Patna Sahib is a very ancient, eventful historic town of India. Now the capital of Bihar, it can rightly be proud of its glorious past, more so because of the birthplace of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru of Sikh religion.
Guru Nanak Dev JI’s visit to Patna
According to historians almost two thousand years after Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak Dev JI visited Patliputra, during his first journey to the East, in the beginning of Sixteenth century. There were 64 gates and 670 towers protected by moat and wooden walls. Guru Nanak Dev ji entered Patna through the western gate and stayed at Bhagat Jaitamal’s House now Gurudwara Gai Ghat.
Salis Rai Johri a middle aged Jeweller of Patna City was influenced by the divine personality of Guru Nanak Dev Ji , through his follower Mardana, requested Guruji to sanctify his home. Salis Rai Johri was also a man of religious and poetical bent of mind.
Due to his true devotion Guru Nanak Dev Ji accepted his request and stayed for about four months at Salis Rai’s house. A congregational center was established and people of locality used to attend it daily in the morning and evening. At the time of Guru Nanak’s departure, Salis Rai Johri’s trustee servant Adhraka by name was appointed as head of this congregational center with the purpose to continue the propagation of Guru Nanak’s mission.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib JI at Patna
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji , the ninth guru of Sikh religion, along with his family members started a preaching tour to the East. In the beginning of 1666 A.D. he reached Patna and stayed at Jaitamal’s house where Guru Nanak had made a center. The fourth successor of Salis Rai Johri’s Sangat (Center) namely Ghanshyam the great grandson of Adhraka was also ambitious to get blessing from the ninth successor of Guru Nanak Dev ji . When he heard of Guru Tegh Bahadur JI’s visit to Patna, he brought Guru’s family in a procession from Jaitamal’s House to Salis Rai Johri’s sangat. (Now the birthplace of Sri Guru Gobind Singh called Takhat Sri Harmandir ji).
When Guru Tegh Bahadur JI arrived at Allahabad, with the will of God, the spirit and light of Guru Gobind Singh JI had descended and manifested itself in mother’s womb. Mata Gujri had conceived this great son of God namely (Guru) Gobind Singh JI. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji while leaving his family at Patna proceeded on tour to Assam and Bengal. All types of facilities were provided to Guru’s family by the local devotees of Patna.
Birth of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh JI was born in Patna Paus Sudi 7, Sambat 1723 corresponding to 23rd December 1666 A.D. (Guru) Gobind Singh also mentioned the name of Patna in his autobiography (Bachitra Natak).
It was there that my light had appeared I was born at Patna city.
This holy birthplace Patna is renamed Patna Sahib keeping in view its sanctity. It is the second sacred throne (seat authority) out of five. This holy birthplace is not only unique to the Sikhs but also Bethlehem to the Christian, Mecca to the Muslims, Kashi to the Hindus and Vaishali to the Jains.
Guru Sahib’s early years of life
Gobind Rai spent about six and half years of his childhood here in Patna. According to the chronicles Hindu devotee Pandit Shiv Dutt and Rahim Bux, Nawab of Patna Pir Arifudin and Syed Bhikham Shah became his earliest admirers.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Six Years In Patna.
Guru Tegh Bahadur ji traveled through Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Delhi, Agra, Etawah, Kanpur, Allahabad, Banaras, Sasaram, Gaya, and then reached Patna in the mid of 1666 AD.He mostly traveled on the lines of Guru Nanak and visited the congregational centers, which had been already established by Guru Nanak. (Founder of Sikh religion)
On the departure of Guru Nanak Dev ji from Patna it was requested by his followers for his next visit. Thereby Guru Nanak predicted to bless the followers as 9th Nanak (Guru Tegh Bahadur ji ). When the 9th successor of Guru Nanak reached Patna the devotees gave them warm welcome and every possible facility was provided to his family.
Mother Gujri, the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur was conceived and was therefore thought proper to choose some convenient place rather to proceed further on tour along with Guru Tegh Bahadur. In accordance with the circumstances the family was given all the facilities and they decided to stay here in Patna. Guru Tegh Bahadur, while leaving his family under the supervision of Bhai Kirpal Chand, his brother-in-law and devotee Sikhs, proceeded alone towards his journey to the East i.e. Assam and Bengal.
An old donated house of Salis Rai Johri (A jeweler of Patna Sahib) to Guru Nanak has been converted to congregational center of Sikh religion. Once again the sacred light emerged on 22nd Dec 1666 AD, when (Guru) Gobind Singh (10th guru of Sikh religion) was born. The son of God had taken birth to dispel the darkness of world. This was ordained by the Almighty Supreme Lord.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was at Dhubri (Assam) when he received the happy news of the birth of his child at Patna. Great rejoicing took place and donations were given to the poor and needy on large scale. The admirers and devotee Sikhs took their journey towards Patna to see the sacred soul (Gobind Rai).
