THE VISIT OF SURAT SINGH TO THE MARI OF BABA GURU NANAK
UNIQUE RECORD IN MANUSCRIPT DATED 1055-57 AH 1645-47 AD
A manuscript in verse written by Surat Singh son of Dhuni Chand from 1055 AH, 1645 AD to 1057 AH, 1647 AD in praise of his saint is entitled TAZHKIRA HASU TELI. Hasu Teli was a wheat seller in Lahore in a shop in Chowk Jhaunda inside Lohari Gate, Lahore. He used to weigh the wheat in a dishonest way and after becoming a disciple of Shah Jamal Lahori left his corrupt ways. He stopped selling wheat and embarked on a career of selling oil. To this day a lamp is lighted in his shop by well wishers. His tomb is also in Lahore and described in detail by Judge Muhammed Lateef in his history of Lahore. Surat Singh became a revenue official in Lahore and became a disciple of Hasu Teli and used to contribute to the welfare of his saint’s burial place.
One day Surat Singh heard of the Mari of Baba Guru Nanak on the bank of river Ravi in Kartarpur and visited the Mari as reverence from him. Surat Singh relates the legend of Guru Nanak leaving two bodies behind; one for the Muslims to bury and the other for the Hindus to cremate same. This was a consequence of Hindus and Muslims wishing to deal with the dead Guru in their own way. Surat Singh tells us that across the river Ravi, the actual Baba Guru Nanak had already crossed on his own, and met an Afghan soldier and had a meal with him. He asserts that till 1647 AD, the Mari of Baba Guru Nanak existed on the bank of river Ravi in Kartarpur. This is a very rare reference and one of its kind.
Surat Singh also affirms his belief that Guru Nanak and Hasu Teli were in fact one and had changed places. He recounts how he saw Baba Guru Nanak at the mazar. But Hasu Teli came in his dream to tell him not to confuse any identity. In any case the mention is early and unique in Sikh history.
P.S. Researchers are indebted to Professor Rizavi Aligarh University for this research.