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Gurus Guru Nanak In Kamroop And Assam

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Gurus Guru Nanak In Kamroop And Assam

dalvindersingh grewal

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Jan 3, 2010
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GURU NANK IN KAMRUP AND ASSAM

Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal

From Dhaka Guru Nanak set out for Kamrup. The Koch kings ruled the then Kamroop kingdom and its extent included Dhubri, Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Nalabari and Kamrup district of modern Assam, portions of Northern Bengal and Mymen Singh of Bangla Desh [12][13]. According to D. Nath, 1989, [14] Bishwa Singh ruled over from 1509-1540. Bishwa Singha also subjugated Bhuyans. Since this is generally the period of Guru Nanak’s visit to Kamroop, Koch King Bishwa Singh can be considered as the ruler of Kamroop.

Those days the most frequented route of travel from Dhaka to Kamrup was the Brahmaputra River. The present day districts of Goalpara, Kamrup-Rangpur and Cooch- Bihar constituted Kamrup.Guru Nanak boarded a boat in the Brahmaputra and reached Dhubri which is these days an important town of the Goalpara district. To commemorate Guru Nanak’s visit to the place, Guru Tegh Bahadur later on got a raised platform in the memory of Guru Nanak by bringing in earth from Rangamati. The Goalpara Gazetteer records that the Muslim soldiers helped, Guru Tegh Bahadur by bringing in earth in their shields.

From Dhubri Guru Nanak went on to Guwahati by boat in the Brahmaputra. The town was then named Prayāga Jyotispur.In the beginning of the 16th century, the people of Kamrup were very proficient in tantra. They were worshippers of Shakti. Although the Muslims had once demolished the temple of Kāmākhya goddess, but the people s belief could not be shattered.Mostly the people of Kochi tribe inhabited the Kamrup region. They worshipped goddess Kāmākhya and offered human sacrifice to the goddess.Janamsakhis are unanimous in Guru Nanak’s visit to Kamroop though they are vague about date and time, places, events and persons visited buy Guru Nanak. They being the oldest source of Guru Nanak’s life and travels help us with some information about events and their possible location and individuals involved. The most discussed episode from these Jansakhis is of magic women of Kamroop.

Both these Janam Sakhis have the sameanecdote stating that the women were the leaders of the area and they magically converted Mardana into a lamb which Guru Nanak got released. The event has been related to Khasi and Jaintia Hills where the women domination existed. Various Janamsakhis related.

References:

[1] Surinder Singh Kohli, Dr 1997, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University Chandigarh 3rd edition.

[2] Sircar J.N. 19 90 and Sircar D.C1990 as cited in 10

[3] Nath D, 1989, History of Koch Kingdom, 1515-1615, Delhi, pp. 27-28.



Redeeming of Noorshah

Episode in Puratan Janamskhi

The episode of redeeming Noor Shah and other magical women in Kamroop is recorded by Bhai Vir Singh as ‘Noor Shah Nistara’ in Puratan Janamsakhi.[1]

“They (Guru Nanak and his companions) came to Kauru (Kamrup) state. One day Mardana felt hungry. Mardana said: “Respected Lord! If you permit I shall go to the city.” Guru Nanak said, “Mardana! This is Kavroo (Kamroop). This is ruled by women. If you wish, you can go (at your own risk).” Mardana went and stood before the house of a woman. The woman called him and asked the reason of his standing. He asked for food. The woman called him in. As he entered her house, the woman put a thread around his neck and tied him like a lamb. She went to bring water from outside source. Baba (Guru Nanak) had an insight and found Mardana tied like a sheep. Baba came to the place. Seeing Baba Mardana started bleating. By then woman returned after bringing pitcher of water. Guru Nanak asked,” Has our man come here?” She said: “No! No one came here, Check yourself.”

Baba uttered: “The trader women of barren land, ask fragrance for free. Without good deeds, how can they get their husbands?”

At this the pitcher got stuck on woman’s head, it could not be brought down. She carried it on her head due to her falsehood. Noorshah (their leader of the area) was informed: An expert magician has come. The pitcher from the head (of the woman) has got stuck; it cannot be brought down. Noorshah ordered: “Whosoever is expert magician in the city must not stay back’. Where ever expert magicians were in the city, they all came with their magical powers. Some came on a tree; some came on lion’s skin; some came on moon; some came on wall; some brought a garden along and some came beating the drum. Everyone tried to mesmerize in her own way by tying threads around. Baba saw Mardana tied. Mardana also bleated. Baba laughed and said: “O Mardana! Bow down saying Lord’s Name (Wahiguru).” The thread broke. Guru Nanak gave rebec to Mardana and asked him to play the rebec. Mardana played the rebec. Guru Nanak sang Wadhans M:1

The virtuous bride ravishes and enjoys her Husband Lord; why does the unworthy one cry out? If she were to become virtuous, then she too could enjoy her Husband Lord. My Husband Lord is loving and playful; why should the soul-bride enjoy any other? If the soul-bride does good deeds, and makes her mind the thread, she obtains the jewel, which cannot be purchased for any price, strung upon the thread of her consciousness. I ask, but I do not follow the way shown to me; still, I claim to have reached my destination. I do not speak with You, O my Husband Lord; how then can I come to have a place in Your home? O Nanak, without the One, there is no other at all. If the soul-bride remains attached to You then she shall enjoy her Husband Lord.

There was no answer (from the magic women). Noorshah was accordingly informed that no magic works. Noorshah was the leader of all the magicians. Number of her followers came along with riding on papers. They started their magic tricks. Guru Nanak then sang the hymn in Rag Soohi Kuchajji.

I am ungraceful and ill-mannered, full of endless faults. How can I go to enjoy my Husband Lord? Each of His soul-brides is better than the rest — who even knows my name? Those brides who enjoy their Husband Lord are very blessed, resting in the shade of the mango tree. I do not have their virtue — who can I blame for this? Which of Your Virtues, O Lord, should I speak of? Which of Your Names should I chant? I cannot even reach one of Your Virtues. I am forever a sacrifice to You. Gold, silver, pearls and rubies are pleasing. My Husband Lord has blessed me with these things, and I have focused my thoughts on them. Palaces of brick and mud are built and decorated with stones; I have been fooled by these decorations, and I do not sit near my Husband Lord. The cranes shriek overhead in the sky, and the herons have come to rest. The bride has gone to her father-in-law’s house; in the world hereafter, what face will she show? She kept sleeping as the day dawned; she forgot all about her journey. She separated herself from her Husband Lord, and now she suffers in pain. Virtue is in You, O Lord; I am totally without virtue. This is Nanak’s only prayer: You give all Your nights to the virtuous soul-brides. I know I am unworthy, but isn’t there a night for me as well? (SGGS, p.762)

Guru Nanak came in ecstasy. Noorshah tried every magic; nothing happened. Guru Nanak asked: “Have you agreed to the crime?” She kept her head down. All the drums stopped and started dancing on the hymn. Guru Nanak said: “Mardana! Play the rebec,” and sang in Aasa Rag.

The urges of the heart are like cymbals and ankle-bells; the drum of the world resounds with the beat. Narad dances to the tune of the Dark Age of Kali Yuga; where can the celibates and the men of truth place their feet? Nanak is a sacrifice to the Nam, the Name of the Lord. The world is blind; our Lord and Master is All-seeing. The disciple feeds on the Guru; out of love for bread, he comes to dwell in his home. If one were to live and eat for hundreds of years, that day alone would be auspicious, when he recognizes his Lord and Master. Beholding the sight of the petitioner, compassion is not aroused. No one lives without give and take. The king administers justice only if his palm is greased. No one is moved by the Name of God. O Nanak, they are human beings in form and name only; by their deeds they are dogs — this is the Command of the Lord’s Court. By Guru’s Grace, if one sees himself as a guest in this world, then he gains honor in the Court of the Lord. (SGGS, p.349).

Thereafter Guru Baba uttered a Shlok.

We are good at talking, but our actions are bad. Mentally, we are impure and black, but outwardly, we appear white. We imitate those who stand and serve at the Lord’s Door. They are attuned to the Love of their Husband Lord, and they experience the pleasure of His Love. They remain powerless, even while they have power; they remain humble and meek. O Nanak, our lives become profitable if we associate with them. (SGGS, p.85)

On hearing the Shalok, Noorshah said: “You could be lured with wealth” and brought numerous types of valuables like diamonds, gems, gold, rupees, cents, cloth etc whatever was valuable was brought before the Guru and prayed: “Please something out of it.” Guru Baba said: “Mardana play the rebec”. He sang hymn in Rag Tilang.

O foolish and ignorant soul-bride, why are you so proud? Within the home of your own self, why do you not enjoy the Love of your Lord? Your Husband Lord is so very near, O foolish bride; why do you search for Him outside? Apply the Fear of God to adorn your eyes, and make the Love of the Lord your ornament. Then, you shall be known as a devoted and committed soul-bride, when you enshrine love for your Husband Lord. What can the silly young bride do, if she is not pleasing to her Husband Lord? She may plead and implore so many times, but still, such a bride shall not obtain the Mansion of the Lord’s Presence. Without the karma of good deeds, nothing is obtained, although she may run around frantically. She is intoxicated with greed, pride and egotism, and engrossed in Maya. She cannot obtain her Husband Lord in these ways; the young bride is so foolish! Go and ask the happy, pure soul-brides, how did they obtain their Husband Lord? Whatever the Lord does, accept that as good; do away with your own cleverness and self-will. By His Love, true wealth is obtained; link your consciousness to His lotus feet. As your Husband Lord directs, so you must act; surrender your body and mind to Him, and apply this perfume to yourself. So speaks the happy soul-bride, O sister; in this way, the Husband Lord is obtained. Give up your selfhood, and so obtain your Husband Lord; what other clever tricks are of any use? When the Husband Lord looks upon the soul-bride with His Gracious Glance, that day is historic — the bride obtains the nine treasures. She who is loved by her Husband Lord, is the true soul-bride; O Nanak, she is the queen of all. Thus she is imbued with His Love, intoxicated with delight; day and night, she is absorbed in His Love. She is beautiful, glorious and brilliant; she is known as truly wise. (SGGS, p. 722)

Hearing this hymn they fell at Guru Nanak’s feet and stood putting cloth around their necks and said: “How can we be redeemed? How can this pitcher removed from the head?” Guru Baba said: “Calling God’s name (Wahiguru) you should remove the pitcher from her head. You will also be redeemed. Go on praying on God’s Name.” They all fell on Guru’s feet and became the True God seeker Sikhs.

Sources for the evidence of the visit

The evidence to the travels to Kamroop by Guru Nanak is available in secondary sources as under:
1. Varaan Bhai g Urdas Vaar 1.

2. Janamsakhis: The life stories recorded by later compilers in 16th to 18th century

3. Legends recorded by visitors to and from Assam

4. Research by various scholars

5. Landmarks and other circumstantial evidence connected with Guru Nanak and hisCompanions


Janamsakhis as source

Janamsakhis are considered the closest records of the life events of Guru Nanak.
Manuscript versions of Puratan Janmsakhi: The earliest versions in manuscript are of (a) 1701 AD available in Moti Bagh, Rajbhavan Pustaklya, Patiala whose copy is available in (b) Sikh Reference Library, Sri Amritsar (Ms 5462). Other versions are a copy of (c) 1734 AD with Shamsher Singh Ashok, (d) a copy of 1757 AD with Baba Kuldip Singh Bedi of Batala and (e) a copy of 1772 AD (Ms No. 2310) in Khalsa College Amritsar and in Bhasha Vibhag Punjab, Patiala, Ms 164. Printed versions of Puratan Janamsakhi of Survey of India Press, Dehradun (1885 AD), MA McAuliffe (1885) Gulshan Punjab Press, Rawalpindi, Khalsa Samachar Press, Amritsar (1959) Other Janamsakhis include (a) Janam Sakhi Sodhi Meharban (2 Vols), Khalsa College, Amritsar, 1963-69 AD, Janam Sakhi Paida Mokha also called of Bhai Bala Ms with Shamsher Singh Ashok. These Janamsakhis are found in print edited by Dr Kirpal Singh, Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, Shamsher Singh Ashok, Bhai Vir Singh, Dr. Piar Singh etc.

