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Harmandir Sahib - Who Laid The Foundation Stone?

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Its always have been the generally accepted "fact" that the Foundation Stone of the Harmandir Sahib in Amrtisar was laid by Sain Mian Mir - a sufi saint contemporaray of Guru Arjun Ji Sahib. Is this so ??

1.First of all lets dwell a little bit on the "sanklap" or idea about such a Harmandir Sahib.
If we look at the Gurbani in SGGS..we cna find that the Original idea of such a Central place of worship such as the Harmandir Sahib begins with Guru Nanak Ji Sahib...on Panna 17 Guru nanak Ji Sahib declares..Prabh Harmandir Sohnna, tis mehn mannak laal....and then we find such references in the Gurbani of the succeeding five Guru Sahibaans.
2. Guru Amardass Ji gave the instructions to Guru Ramdass Ji to begin the construction of the Town of Amrtisar, the Sarovar and the Harmandir Sahib. Due to time constraints Guru Ramdass Ji set up the town and finished digging the two sarovars...but the construction of the Harmandir Sahib was left to Guru Arjun Sahib Ji. Guru Arjun Ji Sahib finished the digging of the sarovar and began the task of constructing the Harmandir Sahib accordign to the detailed instructions of his Father Guru Ramdass Sahib Ji.
3. Guru Arjun Sahib Ji consulted with the prominent and outstanding Sikhs of His time - like Baba Budha Ji, Bhai Gurdass Ji and sent out invititaions to the Sangat to gather at Amrtisar on 1st Maagh 1645 Bikrmi Samvat for this Foundation Stone Laying ceremony and to begin the task of construting the Harmandir Sahib. In order for the Foundation Stone to be laid...the Sarovar had been pumped out and dried. The Diwan took place on the dried bed of the Sarovar. Guru Arjun Sahib Ji performed Ardass in the Names of the Preceeding Four Nanaks, karrah parshad deg was served and the Foundation Stone was laid by GURU ARJUN SAHIB JI Himself.
The writer of the Primal Granth of Sikh History..Gur Partaap Suraj ( commonly called the Suraj Paraksh Granth) states this scene ...
"Im ardass kree birdh jabbeh, SRI ARJUN kr PANKAJ tabbeh."
Gahin EET tehn karee tikavan..MANDIR AVCHAL NEEV RAKHAVAN... 14.
And Guru Arjun Ji addressed the gathered Sangat..
"Abchal NEEV dharee GURU NANAK..
Nit Nit charreh sawaee - Gujree Mah 5 Panna 500 SGGS.

Kavi Santokh Singh ji then describes in DETAIL....the Plan of the Harmandir Sahib as Guru Arjun Ji explained it to the Craftsmen and builders...

"Har Mandir is reet banavoh..
CHAR dwaar chuhn dishan rakhavoh...{4}
Nagar Disha sar set rachejeh.
dwaar darshni sr tat keejeh..
Har Mandir ki KURSEE saruh
taal neer te urdh utharuh..{5}
Svrggdvareean treh banavoh
poorab dish hr pourrh chinavoh
chauhn dishan kee parkarmah kareoh.
gadhee neev treh te dhareah..{6}
Dar mandir ke chareh joine
dueh dueh chaat cugardeh hoey
madh jayeh uchee ik chhaat
upar mil sm hoi bhaant..{7}
Tis par ruchr bangla thapeh
kanchen teh chuhn dish mah dipeh....

The Harmandir Sahib is 40 ft square - all four sides has the parkirma of 13 feet width..inlcuidng the parkarma the SOLID BASE of the Harmandir Sahib is 66 Ft square. The Foundation is 20 feet DEEP and has crushed stones/sand etc to a height of 3 ft.

NO SIKH writer prior to Kavi Santokh Singh Ji has ever mentioned anything about who laid the Foundation Stone of the Harmandir Sahib Ji.

