Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Drowning of Baba Nanak in the river Kali Bein

The drowning of Baba Nanak in the river Kali Bein is the first incident with which his Travels really began. Because it is after this incident that he resigned from his service (of a storekeeper with the Jagirdar Dault Khan of Sultanpur), gave up all his worldly belongings and went to sit in the cremation grounds of Sultanpur. From which then going on the actual journey was only a matter of time.

By sitting in the cremation grounds the new Baba may just have indicated to the people around that their Nanak of yesteryears had died and been burnt. While he himself had gone beyond all relationships it may have been his way to help people digest the fact before actually leaving them.

Anyway, in this post our main concern is as to what may have actually happened with Baba Nanak what otherwise has come to be known as Nanak's drowning in the river Kali Bein. Did he really drown? Did he swam across and sat in meditation?

Or was this "drowning in the river" thing actually a symbolic continuation of something, some pattern much higher which all the great spiritual masters and especially those in whose names new religions were later to be born had to play out?

Much has already been written about Nanak's drowning or swimming across and sitting on meditation, it is this later aspect which we will try to bring to light specially for the educated elite here.

Nothing wrong with those who said Nanak drowned in the river. One never knows when a ripe soul may suddenly have what is variously known as the experience of Self-realisation, God realisation, or even of becoming God (Deus Factus Sum) as some have called it.

When one undergoes such an experience one no longer remains attached to one's body-mind, almost totally at least for initial some time. It is quite possible that Nanak may have had the sudden experience as soon as he entered the waters of river Bein.

Then Nanak would have remained no more attached to his body. He may have actually drowned if the evolutionary surge of the One in the form of one unified force, which acts right from big bang in various ways and at various levels and even from within one's body through what has come to be known as Kundlini shakti would not have had an other plan for him. In which case it would not have taken a great effort from it to push Nanak to the embankment, may be a few kilometres away, much like sometimes an innocent child is saved from death in a freak accident which otherwise has taken a toll of all others. With the net result that while our Nanak of yesteryears would have really drowned our Nanak of the future swam across and sat lost in the indecribable effulgence of His newly realised status.

Drowning for three days, or eight days as per Janamsakhi of Bhai Mani Singh, may just point to the fact that Nanak regained a semblance of his former separate self to some extent only after three or eight days after which he may have remembered where he was and returned to his people at Sultanpur.

Those who said that Nanak may have swam across and sat in meditation would also be true because though from new Nanak's side he may not be even aware of his spacio-temporal surroundings for those three or eight days for lesser mortals from temporal side who cannot think beyond meditation as to one's highest spiritual stance he may well be said to be just sitting in meditation - as if he was still left with anything separate from him to meditate upon! Yet all is in order.

But what is not in order is to treat this incident as an isolated one and leave the things at that, more about which we will write in our next post.

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