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Guru Nanak And The Dried Up River

Guru Nanak Sahib Ji arrived at Gorakhmata, which was the abode of Jogis (yogis) of the Gorakhnath clan, and had a dialogue with the yogis near where Gurdwara Sri Nanak Matta Sahib is located. The yogis were jealous of Guru Nanak and tried to use their magic tricks to impress Guru Nanak. The yogis, using magical 'occult powers', dried up all the water in the area and challenged Guru Nanak to bring the water back.

Guru Nanak instructed Bhai Mardana to pick up a stick and go to the nearby river to the north-east of the present Nanak Sagar Dam. Guru Nanak told Bhai Mardana to drag the river behind him with the stick without looking back. Guru Ji told his disciple that the river water will follow the stick automatically. However, Guru Ji admonished him from turning around and looking behind. Bhai Mardana did as instructed and the river started to follow him as he dragged his stick over the ground. When he reached this place, Bhai Mardana looked back to see if the river was coming behind him.

Bhai Mardana did as he was told, but when he arrived at the current Gurdwara Sri Baoli Sahib Nanak Matta, after progressing halfway, an element of doubt beset his mind - was the river water really following his stick? He looked back, and to his utter surprise Bhai Mardana saw that the river water was indeed flowing down behind the stick but had ceased flowing on his looking back. Bhai Mardana became depressed and ashamed that he had not obeyed his Guru Ji's advice.

When he returned to Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, the latter asked him what happened to the river water that he was supposed to bring back with him? With profound apologies, he told his Guru Ji that his faith had faltered halfway through the journey and he had looked back; the river water then receded. Guru Ji told Bhai Mardana that his motive was to show him the power of faith, and told him that the power was in his (Guru Ji's) bachan or words and not in the stick which Bhai Mardana had been dragging behind him.

When the river stopped its flow, Guru Ji asked the yogis to use their occult powers and push the river back to where it was. However much they tried, the yogis could not do so. They realized their fault and fell at the feet of the Guru Ji, accepting their defeat. A baoli was constructed and thereafter known as Baoli Sahib. The area is now part of the Nanak Sagar Dam.

Source: Sikhiwiki

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