Kirpal Singh (Dr.) (ed.) Janamsakhis in Janamsakhi Prampara published by Punjabi University, Patiala containing edited versions of Puratan Janamsakhi (Janamsakhi Walaitwali), Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala, Janam Sakhi Meharban (Sach Khand Pothi and Pothi Har Ji), Janamsakhi Bhai Mani Singh (Gian Ratnawali) are the most read. Puratan Janamsakhi edited by Bhai Vir Singh and later by Shamsher Singh Ashok however remain to be the most reliable and have been referred in addition to the other Janamsakhi versions contained in Dr Kirpal Singh Janasakhi Prampara for comparison purposes wherever required.

As regards visit of Guru Nanak to Kamroop these Janamsakhis are unanimous in Guru Nanak’s visit to Kamroop though they are vague about date and time, places, events and persons visited buy Guru Nanak. They being the oldest source of Guru Nanak’s life and travels help us with some information about events and their possible location and individuals involved. The most discussed episode from these Jansakhis is of magic women of Kamroop.

There are two different views about the legend of Mardana's conversion to a lamb by magic by these women. Giani Lal Singh [2] attributes this to a place named Dhanpur (near Dacca) now Bangladesh while Dr. Tarlocahn Singh [3] relates this incidence to Guwahati. According to him Mardana was made a lamb by Noor Shah at Guwahti. Mardana, eager to see the town, proceeded alone after taking permission from Guru Nanak. At that time Guwahti was said to be under the administration of a queen. Sequence of events is generally the same in all these Janamsakhis with a few differentiating frills here and there.

In Janamsakhi Bhai Bala (edited by Surinder Singh Kohli) the episode is nearly the same with a slight difference here and there: It starts “Age Karu des jai pae. Tan Mardana akhia ji, ih sahar tan hachha nazar anwda hai. Ithon kuchh khai aavan. …….oh dovain sikh hoi Guru Nanak de una de pichhe sangat hoi…” Later the story is generally on the similar lines though the name Noorshah has not appeared in this Janamsakhi. [4]

Janam Sakhi B-40 ed by Piar Singh [5] has also got the story of Magic women on similar lines without naming the place as Kamroop and the name of the leader as Noorshah.

Magic in Kamprup

Almost all the Janamsakhis and other sources of the period mention of magic in Kamrup. Magic was rampant in Kamrup then. The magical conduct of these women has been recorded in various chronicles. Sujan Rai Bhandari mentions the prevalence of magic in Kamrup as follows," The women of this place are extremely beautiful. They are expert in magic. They make roofs and pillars of the houses with the human bodies. These men can breathe but cannot move due to the spell of magic. These women turn men to sheep, tigers or animals or birds. Tail and ear appear on human bodies like animals. These women can win[8] anyone's heart with magic."[6]Mohammad Kazim [7]describes “All the people in remaining India consider men and women of Kamroop as magicians. They have the view that whosoever steps in to Kamroop, is targeted by their magic.”

Sujan Rai Bhandari in Khulastut Twareekh records the culture of Kamrup as under:

“Beauty of women of this place (Kamrup) is beyond appreciation as it puts the world on fire. They are experts in magic, mantra and trickery and fix men in their houses in place of pillars, roof or planks. Though these men are alive but do not dare to move. If these women wish, with the help of their magical powers make men animals or birds and create tails and ear like animals. They win over the men with attracting mantras. They also predict the increasing or decreasing rates of grains and whether the man is good or bad. They give birth to the children through cesarean operations and give details about various star positions. [8]

SK Bhuyan [9] mentions as follows, “As Mardana entered the town, the local women converted Mardana into a lamb and tied him up under a roof. After the long wait for return of Mardana, Guru Nanak himself left for the city to search for him. The magic women among whom Noor Shah was the chief, were pleased to find Guru Nanak also in their net. They tried all tricks of magic on the Guru but failed. They realised that the Guru was a great saint and no ordinary person. Meanwhile Guru Nanak went to Mardana and broke the thread from his neck. The magic spell broke and Mardana turned into original shape of a man. Noor Shah and the other women soon recognised their folly and fell at Guru's feet and requested for forgiveness which he gave without reservation. [9]

Kamrup emerged into present day Assam when Ahom captured it and on the name of Ahoms it was called Assam. [10]


Location of Guru Nanak’s visit to Kamroop

There are two different views about place of the legend of Mardana's conversion to a lamb. While some writers attribute this to a place named Dhanpur (near Dacca) now Bangladesh, Dr. Tarlocahn Singh relates this incidence to Guwahati. According to him Mardana was made a lamb by Noor Shah at Guwahti. Mardana, eager to see the town, proceeded alone after taking permission from Guru Nanak. At that time Guwahti was said to be ruled by a queen. An indication to this is available in "The Background of Assamese culture' by S.K., Bhuyan[9] as follows.

"A state is stated to have existed in a certain part of the country inhabited only by women, governed by a woman ruler with help of women ministers and soldiers and any male stranger unknowingly stepping into it was sapped to death."

As Mardana entered the town, the local women converted Mardana into a lamb and tied him up under a roof. After the long wait for return of Mardana, Guru Nanak himself left for the city to search for him. The magic women among whom Noor Shah was the chief, were pleased to find Guru Nanak also in their net.[7]

They tried all tricks of magic on the Guru but failed. They realised that the Guru was a great saint and no ordinary person. Meanwhile Guru Nanak went to Mardana and broke the thread from his neck. The magic spell broke and Mardana turned into original shape of a man.

Noor Shah and the other women soon recognised their folly and fell at Guru's feet and requested for forgiveness which he gave without reservation. He established a place for religious meetings and prayer (Dharamsal) at Guwahati and proceeded towards Hajo, another Hindu religious centre. He visited Matsayadhavaj, where a temple exists in honour of Lord Vishnu. Mardana Kund and Bala Kund commemorate Guru's visit to this place. [7]

Bhai Vir Singh mentions in Guru Nanak Chamtkar [6] p.232: The real name of Noor Shah was Padma. Her father’s name was Narinder Nath. A Muslim Sufi Noor Shah was an expert in magic. Narinder Nath and daughter were so impressed by him that they became his followers. When Noor Shah died, his seat was taken over by Padma. As a result people started calling Padma as Noor Shah.

Gyani Lal Singh Sangrur [15] considers this event to have happened at Dhanpur. Dr Tarlochan Singh [16] also follows the same line and states that this event occurred at Dhanpur. He also quoted Bhai Vir Singh and Gyani Gyan Singh to confirm his view point. (p.169) Gyani Gian Singh[17] mentions the location of Barchha Sahib at Dhanpur and a grave of Noor Shah to a village Kalar near Dacca. He also mentions Guwahati, Gwalpada and Damdama Sahib as the places connected with the visit of Ninth Guru (p.120) in Kamroop. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli also mentions the place of this event as Dhanpur (p.42)[18] but according to SK Bhuyan “Guru Nanak, the father of the valiant community, had the bitter anguish of finding the brave Punjabi servant Mardana converted in to lamb before his very eyes by a woman of this country (Kamroop), who could as well reconvert the young man to his natural anatomical shape according to her personal and private needs.[19] All the Janamsakhis and other sources agree that this event occurred in Kamroop. Dhanpur is not in Kamroop; hence cannot be accepted at the face value since only Gyani Gian Singh has mentioned this originally which appears to have been copied by others. Neither Gyani Lal Singh had visited the area. Even Bhai Vir Singh and Dr Surinder Singh Kohli have not visited the area to verify.

Almost all the Janamsakhis mention of magic in Kamrup. Bhai Bala Janamsakhi edited by Surinder Singh Kohli though starts differently “Age Karu des jai pae. Tan Mardana akhia ji, ih sahar tan hachha nazar anwda hai. Ithon kuchh khai aavan. …….oh dovain sikh hoi Guru Nanak de una de pichhe sangat hoi…” [20] Later the story is generally on the similar lines though the name Noorshah has not appeared in this Janamsakhi.

In Guru Nanak Chamtkar, [21] p.232, Bhai Vir Singh mentions: The real name of Noor Shah was Padma. Her father’s name was Narinder Nath. A Muslim Sufi Noor Shah was an expert in magic. Narinder Nath and daughter were so impressed by him that they became his followers. When Noor Shah died, his seat was taken over by Padma. As a result people started calling Padma as Noor Shah.

Janam Sakhi B-40 ed by Piar Singh (2nd edn 1989) [22] published by Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, pp. 85-86 has also got the story of Magic women on similar lines without naming the place as Kamroop and the name of the leader as Noorshah.

Both Giani Lal Singh [23] and Dr Surinder Singh Kohli accept the existence of Gurdwara Damdama Sahib constructed at the place where the Guru rested at Dhubri [24] This researcher has visited the Gurdwara at Dhubri twice first in 1971 and later in 1988, 2014, and 2015and found Gurdwara Damdama Sahib East Garo Hills Dhubri Sahib commemorating Guru Nanak’s visit to the area near Gurdwara Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Janamsakhis mention Noorshah as the leader of the community. Garo tribe living in Dhubri and the adjoining Garo Hill Districts of Meghalaya has the matrilineal system. This Garo area starts from the other bank of Brahmaputra and can be reached by boat. Meghalaya has one of the world's largest surviving matrilineal system. Since this is the only place where the matrilineal system existed at the time in India, and this being a part of Kamroop state, the event of Noorshah and other women most likely relates to Garo area.

The Garo Kingdom of Meghalaya originated from Tibet, from where they went to the present Cooch Behar and then to Dhubri. Then they moved on to Jogighopa, present Kamakhya Hills, along the Brahmaputra valley and finally spread in Goalpara or the Habraghat Pargana. The Garos prospered in the Habraghat Pargana neighborhood.


Photos 1 to13 Dhubri Sahib Gurdwaras commemorating guru Nanak’s and Guru Tegh Bahadur’s visit. Photos 14 & 15 Khoohi sahib where Guru Tegh Bahadur used to have bath Photo 16 & 17 An old mansucript of adi Granth. Following photos 18 to 21 show various pages of Adi granth. Photo 22 shows the stone slab thrown towards Guru Tegh bahadur by Net Dobhan. Photo 23 & 24 shows sangat having a boat ride in Brahmputra River Photo 25 shows Dr Grewal at the Namghar visited by Srimanta Sankar Dev 26 SGPC team with managing committee of Gurdwara

The Garos and also the Khasis and Jaintias of Meghalaya are purely matrilineal society and as such the descent of an individual either men or women is always reckoned and traced from the mother alone and through her genealogical tree traces its origin back to the common ancestress. The matrilineal system gave the woman, the wife and the mother, a social rather than a personal standing.

In this matrilineal society, the blood relations on the mother's side are known as the "Cognates" and "Agnates" refer to the paternal side. The cognates trace their origin from a common ancestress and their lineal descent is from mother to daughter, just the opposite from other societies. Marriage is also strictly exogamous, i.e., outside the cognates. Marriage with agnates is permissible subject to certain restrictions. Marriage with near cousins is forbidden. The inheritance in the society is strictly determined by the principle of Unigeniture.

In the Garo lineage system, the youngest daughter inherits the family property by default, unless another daughter is so named by the parents. She then becomes designated as nokna meaning 'for the house or home'. If there are no daughters, a chosen daughter-in-law (bohari) or an adopted child (deragata) comes to stay in the house and inherit the property. The Khasi and Jaintia (also called Syntengs) have the custom of ia rap iing, where the family adopts a girl from another family, perform religious ceremonies with the community, and she then becomes ka trai iing (head of the house).[25]

Dhubri area is adjoining East Garo Hills. Before going into Garo Hills the Garo tribe had a control of Dhubri areas of Kamoroop as well. The area of Gurdwara Dumduma Sahib is still known as East Garo Hills and named as such. This was got confirmed by the researcher from Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhhubri after he checked up the records. Guru Nanak’s visit is still known as Garo Hill area. Since the women controlled the Garo tribe, it might have been under control of Queen Noor Shah who practiced black magic, and possessed strange powers. She is stated to have many women slaves to whom she had taught witchcraft and black magic. Bhai Mardana Ji went into the city to get some food for himself. He fell victim to the tricks by the slaves of Noor Shah. They fed him, sang to him, and through witchcraft made him to obey his commands like a lamb. Bhai Mardana Ji was thus infatuated in the spell of black magic, and could not return to the Guru. He desperately kept praying to Guru Sahib to come and rescue him. Guru Nanak Ji was aware of this and was greatly amused. After a while, He went to the rescue of His disciple. The wicked women tried their tricks on Guru Nanak Dev Ji too. Having failed, they told this to Noor Shah. She herself tried to spell black magic on Guru Nanak Dev Ji as she had previously trapped many mystic, celibate and yogis. Noor Shah found out that she too was completely powerless in front of Guru Sahib. After many desperate tries, she finally gave up and fell at Guru Sahib’s feet and begged for his mercy. Guru Sahib then said “Worship no ugly images of black magic, but fulfill the divine mission of human life by worshipping the only Supreme Lord, Master of the Creation.” Queen Noor Shah became remorseful at her past, gave up black magic, became Guru Sahib’s disciple, and let go her slaves.

