ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ॥ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫ਼ਤਹਿ ॥
I hope you are all enjoying the holidays! Remember to keep an eye out for our stall at the freshers fair!
ਰੁਤਿ ਸਰਦ ਅਡੰਬਰੋ ਅਸੂ ਕਤਕੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਿਆਸ ਜੀਉ ॥
rut saradh adda(n)baro asoo katake har piaas jeeau ॥
In the cool, autumn season, in the months of Assu and Katik, I am thirsty for the Lord.
(Ang 928, SGGSJ)
On the fourth day of Assu, we remember the Joti Jot of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded the city of Kartarpur in 1522 after his 4th Udasi (4th journey). After Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 5th Udasi, he settled in Kartarpur and spent 18 years there. It was in Kartarpur, where he continued the tradition of Langar that he had established earlier. Guru Nanak Dev Ji also announced Guru Angad Dev Ji as his successor on 7th September 1539 there.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was deeply revered by people of all faiths and so, when it became apparent that Guru Ji was about to leave for Sachkand, an argument ensued between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus as to what was to be done with Guru Ji’s body.
The Hindus and the Sikhs wished to cremate Guru Ji as per their beliefs, but the Muslims wished to bury him as per their customs. As they could not come to a solution as to what to do, they consulted Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He said that although his mortal body would pass, the divine light that was in Guru Ji (his Jot, ਜੋਤ) would pass to their new Guru, Guru Angad Dev Ji.
To settle the dispute Guru Nanak Dev Ji instructed the Sikhs and Hindus to place flowers on one side of him and the Muslims to place flowers on the other side. Whoever’s flowers survived the night could perform his funeral rites as per their customs.
That evening Guru Nanak Dev Ji joti jot samai (meaning his ‘light’ merged with the ‘light’ of the creator). On the morning of September 22nd 1539, the devotees gathered around Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s body to see who would perform the funeral rites. When the cloth that covered Guru Ji’s body was lifted, all that was left was fresh flowers.
Surprised and stunned by what had transpired, the Muslims buried their flowers, while the Sikhs and Hindus cremated their flowers. Following this, a grave and a Hindu tomb was erected. Today the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara marks the spot where Guru Ji left this mortal world.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Panjab, Pakistan. Consequently, it has been difficult for Sikhs living on the Indian side of Panjab to visit the Gurdwara. In 1999, a ‘Corridor’ was proposed to allow visa-free access for Indians to visit Kartarpur Sahib. The construction of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was completed in 2019, marking the 550th anniversary of the Gurgaddi of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
“Almost 550 years with Guru Nanak Dev Ji!”, Sikh Net (https://www.sikhnet.com/news/almost-550-years-guru-nanak-dev-ji)
“Kartarpur corridor: A road to peace between India and Pakistan?”, BBC News (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-46382657)
“The Udasis of Guru Nanak”, Sikhi Wiki (https://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/The_Udasis_of_Guru_Nanak)