Amritsar: A jatha of 717 Sikh pilgrims on Thursday left for Pakistan to commemorate Vaisakhi at Gurdwara Panja Saihb. They crossed over on special trains. Earlier, they were ferried to the Attari railway station in Amritsar district in buses.
The jatha, led by SGPC executive member Gurmeet Singh Buh, will also visit Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sri Sacha Sauda Chuharkana, Gurdwara Dehra Sahib Lahore, Gurdwara Rohri Sahib Amanabad and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Narowal before returning on April 21.
Various programmes, including Akhand Path, have been scheduled at Gurdwara Panja Sahib with the bhog on April 14.
Hisory of Gurdwara Panja Sahib
Gurdwara Panja Sahib located in Hasan Abdal, Pakistan. The shrine is considered to be particularly important as the handprint of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Sahib, is believed to be imprinted on a boulder at the gurdwara.
Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji along with Bhai Mardana Ji reached Hasan Abdal in Baisakh Samwat 1578 B.K. corresponding to 1521 ACE in the summer season. Under a shady cool tree, Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana started reciting Kirtanand their devotees gathered around. This annoyed a local saint, Hazrat Shah Wali Qandhari, who meditated atop a nearby hill but he was helpless.
According to legend, Bhai Mardana was sent three times to Shah Wali Qandhari by (Guru Nanak) so that he would provide him with some water to quench his thirst. Wali Qandhari refused his request and was rude to him. In spite of this, Mardana still very politely stuck to his demand. The Wali ironically remarked : “Why don’t you ask your Guru whom you serve?”
Mardana Ji went back to the Guru in a miserable state and said Guru ji I prefer death to thirst but will not approach Wali the egoist.”
Guru Nanak Sahib replied “Oh Bhai Mardana ji! Repeat the Name of God, the Almighty; and drink the water to your heart’s content.”
The Guru put aside a big rock lying nearby and a pure fountain of water sprang up and began to flow endlessly. Bhai Mardana quenched his thirst and felt grateful to the Guru.
On the other hand, the fountain of Shah Wali Qandhari dried up. On witnessing this, the Wali in his rage threw a part of a mountain towards the Guru from the top of the hill. The Guru stopped the hurled rock with his hand leaving his hand print in the rock.