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Guru Nanak Dev and the Yogis


Guru Nanak Dev and the Yogis: Meeting with Yogis at Samer Mountain

Guru Nanak Dev meets the Yogis
 Guru Nanak accompanied by Bhai Mardana proceeded further north toward Sumer Mountains. River Ganga originates from these mountainous area. There is a story in Purans about the origin of river Ganga. Raja Bhagirth was a descendent of Bhirgoo. He came to these mountains and meditated there for a long time for the salvation of his sons, who were burnt down to ashes by the curse of one sage named Kapal. Brahmah, one of Hindu god got pleased with Raja Bagirth and promised to send river Ganga to earth from heaven. But the main difficulty remained unsolved that none except god Shiva could receive the river on the earth. Brahmah thus sent river Ganga from heaven and Shiva received it on the matted hair of his head. For one thousand years river Ganga remained moving in circle round the scalp of Shiva. On the prayerful beseeching of Bhagirath, Shiva allowed the river to depart from his matted hair. Ganga thus formed many streams - three streams moved toward east, three toward west and one behind the coach of Bhagirath. The one that moved at the bidding of Bhagirath was the main current of river Ganga. Since it was Bhagirath, who created the river to be brought to the earth, the river began to be called 'Bhagirthi'.

 According to the legend as recorded in the Purans, the coming down of river Ganga on earth is also linked with Shiva. Yogis, the devotees of Shiva consider it as a sacred act to visit the place of origin of river Ganga. A part of Samer Mountain is called Kailash Mountain. This mountain is situated in the west of Tibet and north of lake Mansrover. Chinese call this mountain 'Kiyunjat'. According to the Puranic legends this is considered to be the abode of Shiva. Many pilgrims from India, China and Tibet go round the mountain and consider it as a sacred act.

 When Guru Nanak went to Samer Mountain, he came across a group of yogis there. Generally caves are found at the foot of the mountain. In many caves the mountainous water trickles down and the accumulated water comes out in the form of springs through the caves. However, there are many caves which are totally dry. In these types of caves yogis as well as the other people living in jungles make them as their sanctuaries.

 There is considerable warmth inside these caves as the cold winds cannot find entrance. Yogis used to go to Kailash Mountain, which was associated with the name of Shiva, and took their abode in these types of caves there. Travel to this mountainous place for a single man, or two men proceeding all alone was not safe, as there were many hazards of the most difficult terrain and the woods around it, which are invested with all types of animal life.

 Life without water is not possible. Water is essential for performance of religious ceremonies. As such the yogis who used to go to Kailash mountain, selected their abode in dry caves which were near to the water springs. The inhabitants of nearby villages paid visits to the yogis in their caves and served them with food. These towering mountains remain usually covered with snow and the water springs are the only to be found at the foot of the mountains.

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