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Visit To Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan)

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by dalvindersingh grewal, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    Visit to Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan)

    Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal



    Dera baba Nanak, Kartarpur (Ravi)



    On 19 November 2016, all pilgrims got lined up early morning to board buses for Kartarpur Sahib and Emnabad since time for the buses to leave was initially given to be 7 AM which was extended to 8.30 AM. Tickets were purchased a day before for Rs 250/- per individual and we got the first bus and seat numbers as 5 & 6. We boarded the buses in time but the bus numbers were changed and we had to scramble to get into another bus. There was a quite chaos during shifting. Buses finally started at 11.30AM as we came to know that the security arrangements for our visit at Kartarpur were not complete in time. The Chairman of Waqf Board Mohammad Sadiq ul Farooq and the President Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Sardar Tara Singh were also to go along with us.

    Kartarpur literally ’The City of God’ in Punjabi, was established by Guru Nanak Dev ji. The Gurudwara is located next to a small village called Kothay Pind on the west bank of the Ravi River. Post Office is Kajrurh, Tehsil Shakarhgarh, Distt Narowal, West Punjab, Pakistan. Before the Partition of 1947 it was part of district Gurdaspur but later became part of District Sialkot. Kartarpur Sahib is about half an hour from Narowal and 118 kms from Lahore on the metalled road. The road from Narowal to Shakargarh sub-district, where Darbar Kartarpur Sahib is located, is a newly-built double road and it takes half an hour. The railway station ‘Darbar Sahib Kartarpur’ on the Lahore-Chak Amru rail line provides direct connection to Lahore. Railway station is about 5 kms from Gurdwara Sahib. Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is also called Dera Baba Nanak.


    Kartarpur was established by Guru Nanak on the lands offered by Karoria and Ajita Randhawa and after his global itineraries, he spent the rest of his life there with his family for 18 years (1522-1539).

    On the Indian side it is opposite to village Dera Baba Nanak, Tehsil Batala, Distt. Gurdaspur. The Gurudwara at Kartarpur can be seen from across the border from the historical town of Dehra Baba Nanak in India. Dera Baba Nanak is 54 Km from Amritsar, 35 km from Batala and 39 Km from Gurdaspur.

    Reaching Kartarpur Sahib from Lahore, the main road to the village Kartarpur Sahib one is welcomed by beautiful green fields, children milling around, and slow-moving bullock carts, mud houses, tube-wells drawing water to irrigate fields… and then the white structure of the Gurudwara standing silently amid green fields under the blue sky. Unlike other Sikh shrines in Pakistan, this Gurdwara is of its kind, especially because of its scenic location.

    The Indian and Pakistani governments reached an agreement to build a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur Sahib, about 4 kilometer distance, sometime in 1998, in order to enable the Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan without visa or passport. But there has been no progress thereafter.

    Now the Sikh devotees in India often gather near the border fence and offer prayers while looking at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. Ton Indian side the Border Security Force has specially constructed a ‘Darshan Sthal’ by providing binoculars to the visiting devotees for a clear view of the gurdwara. A visa free corridor for pilgrims on both sides could be a corridor leading to peace between India and Pakistan.

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    After the third and the last Udasi the Guru returned to Kartarpur. He travelled all over to preach the gospel of Nam and communicating new awakening in the people's mind to realize Truth. In order that his work should last, he established a network of centers which were called Manjis, side by side with the centers of all other faiths. When he finished his long travels, he settled down at Kartarpur for the rest of about twenty years of his life. He knew that unless he centralized the activities of his new faith, he could not expect it to survive. There were now Sikh centers all over India, Ceylon, Tibet and the Middle East. No founder of any religion had built such a vast organization, breaking all provincial, national, international and cultural barriers, during his life time. When he went abroad on his missionary tours, he put up the robes of religious orders of the holy places he visited. Holiness in those places was inseparable from the holy garbs. When he came back to Kartarpur, he doffed his pilgrim's dress, and wore worldly garments in order to show that he did not desire his followers to devote themselves to an ascetic life. At the same time he sat on his religious throne, and started preaching to the people.