Muslims Sufi saint of Great repute Pir Bihar Shah of Guam bowed his head towards East (Patna). At this his Muslim disciples demurred that being Muslim in true sense he should not make such respectful gesture except towards Kawa in the west. Pir Bihar Shah could feel the presence of a newborn child (Gobind Rai). He had not paid any homage to the mortal or man-made God (statue). It was homage to the great soul.
After few days’ hard journey on foot, Pir Bihar Shah reached Patna to seek the blessings of new child Prophet. Pir was also in a confused state of mind whether the new child prophet would protect the Hindus or the Muslims. The child Gobind Rai was too little to be placed, outside the house in the hands of some outside visitor or devotee. After two days hunger strike and resistance Pir Bihar Shah was allowed to see the child.
Pir Bihar Shah put two sweet pots with intention that if the child prophet will put his hand on right, he would mean to protect the Hindus and if he will put his hand on the left, he would mean to protect the Muslims. Pir Bihar Shah was surprised to know Gobind Rai placed his both hands on both the sweet pots to justify that he will protect both Hindus and Muslims. He took Birth to establish the righteousness to protect the meek and punish the evildoers.
From the very child hood the saint and warrior activities of Gobind Rai had become the object of wonder and adoration for many admirers in Patna. Gobind Rai’s favorite toys were bows, arrows, swords etc. The most daily game for Gobind Rai was to make artificial fortification and the art of war. The defensive party was to take protection in the fort. Under the directions of Commander Gobind Rai the instructions were given how to attack and the methods to make it successful on the defensive side. The winner party was awarded and all the playmates were served with delicious food at the end of day’s play and fighting. Gobind Rai’s great pleasure consisted of leading his companions through mock maneuvers. Both mother Mata Gujri and Grand Mother Mata Nankijee was greatly delighted to see and serve the companions of Gobind Rai. The both prayed daily to the Almighty God for the protection of the child.
There was a small well of sweet water in the courtyard of Mata Gujri’s house. Ladies of the locality had great choice to take water from the sweet well daily. Another play trick of Gobind Rai was to pierce the earthen pitchers with earthen golies. The ladies did not enjoy this fun and mother also resented. She pacified them and replaced the broken pitchers. When Gobind Rai was asked not to break the pitchers, he replied that he did not damage the pitchers rather killed the snake in it, otherwise the poisonous water would harm the family. When the pitcher was checked the snake was found pierced by the arrow of Gobind Rai. All were astonished on the farsighted activity and divine teaching of Gobind Rai.
At the innocent face of Gobind Rai, the admirers read the sign of eternity. An old Brahman of Patna City, Pandit Shiv Dutt was deeply impressed by the divine personality of child Gobind Rai. His long outstanding spiritual quest was quenched when he saw the image of child prophet in his contemplation. To whom Pandit Shiv Dutt was worshipping for the long past had appeared personally before him.
Before this Pandit Shiv Dutt believed in idols worship for his mental peace and practiced many rituals and ceremonies and austerities. He was popular among his society members but inspite of this his religious performance could not satisfy his inner thirst and he was feeling emptiness in his heart and duality in his mind. One day during the contemplation mood on the bank of river Ganga Pandit Shiv Dutt realized the divine image of Gobind Rai in his sub-consciousness. The light of the sacred soul and his very presence fulfilled the long desire of Pandit Shiv Dutt. The lovely divine face of child prophet now was the focus of meditation.
Gurudwara Gobind Ghat.
Guru Gobind Singh ji maharaj immortalized few places in Patna Sahib, which later on where popularly known as Gurudwaras. Gurudwara Gobind Ghat situated on the bank of river Ganga is hardly 200 yards from Harmandir Sahib. It is also popular as Kangan Ghat where Gobind Rai had thrown his gold bangle. On the same bank Gobind Rai had blessed mental peace to Pandit Shiv Dutt, a devotee of Sri Ram Chandra.
Raja Fateh Chand Maini a local chieftain and his queen were one of the great admirers of Gobind Rai. Though they had everything of worldly satisfaction yet being childless, felt a great gap in their life and darkness in future. This made them unhappy and disappointed. As per prevalent Hindu tradition a son did not inherit their property, but performed all the religious rites after their death to ensure their passage across the phenomenal world.
King Fateh Chand and his queen one day narrated the sad incident of their life to Pandit Shiv Dutt because this Pandit was very popular among the Hindu society due to his pious life. He intimated that the heavenly child Gobind Rai could change their sad and pessimistic life into hope and immortality. Now both the king and the queen had a new object of their life and more admiration for the child prophet. Love and yearning grew day by day. One day queen was in her meditation room worshipping God. Gobind Rai along with his playmates entered the place, sat in the lap of the queen and said in lovely voice ‘mother’, due to full day’s play we are tired and hungry, give something to eat. The sweet melody word ‘mother’, thrilled the childless queen.
