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Guru Nanak At Banaras

After Gorakhmata, the Guru took southernly route and passing through Gola, Ayudhya and Prayag (Allahabad), reached Banaras, also called Varanasi - which was said to be the seat of hindu religious learning and abode of Lord Shiva. The Guru and his companion Mardana encamped in a public square of the city. Pandit Chatur Das was the chief Brahman of the city. Guru Nanak's dress was neither of a family man nor of a Sanyasi (ascetic). Seeing this Pandit Chatur Das held a long discussion with Guru Nanak.

Guru Nanak asked the Pandit what did he read, what did he teach to the people and what type of knowledge did he impart to his disciples? The Pandit replied, 'By the will of God I teach the people the fourteen sciences- reading, swimming, medicine, alchemy, astrology, singing the six rags and their raginis, grammar, music, horsemanship, dancing, archery, theology, statesmanship, etc.'

Guru Nanak explained that better than all these was the knowledge of God. Upon this the Guru uttered the fifty-four stanzas of Ramkali Mohalla 1- Dakhni Omkar. The true God is superior to all other gods. The first two stanzas are as follows:

It is the one God who created Brahma;

It is the one God who created our understanding;

It is from the one God the mountains and the ages of the world emanated;

It is the one God who bestowed knowledge.

It is by the Word of God man is saved.

It is by the name of the one God the pious are saved.

Hear an account of the letter O -

O is the best letter in the three worlds.

Hear, O Pandit, why writest thou puzzles?

Write under the instruction of the Guru the name of God, the Cherisher of the world.

He created the world with ease; in the three worlds there is one Lord of Light.

Under the Guru's instruction select gems and pearls, and thou shalt obtain God the real thing.

If man understand, reflect, and comprehend what he readeth, he shall know at last the True One is everywhere.

The pious man knoweth and remembereth the truth - that without the True One the world is unreal.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ramkali Mohalla 1, Dakhni Onkar, Ang 929.

On hearing the Shabad of Ramkali, Pandit Chatur Das fell at the feet of the Guru, and became a Sikh, and did much to spread Sikhi in the area. The place where the Guru stayed, is now called as Gurdwara Sri Guru Ka Bagh Varanasi.

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