    Kartarpur was established by Guru Nanak on the lands offered by Karoria and Ajit Randhawa. As per B S Goraya are 1371 Kanals 7 Marlas of land in the name of Durbar Sahib Kartarpur.

    The adjoining villages inhabited by people of the same sub-caste are known as tapa. Number of village in a tapa is not limited. This number varies as per the population of that tribe/caste. Kartarpur, the new town founded by Guru Nanak was surrounded by a tapa of Randhawas. Opposite Kartarpur on the eastern bank of the Ravi was a village named Pakkhoke. Bhai Mula Chona, patwari of this village was the father-in-law of Guru Nanak. In this very village lived Ajitta Randhawa, son of one Hitta Randhawa. When he learnt that the Guru had settled in Kartarpur, he went to the Guru, sought spiritual light from him and became his disciple and donated lands for expansion of Kartarpur Sahib.

    Sangat: First Guru Nanak formed the Holy Communion which was called Sangat, and the place where the Holy Communion was held called Gurdwara (House of the Guru). Emphasis was laid on religious instructions and strict discipline. The japji was recited at the ambrosial hour of the morning, the Sodar (Rehras) in the evening and Kirtan Sohila at night before going to bed. Divine measures (Kirtan) were sung in his presence in the morning as well as in the evening. Regular religious instructions were imparted by the Guru. Such instructions could be given to the individual followers and also in the regular gathering. The preamble of Japji was read at the same time, and the ceremony was inaugurated by the Guru himself. The emphasis was laid on the greatness of God, upon His gracious self-revelation, upon the perils of human condition, and upon the paramount necessity of meditation on Divine Name. Those who took pride in their status of caste or wealth would be sternly admonished, and anyone who depended on religious hypocrisy would be soundly condemned. The Guru enunciated an integral view of the spiritual and moral life and those who imbibed it, tried to realize its essence in their own daily conduct. The Guru's teachings emphasized against limiting of the spiritual and moral conduct to ritual actions, and against confining the moral action to the individual self, or to such narrow confines as one's tribe, race or denomination. His teaching had great effect on the people and many of them embraced his religion. Bhai Buddha, Bhai Lehna (later Guru Angad), Taru Popat, Prithi, Kheda, Ajita Randhawa, Sheikh Mallo and Ubre Khan are some of the examples of conversions at first sight to the faith of the Guru.

    Founding of Kartarpur

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    The original house of Guru Nanak Chohla Sahib Kartarpur

    Living by Honest Means:

    Emphasis was laid on honest hard labor for living. Asceticism was explicitly rejected and instead a disciplined worldliness and family life was set forth as the proper course for the believer. Earnest living through honest hard labor and then out of that hard earned money, giving in the name of the Lord, was the moral way to bring up the family. The Guru himself set up this example by working with his hands in the fields for the remaining about 18 to 20 years of his life at Kartarpur. He emphasized this course in the following Sabad:

    Men without divine knowledge sing hymns.
    The Hungry Mulla makes a home of his mosque.


    One who earns nothing slit his ears;
    Another becomes a beggar and loses his caste.
    Touch not at all the feet of those who call themselves gurus and pirs, and go begging.
    They who eat the fruit of their labour and bestow something in the name of Lord,
    O Nanak, recognize the right way. (Sarang ki Var, Slok Mohalla 1, p-1245)


    Estates owned by Kartarpur Sahib as per Land Revenue records

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    During a visit to Kartarpur, B.S. Goraya got the documents from a patwari. His comments on the subject are as follows: “1371 Kanals 7 Marlas of Land in the name of Durbar Sahib Kartarpur. Guru Nanak was today extra kind on us when we went to Kartarpur for our monthly prayers for corridor. It so happened that when we were distributing a pamphlet on Kartarpur Sahib while in our journey in a bus a gentleman asked a question. "You are a preacher of Kartarpur. Do you know how much land does stand in the name of Kartarpur?" We politely replied that we are the salaried people we don't know much. Later we came to know that he is an old patwari and possesses certified copies of land records of Kartarpur Sahib. Today being the Lohri festival, with reluctance he agreed to furnish details without any cost with the condition that his name and photo should be given on internet. May Guru bless him health and long life. Patwari’s photo is also available at: http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/kartarpur/

    The document B.S.Goraya of Chakar Neech got was Jamabandi. The pieces of land are as per Jamabandi of years variously 1922, 23 and 1924. These are as per old killa measurements (1921-240). If we are to calculate exact area of land as per present scale in India we compute 1 killa = 9 kanals and 13 marlas. The modern killa is of 8 kanals.