Before this queen was never called by anyone, ‘mother’. This pronouncement filled the long-outstanding gap in her heart. She embraced Gobind Rai in her arms. Both the King and the Queen were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.
Boiled grams and purris already prepared for their own purpose were served to Gobind Rai and his companions. The same tradition till now is preserved and boiled grams are served to every visitor and pilgrim, in sweet memory of the visit of Gobind Rai. This visit changed the life of the King and the Queen, into happiness. They adopted Gobind Rai as their own son and decided to donate the palace and property in the name of Gobind Rai. The palace was converted into congregational center. Later on a beautiful Sikh Shrine was constructed.
While returning home, Gobind Rai reported to his mother that he had made another mother.
Mother (Gujri) asked, “Then how will one son play in two laps”.
“Just as one moon is visible in two pools at the same time” replied Gobind Rai.
The following historical things are worth seeing:
A pair of little shoes of Gobind Rai.
A little tree of Karonda, remains ever blooming that had grown up from the toothbrush of Gobind Rai.
Two Muslim nawab brothers of great repute at Patna, namely Rahim Bux and Karim Bux had great devotion towards Guru Nanak house. They were very much impressed by heavenly child Gobind Rai. As we have mentioned earlier that from the very childhood Gobind Rai had become popular because of his various activities.
When Guru Tegh Bahadur father of (Guru) Gobind Singh returned from his Assam and Bengal tour he made his temporary halt outside Patna City in the deserted garden of two above mentioned nawab brothers. The holy visit of Guru Tegh Bahadur turned the dry and deserted garden into greenery. As this incident was reported to Muslim brothers they reached to see the revered Guru and their garden along with their courtiers. Guru Tegh Bahadur asked three times the nawab brothers about the ownership of the garden. The nawab brothers decided to donate it in the name of Guru as it was turned green because of holy and pious visit of Gurujee. They submissively requested to accept their little offer of the garden. It is about 4 kms from the Takhat Patna Sahib on Patna-Fatwah Road.
At present this garden is popularly known as “Gurudwara Guru Ka Bagh”. There is a Sarowar and beautiful gurudwara. It was the place where Guru Tegh Bahadur met his son for the first time.After a short stay in Patna, Guru Tegh Bahadur made his programme for Punjab because the Hindus of Punjab were being threatened by force conversion into Islam under the fanatic policy of Aurangzeb. They were passing through a critical time. Instructions were given to Gobind Rai to reach Anandpur Sahib along with mother, grandmother maternal uncle at their convenience.
Gobind Rai’s departure from Patna to Punjab caused a great displeasure and sorrow to the inhabitants of Patna City. On the day of departure, men and women, Hindus and Muslims, old and young, rich and poor, and his playmates came a considerable way out of the city to see off the revered young prophet Gobind Rai.
It was the most torturing scene when they bade farewell to Gobind Rai and his family members. All the admirers and devotee Sikhs prayed for their happy journey.
The perennial consolation left behind for devotees in Patna are sacred relics, which were dearer to Gobind Rai during his playtime with his companions. Another sweet memory, is the late evening prayer after his return ‘from play which now has become tradition. Till now this practice of prayers is still in vogue.
The first stopper after departure from Patna, was made at Dinapur in the little house of old lady namely Yamuna Devi. This devoted old lady prepared Khichri for Gobind Rai in a little earthen pot (Handi). The prepared Khichri was served to a large no. of devotees and yet did not finish. Now there is a gurudwara after this pot namely ‘HANDI SAHIB’. It is about 20km from Takhat Harmandirji Patna Sahib. An annual function is held under management of Prabandhak Committee Sri Takhat Harmandirji Patna Sahib.
Patna Sahib is a Takhat(seat of authority)of Sikh Religion. It is second in number out of five Takhats viz.,Sri Akal Takhat(Amritsar), Sri Anandpur Sahib (Ropar, Punjab), Sri Hazoor Sahib (Nanded, Maharashtra) and Sri Dumduma Sahib (Bhatinda, Punjab).
The railway station of Patna City has been converted to Patna Sahib in pious and sweet memory of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth place in 1978 .All tourists in Patna or State guests have great attraction to pay their homage to this historic birth-place. Without its visit one feels a gap in one’s life.All donations paid to this holy shrine are exempted from income tax. There is a big lodging and free Kitchen (Guru kaÂ Langer) for visitors from all over the world.
The following worth seeing historical relics/articles are preserved at Takhat Patna Sahib.
- “Sri Guru Granth Sahib” called Bare Sahib containing signature ofÂ Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- “Chhabi Sahib” oil painted very big picture of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj of his young age.
- “Panghura Sahib” a small cradle with four stands covered with gold plates on which Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj used to sit or sleep, when he was a boy.
