Kartika Purnima or Karthik Purnima is not only a famous festival of Hindus but also marks a very important day for people belonging to Sikh community.
This auspicious day marks the birth of the founder and first Guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak who is known for spreading the unique concept of “ik onkar” which denotes the concept of “one god, one reality” throughout India, as well as foreign countries.
Guru Nanak in brief:
Saint Nanak was born on 15th April 1469 in Rai Bhoi Ki Talwandi, Delhi Sultanate which in present-day is known as Nankana Sahib, located in Lahore in Pakistan. Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated every year on the eve of Kartika Purnima, as he was believed to be born on the same occasion in the Punjabi month of Kattak.
Guru Nanak’s special abilities are said to be observed by people from a very early age. Just at the age of five, he showed interest in religious education and was even observed by a Muslim noble of his village Rai Bular, who claimed a venomous cobra protected the head of young Nanak from the scorching sun by its hood.
Saint Nanak’s journey is full of interesting anecdotes but one of them is his visit to Odisha.
Nanak’s arrival in Odisha:
Guru Nanak was born at the same time as the famous Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and both were equivalently engaged in the spreading of religious teachings.
In 1506, Guru Nanak visited Odisha on his way to Ceylon (present-day, Sri Lanka). As per the tradition, it is believed that Saint Nanak, after walking a long distance, rested at Mahanadi bank where the present-day Kaliaboda is located.
During his stay at Kaliaboda, Nanak attracted large crowds due to his religious preaching and divinity, which includes the then Governor of Odisha. This infuriated Chaitanya Bharti, who failed in his attempts to hurt Nanak with the curse of Lord Bhairva, and went by himself to harm Nanak with a twig of Sahada tree. Which dropped at the lotus feet of Nanak after his first sight.
The modern-day Dantun Sahib Gurudwara, located at Sikharpur, Cuttack, is located at the same place where Nanak brushed his teeth with a small twig of the tree and planted the same.
Nanak in Puri:
There are real-life pieces of evidence present in Puri which speak about Nanak’s presence. The famous Bauli Math or Bauli Math Gurudwara is believed to be the place where Nanak slammed his kamandal (divine staff) and advised his disciples to dig a hole from which fresh water emerged.
Nanak, composed his famous aarti prayer at the famous ‘Mangumath’ for removing the blind belief of locals regarding idol worshipping. Many anecdotes also state Guru Nanak was visited by the King of Puri, after being enlightened about his presence through the dream.
Nanak in Bhadrak:
There is a village in the Bhadrak district named “Sangat”, which also features a Gurudwara with the same name Sangat Sahib Gurudwara. It is believed that Nanak stayed in this village in the final course of his Odisha journey and spread holy messages through kirtans and satsangs.
The 18th-century poet Bansi Ballabh Goswami born in Sangat village composed poems and dramas in Odia, Bengali, Persian and Hindi that gave references to Nanak, Lord Shiva and the village deity.