1521 - Guru Nanak and Shah Wali Qandhari in Hasan Abdal

1521 - Guru Nanak and Shah Wali Qandhari in Hasan Abdal

The meeting between Guru Nanak and Shah Wali Qandhari in Hasan Abdal in 1521 is a significant event that highlights Guru Nanak's teachings on equality, generosity, and the importance of serving others. This encounter is deeply embedded in Sikh tradition and is celebrated for its profound spiritual lessons.

Hasan Abdal, now in Pakistan, was where Shah Wali Qandhari, a revered Muslim saint, lived atop a hill. Below the hill was a spring from which water flowed. Guru Nanak, along with his companion Mardana, arrived at this place during one of his Udasis (spiritual journeys). Mardana, feeling thirsty, approached Shah Wali Qandhari for water, but was refused. Guru Nanak then asked Mardana to lift a rock nearby, and a spring of fresh water emerged from the ground.

When Shah Wali Qandhari saw that a new spring had appeared, he became enraged, thinking that this act would diminish his own status as a spiritual leader and guardian of the hill's spring. In some accounts, it's said that in his anger, Shah Wali Qandhari pushed a large boulder down the hill aiming to hurt or kill Guru Nanak. However, Guru Nanak stopped the boulder with his hand, leaving his palm print embedded in the rock, a miraculous event that symbolizes the protective power of faith and divine intervention.

This story serves multiple purposes in Sikh teachings:

  1. Equality and Generosity: Guru Nanak demonstrated that divine blessings, like water, should be available to all without discrimination. This was a direct challenge to Shah Wali Qandhari's refusal to share water, which is considered a basic necessity.

  2. Divine Protection: The miraculous stopping of the boulder by Guru Nanak is seen as an example of how divine protection works in the face of unjust aggression.

  3. Spiritual Authority: The event symbolizes the victory of spiritual humility and generosity over arrogance and selfishness. Guru Nanak, with his simple yet profound act, demonstrated a powerful spiritual lesson that resonated with the people.

Today, the site is marked by Gurdwara Panja Sahib, where the rock with the imprint of Guru Nanak's hand is preserved. It's a place of pilgrimage for Sikhs and others who are inspired by Guru Nanak's teachings. This story is a testament to Guru Nanak's spiritual depth and his commitment to principles of equality, justice, and the importance of selfless service to humanity.

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