, A Journey through Sikh History

SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI while on his eastward journey reached Haridwar. It is a big city in Uttarakhand, on the banks of the river Ganges and is one of the major centers for Hindu pilgrimage. The people, gathered there in large numbers, were bathing in the holy river. SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI observed many people throwing water towards the sun in the east. These people who were offering handfuls of water from river Ganges, towards the sun in the east, believed that by this ritual they could offer water to their dead elders in the next world. This next world was in the East from where the Sun rose. SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI entered the river for purposes of bathing as other common pilgrims were doing. Instead of throwing water to the east, he, however, started throwing water in the opposite direction towards the west where GURU SAHIB farm was. Taking him as a new visitor, the nearby bathers told him that he was not performing the rituals correctly. They advised him to throw water to the east. Guru Sahib continued throwing water towards the west pretending that he was very much absorbed in the 'holy' act and had not heard anything. Soon, many people gathered there to tell him the proper method of performing the ritual. His water thrown to the west was of no use to him or to his dead ancestors. The leader of the pilgrims approached and asked GURU SAHIB, “Why are you throwing the holy water to the West in the wrong direction?” By this time many thousand of bather were watching GURU SAHIB. "The water is to be thrown towards the rising sun in the east so that it reaches your dead ancestors."

GURU SAHIB calmly replied, “I am watering my crops in Punjab. All my crops in my village are dying as there has been no rain” and continued to splash the water to the west. He wanted to irrigate those crops. Hearing GURU SAHIB reply the people started laughing. The curious spectators asked, “Are you crazy? How can your water reach hundreds of miles away to Punjab from here?” GURU SAHIB replied, “The very same way as yours reaches your ancestors in the other world many millions of miles away. In fact, my farm is quite closer on this very earth." GURU SAHIB stopped splashing the water. GURU SAHIB became serious and asked, "If the water thrown by me cannot reach a few hundred miles away on this very earth, how can water thrown by you to your dead ancestors reach them in the heavens?" The leader of the pilgrims had no answer to this. The people became silent and started thinking over the reply given by the GURU SAHIB. They had no logical argument to challenge his statement. This made the people think about the uselessness of their ritual. SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI came out of the river and the crowd followed him. The GURU SAHIB calmly told them the truth. He explained that hollow rituals do not have any religious value. They should love, respect and take care of their people, friends and religions when they are alive rather then perform these useless rituals afterward. When people die, they do not need anything from us and neither can we send them anything after they have left this world. After death, people get what they have given to the needy, out of their honest earnings, while living on this earth.

NOTE :- We could not find any place marked or reserved or preserved as GURDWARA SAHIB in rememberance of GURU SAHIB at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar. What we find was only a room on the name of SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI, managed by Mahants, Gurdwara Sri Gyan Godri Sahib, was one of the Sacred Place at Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar, Uttarakhand. It existed at the place where The Bharat Scouts and Guides office exists today at the market in Subhash Ghat of Har Ki Pauri which is verified by Municipal Corporation Haridwar records of 1935

Pictures Taken on 18-Mar, 2009.
Location of Gurdwara Sahib on Google Map
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  • Address :-
    Gurdwara Sri Gian Godri Sahib
    Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar
    District :- Haridwar
    State :- Uttrakhand.
    Phone Number :-