The First person to mention MIAN MIR as the one who laid the Foundation Stone of the Harmandir Sahib is Gyani GYAN SINGH who in his Sri Guru Panth Parkash Granth published in LAHORE via Stone Press. He writes.."Mian Mir teh neehn rakhayee KAREEGAREH PALAT KAR LAYEE...Poorbardh Bisraam 18, ank 70 Sri Guru Panth Paraksh. He declares..Mian Mir laid the Foundation Stone BUT he laid it WRONG...so the Kaareegar (craftsman- builder) picked it up and RIGHTED IT.
Then what happened ?? Guru Arjun Ji saw this..and said.."Yeh pakh pun Guru ji bachan kehan
Dharee TURK kee nian NA RAHEH !! Guru Arjun Ji saw this and declared.."A Foundation Stone laid by a TURK can NEVER be RIGHT.....as such this Harmandir will FALL and be REBUILT !! Can you beleive it...Guru Arjun Ji requesting a TURK to lay the Foundation Stone....and then saying..I KNEW IT..a "TURK" can never do things right...blah blah blah.. If the GURU knows all this..why ask the Turk in the first place ??
( >>>> Can a Foundation Stone Brick be laid WRONG ?? what is so difficult about such a task ????//besides the point....will pick up on this later on...Gyani jarnail Singh)

WHAT is even more interesting is the Fact that prior to the LAHORE EDITION...two earlier EDITIONS of this Book by Gyani Gyan Singh....First Edition in DELHI came out in 1936 Bikrmi..and SECOND EDITION in AMRITSAR ten years later in 1946 Bikrmi....NO MENTION OF MIAN MIR laying any foundation stone..( or anyone else for that matter) is made. ONLY the THIRD EDITION from LAHORE carries this remark and the author has not made any attempt to say from which source he picked this fact up !!! and why it was missing from the earlier two editions....

Picking up from Gyani Gyan Singh....Professor Teja Singh, Ganda Singh, Sahib Singh and Pyara Singh padam accepted that Mian Mir laid the Foundation Stone of Harmandir Sahib. From then its ...as they say..Makhee te makhee marnee....every writer lays the Foundation Stone at Mian Mirs feet....and no one seems even remotely interested in the ORIGINAL SOURCE/ or even bothered to quote any ORIGINAL SOURCE. Simply accepted Gyani Gyan Singh's illogical story of the "wrongly laid brick..." Technically speaking the real "Foundation Brick-Layer".... then is the "nameless bricklayer" who RIGHTED the wrongly laid Brick !!!. ( some story teller...hit upon the Bright Idea...and the story takes an even more Dramatic Turn....Since the Original Brick was WRONGLY LAID....eha Eha..THATS WHY it was "Divinely Ordained" that the Harmandir wouldl be DESTROYED..and REBUILT..and this "SRAAP" is put squarely in the mouth of GURU ARJUN JI HIMSELF.....can you beat that for "dramatic" ???? Just for a single wrongly laid brick...Guru Ji Foretells..the entire destruction of the yet UNBUILT Harmandir !!!!! Why for Heaven's sake build a huge edifice and foretell its destruction..only such storytellers can explain....they alone know the convulted logic..and those sangats that oohh and aahh on hearing such tall tales....)

From the day Harmandir Sahib was begun..1st Maagh, 1645 Bikrmi..to Gyani GYAN SINGH's THIRD EDITION 1946 Bikrmi..a time period of 300 YEARS.....
During these 300 years....NOT a Single writer...from Gurbilas Patshahi Chhevin, Gurbilas Patshai Dasvin by Koer Sinbgh, Sukha Singh, the Bansawalinama Das Patshahian by Kesar Singh Chhibbar, Gur Partap Suraj Granth of Kavi Santokh Singh, Pracheen Panth Parkash Rattan Singh Bhanggu etc etc...ever even mentions Mian Mir in any capacity.
Even the Muslim Shardhaloos of Mian Mir who have written his Biographies....NEVER MENTION nay such incident in his life. I would think that IF Mian Mir had laid the Foundation Stone of such an August Harmandir Sahib..his biographers would have recorded it.

