people out there who do believe that the line in the SGGS is a prediction/premonition made my Guru Nanak and they also believe this prediction/premonition came true.

    These people also believe the gurus were capable of magic. During my childhood and adolescence when I called myself a "Sikh" (a term I use now to refer to myself only to spare the feelings of others) I believed that Guru Nanak could travel to different planets, could stop a giant boulder with one hand, could bring an elephant back to life and could shift the tectonic plates moving mecca to a different location. I no longer hold these beliefs but I can tell you for a fact that other people believe these things too; and quite honestly the suggestion that there were Guru's who could perform miracles is enough to make them believe this Sikh religion without question.

    People who believe that gurus/prophets could defy the laws of physics wonder how they (gurus/prophets) do this. People who wonder how the laws of physics can be defied draw the conclusion that this power is bestowed by a higher deity (many Sikhs believe the "Eik Onkar" gave the guru's special magic powers). People also think that higher deities should be consulted when trying to settle moral dilemmas and so they look towards the physics defying guru as a moral guide. If these people can be shown that their Guru/Prophet is NOT capable of defying physics then perhaps they will no longer look towards their Guru/Prophet as a moral guide, perhaps they will no longer call themselves Sikh.

    Some people of course don't simply believe their Prophet/Guru because they think they are capable of defying physics, i'm sure you fit into that category and i' sure you are not a Sikh because you believe Guru Nanak had magic powers, but it's naive to suggest that there aren't people who call themselves Sikh because they believe Guru Nanak had magic powers.

    Maybe you are right, maybe it isn't, maybe it is... that is the POINT of this thread. I am just starting to read Sikh history books, I am trying to understand Punjabi and because of my own inexperience I myself do not know if the intent behind this line was to make a prophecy/prediction.

    That's why i'm here, on a Sikh forum, to ask people who know about history, Punjabi and have more knowledge than me about what this line truly means. IT IS A FACT that some people believe that this line reveals Guru Nanak's ability to predict the future with fictional-fortune-teller-psychic-like accuracy, YOU are clearly not one of those people, I am not one of those people, but if you want to address what you believe to be an incorrect interpretation of a line to people who hold a different opinion, you can't do it by belittling their interprettions and being condescending (like you are now). You need to understand their arguments. Sometimes you need to assume something to be true before you prove it to be wrong: it's called proof by contradiction, it is why we know that there are infinite prime numbers.

    I did not play with words, I presented an interpretation that some people have of a translation written by Dr Sant Singh Khalsa, An interpretation that leads people to conclude Guru Nanak can predict the future. Perhaps you are not interested in the truth, perhaps you are not interested in conveying the truth to others, but I am and honestly your post is contributing nothing other than derailing a thread which should be about examining the claims people have about a line in sacred text.

    Please actually read my post. It took me a while to write, because everything you have said I have had to respond to, but I am essentially repeating what I just wrote before. To make it easier, i'll paste the section which addresses the points you have made:


    This section of SPN is dedicated to Sikh History, and I regret using the word "Miracle". What I wanted to discuss was a line (The Tilang, First Mehl Line) which many people have interpreted as a prediction of events that took place after that line was written. The events that people claim this line alluded to have occurred, so what I was hoping to do was see if this line that people read as a prediction is acurate when it is read as a prediction.

    For me this is important because to some people the accurate prediction of future events constitutes a miracle. To me it doesn't, but to others it does. Some people (not all people and clearly not the majority of posters on this thread) may call themselves a Sikh because the believe that the Guru's were capable of Miracles such as predicting the future and so if the predictions of The Tilang, First Mehl Line can be verified or falsified by examining events that had actually taken place, their faith in Sikhism may also be strengthened or weakened.
     
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  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    whoa there tiger, yes, I have read your post in full, this reply is slightly different to others, this is spontaneous and its known as wit, well hopefully anyway.

    I made a few points that actually support your argument, I like your style of writing and your content, you seem a good egg, any derailing is your own!
     
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  15. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    Fair enough,sorry for taking it the wrong way
     
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  16. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I am just comic relief mate, I leave that sort of stuff to the intelligent members, now please back to topic, before I get slapped again by AK
     
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  17. swarn bains

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    Babur attacked India in 1519 and lost. as per 1578 theory, it appears that he attacked Aimnabad a village near by Lahore but not Lahore and went back. So the 1578 figure does not fit there or may be he trained his army and went back and attacked India again in 1522 and lost and retreated. if the 1578 or 1521 prediction is correct then why would Babur not rule Punjab or lahore or appoint his ruler there instead of going back to kabul. That is just to prove a point. Nanak never predicted any such thing. Babur he conquered Delhi in 1526.
    Humayun lost the battle of kanauj in 1540 that figure is1597 if someone may call it as Bikrmy. But humayun left India for Afghanistan or Iran on july 17 1543. the wording of the stanza aaun 78 re jaan 97 will fit here for 97 only if the prediction was to leave delhi. but the figure suggests that he left India in 1600 bikarmy. then it is different
    If this prediction for Mugals only or all Muslims then no other muslim from any other dynasty ruled India wording hor vee uthsi maaad ka chella does not work either. Let us discus this. Abdali attacked India many times after that. He just came to plunder. he never ruled India. If we say that it means the same then this argument agrees. On the other hand if we say to rule, in this case no other dynasty of muslims ruled India after that.then it is wrong. baba Nanak never spread rumours. what if it is wrong. So it is not a prediction
    Next argument is ਆਉਣ ਅਠੱਤਰੈ ਜਾਣ ਸਤਨਵੈ ਹੋਰ ਵੀ ਉਠਸੀ ਮਰਦ ਕਾ ਚੇਲਾ
    The figures are 78 and 97. why are we making it 1578 and 1597. If it was so, he would have written it as 1578 and 1597. We the so called scholars make the figures of 1578 and 1597 to prove our point. What if he did not mean so. Who is wrong? one who says it is 1578 or 1597. This is the way how the learned scholars twist the meaning or he who says that it is just the figures used to complete the couplet. I was not there. I can only go by what is written not imagined. is the wording written correct or the wording put into some ones mouth correct. take it the way you want
    We can run our horses of ill knowledge wild, but Baba Nanak only can answer this question correctly
    the figures I wrote were wrong or typing slip sorry
     
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    #16 swarn bains, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  18. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    Thanks for this explanation. I am now quite convinced that the line in bani was never intended as a prediction thanks to your post, and if in the small chance it was then your post does show that it would have been an incorrect prediction.

    I just have a couple of questions which I would like you to clarify;

    1) why did you use the number 2000 bikarmy in your post? I don't understand why you used this and want to know if it was just a typo, or if you meant for it to be 2000 why did you use this date?

    2) Why did you use the date 1590 in your post? again is this a mistake and you meant 1597? where did the number 150 come from?

    other than this, id like to thank you for your response, this particular topic has been bothering me especially because I can't find other people talking about it
     
  19. swarn bains

    swarn bains United States
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    those figures are slip of my fingers on the keyboard my mistake
     
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