    An aged patwari S. Ajit Singh Village Khehra Near Palowali Fatehgarh Churhian, Tehsil Batala Distt. Gurdaspur, Tel. No. 91-1871-288742 is in possession of copies of old records which are also available in State Archives Patiala.

    Common Free Kitchen- Guru Ka Langar:

    Guru Nanak started daily kirtan and langar (free food for the poor) was introduced Every one worked for his living and gave a part of his earning for the free kitchen called Guru ka Langar. All people, the Brahman or the Sudra, the king or the commoner, the Muslim or the Hindu, had to sit in the same row and eat the same food.

    Teaching Two Muslims

    If one crossed the Ravi from Kartarpur and travelled on the road leading to Batala, one comes across a village Jorian or Jourian on the north of this road. A Pathan named Ubare Khan lived in this village. He was a friend of Sheikh Malo, a Muslim scholar who had earlier been to Kartarpur to meet the Guru and had felt quite satisfied after having a discourse with him on godly matters.

    He told Ubare Khan about the Guru who too went to Kartarpur to see the Guru, met him and asked him whether he was a Hindu or a Muslim. In reply the Guru told him that only God is eternal; neither Hindus nor Muslims are so. Therefore, they should focus their mind on God. The question of being a Hindu or a Muslim was irrelevant. The entire creation of God is essentially the same. Both, the rich and the poor, the good and the bad all are His creation. The same Divine Light is resplendent in all. We fail to see this Light because of our ego. Ubare Khan was pleased with this answer. He fell at the Guru’s feet and sought his blessing. The Guru said ‘God will bless him.’ Thereafter Ubare Khan sought leave from the Guru. Similarly, another peasant Abdul Rehman of village Jorianslim too was impressed by Guru’s preaching.


    Bhai Lehna

    At Matte-di-Sarai near Muktsar lived Bhai Pheru. With his wife Ramo who were blessed by a son named lehna in 1504 who grew up to be a man of religious disposition. When Matte-di-Sarai was looted by Baluchis Bhai Pheru took his family to Hari-Ka-Pattanand later to Khadur in the modern Amritsar district. Lehna was married to Khivi. Her parents were also natives of Matte-di-Sarai. They had three children, one daughter (Bibi Amro) and two sons (Dasu and Datu). When Guru Nanak founded Kartarpur, Bhai Lehna lived in Khadur. Lehna used to go for pilgrimage to Jawalaji every year. The route connecting Khadur and Pathankot passed through Kartarpur, the newly founded town which Guru Nanak had made his abode. While passing through Kartarpur along with a group of pilgrims of his region Bhai Lehna heard a Sikh reciting Guru Nanak’s hymns he persuaded his fellow pilgrims to halt and went to see the holy man (Guru Nanak). Lehna met the Guru and felt as if all his dubiety were gone and that the goddess he worshipped remained in the service of the Guru there. When Lehna went to see off his companions, they told him that they had agreed to undertake the pilgrimage because of him and that it did not behove him to leave them on the way.

    Lehna replied with humility that the purpose with which he used to go to the shrine of the goddess had been realized. You may go for pilgrimage. May God fulfill your aim as well. All the pilgrims were astonished and they went ahead leaving Lehna behind. These pilgrims from Khadur went to Jawalaji, but as they returned they again visited Kartarpur. They persuaded Lehna to accompany them home. He replied that he would thereafter live at Kartarpur. They may inform his family of this.

    The pilgrims went back to tell his family that Lehna had chosen to live at Kartarpur and became a devotee of Guru Nanak. Lehna engaged himself, with full devotion, to the service of the Guru and service in thelangar.[11][12]

    Knowing that the end was drawing near, Guru Nanak Sahib, after testing his two sons and some followers, installed Bhai Lehna Ji (Guru Angad Sahib) as the second Nanak in 1539 AD and joined the eternal light on 23rd Assu, Samvat 1596 (22nd Sept. 1529).

