Updated 8:04 am, Apr 28, 2021

Real date of birth of Guru Nanak Sahib | Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer | SNE

By  SNE Guest Columnist Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer .
Apr 15, 2017

Guru Nanak Sahib founded Sikhism, as revealed to him by Akaal Purakh (God). Guru Nanak (20.10.1469 7.9.1539), son of (Mata) Tripta and (Baba) Kalyan Das (son of Baba Shiv Narayan and grandson of Baba Ram Narayan Bedi, was born at village Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi* (now Nanakana Sahib).

Another date (the 15th of April 1469) has also been mentioned by some writers as Guru’s birth date. This mistake occurred due to distortion by Mehrban (who wrote a biography of Guru Nanak suiting to his planning to establish himself in the Sikh world). Meharban, who had been functioning under the guidance of the Brahmins, who assert that a child born in Katak month of Bikrami calender (October-November of Gregorian calender or Common Era/ C.E.) is in-auspicious; hence he changed the date of birth of Guru Nanak. The date 15th of April 1469 has been accepted by those who have followed Janamsakhi Meharban Wali. Well known writer Karam Singh Historian too accepted the April date. Karam Singh, in his book Katak Ke Visakh, rejected the authenticity of the book Bhai Bale Wali Janamsakhi and proved that it (book) was the work of the descendants of Handal (of Jandiala, district Amritsar), who wanted to present Handal as superior to Guru Nanak. Karam Singh Historian totally rejected this ‘Janamsakhi’ and with this he rejected even the date of the birth of Guru Nanak Sahib. But, Karam Singh made a mistake; he accepted Meharban’s date of birth of Guru Nanak without analysing it. (Meharban’s Janamsakhi is the basis of the rest of the Janamsakhis, i.e. Bhai Mani Singh Wali Janamsakhi, Puratan Janamakhi, Wilayat Wali Janamsakhi etc).
But, there are numerous references in earlier and most authentic books mentioning the celebration of birthday of Guru Nanak by the sixth and the ninth Guru Sahib, in the Katak month.

Several other works from earlier period confirm the date of Katak (the 20th of October). These include: Bhai Gurdas, 1630s (Kabit no. 345); Guru Kian Sakhian, 1790, by Swarup Singh Kaushish; Sakhi Pothi, 1726 (unknown author), Kesar Singh Chhiber, 1780, Bansavalinama Dasan Patsahina Da; Gulab Singh Nirmala, 1753, Guru Parnali; Sant Singh Chhhiber, early 19th Century, Janamsakhi Baba Nanak; Ram Sukh Rao, c. 1820s, Jassa Singh Binod & Sri Fateh Singh Partap Parbhakar, Santokh Singh, 1832, Nanak Parkash; Gulab Singh IInd, 1851, Gurparnali; Nihal Singh – Gurmukh Singh, 1890, Khursheed Khalsa; Sondha Kavi, end of 18h century, Guru Bansavali; Tara Singh Narotam, 1884, Gur Teerath Sangrah, J.D. Cunningam, 1848, History of the Sikhs and several others. For analytical study of this issue, read the book Nanakshahi Calender, 2010, by Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer.

{*Only Meharban has written that Guru Nanak was born at Chahal, at the residence of his maternal grandfather (Naanaa in Punjabi), hence his name Nanak; and Meharban further says that Guru Nanak spent first seven years of his life at Chahal;, all other writers accept that he was born at Talwandi (now Nanakana Sahib). It is remarkable that several places of Nanakana Sahib are associated with Guru Nanak’s childhood whereas there is not a single such place at Chahal village. It seems that all the wrong traditions about Guru Nanak had been started by Meharban in his Janamsakhi; including his date (Visakh) and place (Chahal) of birth and date of death (22.9.1539 instead of 7.9.1539) etc. Meharban also shows Guru Nanak wearing Janeo; and, several other distortions also go to his credit}.

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