First Udasi of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

First Udasi of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

It was the time of 1500 to 1506 A.D. Guru Ji decided to go on his huge tour which is called Udasis. Eventually he left his family, devotees and friends and made Mardana his partner. 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Punjab

He spent some time in the Punjab, visiting various places, converting Hindus and Muslims with his ideas and setting up beds or missionary centers wherever he went. 

 Nanak Dev Ji in Goindwal

GuruCrossing the Beas River, he came to the place where the town of Goindwal is now located. It was a vast desert at that time. Sitting on the bank of the river, Guru Ji worshiped nature and its living Lord. His soul was imbued with heavenly music. Along with him Mardana was playing his rabab and singing master's songs brilliantly. On the strong wings of light, the Guru's soul joined the feet of the blissful Lord. 
For two days Guru Nanak sat like this with his eyes closed and meditated, and his face shone with calm, radiant splendor. Mardana sat down next to him. He was feeling hungry. He turned his Rabab aside. He would look around for a nearby residence or a tourist sign. No one was there. He was getting restless. 

Questions by Mardana

When Guru Ji came out of Samadhi, Mardana told him - Guru ji, either give me a little strength to enjoy the Sangat (company) of the Lord by completely ignoring the needs of the body, or please choose your path through the places of residence; Otherwise this poor man, whom you have taken out of so many quarrels of society and made a brother, will one day become a corpse in this forest. Then who will sing the delicious songs that make you happy? What attractions do you find in this desert that you stop here for the last two days, remembering the needs of your body and the longing of your weak partner? 

Reply of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Guru Nanak Dev Ji said with a smile. 'This place is blessed by the Lord. A great person will build a temple here, where God will be worshiped all day long.

At that moment the landlord came to them, as if God had sent his angel. The landlord gave them food for the body. In return he received precious food for the soul that could never be destroyed.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Sultanwind

From there the two went their separate ways. In what way? Which the Guru's feet took under the Lord's instructions. All the places where they went. The Guru frees the people from atheism or irreligion, and puts them on the right path. 
Within a few days they reached a pool of water around Sultanwind. Here, sitting on its edge, under the shade of a plum tree. The Guru sang the praises of God, when at the resumption the Guru said, “Here another great person will build Hari's temple, where the divine food will be distributed free of cost every hour.” 
This sarovar is the site of the sacred sarovar of Amritsar, which has the Amrit sarovar and the golden temple. On the edge of an old plum tree, under which the Guru was sitting, still exists. It is called Dukh bhanjani Beri or Ber Tree which eliminates all sorrows and pains.

Traveling in this way, stopping at many places as Guru Ji had done in the mood, everywhere, Hindus and Muslims were united at the feet of the Almighty Father, everywhere, the foundation of the holy Sangat was laid. In this way the Guru reached Lahore. While staying there, he continued to deliver the divine message to all in his melodious voice. Many people recognized him and became his disciples.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji In Eminabad 

After a short stay at Lahore, the Guru walked from there to Saidipur, now called Eminabad, in Gujranwala, Pakistan. They went to the house of a low caste artisan. He was a pious man who lived in his small house and enjoyed serving the saints and pilgrims. Such people were dear to Guru Nanak. He would go miles and miles to see such people.

Bhai Lalo

Bhai Lalo welcomed Guru Nanak with great joy. Meeting Guru Nanak was a great spiritual relief for Bhai Lalo. Bhai Lalo realized at first sight that he was an angel of God. Bhai Lalo realized that this is the Savior, who will revive my soul with a divine spark, give him birth in the life of the soul, give him the gift of true devotion, and finally, make him one with the Lord.

Seeing the guests coming, Bhai Lalo left his tools and got up to greet them. He put them in his dilapidated huts, seated the Guru on a bed, the only one he had, and began cooking in a small kitchen. 
Bhai Mardana was surprised at the Guru's choice of host. In the city, there were many rich and powerful people who welcomed him happily and ate delicious food in the large mansion. Bhai Lalo was a poor man. He didn't have much food, he didn't have a bed and he didn't have a wife or a cook.

What kind of food can an artisan prepare? The Guru read Bhai Mardana's thoughts. He was happy. With a loving smile, the Guru said, 'Brother, don't be surprised. I have chosen a saint as my host. A pious person is one who loves the Lord and earns his living by honest work. This place is sacred and better than other places. Rather than the vast habitats of rich parasites that live on other people's earnings. 