Principal Satbir Singh in an article he sent to the Khalsa Advocate Weekly Newspaper in 9th September, 1989 Bikrmi writes that the First person to mention Mian Mir in relation to the Foundation Stone incident is BOOTEY SHAH. Booteh Shah's real name is Gulaam Muhiyudeen and he mentions this Mian Mir incident in his F{censored}e book Tarikh Punjab page 139....
BUT just read what he says....
Bootey Shah says..Mian Mir came to Amrtisar on the behest of Guru Arjun Ji Sahib to lay the Foundation Stone of the Harmandir Sahib.
On the specific instructions of Guru Arjun Ji..Mian Mir laid...FOUR BRICKS in FOUR DIRECTIONS..and ONE CENTRAL BRICK in the Centre....
This book is available in handwritten form around 1905 Bikrmi....Rattan Singh Bhanghu says thsi book was written earlier..around 1898 Bikrmi.
This period falls during the BRITISH OCCUPATION of PUNJAB. The Kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji had collapsed and the English East India Company had annexed the Punjab and was in occupation of Sikh Lands.
Prior to Bootey Shah no writer - Sikh or Non-Sikh makes any mention of Mian Mir in the context of Harmandir Sahib or even Guru Arjun Ji.
This FOUR BRICKS in Four Directions and One Central Brick in the Middle is also a rather UNIQUE way of laying a Foundation Stone....never heard or seen any such way.
The writer Bootey Shah...whose CONTEMPORARY is Rattn Singh Bhanggu writer of the Pracheen Panth Parkash Granth describes Bootey Shah as a paid writer of Sikh History in the pay of Capt Murray of the British Army. Rattan Singh writes.."When I found out about this...I approached Capt Murray and told him..."Hindu Turk mel kachh nahi...mussalmann kadd sach kaheh..Pracheen panth parkash page 40....meaning...Hindus and Turks have nothing in common...a Musslaman will never tell the TRUTH ( about the Sikhs/Hindus)..just as Hindus will never say the truth about musslmans !! Rattan Singh further goes on to explain why he beleives bottey shahs "history" is faulty....
This incident is then narrated by Gyani Gyan Singh in his Sri Guru panth parkash..that each knows only his own religion..Hindus know hinduism best..sikhs know khalsa best..etc etc and no writer can do justice to the others....and furthemore the long period of ENMITY between the Hindu/sikhs and the Muslims....will prevent the truth from being told by Bottey Shah..he is definitley BIASED AGAINST SIKHS.
Capt Murray then requested Rattan Singh Bhanggu to write his verison of Khalsa History..this was given to Capt Murray who kept BOTH versions ( Bootey's and Rattans) with him. Rattan Singh makes NO MENTION of any Foundation Stone in his version. He just declares that whatever Bootey Shah has written is under influence of enmity and jealousy . As such the Mian Mir story could be one of such instances.
Indian historian Sohan Laal Suri also bases his version on the Bootey Shah Version...but he further adds..Mian Mir only came to Amrtisar because Guru Arjun Ji went to Lahore to request him. Again this is based on ONLY Bottey Shah and Suri gives no other original source fro his assertion.

