The highly respected Itihasik granth “Sri Gur Panth Prakash” (1841) also known as “Prachin Panth Prakash” written by Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu, is a treasure chest of Sikh history and kathavachaks (Sikh preachers) continue daily to share the stories contained within this text in Gurdwara’s around the world.
Rattan Singh Bhangu came from a lineage of Sikh warriors, and had first hand knowledge on many historical and religious practices of the Sikh nation.
Rattan Singh’s grandfather was the renowned shaheed singh Bhai Mehtab Singh Ji, who beheaded Massa Rangar for the desecration of the Harimandir Sahib at Amritsar. Rattan Singh’s father was Bhai Rai Singh Ji, who as a child survived an attack by the Muslim Government, which left his whole family dead. Bhai Rai Singh Ji later joined the Karora Singhia Misl of the Budha Dal.
Below is a passage from Prachin Panth Prakash relating to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bhai Mardana Ji’s visit to Mecca and Madina.
Episode about the Travel to the West(Mecca Madina)
Dohra : Once Mardana made a request to Baba Nanak, that he had cherished a strong desire in his heart. That they should proceed on a long excursion, and that he had never gone on a pilgrimage to the Kaaba
Chaupai : Baba Nanak reprimanded Mardana, why did he not mention his desire earlier. Why did he take it so long to express that desire, as he could fulfill his desire much earlier. (2)
When he made him open his eyes, first he made Mardana to make obeisance at Kaaba, then he took Mardana to other places of pilgrimage. (3)
Then Baba Nanak asked him to close his eyes, they had reached Kaaba for Haj, after that Baba Nanak laid down at the back of Kaaba, where the enterance from the backside was locked and closed. It was locked and kept closed deliberately so that, whenever a great Prophet approached, it would open automatically. (4)
There happened such a miracle with the grace of Guru Nanak, that the gate opened automatically without a key. When this miracle came to the notice of the Shrine In-charge, he understood that a great prophet had arrived. (5)
Dohra : First It came to the mind of the shrine Incharge, that some great prophet must have arrived at the shrine. That’s how the heavily locked door had opened. So they should go and look out for such a prophet. (6)
Chaupai : They searched all around to find such a prophet, by making everyone touch the (earlier) locked and barred door. Even as all of them were trying together to close the opened door, the remaining doors to the shrine also got enclosed. (7)
After that Guru Nanak’s presence came to be realised, when all the closed doors opened on their own. At this, all the shrine-incharges felt extremely concerned, that yet another new miracle had taken place. (8)
Dohra : Then the shrine-incharges arrived at a conclusion, that some Hindu might have tried to enter the Kaaba. He intended to rob them of all their honour and status, by casting some kind of a magical spell over the place. (9)
Chaupai : When they carried out a search, they spotted out Baba Nanak. He was dressed in the manner of a Hindu. Since he was lying with his feet outstretched (towards the Kaaba), they dragged his body to change the direction of his feet. (10)
Instantly, the shrine door facing Baba Nanak’s feet opened, when they dragged him out, the remaining gates also closed. This incident incited and infuriated the shrine In-charges further, and they pulled Baba Nanak out of the shrine’s premises (11)
Dohra : There upon, all the gates of the shrine got shut, despite all the force they applied to open the gates. Incidentally, there were some people from Punjab among the Haj pilgrims, who, recognizing Guru Nanak, revealed his true identity (12)
Chaupai : They declared that he was Guru Nanak, a saint, who was a prophet of both the Hindus and the Muslims. Who showered his benevolence equally on both the Muslims and the Hindus. Who considered both the communities as equal partners (13)
Who had preached the true name of God to both the communities, Who had made the people follow the path of truth and righteousness. Who had exhorted both the Hindus and the Muslims to pray and meditate, who had weaned both the communities from non-belief and arrogance (14)
Sortha : Did they not observe the phenomenon of doors having closed, the moment his feet were turned in another direction. What worse disaster might happen further, if he but uttered another curse? (15)
There upon, all the shrine in-charges deliberated upon the whole issue, that they had used their whole strength to open the shrine doors, but having failed in all their attempts to open the gates, they had lost all their prestige and status.(16)
Chaupai : So all the Shrine in-charges reached a unanimous resolution, that they should get the shrine doors touched by Guru Nanak. If the doors get opened with the touch of his hands, then they should accept him as their prophet and become his followers. (17)
But if he was unable to open the shrine gates, then they should make a mince-meat of him. They addressed Guru Nanak in all humility and politeness, so that he might display his miraculous powers. (18)
With folded hands, they approached Guru Nanak, and addressed him in semi-Arabic dialect. Guru Nanak responded in the same medium of communication, and asked them respectfully to sit with him, (19)
With folded hands, once again they appealed to him, to forgive them for their acts of misdemeaneur. They pleaded for Guru Nanak’s touch to open the shrine doors, so that the Haj Pilgrims might accomplish their Haj pilgrimage. (20)
Dohra : There upon Satguru gave some verbal instructions. Thereafter, Mardana opened all the three closed doors, as per the instructions of Guru Nanak (21)
Chaupai : Thus, Guru Nanak accomplished Mardana’s pilgrimage to Madina. Then they proceeded further on their next excursion. They proceeded to the countries situated further in the West, and they crossed all those countries of the West. (22)