As academician, I had the opportunity and still get opportunity to visit many places of our country (although I am senior citizen and retired on superannuation) and whenever I get an opportunity, I inspire to visit Temple, Church, Mosque or Gurudwara. On 7 March 2020, I had the scope to visit Sri Hazur Sahib Gurudwara at Nanded, Maharashtra, India, a wonderful and holy place where I was enthused for doing meditation, in addition to prayer as in this place (Nanded) Sri Guru Gobind ji left for heavenly abode on 7 October, 1708. Also, I am pleased to mention that I could visit Sri Patna Sahib also known as Harmandir Sahib, Gurudwara, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh ji, (born in 1666). The Patna Sahib Gurudwara is considered to be one of the holiest of the five ‘Takths’ or ‘Seats’ of the Sikhs, located in old city of Patna, Bihar. Thus, his Birth place and ‘Paralok Prapti’ place (heavenly abode) i.e. both the divine places I could visit for which I am feeling lucky.
Before penning down few lines about my experience in Sri Hazur Sahib Gurudwara, Nanded, I extend my Pronam to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Sikh Guru, Poet, Philosopher and Spiritual Master also as he was the pioneer to establish this Gurudwara. This holy place has greatly attracted me because of its pristine beauty including its surroundings. The campus is neat and clean and is difficult to find a piece of paper anywhere.
Guru Gobind Singh, while conferring Guruship of the Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, had named Nanded region as Abchalnagar (steadfast city), located on the bank of the River Godavari. In addition, other major Gurudwaras in Nanded and its vicinity are Nagina Ghat, Banda Ghat, Sangat Sahib, Baoli Sahib, Mal Tekdi, Shikar Ghat, Hira Ghat and Mata Sahib, etc. As already mentioned, Sri Guru Gobind ji left for heavenly abode on 7 October, 1708 at Nanded and before return to his heavenly abode (Paralok Prapti’) he uttered, “The Eternal Father willed and I raised the Panth. All my Sikhs are hereby ordered to accept the Granth (Holy Book of the Sikhs) as their Preceptor. Have faith in the Holy Granth, as your master and consider it the visible manifestation of the Gurus. He who had a pure heart will seek guidance from its holy words”. His sole mission was to restore mankind to brotherhood. He institutionalized the Khalsa by baptizing five persons in Sikhism (literally, Pure Ones), who played the key role in protecting the Sikhs after his death. He fully realized human beings are perishable, but noble ideas sustain forever – they are eternal. The five persons who were baptized in Sikhism, on the day of ‘Vaishakhi’ by Guru Gobind ji in 1699 were Daya Ram (Bhai Daya Singh), Dharam Das (Bhai Dharam Singh), Himmat Rai (Bhai Himmat Singh), Mohkam Chand (Bhai Mohkam Singh), and Sahib Chand (Bhai Sahib Singh). According to Guru Gobind ji, “He who keeps alight the unquenchable torch of truth, and never swerves from the thought of One God; he who has full love and confidence in God and does not put his faith, even by mistake, in fasting or the graves of Muslim saints, Hindu crematoriums, or Jogis places of sepulchre; he who recognises the One God and no pilgrimages, alms-giving, non-destruction of life, penances, or austerities; and in whose heart the light of the Perfect One shines, – he is to be recognised as a pure member of the Khalsa” (Guru Gobind Singh, 33 Swaiyyas)
The 300 Gurudomship ceremony of Guru Granth Sahib and 300 Joti Jot anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh were celebrated in a massive way at Hazur Sahib, Nanded in 2008. The then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh ji addressed to the Sath-Sangat on the main function. For creating awareness among common people, ‘Jagriti Yatra’ was arranged which journeyed through different places across the country and also many places in abroad.
However, in the context of Hazur Sahib Gurudwara, it is pertinent to mention that, the most important aspect is that there are two number of sanctum sanctorum. While all the functions are carried out by the priests in the outer room, the inner room is a vault which houses priceless objects, weapons and other personal belongings of the Guru. No one except the head priest can enter this holy vault.
Before winding up, seven teachings of Guru Gobind Singh ji that can guide us throughout life are presented below:
- Do not gossip, nor slander, or be spiteful to anyone.
- Do not be proud of riches, youthfulness or lineage. (Regardless of maternal and paternal caste or heritage, all of the Guru’s Sikhs are siblings of one family.)
- When dealing with enemies, practice diplomacy, employ a variety of tactics, and exhaust all techniques before engaging in warfare.
- Do as much possible to serve and aid foreigners, those in need, or in trouble.
- Realise that considering a daughter as property is poison.
- Donate a tenth of your earnings.
- Do not ruin anyone’s work by gossiping.
(The relevant information and particulars have been collected from
Dr. Shankar Chatterjee
Former Professor& Head (CPME)
NIRD &PR (Govt. of India),