Food of Bhai Lalo

By that time, Bhai Lalo had cooked simple, thick bread and vegetables. He requested Guru Ji to go to the kitchen and sanctify the humble kitchen. The Guru replied, 'Bhai ji, the whole earth is as good as a kitchen. True and devoted servants of the Lord do not need to care for formal purity; They are also pure and unadulterated. Bring food here. '
 Seeing this simple, thick bread, the man became restless at first. He thought he would not be able to chew and swallow it. He saw that the Guru was eating it with gusto and pleasure. 

Bhai Mardana Ji also hesitantly put a piece of bread in his mouth. Ah! Its amazing! Mardana ji found that he had never eaten such delicious bread. As Guru Nanak Dev Ji has said, only food with love, truth and honest work is delicious. 

Bhai Lolo’s Request

After staying for a few days, the Guru got ready to go. But Bhai Lalo fell at his feet and prayed that he would stay a little longer. The Guru could not refuse such a loving request. 
He agreed to stay. Bhai Mardana requested and asked permission to meet and see his people at Talwandi. He was allowed to do so, but was asked to return soon. The Guru remained there until Bhai Mardane returned.

Meditation by Guru Nanak Dev Ji

In those days the Guru used to go to a secluded place where he would sit and meditate on the Lord. At night he returned to Bhai Lalo's house. 
News spread throughout the city that a Bedi Khatri from Talwandi, who had become a sadhu, and had a low caste companion named Mardana, was staying and eating at the house of a Shudra. Cooked by that low caste man.

Oppose of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

A so-called Khatri saint living and eating with a lower caste person, a Hindu Shudar, defames the upper caste people of Aminabad. They named him Kurahiya or a man who had renounced his rights. That is going the wrong way. 
Some learned Brahmins came to Guru Ji. They hoped to bring him back to the path prescribed in the Vedas and Shastras. But they had to go back in complete confusion. Their own old faith was shaken, but they will not give up. They were making a living from it.

Yet, many Hindus and Muhammadans, who listened to divine songs and discourses, and saw his glorious face, considered him their spiritual guide and became his Sikh. Hindus started calling him "Nanak Tapa". The people of Muhammad called him 'Nanak Shah' or 'Nanak Devi Fakir'. 
In a short time, people from nearby villages came to see the Guru. The Guru's message of liberation from the shackles of superstition, forms and ceremonies was strongly opposed by Hindu and Muslim religious leaders.

The Guru was warmly welcomed by Hindus and Muslims. The Guru was disturbed by the people who lived on the religious offerings of the population. 
They felt that the Guru was diminishing their position as guardians and sellers of their religion and religious knowledge; Because he was teaching that everyone can become his own priest and worship without the advice of Pandits and Mullahs. They feared that their means of subsistence, comfort, would be destroyed. So they conspired together to force the Guru to leave the place. They started poisoning the ears of Malik Bhago who was a Khatri by caste and a servant of Zalim Khan.
However, at this time Guru Nanak was not much opposed. Many people came to hear his holy and divine music, soul-inspiring speech.

A Sacrificial Feast by Malik Bhago

Some time later, something happened that gave Malik Bhago an excuse to oppose the Guru. One day it happened that Malik Bhago was giving a big feast. 
He wanted all the religious and fakir men of the place, all the Brahmins and Sadhus, to join him and eat his feast, so that he might attain Punn. 

Malik Bhago called Guru Nanak Dev Ji

He was told that a saint was staying at Bhai Lalo's house. He sent a servant to call the Guru. The Guru refused to accept the invitation. He said he had a good taste of food but no taste of the blood stained food, which would be used at Bhago's feast. 

Opportunity for Bramins

The Brahmins got their chance. They said to the arrogant and haughty Malik, "Then you see! This man, whom people call Tapa or Faqir and who belongs to the upper caste, is in fact a secular of the worst kind. He opposes the caste system. He eats with Shudra, he rejects your invitation with disgrace, he mocks you, he says there is blood in your feast, it is a great insult, it is too much. Most likely he deserves punishment.

Frustration of Malik Bhago

Malik Bhago felt frustrated and humiliated - despised and insulted by the Guru's refusal to eat the sacrificial feast. He believed that this festival of 'Yag' or sacrifice would be incomplete until all the saints in the area ate his feast. 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji Turned Down The invitation

He sent his man again to fetch the Guru. But the Guru again turned down the invitation and said, 'What should a fakir do in the house of a high official? I don't want to eat his best feast. Why should he insist on my participation? ' 

Malik Bhago got angry

Malik Bhago was very angry. He sent many of his servants to bring the Guru to his presence, if necessary, using force. 
When they told the Guru their purpose, the Guru smiled and said, "Well, friends. The Lord's work should be done: the sooner, the better. Go and tell your master that I am coming to do my work."

