A Sikh traveler has embarked on a journey to find out why Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, made the decision to travel to Pakistan and spend so many years of his life in the country.
Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism in the 15and and 16and centuries, traveled far and wide to spread his message of “Unity of the Creator” and love for humanity.
During his two-decade spiritual journey, he visited hundreds of sites related to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism.
These sites are now spread over nine countries according to current geographical divisions, including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Tibet (China), Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
After more than 550 years, Guru Nanak’s footsteps have been traced by Singapore-based researcher and author Amardeep Singh, who sequentially chronicled the saga in a 24-episode video documentary titled Allegory – A Tapestry of the Travels of Guru Nanak.
The docuseries takes viewers to the multi-faith locations and sites visited by Guru Nanak during the 22 years of his life.
Born in Gorakhpur, India to his immigrant father belonging to Muzaffarabad and his mother from Abbottabad, Amardeep Singh says his work is an “allegory” of the spiritual journey of Guru Nanak who traveled with his philosophy of love and interreligious coexistence.
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“Guru Nanak’s narrative of coexistence is to put humanity first and not be divided by faith,” Amardeep Singh told APP, in a virtual interview from Singapore.
Leading a team, Amardeep traveled from Mecca and Medina to Mount Kailash, filmed amid gunfire in Afghanistan and the scorching summer heat in Iraq, through the waters of the Sindh River. on the boat and the desert expanse from Medina to Baghdad.
In Pakistan, he traveled far and wide through Sindh, Punjab, Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and visited the vestiges of Sikh heritage, both tangible and not tangible.
Amardeep mentioned that Guru Nanak twice visited the tomb of Baba Farid in Pakpattan, Pakistan and held dialogues with Sheikh Baraham Farid Sani – the spiritual leader of the 11and line.
“The writings of Baba Farid are included in the Sikh scriptures, which were first documented in [holy book] Guru Garanth. And we actually read it every day,” he said.
“In such a fragile and unstable world, there has never been a better time to understand why Guru Nanak has traveled for 22 years to share his experiential wisdom and spread the unity of humanity,” said Amardeep Singh.
Asked about Pakistan’s opening of the Kartarpur Corridor in 2019 as an initiative to facilitate Sikh pilgrims, he called it a “very positive step”.
“This [Kartarpur Corridor] is a beacon of hope for the peoples of the subcontinent which has sown love for generations to come,” he said, adding that many of these arteries needed to be opened through culture and faith to building trust across borders.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken several initiatives to facilitate Sikh pilgrims, including the historic opening of the Kartarpur Sahib visa-free corridor in November 2019 on the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak. The Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib complex is a gift from the people of Pakistan and their rulers to the Sikh community in India and around the world.
In line with his vision to emulate the concept of Islam’s first welfare state of Madinah, Prime Minister Imran has repeatedly stated that his government strongly believes that no society can achieve the goal of a inclusive socio-economic development without guaranteeing the rights of minorities. .
Last November, Pakistan issued 3,000 visas to Indian Sikh pilgrims to enable them to participate in the celebrations of the 552nd anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak from November 17-26. Sikh pilgrims while in Pakistan will visit different Gurdwaras including Gurdwara Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur.
Amardeep Singh quoted Guru Nanak’s message in Punjabi saying ‘Eiko dharam dhrirey sach koi’meaning ‘Truth is the only justice as universal law’.
“It’s important to understand that Guru Nanak was an embodiment of Unity,” said Singh, who also titled the first episode of his documentary “Noor-e-Tawheed” (Light of Unity).
The docuseries, completed in three and a half years, is available on ‘TheGuruNanak.com’ website, of which Amardeep Singh says: ‘It’s not just about Guru Nanak’s philosophy on Sikhism, but about the ‘humanity”.