Gurudwara Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib: More Historical Facts
This shrine representing the home of Baba Kalo and Mata Tripta, father and mother respectively of Guru Nanak Dev, where the Guru was born, was established by Baba Dharam Chand (1523-1618) son of Baba Lakhmi Das and grandson of Guru Nanak. The shrine must have been established before the end of the sixteenth century because Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606) is believed to have visited it. Its present building comprising a square, domed sanctum with a rectangular pavilion attached to it within a vast walled compound was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839).
Several other buildings were added after the S.G.P.C. took over control on 21st February 1921, the day following the massacre of 150 to 200 Sikh pilgrims by assassins hired by Maharit Narain Das abetted by the British Commissioner of Lahore Division. The traditional fair to celebrate birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev continued with great eclat upto 1946, but since 1947 it has been a tame affair. In the beginning, the Pakistan government had permitted 15 Sikhs to stay at Nankana Sahib to carry out routine services at the shrine, but their number was reduced to a bare five in 1968 and still later to a solitary Granthi who maintains a token attendance with the help of some sahajdhari (unbaptised) Siridhi Sikhs. Thrice a year, on Baisakhi (April), death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (June) and birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev (November), Pakistan government allows Sikh jathas, a few hundred strong each, to visit this and other shrines at Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib and Lahore.
According to Waliullah Khan, Sikh Shrines in West Pakistan, there is a sacred relic, Chola Sahib, preserved here. It is a cloak with Quranic verses embroidered on it supposed to have been presented to Guru Nanak Dev by the ruler of Baghdad during the Guru’s visit to that city. If this is true (because our older sources do not make any mention of it), it is a fake relic, because Chola Sahib believed to be the real one is preserved at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of the Indian Punjab.
Nankana Sahib is a holy place where the founder of Sikh religion, the dispeller of darkness, the most enlightened global Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji was born early in the morning to Mata Tripta Ji and Mehta Kalu Ji on 15th April, 1469 (Baisakh sudi 3, Samwat 1526).
Bhai Gurdas in his Var (Var 1/27) has equated this event with the sun that lights up the earth after a dark night :
Jeeu Kar suraj nikaleya, taare chhipe andher paloa. (Var 1/27)
According to Puratan Janam Sakhi, the trees starting dripping juice, many a pauper became rich, the diseased were blessed with health. The earth heaved a sigh of relief.
According to Janam Sakhis, when Daulta Dai, the maid nurse was offered money, she refused it on the plea that she had already been rewarded by the very glimpse of the holy baby. Guru Nanak gave his first message that he belong to God and would exert the people to worship His Name. Bhai Nand lal ji has well said that Guru Nanak was asked by the Almighty to turn the face of humanity towards Him.
The township of Nankana Sahib was earlier known as Raipur and later on as Rai-Bhoi-di-Talwandi but after the birth of Guru Nanak, it began to be known as Nankian Sahib/Nankana Sahib. It is situated at a distance 48 miles on the west from Lahore.
Guru Nanak dev ji passed his whole childhood and young age in Nankana Sahib. At the age of nine, when Pandit Hardyal asked the boy Nanak to put on Janeo, he refused to have the thread that discriminated amongst mankind. The Janeo which was made of the silk for a brahmin, of cotton for a khatri, of wool for a Vaish and which was strictly abondoned for Shudara. And again which is three folds for brahmin, two folds for Khatri and only one fold for Vaish. He asked the Pandit if he had the thread made of compassion the cotton, contentment the yarn, continence the knot and purity the twist, he was ready to wear it. The Pandit was dumb-founded :
Daeya kapah santokh soot jatu gandhi sat watt.
Eihu janeo jeea ka hai ta pande ghatt. (p. 471)
When he joined a school at Nankana Sahib, the Guru is said to have written fundamentals of education on the wooden takhti provided to him. He enlightened the people when he wrote simply the first alphabet of Persian script ‘alaf’ and conveyed the message of unity of Godhood.
Guru Nanak Dev got married on 21st , may 1487 to Bibi Sulakhani, Daghter of Mulchand Khatri of Batala. It was at Nankana Sahib that he met Bhai Mardana, who was his life long companion for 47 years, listening and singing Guru’s gospel. According to the Sikh history, Guru Nanak at the age of 22 years, in 1491 A.D. went into silence for days together. He did not eat a single morsel and utter a single word.
His father Kalu ji sent for a local physician / Vaid. The vaid found nothing wrong with the young Nanak and found himself in a quandary as to what to tell his father because Nanak was absolutely healthy. Guru Nanak said ,” I have no physical ailment. Thou, the simple physician, knows not the pangs arising from the heart”