10. Foundation of City of Anandpur

Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib did not, however, stay at Kiratpur Sahib or in the newly purchased village of Anandpur for long. He left most of its construction to be done during His absence. Leaving Amritsar the Guru passed through the Majha and Malwa regions before reaching Kiratpur sometimes in May, 1665. He attended the last rites of Raja Dip Singh of Bilaspur and expressed his desire to build a new settlement near Kiratpur and also showed his inclination to buy a suitable land fo that purpose. The Rani of Bilaspur offered to donate the site of Makhowal. The offer was accepted, a token price of about five hundred rupees was paid. The foundation stone of new settlement, Chak Nanaki was laid in June, 1665, after the revered name of Guru's mother. In the course of time, a beautiful town called Anandpur grew up around it. He had received a Divine call from God Almighty to visit the East of India and to preach the Gospel of Truth. This was the call which Guru Nanak had received earlier and this was the Mission for which He had visited all parts of India, Ceylon, Tibet, Middle East including Mecca, Medina and Baghdad. One reason for Guru Tegh Bahadur ji's travels to the East was that He wished to pay a pilgrimage to various places that were associated with the name of Guru Nanak. The basic reason for such personal contacts was to create confidence and to infuse enthusiasm in the people; to give them moral and spiritual courage. Also the mission was to unfold the curtain of superstitions that had blinded the Hindus of India for ages. And what could have been a better place than Banaras or Allahabad (the very centre of Hinduism) to start this mission. Leaving Anandpur, the Ninth Guru blessing various villages and towns, reached Kurukshetra. An eclipse of the Sun was due and there was a fair and a large gathering. The Guru took advantage of the occasion and went there. The Brahmans and some other people suggested to the Guru that He should bathe in the sacred tank and thus be purified. The Guru smiled and said, "My friends, one cannot be purified simply by washing one's body since the polluted mind cannot be washed with water. It is only the True Name of Almighty God that can wash away all sins and emancipate the soul." This teaching of the Guru went straight to their hearts and many people became Sikhs.

At Agra

From Kurukshetra Guru ji went to Agra. There He met a person, who expressed a desire to leave his home and become a Yogi. The Guru asked him if he had any family. The man replied that he had a wife and three small children. Guru ji asked the man the ultimate object for which he wished to become a yogi. The man replied that he was going away in search of God. Guru ji then said to him that God had entrusted him with four dependants and he would be proving unfaithful to his Master for leaving his duties undone. Guru ji then recited the following hymn:-

"Why goest thou to search Him in the forest ? He dwelleth in all and also is apart from all As in flowers there is odour and in a mirror reflection, So God dwelleth continually in thy heart: search Him there. O Brother; Know Him to be the same without and within, This is the knowledge that Guru hath given; Nanak, without knowing thyself the scum of delusion shall not be removed."  (Dhanasri Moh : 9)

This indeed is the essence of Sikh philosophy. i.e. to earn one's living by honest means and hard labour; to share it with the needy and the destitute and to contemplate on the True name of The Timeless One. This is the triple formula, which Guru Nanak Sahib has given us. Anyone who follows it, automatically becomes a good citizen of the World and also purifies his soul and attains salvation.