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Sikh Research and Education Center: Articles:

Clarification of the words "Ramdas Pur", and "Ramdas Sar"


Clarification of the words "Ramdas Pur", and "Ramdas Sar"

This opportunity is taken to clarify here that the prevalent meaning of Guru's use of words "Ramdas Pur", and "Ramdas Sar", as City of Amritsar and Amrit Sarovar (tank) at Amritsar, respectively are totally incorrect, in contradiction of Gurmat - a gross negation of what Gurmat stands for. The word "Ramdas" is defined by the Guru himself as under -
"One whose mind is a home for the Supreme Lord God, his name is truly Ram Das, the Lord's servant. He comes to have the Vision of the Lord, the Supreme Soul. Deeming himself to be the slave of the Lord's slaves, he obtains it. He knows the Lord to be Ever-present, close at hand. Such a servant is honored in the Court of the Lord. To His servant, He Himself shows His Mercy. Such a servant understands everything. Amidst all, his mind is unattached. Such is the way, O Nanak, of the Lord's servant. 6."
(Sri Guru Arjan Dev, Rag Gauri, Sukhmani, Astpadi 9. p. 274, SGGS)
The word "Ramdas", therefore, wherever used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, except where he is described as a Person as Guru, means the devotee of God. Word "Ramdas Pur" means - the Holy Assemblage of devotees of God as 'Sadh Sangat'; and "Ramdas Sar" means - The Nectar (Amrit) that emanates from the Singing or Reciting Praises and making discourses on God. Let us examine the following section 10 of Phuney Mehla 5, at page 1362, SGGS -
"I have seen all places, but none can compare to You. The Primal Lord, the Architect of Destiny, has established You; thus You are adorned and embellished. Ramdaspur is Wondrous and incomparably Beautiful Abode. Bathing in the Sacred Pool of Ram Das, the sins are washed away, says Nanak. 10."
The above is the literal meaning of the passage. This does not in any way relate to Sri Harmander Sahib at Amritsar. This is in Praise of Place(s), wherever the Holy Assemblage meet (Ramdas Pur); and Nectar that emanates there is the Sacred "Amrit" (Ramdas Sar). Amritsar was never called 'Ramdaspur'. To start with it was called 'GURU KA CHUK'; and on completion of Amrit Sorover, called Amritsar and in its midst Harmander Sahib, the Guru changed the name of the town from Guru ka Chuk to AMRITSAR.

In Sikh Scriptures, both Gurus and Bhagats have totally condemned idolatry; idolization of any Person, Place, Ritual or Ceremony and any material thing, is self-destructive. In the face of it, one is amazed at the carelessness and casualness in presenting Gurmat by writers in their literal translations.

By idolizing Harmander Sahib at Amritsar, and the 'Amrit Sorover' (Tank of Nectar at Amritsar), is negating the Basic Sikh Teachings - rather ridiculing Sri Guru Nanak's visit to Mecca in Arabia, where the Guru cleared the age-old wrong belief that Kaaba was the Abode of God; similarly, Dwarka in southern India was the Abode of God. The Gurus taught, wherever people assemble and remember the Lord, there the Lord abides. And Essence of the Lord Praises, wherever sung, is 'Amrit Sar.'
 
 

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