- A small “Saif” (Sword) of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- Four iron “Arrows” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- One earthen round “Goli” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- One small iron “Chakri” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- One small iron “Khanda” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- One small iron “Baghnakh-khanjer” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- One wooden “Comb” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- Two iron “Chaker” of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
- One pair “Sandal” made of elephant teeth of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj of his boyhood.
- One pair “Sandal” made of sandalwood of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadurji Maharaj.14.Three wooden spinning instruments of Sri Kabir Sahib.
- Three wooden spinning instruments of Sri Kabir Sahib.
- One book containing “Hukumnamas” of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadurji Maharaj and Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj and their pictures, writings etc.
Old Original Gurdwara Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji.
Gurdwara Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji.
Building of Gurudwara.
The local chieftain, Raja Fateh Chand Maini and his consort were some of the devotees. The king Maini renovated the house of Salis Rai Johri for Guru’s family. In the beginning of 19th century, a devastating fire broke out and the old edifice was considerably damaged . Second time the construction of this shrine was undertaken by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (the Lion of Punjab) from 1837 to 1839 A.D. Ninety-three years later in 1934 earthquake had caused a little damage to this building. DevoteesÂ did not like the damaged building and started the construction of new building in November, 1954. With the collective efforts of sangat it was completed within three years in December 1957. On the auspicious occasion of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary was celebrated.
This greatest Sikh shrine is a rich antiquity of Patna, the capital of Bihar (India). This historical shrine has a great significance for every visitor to the shrine who goes back with good impressions.
Being a historical Sikh shrine its management was taken over by the East India Company through the board of Revenue, Bengal and this power was transferred to Mahant Ganda Singh on 11th March, 1865 under the religious endowment Act, XX of 1863. Under provision of section IV of the Act district judge, Patna was authorized to appoint a manager who was to look after the endowment to discharge their duties or to supervise religious worship.
List Of Mahants.
The management remained in the hands of the mahants from 1797 to 1930 A.D. and then the supervisory committee and trustees appointed by district judge Patna, looked after its management.
1 Mahant Nawal Singh 1797 A.D
2 Mahant Dayal Singh 1797 – 1832
3 Mahant Sukha Singh 1832 – 1861
4 Mahant Didar Singh 1861 – 1865
5 Mahant Ganda Singh 1865 – 1875
6 Mahant Dharam Singh 1875 – 1882
7 Mahant Sumer Singh 1882 – 1903
8 Mahant Dalip Singh 1903 for six months only
9 Mahant Bachitar Singh 1904 – 1930
Rai Ishwari Prasad, Bulaki Rai, Jai Narian and Vijay Payee had been jointly appointed as trustees in place of Mahant Dharma Singh- a committee of fifteen members was formed for the help of last sarabrahkar Bedi Kartar Singh who worked from 1930 to 1954. DueÂ to mismanagement sarabrahkar was removed and a committee of fifteen members was formed from the following representative bodies.
In 1956 the constitution was framed and got it approved from the district judge Patna. In accordance with constitution a committee consisting of fifteen members was formed by election, nomination and co-option and by majority of votes to elect five office bearers(President , Sr. Vice-President, Jr. Vice-President, General Secretary and Secretary) for two and a half year duration. They may continue if majority favors them for further two and a half years.
The Prabandhak Committee of this shrine also manages the following gurudwaras in Patna, recollecting the important historical facts of Guru’s life, especially Guru Gobind Singh’s childhood activities.
This was Bhagat Jaitamal’s house. This place is situated in Alamganj Mohalla. It was sanctified first by Guru Nanak in 1509 A.D. and later by Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his family in 1666 A. D. Bhagat Jaitamal, a devotee of Guru Nanak was fortunate to get the blessings of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed for about four months here and made this place very popular among the followers of Guru Nanak’s faith. Ghanshyam, the great grand son of Adhrakha, the fourth successor of Salis Rai Johri’s Sangat (now the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh ji) was also fortunate to get blessings from the ninth successor of Guru Nanak, as it was assured by Guru Nanak during his visit to this place.
It is about 4 kilometers from Harmandir Sahib, on the Ashok Raj Path. The following things are preserved here.
1. Rabeck of Mardana
2. Grind stone (Chakki) of Mata Gujri
3. Tree, where Guru Tegh Bahadur tied his horse.
4. Thara Sahib, a place where Guru Tegh Bahadur used to sit.
Gurudwara Rajgir, Sonartoli, Barh, Bakhtiarpur and Bihar Sharif Old Sangats are also under the management of Sri Takhat Harmandirji.
Guru Gobind Singh was a great leader of mankind, a prince among sears, national stalwart, not only a great writer but also a distinguished philosopher. Guru ji combined in himself the irrepressible spirit of patriotism and a unique organizing capacity, marked revolutionary idealism and dauntless intrepidity.