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Showing posts from November, 2010

2.Inheritors of the Legacy

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Our family is blessed because of the grace bestowed upon us by Baba Nanak……Rai Saleem Akram Most of what we know about the legend and life of Guru Nanak comes to us through the much-loved tradition of stories or as we call them the Janam Sakhis. For centuries the storytellers in our villages in Punjab have narrated these tales imaginatively interlaced with events of history, perhaps crafting it a little here and there, swaying with the mood of the rapt listeners.
Life in the 15th century on the fertile plains between river Indus and river Ganges was, to say the least quite short on tranquillity and fraught with dangers of invading and marauding armies. However, in midst of all this was Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, a cocoon, lovingly nurtured by a temperate ruler… Rai Bullar Bhatti, a Muslim Rajput. He was a gentle giant; Hindu’s and Muslims respected him and lived in harmony on his estates on the banks of river Ravi.
A few decades ago, the estate was re-named by his grandfather after his father…

1.Legacy of Rai Bular Bhatti.......

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From the time I started delving into the minutiae of the life and teachings of Guru Nanak the information I gleaned was strewn and many a time not validated….but as I probed deeper the story that had been put together through the centuries was of a life so extraordinary and beautiful that it needs to be told over and over again in words and format that is contemporary to each generation. The divine flow of the life of Nanak has brought to fore many a person….The persona of Rai Bular Bhatti has been very stable and fascinating, rather it had been so out of the ordinary in times far from ordinary….that there was silent coercion in me to try and fill the blanks left in history…with the help of a little logical imagination. The Bhatti’s were the ‘Rajput warrior clan of Muslim origin’ Bhatti’s perhaps have taken their name from an ancestor named Bhatti, who was well-known as a warrior when the tribe was located in the Punjab…….were these the ancestors that were perhaps residents of village ‘…

Guru Nanak's Ancestral Village...In India

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This was the header that caught my interest in a random online search…. Visiting Guru Nanak's Ancestral Village. Yes! in India’….. It sounded interesting for sure, but more than that it was rather intriguing. Now what is a reasonably common knowledge is that Mehta Kaalu and family lived and were well respected in the neighbourhood of Rai Bhoi Di Talwandi. Moreover as the Patwari of the revenue estates of Rai Bular Bhatti, Mehta Kaalu was held in high esteem. And Rai Bhoi di Talwandi is today ….Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan So how does Guru Nanak’s ancestral village come to be in India?...
 I quite easily sourced the story from the article written by BS Goraya, Editor Punjab Monitor Magazine  , who wroteabout this on one of his sales trip to a village Dhotian…...and was keen to look around and see the places of historical interest.Two kilometers from village Jamarai, is Gurudwara Dera Sahib located in the revenue limits of Lohar village.This was the ancestral village of Guru Nanak…

Rai Bhoi di Talwandi to Nankana Sahib

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  It is said to have been originally built by a Hindu king called Raja Virat and Talwandi was totally ransacked and destroyed by wave after wave of invaders and marauders. The earliest historical reference to the city of Talwandi is found in ballads. It is mentioned in the context of the first siege of Jaisalmer which occurred during the reign of Alla-ud-din Khilji (1295-1315). These were the tumultuous time in history, and perhaps to create a bulwark, the self-crownedheads of Delhi Sultanate bundled out Punjab to Muslim warrior chiefs in exchange for peace. One of these chiefs was Rai Bhoi Bhatti, a Muslim of the Bhatti Rajput tribe….. This is another story that I can follow up in my next posting.


Rai Bhoi along with his son salvaged Talwandi from ruins, and as a part of the restoration built a fortification on a high ground in which he lived safe, secure and a just ruler of over 100, 000 acres land. Talwandi came to be known as Raipur and subsequently as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi. After R…

Kal taran Guru Nanak aya

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So said, Dalai Lama………. Saints like Guru Nanak make their presence felt in this weary world in order to show the right path to the suffering humanity by personal sacrifice and example. The message of Guru Nanak was a real blessing at the time when India was in grave crisis.

The foundation of Sikhism is laid on the teachings of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak's teachings centred on the firm belief in one ‘Param Atma’, earning an honest living and sharing, and that all the people of all religions are equal. Guru Nanak disentangled people from the buildup of errors through ages and encouraged them not to harbour prejudices in mind and to reject rules and rituals which shackled them in dogmatic confusion of 'Kalyug', by and by guiding them towards spirituality. Guru Nanak laid stress on keeping true faith in God and pursuing the path of good, and truth which leads one towards God.

He often said that God was inside oneself.                  As fragrance abides in the flower
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Man's Best Friend

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Let me continue with Kasauli…as I a have a few more interesting stories to tell. I told you earlier that travelling for me is soul reaching of the place which is imbibed from the lives of people who lived there or are still living there at present. My funny curious mind notices the inane and the innocuous, things that many pass by every day, without even a second glance. The Y-junction of Upper Mall with Lower Mall is about the most happening place to sit and have tea along with the quirky ‘samosa buns’ and watch The Mall slither down into a cobbled winding street of Kasauli Bazaar.
 By second day you are accepted as a regular and locals stop to chat with you….or else just flash a warm smile and greeting. Sitting where I was, opposite ‘Kalyan Hotel’ was a statue of a dog…..a black retriever…with nose trifle too long and a trifle upturned.
Curiosity inevitably gets the better of me and I casually inquired on the story of the dog…cast  for posterity. Was it a memorial?����������������������…