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The Udasis of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

The Udasis of Guru Nanak Dev Ji


Guru Nanak's Divine Journeys

Then in 1500, he embarked on his Divine Mission and went towards east, west, north and south and visited various centres of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jain’s, Sufis, Yogis and Siddha’s. He met people of different religions, tribes, cultures and races. He travelled on foot with his Muslim companion named Bhai Maranda, a minstrel. His travels are called Udasis. In his first Udasi (travel), Guru Nanak covered east of India and returned home after spending about 6 years. He started from Sultanpur in 1500 and went to his village Talwandi to meet and inform his parents about his long journey. His parents wanted their young son to provide comfort and protection for them in their old age and so they told him they would prefer it if he did not go. But he told them that the world was burning in the fire of Kaluga and that thousands and thousands were waiting for the Divine message of the Almighty for comfort, love and salvation. The Guru, therefore, told his parents, "There is a call from Heaven, I must go whither He directs me to go." Upon hearing these words, his parents agreed and gave their blessings. So Guru Nanak started his mission and the roots of Sikhism were laid down first towards the east of India.

According to the Puratan Janamsakhi, which is one of the oldest accounts of the life history of Guru Nanak, Guru Ji undertook five missionary journeys (udasiya) to the faraway places of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Mecca, Baghdad, Kamroop (Assam), Tashkand and many more. Guru ji travelled far and wide to spread the word of Gurbani and covered most of India, present day Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, South West China, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

The five journeys

Below is a brief summary of the confirmed places where Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited:

  • First Udasi: (1500-1506 AD) Lasted about 7 years and covered the following towns and regions: Sultanpur, Tulamba (modern Makhdumpur, zila Multan), Panipat, Delhi, Banaras (Varanasi), Nanakmata (zila Nainital, U.P.), Tanda Vanjara (zila Rampur), Kamrup (Assam), Asa Desh (Assam), Saidpur (modern Eminabad, Pakistan), Pasrur (Pakistan), Sialkot (Pakistan). Guru Nanak was of the age of 31-37.
  • Second Udasi: (1506-1513 AD) Lasted about 7 years and covered the following towns and regions: Dhanasri Valley, Sangladip (Ceylon). Guru Nanak was of the age of 37-44
  • Third Udasi: (1514-1518 AD) Lasted about 5 years and covered the following towns and regions: Kashmir, Sumer Parbat, Nepal, Tashkand, Sikkim, Tibet. Guru Nanak was of the age of 45-49
  • Fourth Udasi: (1519-1521 AD) Lasted about 3 years and covered the following towns and regions: Mecca and the Arab countries.

Guru Nanak was of the age of 50-52

  • Fifth Udasi: (1523-1524 AD) Lasted about 2 years and covered the following towns and regions: Places within the Punjab.

Guru Nanak was of the age of 54-56

After which he settled to Kartarpur before leaving his physical form (1525-1539 AD). Guru Nanak was of the age of 56-70. Baba ji spent 24 years on the 5 udasis.