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Guru Nanak moved by the plight of the people of world wanted to tell them about the "real message of God". The peoples of the world were confused by the conflicting message given by priests, pundits, qazis, mullahs, etc. He was determined to bring his message to the masses; so in 1499, he decided to set out on his sacred mission to spread the holy message of peace and compassion to all of mankind.
It is believed that Guru Nanak is the the second most travelled person in the world; most of his journeys were made on foot with his companion Bhai Mardana. He travelled in all four directions - North, East, West and South. The founder Sikh Guru is believed to have travelled more than 28,000 Kms in five major tours of the world during the period from 1500 to 1524.
Guru Nanak saw the world suffering out of hatred, fanaticism, falsehood and hypocrisy. The world had sunk in wickedness and sin. So he decided that he had to travel and educate and press home the message of Almighty Lord. So he set out in 1500 on his mission for the regeneration of humanity on this earth. He carried the torch of truth, heavenly love, peace and joy for mankind. For 1 year he spread his message of peace, compassion, righteousness and truth to the people in and around his home.
Guru Nanak Fifth Udasi (1523 to 1524)
The fifth Udasi was undertaken within the Punjab province. Although the Guru had settled down at Kartarpur, he still took small tours within the radius of 100 to 200 miles around Kartarpur. He went to many places and preached his gospel of Naam. At many of these places, the people became Guru's followers and they set up Gurdwaras in his honor.
Guru At Achal Batala
About 25 miles from Kartarpur, there was a place called Achal Batala where on the occasion of Shivratri festival, hundreds of Jogis used to come to take part in the festival. The Guru also went to Achal Batala to preach his doctrine. Thousands of people came from far and near to see and hear him. There were three camps- one of the Jogis, another of the Guru and the third one of a party of musicians. More and more people gathered around the Guru's camp than that of the Jogis. This made the Jogis very angry and jealous and they were determined to humble the Guru.
Whatever the money the musicians were getting from the audience, they put it in a bowl. Somehow the Jogis stole their bowl full of money and hid it someplace thinking that the musicians would go to the Guru for help and if the Guru was unable to locate the bowl, he would be humbled.
Knowing about the greatness of the Guru, the musicians went to the Guru for help to find their bowl of money. The wonderful Guru told them about the mischief of the Jogis and recovered their bowl from the hiding place. Thus the Jogis suffered a tremendous defeat.
Next attack from the Jogis came through a discussion. As mentioned before the Guru after his travels, laid aside the pilgrim's apparel and had put up ordinary dress of a family man. The Jogis said,"O Guru, you are a holy man but you are wearing the garb of a family person. Why does a holy man lead a family life?" Jogi Bhagarnath further asked the Guru,"When the milk becomes sour, no butter is produced by churning it, why have you cast away your hermit's dress and donned ordinary clothes?"
The Guru replied,"O Bhangarnath, your mother was an unskilled woman. She knew not how to wash the churn, and so spoilt the butter in producing thee. Thou hast become an anchoret after abandoning thy family life, and yet thou goest to beg to the houses of family men."
Upon this reply the Jogis were enraged and through their miraculous powers, they started to harass the Guru. One Jogi became a cobra to frighten the Guru, the other became wolf and other started rain of fire. The powerful Guru sat calmly unperturbed and unharmed. When the Jogis were beaten badly, Bhangarnath asked the Guru that he exhibited miracles to the world, why he was slow to exhibit the same to them?
The Guru replied that he had no miracles except the True Name, and he uttered the following Shabad:
|Were I to put on a dress of fire, construct a house of snow and eat iron;
Were I to turn all my troubles into water, drink it, and drive the earth as a steed; Were I able to put the firmament into one scale and weigh it with a tank; Were I to become so large that I could be nowhere contained; and were I to lead every one by the nose; Had I such power in myself that I could perform such things or cause others to perform them, it would be all in vain. As great as the Lord is, so great are His gifts; He bestoweth according to His pleasure. Nanak, he on whom God looketh with favor obtaineth the glory of the True Name."
|(Majh di Var, Slok Mohalla 1, p-147)|
The Yogis then finally complimented the Guru on his success and said,"Hail, O Nanak, great are thy deeds! Thou hast arisen a great being, and lit a light in this age of falsehood (kalyug) in the world."
The Guru initiated Kirtan at the early hours of the morning at Kartarpur. A boy seven years of age started to come to listen Kirtan and stood behind the Guru as a mark of respect. One day the Guru asked the boy,"O boy, why do you come so early while your age requires to eat, play and sleep." The boy replied,"Sir, one day my mother asked me to lit the fire. When I put fire on the wood, I observed that the little sticks burned first than the big ones. From that time I am afraid of the early death. I am doubtful whether I will live to be old and so I attend your holy communion." The Guru was very much pleased to hear these words of wisdom from the lips of the boy and said,"Although you are only a boy, yet you speak like a 'buddha' (an old man)."
From that day the boy was called Bhai Buddha. He was held in such high esteem that he was commissioned to impress the saffron tilaks or patches of Gurudom on the foreheads of the first five successors of Guru Nanak.
Bhai Buddha's original name was Ram Das, and a village was named after him. The word Bhai means brother. Guru Nanak who disregarded caste and preached the doctrine of the brotherhood of mankind, desired that all his followers should be deemed brothers, and thus be addressed so. The title 'Bhai' is now bestowed on Sikh priests also.
|Travels of Guru Nanak|