Satguru Nanak Sahib in Sumatra
In my article,Hazuri-Sangat in Burma, I have described in brief that why we can not find the old names of Islands.But this subject is also related to this article, that is why I am taking the opportunity to repeat it once again. The obvious reason of it is that the Dutch,who conqured the Portugese, in Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ceylon etc. had renamed the Islands in the Dutch terms.Google and other history books give the modern Dutch names whereas the Sikh chronicles give the old names of the islands in the East(reference "Illustrations and Views of Dutch Ceylon (1602-1796), by E.J.Brill).
In his book, published in 1810,the great historian,Lt. Col. Marks Wilks has clarified that Sikhs of Guru Nanak went to the East of Ceylon and other countries of the East.As clarified above, The Dutch had renamed the Islands in Dutch terms, so it has become more difficult for us to locate them.But this does not mean that we should give up our efforts.Hard work and strong will(Chardi Kala)is required on our parts. Sumatra was called Dhanasari Desha, previously, but the Dutch had changed it into Spice Island, which means Land of Gold for the historians of the West.Western history books called it Land of Gold(Dhanasiri Dvipa).Hence, Sumatra is Dhanasiri Desha,Undoubtedly.
In the second Udhasi of Ceylon, Satguru Nanak Sahib and Bhai Sahib Mardana Ji, went to Sumatra from Nancowry Island(an Island in Nicobar Island) by a merchant ship.They landed in Banda Aceh sea port. Both Bhai Saido and Bhai Gheo(the merchants) went with them.(reference Prachin Janam Sakhi edited by Bhai Vir Singh, Published by Bhai Vir Singh Sahit Sadan, New Delhi 2004,Its first edition was published in 1885 by Giani Gurmukh Singh Ji).The whole Guru-Panth has accepted this Janam- Sakhi,unanimously.Page 151 and Chapter 42 of Prachin Jana-Sakhi clarifies that------"Tab Guru Baba Dhanasari Desh Kaei Din Rahiya". Meaning thereby "then Satguru Nanak Sahib spent many days there."Page 149 and Chapter 42 of the same Janam-Sakhi mentioned some river.That river is undoubtedly Kueng Aceh River,which was two miles away and now this river is in the midest of this city.Sinhalese were residing in Banda aceh and Madan towns at that times.Sinhalese people including Raja Shivnabh, were the followers of Satguru Nanak Sahib.Bhai Mansukh of Lahore was a Sikh of Satguru Nanak Sahib,who after distributing all his belongings to the needy and poor, went to Ceylon permanantly and got settled there(Reference Jivan Katha Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji,by Kartar Singh M.A.,Published by Lahore Book Shop,Ludhiana. Its first edition was published in 1937).Satguru Nanak Sahib reched Sumatra in November-December of 1512 A.D.They spent three weeks there at least in Banda Aceh City and Madan.They stayed at Saudagar Roomah(merchants house).According to Malay Annals, there were a merchant-Association. The merchants used to stay at these Govt. Buildings.Sultan of Malacca has constrcted this type of buildings in Melacca, Johar Baru,Singapore , Banda Aceh etc.
Before going to Malacca,one afternoon Satguru Nanak Sahib ordered Bhai Sahib Mardana Ji to play Sri Raga on the Rabab and sung this Holy Shabad----Sri Raag Mahalla -I--"Tun Dariao Dana Bina Main Machali Kaise Anat Lahan---------------" Pious Page 25 of SGGS. In these Holy lines, the Almighty Satguru address the Almighty God.He says that You(God) are like a wise river and I(Satguru Nanak Sahib) is just like a fish and he is unable to know the end of God.Next day, after reciting Sri Asa Ji Di War, they left for Malacca.They left Madan in the morning and reached Malacca in the nextday afternoon after covering about 225 sea miles from Medan in a merchant-ship.
(1)--Puratan Janam-Sakhi edited by Bhai Vir Singh, Published by Bhai Vir Singh Sahit Sadan, New Delhi, 2004(Its first edition was published in 1885 by Giani Gurmukh Singh Ji).
(2)--Jivan Gatha Sri Guru Nanak Dev, by Kartar Singh M.A., Published by Lahore Book Shop,Ludhiana,1977(its first edition was published in 1934).
(3)--Guru Shabad Rattan Prakash, by Akali Kaur Singh, Published by Bhasha Vibhag, Punjab, Patiala,1986.
(4)--In The Nicobar Islands, by George Whitehead, Published by Sealay, Service & Co. limited, 196,Shafetsbury Avenue, London,1924.
(5)--Historical Sketches of The South of India, Vol-I, by Lt. Col. Marks Wilks,Published by, longman, HUrst, Rees, and Orme, Lonmdon, 1810.
(6)--Illustrations and Views of Dutch- Ceylon(1602-1796), by E.J. Brill, Published by Serendib Publications,48, Uplands Way, London, i988.
(7)--An Historical Relations of Ceylon, By Robert Knox,Published in London,First edition,1681.
Copy Right by Bhai Harpal Singh Kasur, 2009.