Thus Noorshah being the leader of community indicates that she belonged to Garo tribe. Noorshah is a Muslim name. The Dhubri district is one among the many Muslim Majority districts of Assam. The largest religious group in the district are the Muslims with 1,216,455 (74.29%) followers, while Hindus/Sikhs and Christians constitute 405,065 and 12,477 inhabitants respectively. [26]

Muslim Kingdom:

The invasion of western Assam by Allauddin Hussein of Gaur up to Barnadi river in 1498 is recorded in coins from the early sixteenth century, declaring Hussein as the conqueror of Kamru.[14] As stated above Allauddin Hussain Shah had extended his rule in 1498 till Barnadi covering entire Kamroop. It showed that Islamic influence existed in the region before Guru Nanak’s visit and Sufi saints might have visited during the period. Dr Surinder Singh kohli while commenting in Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala mentions: “Shiekh Braham, in the lineage of Pir Shiekh Farid of Pattan” (Patan de Pir Sheikh Farid di aulad Sheikh Braham wala Raja) [27] (p. 121)

Dr Kohli mentions that Guru Nanak also visited Khasi Hills (Travels of Guru Nanak). [28] As the tribesmen there too follow the traditional matrilineal norm, wherein the Khun Khaddu (or the youngest daughter) inherits all the property and responsibilities for the family. Having visited Dhubri, this researcher visited Guwahati and Shillong to trace the origin of the event but could not relate this event to any other place than Dhubri and adjoining areas. Thus the location of this event should be attributed to Dhubri or adjoining Garo Hill Districts. Dhubri is on national highway Guwahati-Sliguri-Patna. To reach by air nearest airports are Guwahati and Bagdogra. From Guwahati and Siliguri close to Bagdogra, intercity trains are available direct to Dhubri. 44 trains are available on new Jalpaiguri-Guwahati route each day. New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani also gets you closer at New Cooch Behar wherefrom train or local/hired transport can take one to Dhubri. Gurdwara Sahib has good arrangements for stay.

References
[1] Puratan Janamsakhi edited by Bhai Vir Singh: 2006, pp.74-79
[2] Gyani Lal Singh Sangrur; Guru Khalsa Twareekh, 1955 (3rd edn), p. 68
[3] Tarlochan Singh (Dr) Jeevan Charit Guru Nanak Devji, p. 172.
[4] Surinder Singh Kohli (Dr.) (ed.) 1990, Janamsakhi Bhai Bala, Punjab University Publication Bureau, Chandigarh, Second edn, pp. 152-153.
[5] Piar Singh Dr, 1989, B-40 Janamsakhi Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Nanak Dev University, Sri Amritsar, p.12
[6] Bhai Vir Singh, Guru Nanak Chamtkar, 2nd edn, p.232
[7] Mohammad Kazim wrote in Description of Assam, wrote in Asiatic Researches I, p. 181 as quoted by Tarlochan Singh (Dr) Jeevan Charit Guru Nanak Devji, p. 172.
[8] Sujan Rai Bhandari, 1972, Khulastut Twareekh, (Punjabi version), Punjabi University Patiala (pp. 54-55) originally written in 1696 (ix).
[9] Bhuyan SK Dr., 1968, Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681–1826), p. 199
[10] (a) Sarkar, J N., 1990, "Koch Bihar, Kamrup and the Mughals, 1576–1613", in Barpujari, H K, The Comprehensive History of Assam: Medieval Period, Political II, Guwahati: Publication Board, Assam, pp. 92–103; (b) Sircar, D C., 1990, "Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa", in Barpujari, H K, The Comprehensive History of Assam I, Guwahati: Publication Board, Assam, pp. 59–171
[11] Shamsher Singh Ashok (ed.) 1969, Puratan Janamsakhi, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, p. 200 quotes 1508 AD as the year of visit of Guru Nanak to Kachhar then a part of Kamrup
[12] Sircar J.N. 19 90 and Sircar D.C1990 as cited in 10
[13] Nath D, 1989, History of Koch Kingdom, 1515-1615, Delhi, pp. 27-28).
[14] Gyani Lal Singh Sangrur; Guru Khalsa Twareekh, 1955 (3rd edn), p. 68
[15] Dr Tarlochan Singh p.69
[16] Ibid p.169
[17] Gyani Gian Singh, 2002 (reprint), Gurdham Sangreh, Dharam Parchar Committee Sri Amritsar, p.40, p.120.
[18] Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, Travels of Guru Nanak p.42
[19] Bhuyan SK Dr., 1968, Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681–1826), p. 199
[20] Surinder Singh Kohli (Dr.) (ed.) 1990, Janamsakhi Bhai Bala, Punjab University Publication Bureau, Chandigarh, Second edn , pp. 152-153.
[21] Bhai Vir Singh, Guru Nanak Chamtkar, second edn, p.232
[22] Piar Singh, 1989, B-40 Janamsakhi Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Nanak Dev University, Sri Amritsar, p.12
[23] Gyani Lal Singh Sangrur; Guru Khalsa Twareekh, 1955 (3rd edn), p. 68
[24] Surinder Singh Kohli, Travels of Guru Nanak, p. 47.
[25] Garo people - Wikipedia
[26] District Census 2011. Census 2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30.

[27]Surinder Singh Kohli (Dr.) (ed.) 1990, Janamsakhi Bhai Bala, p.121

[28] Surinder Singh Kohli, Travels of Guru Nanak, p. 49.



MEETING SRIMANT SHANKAR DEV


At Dhubri, there used to be a huge hillock on the bank of Brahmaputra River. The Guru is said to have meditated here and held discussions with Srimanta Sankar Deb, an acknowledged religious leader of Assamese of the period. Gurudwara Damdama Sahib is reminiscent of Guru's visit to this place. Srimanta Sankar Deb's (1449-1569) name is a household word in Assam. He was born at Bardoa village of Nowgong and was brought up according to Hindu traditions. He came in contact with sages on a pilgrimage and his mental make-up got transformed for the search of the Ulitmate Truth. His life history and basic principles of thought process are very akin to.[1] Guru Nanak Dev'sSince Srimant Sankar Dev also was a Bhuyan, his presence in the area may be considered possible.

According to Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, “Guru Nanak met Sri Sankar Dev (1449-1569) at Dhubri, who had come from Barpeta. Both of them discussed the main points of their faith. Sankra Deva’s faith is known as Eksarna Dharma and his sect is called Mahapursa sect. Eksarna Dharma lays emphasis on dasya aspect of the devotion to God……He was greatly responsible for bringing peace and unity in the area by starting a religious movement of universal brotherhood through congregational prayer. Sankra Dev is said to have shaped the religious, social, cultural and literary life of the Province for the ages to come. [2]

Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji in his lecture on ‘The place of Assam in History and Civilization of India” says about the faith of Sankar Dev: “During the long life, there were six contemporaries of Sankradeva in the religious world of India-Chaitanya of Bengal (1485-1533), Vallabhacharya of Andhra and Vrajamandala (1479-1531), Kabir of Benaras (1398-1518), Nanak of the Punjab (1469-1539) and Tulsi Das of the United Provinces (1523-1623?). Sankar Dev’s Eka-sarnaDharma, or Mahapursha sect as it is also called (because its leaders beginning with Sankar Deb were great men (Mahapursa) by virtue not of birth but of faith in God, agreed more with the robust and manly path favoured by Kabir and Nanak and later by Tulsi Das: it was the path of a man’s straight-forward faith in the master, without his assuming the nature of a woman.” [3] Dr Arjan Singh Mann wrote: “Guru Nanak visited Saidiya and Malinithan”. [4] Dr Tarlochan Singh also accepts that Guru Nanak and Sankradeva met, but is unable to state where and when.[5]

This researcher has been in the area of Assam, Kamroop, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh from 1985 to1987 and carried out research on Guru Nanak’s travels to these areas. He visited Dhubri, Guwahati, Kamkhya temple, Hajo in Kamroop and number of places in Assam including Nazira near Sibsagar and Brahmkund (Parsu Ram Kund). He saw Sankar Dev’s followers visiting Gurdwaras in Assam on the occasion of birthday of Guru Nanak. When asked about the reason of their visit gurdwara, they told the researcher: “We come here to celebrate the birthday of our Guru Bhai. Guru Nanak was Guru Bhai of Sankar Deb.” This researcher has the recorded statements of the people from these areas who have been confirming that Guru Nanak visited Kamroop and Assam along with Shankar Deb. While visiting Nazira near Sibsagar, in a recorded interview with S. Harpal Singh and others stated that Nazira is so named because Guru Nanak and Srimanta Sankar Dev held discussions at the place. Hence the place was named as Nanak Zirah meaning discussions with Nanak. This Nanak Zirah was gradually modified as Nazira. In another recorded interview to the researcher Pandit Ram Saran Das, the head priest of Parsu Ram Kund Arunachal Pradesh told that “It is well known that Guru Nanak along with Srimant Sankar Dev came to Parsu Ram Kund on the fair of Makar Sankranti.” This researcher was also told of the Guru visiting Saidya and Malinithan while coming from Menchukha and Tuting Gelling along Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh (then a part of Assam).

The comparative study of philosophy of Guru Nanak and Srimant Sankar Dev was carried out. There appeared to be no difference between the philosophies of the two. This firms up the point that the two met for a considerable time where the philosophies of the two were discussed in detail and the meeting caused impact. From the life and philosophy of Srimanta Sankar Dev it is found that he lived the life of a house holder and stood for truth. He opposed all meaningless rituals and ceremonies of the time. He preached a simple faith. The cardinal power in his faith is chanting of the name of God. According to him, the worship of many gods and goddesses is unnecessary as the same Supreme Soul exists in all beings. There can be no two classes of touchable and untouchables. Devotion and not salvation is the aim of human life.[6] The salient points found in Srimanta Sankar Dev’s extensive writings, which have philosophical bearing are summarized in the book Mahapursha Srimanta Sankradeva by Dr Sanjib Kumar Barakakoti [7] as under:

1. Brahma is the Supreme Truth.

2. Brahma and Ishwara (God) are the same.

3. Brahma or Ishwara is there in everything.

4. Ishwar and His creations are not different.

5. Jives (creature) is a component of God. The former constitutes the body of the latter.

6. The creation is temporary, but not exactly unreal as it is projection of God; so it cannot be

ignored.

7. Maya (illusion) is an act of God and its influence can be avoided by the grace of God.

8. One becomes God as one realizes the identity of God and the five elements.

Guru Nanak’s life and philosophy are no different. There is a striking similarity in the teaching of the two. A comparative table of teachings of Shankar Dev and Guru Nanak’s philosophy is given below:

Sankar Dev

Guru Nanak

Brahma is Supreme Truth

(a) God Himself is the Supreme Truth [8] (b) God was true in the beginning; He was true throughout the ages; He is true even now and true for ever shall He be [9] (c) True is the Lord: True is His Name. [10]

Brahma & Ishwar (God) are the same

(a) Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are His form; all are the Creation of God. [11] (b) Ishtar, Gorakh, Brahm and Parvarti are forms of the same God; the true Guide and He is no different from them. [12]

Brahma or Ishwar is there in every thing

(a) He is in everyone in the form of soul. He pervades in all hearts.[13] (b) He is in everything in the form of Light [14](c) God’s Light is contained in all beings [15] (d) The One God pervades everywhere. He alone dwells in every soul [16] (e) All are contained in One Lord and the One Lord pervades all [17]

Iswara and His creations are not different.

(a) The only One God dwells in all [18] (b)Whom should I call second, when there is none other than God? He the Immaculate One, alone pervades all [19]

Jivas (creature) is a component of God. The former constitutes the body of the latter.

(a) Everyone is created out of Him. [20] (b) God Himself made the body and put soul into it.[21] (c) God abides within the body. He Himself is the Creator and Immortal. [22] (d) He Himself is the Creator and the Cause.[23]

The creation is temporary, but not exactly unreal as it is projection of God. So it cannot be ignored.

(a) Whatever you see is transitory. [24] (b) God created the world with the process of transmigration. [25]

Maya (illusion) is an act of God and its influence can be avoided by the grace of God.

