Prof. Karamjeet Singh
Jagat Guru Dhan Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji, after giving enlightenment to the world, merged with the Almighty on the 28th day of Bhadon according to the Nanakshahi Calendar. The corresponding date for the current year (2020) falls on 12 September. The light blended with the Supreme Light at Kartarpur Sahib (now in Pakistan).
When Guru Nanak Dev Ji left his body to merge with the Almighty, both the Hindus and the Muslims sought ownership to his body as he was considered to be “Hindu Da Guru, Musalman Da Pir”(Guru of Hindus, Saint of Muslims)
The Hindus wanted to cremate the mortal remains of the Guru while the Muslims wished to bury the same. As the matter was being debated it was suggested that the congregation takes a look at the mortal remains of the Guru that were lying there covered under a white bed sheet.
When the bed sheet was removed, all the people gathered were awestruck on finding two flowers lying there instead of the mortal remains.
This was an indication by Guru Nanak Dev Ji to the people that instead of fighting over Aakaar (form), they should enjoy the fragrance as is done with flowers. But the people did not take the message.
They tore the bed sheet into two; 0ne half was taken by the Hindus and the other half by the Muslims. The Hindus lit a pyre and burnt the bed sheet as the last rites while the Muslims buried it. They then built two tombstones in the memory of the Guru in accordance with their customs. These were an Mathh by the Hindus and a Marhi by the Muslims. Next morning there was a heavy outrage of water in the River Raavi which demolished both the structures.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message is,”Enjoy the fragrance” and for us the fragrance is the Guru’s Shabad (word)
(The author is Vice-Chancellor, Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University, Patiala)