    Monuments commemorating his stay and his last rites are preserved at the place. A mausoleum in the Hindu tradition exists in the Gurudwara and a grave according to Muslim traditions also exists on the premises. His Hindu followers wanted to cremate the remains as per Hindu tradition, while his Muslim followers wanted to bury the body as per Islamic traditions. A compromise by suggesting that each group should place a garland of flowers beside his body, and those whose garland remained fresh after three days could dispose of his body according to their tradition. As per the local legend next morning, upon raising the cloth under which the Guru’s body lay, only the flowers were found. The Hindus cremated their flowers whereas the Muslims buried theirs. Historical references suggest that Guruji was against division of society on the lines of Muslims and Hindus (and Sikhs) and insisted that both Muslims and Hindus should observe the values of the respective faiths and that leading truthful life was important. Muslims treated him like a ‘murshad’ and the Hindus called him Guru. It is a unique shrine which both Sikhs and Muslims observe with all serenity.

    The original abode established by Guru Nanak was washed in the floods of Ravi. The present gurdwara was originally built at a cost of Rs.1, 35, 600, from funds donated by Sardar Bhupinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala. Gurdwara is now under the control of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and now the facilities are provided under the direction of Pakistan Government through Evacuee Trust Property Board. Gurdwara Sahib Building has been recently renovated and 50 pre-fabricated huts have been constructed. It has a spacious and beautiful building. A new road has been constructed by the local government and electricity has been recently provided.
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    Photo1. Board about details of Dera baba Nanak Kartarpur Ravi 2&3. Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib 4. Sanctum Sanctorum 5&6 Samadhadh and the tomb 7 Chairman of Waqttee with the Author.
    af Board Mohammad Sadeeq ul Farooq with the author 8. President Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Commi
    It was a real bliss to be there where Guru Nanak had put into practice ‘kirat karo, naam japo, vand chhako’ established sangat and was helped by Lehna Ji (Guru Angad), Baba Buddha and many other devoted Sikhs. We paid our obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum and the other monuments connected with Guru Nanak. We also climbed at the top of the building to see if we could see other side of Ravi. It could not be seen however due to lost of mist. The Chairman Waqf Board and President Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee welcomed us and discussed with us the details of our visit and asked for suggestions for improvement. We Thanked for their keen interest and great effort in organizing the visit with dedication.


    References:

    [1]Giani Gian Singh, 1970, Twareekh Guru Khalsa, Part 1, Guru 1, Language Department Punjab, Patiala, p.286

    [2]Giani Gian Singh , p. 286, Gur Khalsa Twareekh p. 95

    [3] Tara Singh, Sri Gur Tirath Sangrah. Amritsar, n.d.
    [4] Thakar Singh, Giani, Sri Gurduare Darshan. Amritsar, 1923.

    [5] Surindar Singh, Kohli ed., Janamsakhi Bhai Bala. Chandigarh, 1975, . Text and photographs: Historical Sikh Shrines in Pakistan: Iqbal Qaiser
    [6] Harbans Singh, Guru Nanak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969

    [7]Adapted from Sikhism.About.com. Bhai Rama Singh of UK, author of In Search of the True Guru (From Manmukh to GurSikh)

    [8] Gurudwara Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal | World Gurudwara Historical Sikh Gurdwaras p.71, Text and photographs: Historical Sikh Shrines in Pakistan : Iqbal Qaiser

    [9] EMINABAD - Pakistan, http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/gurudwaras-in-pakistan/ gurudwara-nanaksar-at-jhang

    [10]Harbans Singh "The encyclopedia of Sikhism, http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/gurudwaras-in-pakistan/ gurudwara-kartarpur-sahib-narowal

    [11] Karminder Singh Dhillon, Ph.D (Boston University)

    [12] Sardar : The Emperor Babur Meets Guru Nanak, http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/gurudwaras-in-pakistan/ gurudwara-pehli- patshahi-at-haftmadar-distt-sheikhpura
     
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