(a) Illusion has covered the entire world. [26] (b) God has created emotional attachment to Maya; He Himself misleads us through illusion and doubt[27] (b) God is realized only through His Grace[28](c) By recognizing himself and by abiding therein man rids of ego and desire. [29] (d) He who is graced by God attains Him. [30]

One becomes God as one realizes the identity of God and the five elements.

(a) He who realizes himself; identifies himself with the Supreme self. [31] (b) By recognizing the inner self one becomes attuned to the formless one.[32] He who realizes his self comes to know the fundamental elements.[33]

Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti [34] in his paper Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankar Dev and Guru Nanak: A Comparative Study agrees that:

“Similarities in the ideologies of both the saints make us strongly feel that they met each other, even though the hagiographies of both the saints are silent on it. Such a meeting was certainly possible because Guru Nanak visited Assam in 1505. He went also to Sadiya and then up to Tanager in Arunachal Pradesh during that visit. A meeting between the two saints took place in this visit although it was not recorded in the hagiographies. Another earlier meeting was also possible during Srimanta Sankar Dev’s first pilgrimage in 1481-1493 when Guru Nanak was in the age period 12-24 years. The fact that the Sikh Guru entered seriously into the realm of spiritualism almost after this time is a significant fact. May be that was why Guru Nanak came here in 1505 to meet Srimanta Sankar Dev again. This needs further research. The Sikhs of Assam firmly believe that such a meeting actually took place. It is also believed that the two saints discussed the way to counter the Tantric cult, which had led to moral decay in the society. The place of the meeting is generally believed by them to be Damdama Sahib at Dhubri, which we do not find tenable as Srimanta Sankar Dev was staying at Bardowa at that time, busy with guiding his disciples, creating literary and cultural outputs, as well as managing the Bhuyan kingdom. He was also settling down with his second wife Kalindi, whom he had married two years ago in 1503. Moreover in the medieval period inter-kingdom journey was few and far between; in the case of a stalwart and erstwhile ruler (Shiromani Bhuyan) like Srimanta Sankaradeva every major movement was certain to be duly recorded, Dhubri and Bardowa coming under separate kingdoms in those times. So the place of the meeting between the two saints was certainly Bardowa”.[34]

The period of this meeting taken by Barakokti is 1505. During this period, Srimanta Sankar Dev had settled at Majuli near Dibrugarh-Sibsagar area and he had established good relations with Ahom Kings, with his son-in-law having been appointed in Ahom court. The indications received by this researcher during his travels to Assam are that the meeting place was either at the Ahom capital or near it. Girgaon, the earlier capital of Ahom Kings and the place claimed by the locals there to be the place of discussions of Guru Nanak and Srimanta Sankar Dev appears to be the reasonable claim. Srimant Sankar Dev and Guru Nanak would have travelled this part of Assam including Saidya and Parsu Ram Kund together for considerable exchange of thought. This theory and the new evidence thus need to be studied further.

These principles known to Assamese as Eksarana Dharma seemed to have been embedded in him during the discussions with Guru Nanak at Dhubri. The followers of Sri Sankar Deb known as Mahapursh sect till date consider Guru Nanak as 'Guru Bhai' of Sri Sankar Deb and attend religious functions in various Gurudwaras held in honour of Guru Nanak.

References

[1] Barua, Kanak Lal, 2005, An Early History of Kamarupa, From the Earliest Time to the Sixteenth Century, Guwahati: Lawyers Book Stall; Bhushan, Chandra, Assam: Its Heritage and Culture. Gyan Publishing House.ISBN 978-81-7835-352-4.

[2] Surinder Singh Kohli, Travels of Guru Nanak, p. 46

[3] Suniti Kumar Chatterji, 1955, “The place of Assam in the history and Civilisation of India, BanikantaMemorial lectures, 1954, published by University of Gauhati, G. DS. Press Madras)

[4] Dr Arjan Singh Mann, 1959, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Assam Pradesh, Sikh Publishing House New Delhi, p.170.

[5] Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, Travels of Guru Nanak, p.49

[6] Barua Kanak Lal, 2005, Early History of Kamrup, pp.1, 9, 11

[7] Sanjib Kumar Barakakoti, 2005, Mahapursha Srimanta Sankradeva, p.32

[8] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1

[9] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1

[10] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.2

[11] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.908

[12] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.2

[13] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1273

[14] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.663

[15] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.469

[16] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.354

[17] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.90

[18] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.931

[19] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.223

[20] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.19

[21] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.138

[22] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1026

[23] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1190

[24] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.21

[25] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1283

[26] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1342

[27] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.67

[28] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1393

[29] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.57

[30] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.468

[31] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.421

[32] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.415

[33] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.229

[34] Sanjib Kumar Barakakoti, Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva and Guru Nanak: A Comparative Study


REDEEMING BHUMIA AND VISIT TO GUWAHATI

Visit to Kamakhya and Hajo temples:

Having redeemed Noor Shah Guru Nanak held discussions with Srimanta Sanker Dev at Dhubri and met Gaurjan. Guru Nanak’s next journey was to Kamakhaya Guwahati and Hajo in Kamroop. From Dhubri Guru Nanak proceeded towards Guwahati through Gauripore, Rangamati, Jogigompha, and Goalpara.[1]

During this journey Guru Nanak redeemed Bhumia. Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala has an anecdote of Bhumian.The episode is described in Janamsakhi B 40 [2] as under

‘Guru Nanak entered into the area which belonged to the thieves. A leader if thieves had 500 horses and many animals. All thieves were afraid of him. But he was very religious, donated freely and looked after the saints very well. He took Baba (Guru Nanak) to his house as he saw the Guru in his area and cared him with respect. Baba questioned: “What is your job?’ He said: “You know (that I am a thief). Please make me your follower.” Guru Nanak said, “You can become my follower only if you leave this evil.” Bhumia said, “You can ask anything else; even if you ask for my head or life I will offer you, but this evil is hereditary; it cannot be left. You must consider me as I have offered myself to you.” Baba accepted him his follower with three conditions: 1.Always speak truth even when you steel. 2. Never think ill of the person whose salt you have taken 3. See that innocent and poor are not tortured but helped. He accepted these. Baba started his journey further. Bhumia thought of a big plan i.e., looting the palace of the king so that he did not require to loot again and must follow strictly what the saint had said. He dressed himself well and wore five weapons on his body and started for king’s place on horse.

About midnight he reached king’s palace. As he entered the main gate he was challenged by the gatekeeper for his identity. He remembered what Guru Nanak had said i.e., to speak truth so he said, “I am thief.” In a bit harsh tone the sentry took him to be some royal person who speaks in such a manner. He did not stop him. He crossed all the seven gates by speaking truth. He collected all the valuables from king’s palace and tied into a huge bundle. Before leaving he thought of having some food. He entered the kitchen and tasted from a packet. It turned out to be salt. He had got so much faith in Baba’s saying that he left all valuables as he had taken salt from the king’s kitchen.

Next day as the king saw the packed valuables in his palace; he realized that a thief had entered. He was astonished as to why he had left all valuables. Sentries told why they allowed him in. The sentries in turn tortured all the suspected. As the news of the torture spread, he remembered Guru’s third instruction. See that the innocent and poor are not troubled. To save the innocent the Bhumia went to the king and told him what all had happened.

“How did you enter into the palace crossing seven gates?”

“By speaking the truth.my intention was not doubted.’

“Why did you leave all valuables packed?”

“I had taken your salt?”

“Why did you not you save yourself by remaining quite?”

“I could not bear the torture on the poor. I came to save the innocents.”

He repeated all three points the saint had asked him to follow.

“Who is this saint? I will like to meet him.”

The king honoured the Bhumia with lot of presents and made him his minister and requested him to help him meeting Baba.[2]

Bhumia or Bhuyans were the warrior chiefs and landlords (zamindars) in medieval Bengal and Assam. Srimanta Sankardeb was also a Bhuyan. [3] The Baro-Bhuyans are the twelve landlords who formed a confederacy [4] each Bhuyan in control of a group of villages called chakla; the more powerful among them called themselves as rajas. [5] Baro denotes number twelve and meant many (bado) [6]The system of Baro-Bhuyan confederacy is a relic of the erstwhile Kamroop Kingdom, that covered all of Assam, North Bengal and large portions of Bangladesh.[7] In presence of strong king they offered their allegiance to him [8] In Assam, the Baro-Bhuyans occupied the region west of the Kachari kingdom in the south bank of the Brahmputra river, and west of the Sutiya kingdom in the north bank. They were instrumental in defending against aggressors from Bengal, especially in defeating the remnant of Alauddin Husain Shah’s administration after 1498. They also resisted the emergence of the Koch dynasty but failed. Subsequently, they were squeezed between the Kachari kingdom and the Kamta kingdom in the south bank and were slowly overpowered by the expanding Ahom kingdom in the north. These landlords did not belong to any particular ethnicity, religion or caste.[9] A group of seven Kayastha and seven Brahmin families led by Chandivara was transferred to Langamaguri, a few miles north of present-day Guwahati.[10] Chandivara and his group did not stay in The king was eager to meet Baba. His wife happened to be the follower of the Baba. She too was eager Lengamaguri for long and moved soon to Bordowa in present-day Angoon district with the support of Durlabh Narayana.[10] Among the descendants of Chandivara was Srimanta Sankar Deb. [10]

King and queen meeting the saint: [11]

The Koch King and queen went to meet him. She loved singing Baba’s hymns and reciting God’s Name. Both of them went to Baba with the help of Bhumia. The king and queen requested for a blessing for a son. Sikh Chronicles mention the queen to be Gaurjan.

Gaurjan

Gyani Gian Singh in Twareekh Guru Khalsa, [12] states that Rani Gaurjan, queen of one of the states of Kamroop was the devout follower of Guru Nanak. Her grandson Raja Ram Rai became the Sikh of Guru Tegh Bahadur and he was blessed with a son by Guru’s blessings. The boy was named Ratan Rai. This Rattan Rai presented a white elephant and a Panchkala weapon; a combination of five weapons) to Guru Gobind Singh (Suraj Prakash 22, 46) Guru Kian Sakhian by Stoop Singh Koshers pp. 68-69 and 86-87[13] based on Bhatt Wahis recorded by the Bhatts in Guru’s court have also the record as above. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli mentions: it is said that the queen of this area (Pragjyotishapura) became the disciple of the Guru. She was the grandmother of Raja Ram Deo who became disciple of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Her great grandson Raja Rattan Deo came to Anandpur to pay his respects to Guru Gobind Singh. [14]

Guru Kian Sakhian [15] states further: Raja Ram Singh battled with Assamese for many years and Raja won the battle in the beginning of 1726 AD. Assamese King accepted defeat. Guru Tegh Bahadur got both parties to compromise. Raja Ram Singh created a mind on the bank of Brahmaputra in the honor of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Assam King Sug Deo requestedand took Guru to his residence. Both King and the Queen welcomed the Guru with love and respect. The queen requested the Guru politely: Please bless me with an offspring. I do not have any other wish.” Guru Jib said: “You will give birth to a very fortunate son.” He took his ring and touched on the queen’s head and said “Dear queen! You will find stamp of this ring on the head of your son. Name him Rattan Rai.” Guru took leave from King and Queen and returned to the camp of Raja Ram Singh.” [16]

“Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) issued orders to Sikhs to come to Paunta to celebrate Deepawali. Receiving Guru’s orders, the sangat came from Delhi, Assam, Majha, Malwa, Doaba, Pothohar, Kabul etc., with great vigour. From Assam came Ratan Rai son of Sug deo along with his mother and uncle Ram Rai bringing very valuable presents. Earlier when Rattan Rai was just eleven years, he came to Chak Nanaki along with his mother and father. At that time they had presented very valuable gifts. These included a weapon (Panch Kala) capable of performing five weapons i.e., spear, beam, sword, pistol and a barchhi changing from one weapon to other just by moving the handle. Another was a Parsadi Elephant which had a white lining from head to tail. It also included one sandalwood seat having four layers. In addition to this a golden bowl, the head Kalgi, a bracelet of diamonds and 101 gold Muhars and bowed before the Guru. [17] This Panchkala is presently stated to be in Baroda museum. [18] As stated above Guru Nanak visited Dhubri where a Gurdwara commemorates his visit. This Gurdwara was further sanctified by Guru Tegh Bahadur’s visit in 1710 AD to Dhubri where he brought a settlement between Raja Ram Singh a General of Mughals and King Chakardhawaj Singh of Assam. [19]

Guru Nanak’s next visit was to Guwahati’s Kamakhya temple.Dr. Tarlochan Singh [20] and Dr Surinder Singh Kohli [21] agree that Guru Nanak visited Kamakhya in Guwahati and Hajo. Arjan Singh Mann writes: “After Dhubri, Guru Nanak visited Gauripore, Rangamati, Jogigompha, Goalpara reached Kamakhya (Guwahati) where he stayed with the high priest for some time and left his message with him.”[22]

At Kamakhaya the famous temple of Guwahati, he stayed with 'Punjabi Panda' and held discussions with various pandits including the head priest. According to Punjabi Panda,Old Wahis of Punjabi Panda had a mention about Guru's visit but were destroyed in a fire at his house. Now records are available only from nineteenth century onwards.[23]

Gyani Lal Singh Sangrur mentions: ‘In Kamroop he told the priests: “It is ignorance and non acceptance of God’s natural laws to sacrifice animals in front of idols to appease gods.” He sermonized: The god of mammon attracts all gods and goddesses. The death however does not excuse anyone except those in the permanent service of The Lord.” (Gauri M.1)[24]

He further sermonized: “If you worship the gods and goddesses, what will you ask from them and what will they give?” Having listened to these sermons the ignorance of the priests was gone and they became the worshippers of The Lord God (p.70) [25]. In his notes he explains that the Kamkhya temple is in Guwahati. The same approach has been taken by Dr Tarlochan Singh [26].

