Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Tilla Bal Godain (Tilla Jogian) in Punjab. Pakistan | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Tilla Bal Godain (Tilla Jogian) in Punjab. Pakistan

Dalvinder Singh Grewal

Jan 3, 2010
Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Tilla Bal Godain (Tilla Jogian) in Punjab. Pakistan

Photo: Tilla Jogian Dadan Khan visited by Guru Nanak
Tilla Bal Gundain or Tilla Jogian is a holy place at the top of a hill 38 km from Jhelum. This was the place of Kanphata Yogis (ascetics with torn ear lobes). It was a famous place during Guru Nanak’s visit where the Siddhas and Hindu Yogis concentrated for discussions, discourses and intercommunication. At that time, hundreds of ascetics stayed at this place. Guru Nanak visited the place to convey his philosophy to them and to show the path of truth. He held discussions with them. Guru Nanak also met the local saint Bal Gundain who received him with warmth. They held detailed discussions at the place on God, universe, meditation and truth. Guru Nanak recited hymns at the place. (10)
Janamsakhi Bhai Bala Ed Dr Kirpal Singh p309-310) gives in detail the meeting. “Guru Nanak went to Tilla Bal Nath and sat a kilometre away from the place of Bal Gudain. Bal Gudain had started a Bhandara of free food and clothes for all. The Yogis from all over had gathered to visit this place as well as Katas Raj Tirath. A three-kilometre long line of yogis some on foot some on horses were going towards Tilla Bal Nath. Some Yogis asked Guru Nanak to join them to go to Bhandara and collect all the items for his stay for being comfortable during the period of the fair. Guru Nanak refused to go. Bal Gudai came to know of this and sent some yogis to call him. They requested that the Yogi wished him to join and to take, food, clothing, khat, or place for stay. Guru Nanak said, “Go and tell Bal Gudain that I am comfortable here itself.” The Yogis told the same to Bal Gudain. Bal Gudain realised that there must be something serious. He went himself and said, “O dear saints. Come and stay at my lodge in the temple.” Guru Nanak said, “We are fakirs. We move from one place to another. We cannot search for temples and lodgings for our stay at each place. We are accustomed to saying in the open”. Bal Gudain said, “You are correct in saying this but when you are offered a comfortable place with food and lodging why not to avail? It is all God’s gift. I am no one to offer it.” Seeing the politeness of Bal Gudain they moved to the temple maintained by Bal Gudain. Bal Gudain took the guru around and showed the temple, the clothing stores, the ration collected the stable of horses and the spread of the lodge. He expected appreciation from the Guru and asked at each location,” How did you find the arrangement?” Guru Nanak said every time, “It is like staying in a palace.” Bal Gudain enquired Guru’s name. Guru Nanak said, “O Yogishwar! My name is Nanak Nirankari.” Surprise Bal Gudain asked, “Are you the same whom the people call Nanak Tapa?” Guru Nanak said, “Yes! I am the same.” Bal Gudain said, “See! It is raining outside. If you would not have been in temple what could be your condition? Were you happy there or here/” Guru Nanak said, “It has been like this for years. This will also pass. I am always happy in the way He keeps me.” Bal Gudain said, “My food is the poisonous saag ki pini and the loaf of the floor of wild grass seeds (bhakhra). I do not wear a simple gown. I sleep on the ground. I do not ride on horses. It is all for the pilgrims. It is all gifted here by God. For me, it is all the same. I am content about what I eat or wear. I know nothing is mine. Getting and losing it causes me no pain because I have no attraction for these. I only want the pilgrims to be happy and comfortable” Guru Nanak appreciated his efforts and said, “You are the true Yogi who has no worldly attachments. I have been attracted to you for this very reason.” (Janamsakhi Bhai Bala, ed Dr Kirpal Singh, p.309-310)

Photo Ruins of Tilla Bal Godain in Pind Dadan Khan where Guru Nanak stayed

Guru Nanak asked Mardana to play rebab and started singing a hymn in ecstasy. Bal Gudain heard the hymn intently and was convinced with the philosophy of the Guru. He became his devotee. Guru Nanak also rendered discourses to other yogis in the temple winning them over as well.

Photo Remains of Hindu Temple at Pind Dadan Khan likely to have been visited by Guru Nanak

The footprints of the Guru were preserved on a stone at this place. These, however, eroded due to neglect and passage of time. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Bal Gudain near Dadan Khan commemorated the Guru’s visit to the place. A beautiful Sarover was attached to it. Nanga Sadhus had been the priests of the Gurdwara for years. 15 ghumaon of forest land was attached to the shrine. After 1947, it became unattended and turned into a deserted place. An abandoned Hindu temple and a monastic complex at the top of Tilla Jogian hills in Khewra salt range, now shows what remains of the place. Dadan Khan is the nearest place connected with the road from Mandi Bahaudin and Jhelum. (Dhanna Sing Chahal, 1931, Panjāb Under the Great Mughals, 1526-1707 Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Thacker 1968, p. 191; The Ancient Geography of India, Sir Alexander Cunningham, Adamant Media 1871, p.163; Mahankosh entry Bal Gudain, Iqbal Kaiser, 1998, Kohli, p.19 )
The place can be reached by personal transport from Jhelum or Dina. Dina is a Railway Station on Lahore-Peshawar railway line and is also a bus stop on the GT road. The weather and the view from the top of the hill are fascinating for the visitor. The memory of this spellbinding panorama and beauty of this shrine remains in the memory of the visitor forever. (9-10)
1. Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Panjāb Under the Great Mughals, 1526-1707
2. Dhanna Singh Chahal, 1931, Gur Teerth Cycle Yatra, ed. Chetan Singh, European Punjabi Sath, Walsall, UK, September 2016
3. Iqbal Qaiser, Pakistan vich Sikhan de Itihasik Pavitar Asthan, Lahore, 1998.
4. Janamsakhi Bhai Bala, ed Dr Kirpal Singh, p.309-310
5. Kahn SinghNabha, Gur Shabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh, Delhi, 1990
6. Surinder Singh Kohli Dr, 1969, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh, p.19
7. Thacker 1968, p. 191; The Ancient Geography of India, Sir Alexander Cunningham, Adamant Media 1871, p.163)

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