Guru Nanak Dev Ji met Malik Bhago

Malik was eagerly waiting for him. Guru Ji went to meet Malik Bhago and remained silent. Malik Bhago was mad with rage. But looking at the Guru's face, a strange wave ran through his body. The fire of his soul cooled down. He addressed the Guru with respect. 
He then asked the Guru about living and eating with the lower castes. Malik Bhago then asked why an upper caste Hindu had refused to accept an invitation to a feast in the name of God. Malik Bhago said that he was most angry because Guru Ji had said blood in his feast.

Reply of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

The Guru listened to him calmly. Then he said, “You misguided Man, it was your duty to invite everyone to your feast and you did that; But I did not want to accept the invitation. 
We saints are not fond of eating and drinking. We eat only what the blessed God sends us in His mercy. As for my comment on the nature of the food given at your festival, I said what I felt. 
I will not be prevented from speaking the truth for fear of anyone. The food and comforts you get from persecuting the working poor are truly like the blood of the unfortunate. 
All your wealth has been ruthlessly looted from the poor of this region. The enjoyment of this earned wealth can not only create vile desires and evil tendencies in the heart and mind, but can also cause pain and sickness in the body. That is why I am giving up your feast.”

Malik Bhago’s Questions

Malik Bhago felt the justice of the Guru's clear and bold remarks. But his servants, dependents and friends were all gathered there. He is not so easily defeated. 
So he said, “If the food given by a person of higher caste like me is considered unfit for you, how can you take food prepared by a Shudra whose unclean touch makes a double birth? His bread does not contain milk and my feast does not contain blood, does it?”

Guru Nanak Dev ji showed the Truth

 Guru replied, “Lalo's bread has been mixed with milk and honey. The earnings of a holy man, obtained through sweat, are holy; the food given by such holy workers and laborers is sweet and like milk and honey. It sustains the body and elevates the soul. 
While the wealth gained through exploitation and oppression of the poor and weak is really linked to the blood of the unfortunate victims. Such food harms the body and harms the soul. I don't have any of these.”
Malik Bhago got angry at this. Guru Nanak said, “Don't be angry. There should be no compulsion in such cases. Well, if you want to give me your feast, give me some food. The Guru also asked Lalo to bring a piece of bread from his house. By this time a large crowd had gathered around the Guru, including the Nawab himself. 

Testing of the food

When food was brought from both the houses, Guru Ji took Lalo's bread in his right hand and food from Bhago's house in his left hand. He squeezed them both, raising his hands high enough for everyone to see. Drops of milk came out of Lalo's bread and drops of blood came out of Bhago's food.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji said to Malik Bhago, “It was the main reason why I refused to eat your delicious feast. Lalo's bread is obtained through honest hard work and is pure. He earns by hard work and shares his earnings with others; While your food has been obtained through bribery, oppression, and exploitation. 
So it is unclean and blood-stained. Such food for Hindus, such as beef, and pork for Muslims; Anything that is forbidden by religion cannot be allowed to be prepared with spices.”

“In the same way, what is obtained by depriving others of their due arrears or things, by deception or oppression, is like forbidden food; By donating some of it or giving it to Brahmins and Sadhus for food, it cannot be pure and just. People who do this kind of business can't expect any mercy from God.”
Malik Bhago's pride became humble. He realized that he was living a very sinful life and going in the dark day by day. At the same time, he accused the Guru of sitting with the lower castes and disregarding the rules of conduct of the upper castes.

Teaching of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji said to Malik Bhago, "Do not be proud of your superior Hindu caste and don’t hate anyone. God dwells within all human beings. All human beings are children of God and all human beings are equal. 
It is the work of man that makes one dearer to God and man than to a humble, holy man, a high-born tyrant or a wicked man. Serving humanity and doing physical labor with sincerity does not lower a man. They elevate him."

Regret By Malik Bhago

Malik Bhago fell at the feet of Guru Ji. A strange thrill entered his forehead, when he touched the Guru's feet, the wave passed through his whole body. He begged forgiveness for his bad past.

He prayed for life and light. The Guru allowed him to get up and do good deeds. In Malik Bhago a changed man emerged. There was a new light in his eyes; Unknown bliss filled his heart and made his soul happy. The Guru bestowed upon him the precious gift of Naam (The True Name of God) and a life of love and service. Malik Bhago went home, he was feeling light physically. He distributed all his wealth among the poor.

Other Places visited by Guru Nanak Dev Ji during first Udasi

1. Hardwar
2. Gorakhmata
3. Reetha Sahib
4. Banaras
5. Gaya 
6. Kamprup
7. Jagan Nath Puri
The events of these places will be described in the upcoming posts


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