From Hajo and Matsayadhwaj Guru Nanak proceeded to Tashigonzong (Bhutan) on his way to Lhasa (Tibet). On return from Tibet, through Arunanchal Pradesh he proceeded to Saidya and attended the fair at Brahma Kund. After religious discussions at Brahmankud, the Guru proceeded to Walong and held discussions with the Lama there. There form he returned to Assam and visited Tinsukhia, Dibrugarh and Nazira.[27]

According to Dr Kohli Guru Nanak is said to have visited both the temples at Guwahati and Hajo. The purpose of the visit of Guru Nanak in this area was to dissuade the people from Shakti practices and put them on right path i.e., the devotion towards all pervading Brahman (p. 49) [28].

Route of Travel to Kamrup

The route of travels to Kamrup given by Fauja Singh Kirpal Singh [29] from Banaras onwards is as under:

“Benaras-Chandrola-Sasarasm-Gaya-Patna-Hajipur-Mungher-Bhagalpur-Kantnagar-Malda from where he would have selected one out of the following: (a) Sher Shah Suri Marg leading to Sunargaon via Maqsudabad and reached Dacca (b) He travelled north passing through the present North Bihar and North Bengal reaching Dhubri the first important place in Kamrup visited by Guru Nanak. At Dhubri Guru Tegh Bahadur raised a platform in the hallowed memory of Guru Nanak’s visit. As this place is situated on the right bank of the Brahmputra River, the likelihood is that Guru arrived there from the west and not from the side of Dacca. Secondly, for a traveller desiring to tour the region of Assam, as the Guru was, the Dacca route was much longer, circuitous and perhaps also unnatural. Thirdly the northerly route is marked by many old historical gurdwara bearing association with Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur. Fourthly, when later on Guru Tegh Bahadur preceded to Assam he, too, followed the northerly route.” [29]

Janam Sakhi B-40 edited by Piar Singh, 1989 [30] narrates the story of Guru Nanak’s visit to Bhutan, “Sakhi Bhutant Des ki” at p. 124. Since Bhutan is touching the borders of North Bengal Cooch Behar and Kamrup, it is probable that Guru Nanak also visited Bhutan during his visit to Kamrup. Thus the route through north passing through the present North Bihar and North Bengal reaching Dhubri in Kamrup is the most probable route and he visited Bhutan during this route only. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli gives this probable route to be during his third journey when the Guru was travelling in Sikkim and Bhutan and he toured through some territory of North Bengal in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar District.[31]

This author in his book Amazing Travels of Guru Nanak [32] found the travel to Kamroop and beyond during Guru Nanak’s third itinerary (udasi) and the route to Kamroop from Sikkim and Bhutan as the most plausible.[33] However after visiting the area again came to the conclusion that Guru Nanak's travels to this region were after visiting Dacca by boat in Brahmputra and proceeded on foot to Guwahati walking through Gauripur, Rangamati, Jogigompha, Goalpara reaching Kamakhaya.[22]

Period of the Travel

Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of Sikhism visited Kamrup in the beginning of 16th Century.In the Janamsakhi edited by Shamsher Singh Ashok [33] the period of visit to Kamroop given is after the first and second itineraries (udasis) in the year 1508 AD. “Baba then started for other pilgrimage centres. He visited 68 pilgrimage centres like Ganga, Godawri, Gaya, Pirag, Gomti, Ayodhya, Dwarka, Jagan Nath, and Orissa and had the benefit of all these pilgrimages including bathing in various rivers. Having visited the entire land, the true Guru Baba reached that part of the land on the corneer of the sea where no men exist and the women rule. In the entire country only the women earn and not the men. [32] If the period of start is taken as 1500AD from sultanpur Lodhi, his arrival in Kamroop comes out to be 1504-1505 AD. Dr Sanjib Kumar Barakokti’s[34] timings thus can be taken as correct

References:

[1] Arjan Singh Mann, Dr., 1959, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Assam Pradesh, Sikh Publishing House New Delhi, p.170.

[2] Piar Singh (ed) B40 Janamsakhi, ‘Sakhi Bhumie Chor nal hoee’, Amritsar,Guru Nanak Dev University, pp. 143-144

[3] Ibid pp. 145-146

[4] Guha, Amalendu (1983). "The Ahom Political System: An Enquiry into the State Formation Process in Medieval Assam". Social Scientist (Social Scientist) 11 (12): 3–34. doi:10.2307/3516963. JSTOR 3516963.Guha 1983, p. 10

[5] Akbarnama, Volume III, Page 647.

[6] Neog, M (1980), Early History of the Vaisnava Faith and Movement in Assam, Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass Neog 1980, p. 48, Nath, D (1989), History of the Koch Kingdom: 1515-1615, Delhi: Mittal Publications

[7] Neog, M (1992), "Origin of the Baro-Bhuyans", in Barpujari, H. K., The Comprehensive History of Assam2, Guwahati: Assam Publication Board, pp. 62–66, Neog 1980:49f

[8] Lahiri, Nayanjot (1984). "The Pre-Ahom Roots of Medieval Assam".Social Scientist (Social Scientist) 12 (6): 60–69. JSTOR 3517004.Lahiri 1984, p. 62

[9] Neog 1980, p. 49

[10] Nath, D, 1989, History of the Koch Kingdom: 1515-1615, Delhi: Mittal Publications, p.21

[11] Piar Singh (ed) B40 Janamsakhi, Sakhi Bhumie Chor nal hoee, Amritsar,Guru Nanak Dev University, pp. 145-146

[12] Gyani Gyan Singh’s, Twareekh Guru Khalsa, p. 87

[13] Sarup Singh Koshish edited by Piara Singh Padam and Gyani Garja Singh, 1986, Guru Kian Sakhian by Kalam Mandir, Patiala, pp. 68-69 & 86-87

[14] Surinder Singh Kohli, 1997, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh, Third edition,

[15] Sarup Singh Koshish 1986,, pp. 68-69 & 86-87

[16]Ibid pp. 68-69

[17] Ibid pp. 86-87

[18] Tarlochan Singh, Jeevan Charit Guru Nanak, p.174

[19] Akhbar (i) Darbar(i) Muala, quoted in Guru Tegh Bahadur ji dian yatravan by Sabinderjit Singh Sagar in Nau Nidh edited by Pritam Siongh, Guru Nanak Dev University Sri Amritsar, p.67

[20] Tarlochan Singh, Dr, Jeevan Charit Guru Nanak, p.174

[21] Surinder Singh Kohli (Dr), p.47

[22] Arjan Singh Mann (Dr), p.170

[23] Dalvinder Singh Grewal, Dr. May, 2002, Amazing Travels of Guru Nanak, Amritsar, Shiromani Parbandhak Committee pp. 211-213

[24] Gyani Lal Singh Sangrur, p 70

[25] ibid

[26] Tarlochan Singh, Dr., Jeevan Charit Guru Nanak, p.174

[27] Dalvinder Singh Grewal Dr, 2002, p.212

[28] Surinder Singh Kohli, 1997, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh, Third edition, p.49

[29] Fauja Singh Kirpal Singh, 1976, Atlas Tavels of Guru Nanak, Punjabi University Patiala, pp. 17

[30] Piar Singh, 1989, B-40 Janamsakhi Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Nanak Dev University, Sri Amritsar, p.124

[31] Surinder Singh Kohli, 1997, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh, Third edition, p.44, 46-47

[32] Dalvinder Singh Grewal, Dr. May, 2002, pp. 211-213

[33] Shamsher Singh Ashok (ed.) 1969, Puratan Janamsakhi, Shiromani Gurdwara Committee, Amritsar, p. 200 quotes 1508 AD as the year of visit of Guru Nanak to Kachhar then a part of Kamrup.

GURU NANAK IN ASSAM

The important areas visited by Guru Nanak mentioned in Janamsakhi following his visit to Kamroop are Assa Des, Dhanasari and Bisiar Des. There are no such states by the name Karoo or Kavroo Des, Assa Des and Dhanasari Des or Bisiar Des in India. Bhai Santokh Singh, Giani Gyan Singh, Giani Lal Singh Sangrur, Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, Dr Tarlochan Singh, Dr Fauja Singh Kirpal Singh; Dr Arjan Singh Mann, Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal and a host of other writers mention these areas as Kamroop Desh, Assam Desh and Dhanasari Valley in Assam. Bisiar Desh has been interpreted as the Sylhet of present Bangla Desh.

After visiting Kamroop areas of Dhubri, Gwahati, Hajo and Khasi and Jaintia Hills, Guru Nanak visited further east to the kingdom of Ahom Kings. On the eve of the movement of the Ahoms to Assam in the early thirteenth century, any semblance of a centralized kingship in the region had collapsed into a fragmented system of tribal polities and loose confederacies of petty Hindu rajas, called Bhuyans. The Ahom, a Shan tribe from which the name Assam is probably derived, crossed the Patkoi Mountains from Burma in 1228 AD and by the sixteenth century had absorbed the Chutiya and Kachari kingdoms of the upper Brahmaputra, subdued the neighboring hill tribes and integrated the Bhuyans into the administrative apparatus of a feudalistic state.[1]

During the latter half of the sixteenth century, Srimanta Shankara Deva, inspired a popular Vaishnavite movement that sought to reform the esoteric practices of Tantric Hinduism and to limit the prerogatives of the brahmanas attached to the Ahom court. The Ahom came to sponsor an extensive network of Vaishnavite monasteries, whose monks played an important role in the reclamation of wastelands for wet-rice cultivation throughout the Brahmaputra Valley. Because of the repudiation of caste privilege, Shankara Deva's Vaishnavism appealed to the broad tribal base on which the Ahom had erected their state.[2]

For the present study, all these states have been considered as one except Arunachal Pradesh which has been dealt separately.

Assam, earlier known as Kamrup, was considered less developed and less civilised. Magic and idol worship prevailed and the gods and spirits were dreaded and worshipped to the scale that even Chinese traveller Hieuntsang, who visited Assam in 640 A.D., wrote about this country. 'The country of Kamarupa is about 10,000 Li (nearly 1800 miles) in circuit. The capital town is 5 miles round. The land lies low but is rich and regularly cultivated. The climate is soft and temperate. The men are of small stature and their complexion dark yellow. Their language differs a little from that of mid-India. Their nature is very impetuous and wild, their memories are retentive and they are earnest in study’.

Today Karmrup is the name of a district only and the old Karmrup Kingdom has come to be known as Assam. Before Bhaskar Varman, the dynsty of Narkasur and BhagyaDutt remained supreme for long. According to Mahabharat, king of Pragjyotishwar (the present Gwahati) led his army to the battle of Kurukshetra. For several centuries the Koch, the Ahoms and Chutias contested for Assam, but in the early part of the 13th century the Ahoms from Burma and Chinese frontiers poured into Assam, founded a kingdom and held it for several centuries. The Ahoms were in the process of establishment and routing out the local Hindu Kings during the period of Guru Nanak's visit to Assam. The ferocious Ahoms had unleashed a reign of terror and practiced all savagery on the local population to subdue them. Guru's entry into Assam at that period was quite solacing. He visited all these states and encouraged the people to stand against the tyranny and oppression and to be united by shedding away the meaningless ritualism and caste distinctions.[3]The episodes (Sakhis) narrated below are taken from Puratan Janamsakhi edited by Bhai Vir Singh.[4] In this Janamsakhi Guru Nanak is often mentioned as Baba, Guru, Guru Baba or Baba Nanak.