Why should we beleive Bhai Santokh Singh ji's version in GurPartap Suraj Granth ?
One reason is that the Granth was completed in 1900 Bikrmi and he began to write about a decade earlier..around 1890 Bikrmi. Bhai Santokh Singh was a regular listener to the Katha of the Gyani Sant Singh Hazooree Granthi of Harmandir Sahib....and this line of Granthis/Oral history goes back...Gyani Gurdass Singh...his father Gyani Surat Singh.....furthjer back to Gyani Gurbaksh Singh..who learnt at the feet of Bhai MANI SINGH...who was in Sikhism from the time of GURU HAR RAI JI. The Grandfatehr of Bhai mani Singh..Bhai Ballhu Ji was a Sikh of Guru Hargobind Ji..and was martyred in the battle of Amrtisar in 1691 Bilrmi. Thus the LINE of Oral History leading down to Bhai Santokh Singh ji is impeccable..Bhai Ballhu Ji...would have definitley told his son..Bhai MAI DASS JI about the construction of the Harmandir Sahib...and Bhai Mai Dass Ji would have surely told this to his son Bhai MANI SINGH Ji.
Bhai mani Singh Ji and his direct ancestors are so close to Guru Arjun Ji..Guru Hargobind Ji..Guru har rai ji..Guru Harkishan Ji..Guru Teg bahdur Ji and finally Guru Gobind Singh Ji...and EDUCATED ONES too..so their versions of ORAL history are definitely reliable...so far as Bootey Shah and Sohan Laal Suri are concerned thy are so far from Harmandir Sahib and Sikh Gurus...none of their ancestors even remotely connected in any way to Guru Sahib Jis....their version of this history..sounds just "imaginary/Fiction"...

Now to some "Circumstantial Evidence" ( I watch CSI too..you know..!!)
Face the follwoing Facts..

1. Kartar Pur Sahib....Foundation Stone laid by GURU NANAK JI.
2. Khadoor Sahib..Foundation Stone laid by Guru Angad Ji..
3. Goindwaal Sahib..Foundation Stone laid by GURU Amardass Ji...
4. Amrtisar..Foundation Stone laid by Guru Amardass Ji...
5. Santokhsar and Amrtisar Sarovars..BOTH "first Cut" by Guru ramdass ji...
6. Harmandir Sahib..Foundation Stone laid by GURU ARJUN JI
7. Taran Taran Sahib town and Sarovars.....Foundation Stone Laid by Guru ARJUN JI..
8. KartarPur Sahib Doaba...Foundation Stone laid by Guru Arjun Ji..
9. Sri Akal Takhat sahib..Foundation Stone laid by Guru hargobind Ji..
10. Kiratpur Sahib and Hargobind Nagar..Foundatiuon Stones laid by Guru hargobind Ji
11. Anandpur Sahib..Foundation stone laid by Guru teg bahdur Ji
12. Paonta Sahib..Foundation Stone laid by Guru Gobind Singh ji..
13. Anandgarh..Lohgarrh, FatehGarrh, Keshgarrh....all FOUR FORTS foundation stones laid by GURU GOBIND SINGH JI...
14. Harmandir Sahib destroyed and rebuilt..Second Foundation Stone laid by Jassa Singh Ramgarriah...
15 Forts built by Banda Singh Bahadur..all FS laid by banda Singh himself...

Now to something really "interesting". Even Santokh Singh got infected by the "wrongly laid" Brick mentioned by Bootey Shah and Gyani Gyan Singh....BUT in Santokh Singh's case..the MISLAID BRICK was done by GURU ARJUN JI.....and after the Bricklayer RIGHTED the "wrong"..Guru arjun ji remarked....alas..this Harmandir has been wrongly founded..it will have to be demolished...First of all..can a mere "Bricklayer" have that much audacity to "change" what the Guru has done ?? Secondly...even IF the brick is wrongly laid..wouldnt it be much easier to RE-LAY the faulty brick than to "curse" the entire unbuilt building...such an awsome waste of resources ?? dont you think ??
Methinks such tall tales are hindsight imaginary creations of people who exercise their brains with mental calisthenics...Since the Harmandir sahib was demolished by Ahmad Shah Abdali.... it must have been due to a curse !!!..so lets find an excuse and play some drama... in this case either there is some adulteration in Santokh Singhs book..or he fell prey to a tall tale....

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Based on Harmandir Sahib da sunehri ithihaas by SGPC Author Gyani Kirpal Singh in Punjabi
Mar 26, 2006
Thank you Gyani Jarnailsinghji for this wonderful explanation ..one explantion i too have read somwhere said that the relations between the Hindus and Muslims were so bad at that time ..it was not possible to come in touch with Mian Mir and have him lay the foundation.