Guru Nanak then entered Assa Des. Sheikh Farid welcomed saying, “Alahoo, Alla o Saint!’ Baba replied, “Alah, Farid Zuhdi, Always Welcome Farid Zuhdi, Alah Alah.” They shook hands and sat down. Shekh Farid saw Baba, held discussions and asked Baba, “On one side you need world and on the other you desire God. Do not keep feet on two boats, lest you are drowned.” Guru Nanak replied, “Keep your feet on both the boats. One may get drowned but another may get you across. In actuality there are neither boats nor water in which get drowned. You must trade in wealth of truth; you will get into Him naturally.’ Sheikh Farid said, “You cover your arms with red bangles. The world is falsehood. The field gets destroyed in front of your eyes.” Guru Baba replied, “The love with the red bangles has been from the very inception. The field does not get destroyed if the caretaker is careful.” Shiekh Farid spoke, “Body remained but the mind is split leaving powerless. O my dear get up and apply effective medicine.” Guru Baba said, “The true recognition of the friend is of limited speech. Why split your mind to millions to find Him; He is within you.” (p.1100)

Shiekh Farid sang in Rag Soohi, “You were not able to make yourself a raft when you should have. When the ocean is churning and over-flowing, then it is very difficult to cross over it. Do not touch the sun flower with your hands; its color will fade away, my dear. First, the bride herself is weak, and then, her Husband Lord’s Order is hard to bear. Milk does not return to the breast; it will not be collected again. Says Fareed, O my companions, when our Husband Lord calls, the soul departs, sad at heart, and this body returns to dust”. (p.794)

Guru Nanak replied: “Build the raft of meditation and self-discipline, to carry you across the river. There will be no ocean, and no rising tides to stop you; this is how comfortable your path shall be. God’s Name alone is the colour, in which the robe of my body is dyed. This color is permanent. My beloved friends have departed; how will they meet the Lord? If they have virtue in their pack, the Lord will unite them with Himself. Once united with Him, they will not be separated again, provided they are truly united. The True Lord brings their comings and goings to an end. One who subdues and eradicates egotism, sews the robe of devotion. Following the Word of the Guru’s Teachings, she receives the fruits of her reward, the Ambrosial Words of the Lord. Our Husband Lord is so dear! We are the servants, the hand-maidens of the Lord; He is our True Lord and Master”. (p.729)

Shiekh Farid spoke, “They alone are true whose love for God is deep and heart-felt. Those who have one thing in their heart, and something else in their mouth, are judged to be false. Those who are imbued with love for the Lord, are delighted by His Vision. Those who forget the Naam, the Name of the Lord, are a burden on the earth. Those whom the Lord attaches to the hem of His robe, are the true dervishes at His Door. Blessed are the mothers who gave birth to them; and fruitful is their coming into the world. O Lord, Sustainer and Cherisher, You are infinite, unfathomable and endless. Those who recognize the True Lord — I kiss their feet. I seek Your Protection- You are the Forgiving Lord. Please, bless Sheikh Farid with the bounty of Your meditative worship”.(488)

Guru Nanak said, “When I have the Lord then I have everything. O my Lord and Master, You are my wealth and capital. Within You, I abide in peace; within You, I am congratulated. By the Pleasure of Your Will, You bestow thrones and greatness. And by the Pleasure of Your Will, You make us beggars and wanderers. By the Pleasure of Your Will, the ocean flows in the desert, and the lotus blossoms in the sky. By the Pleasure of Your Will one crosses over the terrifying world-ocean; by the Pleasure of Your Will, he sinks down into it. By the Pleasure of His Will, that Lord becomes my Husband and I am imbued with the Praises of the Lord, the treasure of virtue. By the Pleasure of Your Will, O my Husband Lord, I am afraid of You and I come and go and die. You, O my Husband Lord, are inaccessible and immeasurable; talking and speaking of You, I have fallen at Your Feet. What should I beg for? What should I say and hear? I am hungry and thirsty for the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan. Through the Word of the Guru’s Teachings, I have found my Husband Lord. This is Nanak’s true prayer”. (p.762)

Baba and Sheikh Farid stayed together in jungle for a night. A man of God turned up. He saw them and went back. In the last leg of night, he brought a vessel full of milk with four mohars in it. Shiekh Farid got his share of milk separated and kept Guru’s share separate. Sheikh Farid said,” It brought fruit in the first part of the night and gave the fruit at night only. Whosoever is awake get the God’s gift.” (p.1384) Baba replied, “The gifts of God do not go with a man. Some do not enjoy while awake while others are woken up to enjoy.” (p.83)

Baba further said, ‘Sheikh Farid. Move your hand into my share of milk and see.” Farid checked and found four Mohars in it. The person who had brought the milk left on seeing this. Guru Nanak sang in rag Tukhari,

“In the first watch of the dark night, O bride of splendored eyes, protect your riches; your turn is coming soon. When your turn comes, who will wake you? While you sleep, your juice shall be sucked out by the Messenger of Death. The night is so dark; what will become of your honor? The thieves will break into your home and rob you. O Saviour Lord, Inaccessible and Infinite, please hear my prayer. O Nanak, the fool never remembers Him; what can he see in the dark of night? The second watch has begun; wake up, you unconscious being! Protect your riches, O mortal; your farm is being eaten. Protect your crops, and love the Lord, the Guru. Stay awake and aware, and the thieves shall not rob you. You shall not have to go on the path of Death, and you shall not suffer in pain; your fear and terror of death shall run away. The lamps of the sun and the moon are lit by the Guru’s Teachings, through His Door, meditating on the True Lord, in the mind and with the mouth. O Nanak, the fool still does not remember the Lord. How can he find peace in duality? The third watch has begun, and sleep has set in. The mortal suffers in pain, from attachment to Maya, children and spouse. Maya, his children, his wife and the world are so dear to him; he bites the bait, and is caught. Meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, he shall find peace; following the Guru’s Teachings, he shall not be seized by death. He cannot escape from birth, dying and death; without the Name, he suffers. O Nanak, in the third watch of the three-phased Maya, the world is engrossed in attachment to Maya. The fourth watch has begun, and the day is about to dawn. Those who remain awake and aware, night and day, preserve and protect their homes. The night is pleasant and peaceful, for those who remain awake; following the Guru’s advice, they focus on the Naam. Those who practice the Word of the Guru’s Shabad are not reincarnated again; the Lord God is their Best Friend. The hands shake, the feet and body totter, the vision goes dark, and the body turns to dust. O Nanak, people are miserable throughout the four ages, if the Name of the Lord does not abide in the mind. The knot has been untied; rise up — the order has come! Pleasures and comforts are gone; like a prisoner, you are driven on. You shall be bound and gagged, when it pleases God; you will not see or hear it coming. Everyone will have their turn; the crop ripens, and then it is cut down. The account is kept for every second, every instant; the soul suffers for the bad and the good. O Nanak, the angelic beings are united with the Word of the Shabad; this is the way God made it. (p.1110)

Baba and Sheikh moved from the place. As the man who had brought milk returned he found his vessel. When he picked it up he found the vessel to be of gold and filled with muhars. He repented and said, “They were worldly saints. If it would have come to my mind I would have got true faith. I brought the world and got the world.” he took away the vessel and went home.

From there Guru Baba and Sheikh Farid came to Assa Des. The king of Assa Des was Samunder who had died.(Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala edited by Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, has the same story but the name of King of Assa des as Siam Sunder .(p.150) His scalp was not getting burnt even after lot of effort. The astrologers were then asked the way out. Asttrologers said, “He stated falsehood only once due to which his life is in trouble. People of Assa Des are truthful; they cut at night what they sow during day.” The public of Assa Des started crying. The astrologers said, ‘He can only be redeemed if some saints foot touches him.”

They closed all the routes to Assa Des, keeping only one route in. Only a saint was to be allowed to enter into. When they went near, Guru Nanak said, “Sheikh Farid, put your foot in.” Shiekh Farid said, “I do not dare to put my foot before you.” Baba kept the foot in; the scalp broke and the king was redeemed, The entire country fell at Guru’s feet. Baba sang a hymn in Rag Maru:

The union of the mother and father brings the body into being. The Creator inscribes upon it the inscription of its destiny. According to this inscription, gifts, light and glorious greatness are received. Joining with Maya, the spiritual consciousness is lost. O foolish mind, why are you so proud? You shall have to arise and depart when it pleases your Lord and Master. Abandon the tastes of the world, and find intuitive peace. All must abandon their worldly homes; no one remains here forever. Eat some, and save the rest, if you are destined to return to the world again. He adorns his body and dresses in silk robes. He issues all sorts of commands. Preparing his comfortable bed, he sleeps. When he falls into the hands of the Messenger of Death, what good does it do to cry out? Household affairs are whirlpools of entanglements, O Siblings of Destiny. Sin is a stone which does not float. So let the Fear of God be the boat to carry your soul across. Says Nanak: rare are those who are blessed with this Boat.(p.989-990)

The public brought bread. When they gave it to Sheikh Farid he said, “I have eaten and has some along with me as well.” The people of Assa Des said, “Which country are you the liar from. Are You from the country of Farid where he had the bread of wood? If someone gives you bread, you say I have eaten as well have some with you as well.” Sheikh Farid threw his wooden bread and said, “When the king had such a great punishment for only one lie, what will happen to me?” Baba was pleased. Disposing him off Baba said, “You have God in you but you need to have a Peer.” Sheikh Farid said, “You have said well.” Sheikh Farid and Baba took each other in arms. Baba sang a hymn in Sri Rag.

Come, my dear sisters and spiritual companions; hug me close in your embrace. Let’s join together, and tell stories of our All-powerful Husband Lord. All Virtues are in our True Lord and Master; we are utterly without virtue. O Creator Lord, all are in Your Power. I dwell upon the One Word of the Shabad. You are mine—what else do I need? Go, and ask the happy soul-brides, “By what virtuous qualities do you enjoy your Husband Lord?” “We are adorned with intuitive ease, contentment and sweet words. We meet with our Beloved, the Source of Joy, when we listen to the Word of the Guru’s Shabad.” You have so many Creative Powers, Lord; Your Bountiful Blessings are so Great. So many of Your beings and creatures praise You day and night. You have so many forms and colors, so many classes, high and low. Meeting the True One, Truth wells up. The truthful are absorbed into the True Lord. Intuitive understanding is obtained and one is welcomed with honor, through the Guru’s Word, filled with the Fear of God. O Nanak, the True King absorbs us into Himself. (p.17)

Guru Nanak stayed in Assa Des for some days. All the people in Assa Des recited ‘Guru, Guru.’ and became followers (of Guru Nanak). There is a seat in Assa Des. Baba blessed Assa Des with pleasure.”

Samundra or Siam Sunder:

Bhuyan chieftains claimed themselves to be the followers of Samuder. In Assam. the Baro-Bhuyans occupied the region west of the Kachar kingdom in the south bank of the Brahmaputra river and west of the Sutiya kingdom in the north bank. They were instrumental in defending against aggressors from Bengal, especially in defeating the remnant of Allauddin Hussain Shah's administration after 1498. They joined the Ahom king Suhungmung’s (King of Assam during Guru Nanak’s travels) expeditions against the Sutiya and the Kachari kingdoms. Pleased with their help, the Baro-Bhuyans were established as tributary feudal landlords in the north bank of Brahmaputra. In due course, members of these Bhuyans became powerful. Allauddin Hussain Shah, who ended the Khen dynasty by displacing Nilambar in 1498, extended his rule up to the Barnadi river by defeating Harup Narayan who was a descendant of Gandharva-raya, a Bhuyan from the second group established by Durlabh Narayana at Bausi (Chota raja of Bausi), among others.[5]The Baro-Bhuyans retaliated and were instrumental in ending the rule of Alauddin Hussain Shah via his son Danial. But very soon, the rise of Viswa Singha of the Koch Dynasty in Kamata destroyed their hold in Kamrup[6] and squeezed those in the Nagaon region against the Kacharis to their east. There is a mention of Samundra being the elder of Bhuyan Chief. Srimant Sankar Dev was also one of the Bhuyan Chiefs. The system of Baro-Bhuyan confederacy is a relic of the erstwhile Kamroopa Kingdom. In Bengal as in Assam, the Baro-Bhuyans are found in regions within the traditional boundaries of the Kamarupa kingdom.

Most of the researchers do not relate this episode to Assam since (a) Shiekh Farid was not alive then (b) Muslims had not entered Assam at that time hence no Muslim saint would have visited Assam.(c) There was no king by the name Samundra or Siam Sunder as mentioned in Janam Sakhis. The episode of Shiekh Farid cannot be related to Baba Farid since he belonged to 11th century. However his followers also claimed themselves the name of Shiekh Farid and it may be one such follower who met Guru Nanak[6] Since Muslims had already created their influence in the area after the invasion of western Assam by Allauddin Hussein of Gaur up to Barnadi river in 1498 is recorded in coins from the early sixteenth century, declaring Hussein as the conqueror of Kamru.[7]It showed that Islamic influence existed in the region before Guru Nanak’s visit and Sufi saints might have visited during the period. As was traditional in 15-16th century all the persons in seat after their religious leaders were later called by the names of their leaders e.g., Guru Nanak’s followers were called Nanak 1 , 2 or 3 and so on or Mahila 1, 2 or 3 and so on. Similarly followers of Sheikh Farid were also called as such. It is probable that a follower of Sheikh Farid might have visited Assam as did Guru Nanak and exchanged his philosophy. The Shloks of Baba Farid might have been used in discourses hence are being quoted as such.Dr Surinder Singh Kohli while commenting in Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala mentions: “Shiekh Braham, in the lineage of Pir Shiekh Farid of Pattan” (Patan de Pir Sheikh Farid di aulad Sheikh Braham wala Raja)[8] who is mentioned as Sheikh Farid here. Similarly successors of Samudra too might have been called as such.



Places in Assam connected to Guru Nanak’s visit

Gyani Gian Singh writes: From there (Guwahati) proceeded to Ajmeri Ganj, Karim Ganj, Syllehet etc., and reached Ghargaon near Dibrugarh; the then capital of Assam and was named as Nazira later. Having diverted Sagar Sain and others from worship of Kamakhya Devi to the Divine Name went to Bishambar Des which is situated between Brahmputra and Barni rivers. [9]According to Dr Arjan Singh Mann [10] Guru Nanak visited all the towns of lower and Upper Assam and reached Saidya from where Sri Krishanji married Rukmani (Bhishmak Nagar or Malinithan now in Arunachal Pradesh). Then he went to Parsu Ram Kund where Saint Pursu Ram after taking bath regained his sainthood after having killed leading Kshtriyas of the land with his axe. Then he trevelled through Tibet, China, Japan, Java, Sumatra, Phillipines and Manipore state through Burma. He entered India at imphal, Bishanpore, Cachar, Sylhet and Lushia Hills.[11]

Dr Surinder Singh Kohli [12] writes, “When he returned from the foreign lands in 1509, he is said to have visited Imphal, Karimganj, Sylhet (at that time in Assam but now in East Pakistan after referendum), Lushai Hills, Agartala (Tripura). It was in Cachar District that the Guru met the Buddhist ruler Devloot who wanted to kill him but ultimatrely becae his disciple. From Tripura, the Guru entered Chittagong district of Bangla Desh.”[12] Dr Kohli also mentions that Guru Nanak also visited Brahmpur and Suvarnpur (Sonapur) in Nowgong district. [13]

Dr Tarlochan Singh relates Sonar Gaon to Swarngram of Janamsakhi (p.164). He quotes from Giani Thakur Singh’s book ‘Gurdwara Darshan, p.33 stating that Devi Parsad Bose a Bengali became Guru Nanak’s follower at Sylhet. Place commemorating Guru Nanak’s visit is one and a kilometer from the city. He relates the event of meeting Jhanda Baddhi, Inder Sain and Sudher Sain to Chittagong Sondeep and Burma. He mentions thatr Chitta Ghatika in Janamsakhi as Chittagong; Sondeep as Swarpur and Brahmdeep as Burma.[14] Dr Tarlochan Singh states Bisiar Des to be the present Nagaland since Bisiar means ‘Nag’ a deadly snake. He also considers Dhansari desh to be the part of present Nanga land and the place where the episode of Kauda cannibal occurred was Dimapur in Naga Land. It was ruled by Cacharis during the period of Guru Nanak’s travels but later captured by Ahom King Suhangmang (1497-1539) who assumed a Hindu Name Swarg Narayan to win over the Hindu population.” [15]

Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal writes, “Having visited Dhubri, Gwahati, Hajo and Matsyadhwaj in Assam, Guru Nanak proceeded to Tashigongdzong and Dukti (Bhutan) on his way to Lhasa. He entered Arunachal Pradesh and visited Sela and sabrela and crossed a hill now known as Govindgarh. …… From Menchukha he travelled through Tuting-Gelling and Passighat and reached Saidya and Parsu Ram Kund. From Parsu Ram Kund[16] through Dibrugarh he reached Dhanasri Valley at Golaghat where a Gurdwara commemorates Guru Nanak’s visit. He entered Nagaland and in Dimapur area he came across Kauda cannibal. From Nagaland, Guru Nanak visited Imphal, Silchar, Brahmpur, Sonpur, Bishanpur, Ajmeriganj, Karimganj and Ghorgaon en-route to Sylhet.[17] From Silchar, Guru Nanak went to Chittagong en route to East Asian countries [18].

The episode of ‘Remain Settled’ (Vasde Raho) and ‘Be Uprooted’ (Ujad Jao) have been related to Kanganpur and Bhila or Manak Deke in Lahore district by Major Gurmukh Singh [19], Tara Singh Narotam in Sri Gur Tirath Sangreh ; Kahn Singh Nabha [20] Giani Gian Singh, 2002 (reprint), Gurdham Sangreh, Dharam Parchar Mahankosh,[21] Giani Gurdit Singh (edited), May 2005, Gurdham Didar, Dharam Parchar Committee Sri Amritsar Committee, Sri Amritsar.[22] In Puratan Janamsakhi edited by Shamsher Singh Ashok [23] this anecdote is listed after Guru’s visit to Wanjarian Da Tandaand not as listed by Bhai Vir Singh. Both Bhila and Manak Deke do not appear either in Committes list of Sikh Gurdwaras left in Pakistan .Hence these episodes cannot be related to Kamroop or Assam without sufficient proof and further research is needed.

During this researchers stay in Assam and Arunachal from 1985 to 1987 and later visits from 1987-1992, he visited most of Assam & its adjoining states and found lot of evidence of Guru Nanak's travels to the state. This was further supplemented by his visit in November 2014 where he specifically visited areas in Assam relating to Guru Nanak’s visit

As per the details given above, having visited Kamroop, Guru Nanak came to the capital of Ahom kingdom at Gargaon-Nazira. His visit to Assa Des mentioned in Janamsakhis can be related to Assam. During the British rule, tea plantations were started in and around Nazira like the other parts of upper Assam. Nazira was the headquarters of famous Assam Tea Company. [24]

Nazira is a town and a municipal board in Sivsagar district in the Indian state of Assam. It is located at 26.920N 94.730 E. It has an average elevation of 132 meters (433 feet). It is a historical town on the bank of River Dikhow in Sivasagar district in Assam. It is around 18 km from Sivasagar city, 3 km from Simaluguri Jn. and 78 km from Jorhat Airport. It is Sub-divisional Head Office of Nazira Sub-division. The HQ of ONGC, Assam Asset, a Maharatna E&P company is situated in Nazira. Nazira is surrounded by huge tea estates. The historian Sarbananda Rajkumar states that 'Nazira' is a Tai (Ahom) word: Na means Land, Zi-Inclined & Ra-Much. So, Nazira means a much inclined land.[25] However Sardar Harpal Singh in his interview mentions that it was originally Nanak zirah meaning Guru Nanak held discussions with Srimanata Sankar Dev and the King Suhungmung (1497–1539) also known as Dahingia Raja at the place. Nazira was an important place during the regime of Ahom Kingdom. Nearby Gargaon was the capital of Ahom Kingdom over a long period. [26] He also writes that once the important places of Nazira were Ganak Village and Nazirahat. Being in the vicinity of the Dikhow river and boats used to rest in this place after their long journey through the river. The Kareng Ghar a palace from the Medieval period build by King Rajeshwar Singha, a ruler of the Ahom kingdom stands as a testimony of the bygone era.[27] As of 2001 India census, [28] Nazira had a population of 12,466. Nazira is mainly inhabited by Ahoms followed by the Assamese Muslims, Brahmins, Koch, Kalitas, Deories and Kaibarta constitute the rest of the portion of the demographic chart. Besides Nazira also has a sizeable population from the tea tribes community, who were brought as labours from central India by British for Tea plantations. It has a humid subtropical monsoon climate like the rest of Assam. It has a long rainy season starting with pre-monsoon showers in the months of April, which signals the onset of spring. The real deluge starts in June, which continues up to the month of September.

The burial place of Loonia Siddh at the bank of river Dikhow points to the place of Guru Nanak’s visit and having discussions with Srimanta Sankar Dev since the Guru’s followers maintained the place of Guru’s visit where ever the Guru went and Nazira was such a place of Guru’s visit. there is no Dharamsal or Gurdwara in the memory of Guru’s visit to the place, though its remains are visible.

At Nazira he met the Guru held discussions with Srimanta Sankar Dev and King Suhungmung, who became Guru's disciple. Guru Nanak visited neighbouring villages and preached True Lord's Name to them.

S Harpal Singh told us that Nazira is the name changed from its earlier name Nanak Zirah which means zirah or discussion with Guru Nanak. This discussion had taken place at the temple site on the bank of Dikhow River opposite Gaushala. Guru Nanak also met the king who followed his teachings thereafter. The team was taken to a temple on the banks of Dikhow River. The temple complex appeared to be a new construction. As the team went around, we found the remains of an old temple within the temple complex and ruins of old buildings. We also found a small room at the interior which was around 1000 years’ old. It was probably in this temple that Guru Nanak and Srimant Shankar Dev would have met. It is also probable that this being the only temple in King Suhang Mung’s time, even the king would have come to the place and held discussions with the two religious luminaries as mentioned by Gyani Gian Singh.

As the team went around we found a monument on which the sign board depicted Loonya Siddh. The researcher remembered of Loonia Siddh who according to Giani Gian Singh had met Guru Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

By the time the head priest of the temple also appeared. He told us that the interior is ancient while the outer buildings have been constructed later. He told Loonia to be a saint who meditated and looked after the temple complex around 500 years before. Video recording along was done by S. Tejwant Singh.

Loonia Siddh

The monument (samadh) of Loonia Siddh exists in Nazira within the periphery of an old temple by the side of Dikhow river. As per the information given by S. Harpal Singh and all present there, Guru Nanak had visited Nazira and held discussions with Srimant Sankar Dev in the temple on the river Dikhow opposite Gaushala. While searching for the history of Guru Nanak’s visit to the place and Loonia Siddh’s connection with it, the researcher came across lot of evidence. Visit of Guru Nanak to Nazira is recorded in Twareekh Guru Khalsa: “After visiting Ajmeri Ganj, Karim Ganj, Sylleht etc. of Assam he reached Ghargaon a city which was then the capital and was renamed as Nazira after it was included in Sibsagar district. Meeting the King Sagar Sain and converting him from idol worship (worship of Kamakhaya) to Naam worship he went to an island between Brahmaputra and Barni rivers. [28] Giani Lal Singh Sangrur also mentions of Guru Nanak’s visit to Ghargaon. [29]

‘At Dacca in Bengal …the power of deliverance of Guru Nanak was soon acknowledged around. Smal Nath, Rewa dass, Chander Nath, Narain Dass, Sheikh Ahmed, Nathe Shah, Loonia Siddh etc the saints well known in the area came for discussions with Baba. They showed their numerous talents but finally were swayed by the flow of Gurbani. Seeing no other way out they all became followers of Baba.”[28]

Dr Surinder Singh Kohli gives an account of Loonia Siddh having met Guru Nanak at Dacca. He wrote, “The prominent among the saints who met the Guru were Loonia Siddha, Samal Nath, Rewa Das, Narain Das, Chandan Das and Shiekh Ahmed. They were highly impressed by Guru’s teachings.” [30] Earlier while visiting Burhanpur, this researcher had visited the Gurdwara on the other bank of river Tapti in memory of Guru Gobind Singh’s visit to Loonia Siddh and having meals with him. He found the record of this visit in Guru Kian Sakhian [31] as the ‘Story of visit of Guru Gobind Singh to the place of Loonia Siddh.’

‘A saint of very old age used to stay on other side of river Tapti (near Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh). Having heard the arrival of Guru (the Tenth Guru) he walked with the help of stick to meet the Guru. He had earlier visited the Guru at Patna while the Guru was in his infancy. Madho Das Bairagi stayed with him for three years after he had left the complex of Augadh Nath Yogi (in Nasik) on his demise. This old man was called Loonia Siddh. He bowed in front of Satiguru (Guru Gobind Singh) Satigur caught him from arm and got him seated along with him and enquired about his well being. They discussed spirituality. Baba Loonia said, “Lord! Please visit my place and purify it”. Guruji laughed and said, “O saint! Where ever great men like you are settled, the place is purified”. Loonia Siddh again requested, “Lord! That is your place as well. Please have whatever simple food I can offer. It will give me peace.” Satigur said, “Siddh Ji! I will be at you place tomorrow morning and will have food with you.” Saying this, the Guru went to see him off up to the River bank. Next day, Satigur along with Bhai Daya Singh and other Sikhs crossed the river and went to the place of Loonia Siddh. Saint Loonia looked after Guruji caringly. Having had food at his place, the Guru returned to Burhanpur”.

Bhai Vir Singh mentioned this in Sri Kalgidhar Chamtkar [32] and in Sri Dasam Guru Chamtkar [33]. The description of event and the place of his offering of meal to Sri Guru Gobind Singh is nearly the same but the name of Siddh Loonia is given as Yogi Jeevan Das. In Kalgidhar Chamtkar [32], Yogi Jeevan Das gives the details of meeting Guru Tegh Bahadur earlier when requested by Guru Gobind Singh. He said that Guru Tegh Bahadur met him at Dhubri on the bank of Brahmaputra River. “I am the son of rich man who became a mendicant having fell in love with God. I have been roaming from place to place. I practiced Hath Yoga. I read a lot. But this did not give me peace. While roaming, I reached Dacca and met Guru’s Sikh Bulaki Das. He was waiting for Guru Tegh Bahadur with eagerness. He prepared a spacious house and high seat for him. His mother prepared a dress for Guru by spinning and weaving it herself with the hope that he will come and she will offer the dress to the Guru. In their company, I left Hath Yog and got in to meditation. I also developed eagerness to meet the Guru. They kept waiting for Him at Dacca. I guessed that the Guru will first reach Dhubri. Being impatient to meet the Guru, I reached there. Guruji came to Dacca first and redeemed his dedicated Sikhs Bulaki Das and his old mother. He also prayed about me to the Guru. I met the Guru at Dhubri and watched the Guru in the waves of Brahmaputra as I am watching you in the waters of River Tapti. The Guru blessed me with Nam Dan. My intellect was dull, mind dirty and body hard which has now changed by your reviving name in it again. I remained with Guru Tegh Bahadur in Assam till he was there and enjoyed his presence. Before leaving Assam he ordered me to move to South and do meditation in a lonely place. I enquired from the Guru as to why he was sending me to the South while he himself was going to North. The Guruji said, “Do not worry I will meet you there in a different life.” Now you have fulfilled the promise. “When did you meet him in Assam?” Guru Gobind Singh asked the Siddh. I met him in Samwat 1723 (1666 AD). It was the time when news of your birth reached Dhubri. I was present when this news was greeted with a volley of gun fire and beating of drums. All the Sikhs and army of Raja Ram Singh celebrated the event.”

Loonia Siddh might have moved to this place, probably close home and looked after the place of Guru’s visit in his last days. This researcher visited the place on Tapti in Burhanpur where Loonia Siddh offered food to Guru Gobind Singh and also visited the place at Dhubri where he met Guru Tegh Bahadur and the news of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth was received and celebrated. He recently visited the place near Nazira where Loonia Siddh was laid to rest.

There are also other monuments of the Ahom Kingdom. Siu Hung Mong (Dihingia Raja) ruled the kingdom from 1497-1539 during the time of visit of Guru Nanak. The Gargaon Palace (Kareng Ghar) started in his time was completed in 1540 when Ahom King Suklengmung (1539-1552) and it is likely that the construction of this palace might have been in progress during Guru Nanak’s time.

To find evidence of Guru Nanak to Sibsagar the team moved further. At Shibsagar Joysagar tank and temples were constructed by Ahom King Rudra Singha in 1697 in 318 acres in memory of his mother Sati Joymati. Rudrasagar Dole: the Shiv Temple was constructed by Ahom King Lakshmi Singha on the bank of Rudrasagar tank, known as Napukhuri. Athalsar tank next to it was dug in the reign of Joydhawaj Singha. Gaurishankar Temple and Tank were constructed in 1723, hence these could not be related to Guru Nanak.

The capital of the Ahom Kings was moved from Gargaon to Sibsagar only in 1699. This new place was made of the bricks and indigenous type of cement under the direction of King Rajeshwar Singha 91751-1769) into 7 storied, establishing it as permanent capital and military station of Ahom kings.

The local experts told us that capital in Sibsagar and all the complexes were shifted in around 1540 or even much after that time hence Guru Nanak’s visit to Sibsagar does not appear to have happened. They were however unanimous that Guru Nanak’s meeting Srimant Sankar Dev and king of Ahom at Gargaon-Nazira is a clear possibility. Girgaon-Guru Nanak visited the island at the confluence of Brahmputra and Branadi river. According to Twareekh Khalsa, Part I (p. 18) Gyani Gian Singh: Ghargaon name shahar de raje Sagar sain (SuhangMung) nun hor lokan samet jo kewal Kumakhia Devi de hi daass bane rahe se sacha mat dridake bishambher Des jo Brahmputra te barni nadi de vichkare hai ja pahunche.[36]. It is most likely that he visited Dhuwahat now known as Majuli along with Srimanat Sankar Deb to his place. Gyani Gian Singh writes: In the months of Chet-Vaisakh water in rivers, rivulets and springs spreads more than in Savan month water looks everywhere. Mardana got afraid understanding it to overflowing of sea but the Guru pacified him. (Chet-Vaisakh ivch othai savan nallon vadh pani nadian, nalian, sominan da vithar ke jal hi jal ho janda hai. Mardane ne samundar uchhlia samjh ke dar mania par Guru ji ne dheeraj dita. (p. 118)) [36] This indicates only towards majhuli island which is inside two divisions of the Brahmputra and water in the two months spreads so much so that it appears to be a sea.

From the island, Guru Nanak came towards Dhanasri River area and reached Golaghat on the bank of river Dhanasri. A Gurudwara at Golaghat commemorates Guru's visit to the place. From Golaghat, Guru Nanak entered Nagaland. In this area, there is a tribe which calls themselves as Nanak tribe'. They are very free minded and pay no taxes to the kin "From Nagaland, Guru Nanak visited Imphal, Silchar, Brahampur, Sonpur, Bishanpur, Ajmeri Ganj, Karimganj and Ghorgaon enroute to Sylhet'.

While at Cachar, Guru Nanak paid a visit to a Budhist Sangharam Monastry at Bhuvan Hill about 32 KM from the town of Silchar, (the centre of Cachar District). The Chief controller of that Temple, when heard about the effectiveness of the Guru's sermons, was full of jealousy. With a drawn sword in hand in order to kill Guru Nanak he rushed to the place where Guru Nanak was sitting. Guru uttered a Hymn in the vernacular of the head priest.

'Whomsoever God gives protection, nobody can kill him. Nanak says, one who envies a saint of God, he goes to hell'.

'On hearing this, the Head Priest could not strike the blow, and his mind was instantly changed from the evil design. He humbly asked for forgiveness which was granted by Guru Nanak. He was converted and he became follower of the Guru. There was a small place called Nanak Ghar, near the place but there was no temple. Only an enclosure of trees existed. There was one Mahatma looking after the place.'[8]

From Silchar Guru Nanak proceeded to Sylhet (Bangladesh) via Brahampur, Sonpur, Bishanpur, Ajmeriganj, Karimganj, Ghoragaon and Sylhet. From Sylhat the Guru proceeded to Mymensingh and then to Chittagonj.



Conclusion

Guru Nanak visited Assam most probably in 1516-1517 AD. He entered Assam from Kamroop at Dhubri. Having visited Dhubri, kamroop, Goalpara, Gwahati Kamakhya and Hajo, he went to the capital of Ahom kingdom Girgaon/ Nazira. At Nazira he held discussions with Srimanata Sankardev and also met the king Suhungmung who was impressed by him. From Nazira, he proceeded most probably to Majhuli where Srimanta Sankar Deb lived and stayed with him for sometime. From there he went to golaghat, Kohima and other parts of Nagaland and through Meghalaya reached Bangladesh.



References

[1] Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1981 p. 299

[2] Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681–1826) 1968 p. 199.

[3] Surinder Singh Kohli, Dr 1997, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University Chandigarh 3rd edition.

[4] Bhai Vir Singh, Jan 2006,Puratan Janamsakhi, Bhai Vir Singh Sahit Sadan New Delhi.

[5] Neog, M, 1980, Early History of the Vaisnava Faith and Movement in Assam, Delhi: Motilal Banarasi Dass, pp. 53-54

[6] Op Cit

[7] Gate E A, 1926,, A History of Assam, p.231

[8] Surinder Singh Kohli Dr, Travels of Guru Nanak, p.121

[9]Gyani Gian Singh, Twareekh Guru Khalsa originally of 1891 AD later published by Bhasha Vibhag Punjab, Patiala, p.117-118

[10] Arjan Singh Mann, Dr 1959, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Assam Pradesh, Sikh Publishing House, New Delhi, 1st Edition, pp.92-94.

[11] Op cit

[12] Surinder Singh Kohli,Travels of Guru Nanak, p 49-50.

[13] Ibid p. 50

[14]Tarlochan Singh Dr, Jeevan Chrit Guru Nanak dev Ji, pp p. 164-166

[15] Op Cit p. 172-173

[16] Dalvinder Singh Grewal Dr, May 2002, Amazing Travels of Guru Nanak, SGPC, Sri Amritsar, 196-205, 213

[17] Op cit, p. pp.209-214

[18] Op cit, p. 216

[19] Major Gurmukh Singh, Sept 1995, Historical Sikh Shrines, Singh Bros, Amritsar, p.68,

[20] Kahn Singh Nabha, Mahankosh, p.156

[21] Gyani Gian Singh, 2002 (reprint), Gurdham Sangreh, Dharam Parchar Committee, Sri Amritsar

[22] Gyani Gurdit Singh (edited), May 2005, Gurdham Didar, Dharam Parchar Committee Sri Amritsar

[23]Puratan Janamsakhi edited by Shamsher Singh Ashok

[24] Antrobus H.A 1957, The History of The Assam Company (1839-1953),.; Privately printed by T.A. Constable Ltd, Edinburgh.

[25] Rajkumar Sarbananda, 2000, Etihase Suaura Chashata Bacharor, Page 272,First Edition December,ISBN-81-7339-308-7 Banalata, New Bazar Dibrugarh-1

[26] Op cit

[27] Antrobus H.A., 1957

[28] Census of India 2001: data from the 2001 census including cities, villages and towns (provisional.”Census

Commission of India.Archieved from the original on 2004-06-16.Retrieved 2008-11-01.

[29]Gyani Gian Singh, Twareekh Guru Khalsa originally of 1891 AD later published by Bhasha Vibhag Punjab, Patiala, p.118

[30] Gyiani Lal Singh Sangrur, 1940, Guru Khalsa Twareekh, Ludhiana, Lahore Book Shop, 3rd edition 1955, p. 70

[31] Surinder Singh Kohli, Dr., 1977, Travels of Guru Nanak, 3rd edition, Punjab University, Chandigarh, p.40

[32] Sarup Singh Koshish, 1986, Guru Kian Sakhian edited by Piara Singh Padam and Gyani Garja Singh and published by Kalam Mandir Patiala (p. 185)

[33] Bhai Vir Singh , 2004, pp. Sri Kalgidhar Chamtkar, Bhai Vir Singh Sahit Sadan, New Delhi, 335-341

[34] Bhai Vir Singh, July 2009, Sri Dasam Guru Chamtkar, Bhai Chatar Singh Jiwan Singh, Sri Amritsar, pp.597-598

[35] Rajkumar Sarbananda, 2000, Etihase Suaura Chashata Bacharor, Page 272,First Edition, December, ISBN-81-7339-308-7 Banalata, New Bazar Dibrugarh-1

[36] Gyani Gian Singh Twareekh Khalsa, Part I, p. 118.
 

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