Gurudwara Hemkunt in the Himalayas is also regarded as one of the holiest places of the Sikhs. It was there that Sri Guru Gobind Singh the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs is reported to have meditated in his previous life.
In ‘Bachitar Natak’ the great Guru relates his story in the following words- “I shall now relate my own story, how God sent me into this world. I was busy performing penance on the hills of ‘Hemkunt’ where seven peaks are prominent. The place is called ‘Sapt Shring’ where King Pandu had performed Yoga, there I practiced austerity and worshipped the god of death.
He writes in his autobiography that Ram Chander son of Raja Dasrath had two sons Lava and Kushu. Lava and Kushu ruled over Northern India for many years. They remained good friends during their rule and they colonized two important cities Lahore and Kasur in Punjab. But when they died their sons could not tolerate each other. They became great enemies. In order to get their supremacy they quarreled with each other, One grand son of Lava named Sodhi won the battle and became the king of Punjab. The grandsons of Kushu being defeated took shelter at Banaras. There they learnt the Vedaas.
Due to their knowledge of Vedaas, they were nick named as Bedees. The Guru writes
“Lavee sarab jeete Kushee sarab haare.
Bache je balee praan lai kai sidhaare.
Chattur bed pathiyang keeyo Kashi basing.
Ghanai barkh keene tahaan hee niwasing. (52)”
One-day king Sodhi remembered his relatives living at Banaras. He made up his mind to call them. He sent a messenger and all Bedees reached in the Darbar of King Sodhi at Lahore.
King Sodhi asked them to recite the four Vedaas according to the divine process. When the Bedees recited three Vedaas and started to read the fourth Vedaa, the King Sodhi got up from his throne. He asked the leader of the Bedees to take his royal seat. He offered his kingdom to the Bedees with great honor. He himself decided to go to forests in order to contemplate the Name of God.
When king Sodhi got prepared for his new abode, the newly crowned king Bedee said, “As you have gifted us the worldly kingdom after hearing three Vedaas, similarly in Kalyug we would offer you the Divine Kingdom in our third incarnation. In Kalyug Guru Nanak was born as first Divine master. He was called the true Patshah. After reigning as the Divine King in the form of Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev and Guru Amar Dass, he offered his Divine kingdom to Sodhi Patshah Guru Ram Dass Ji.
The Sodhi king grandson of Lava proceeded towards jungles and he selected a very beautiful place for his abode. He worshiped there the name of God for many thousand years.
About his own life Guru Gobind Singh writes in his auto-biography as under: –
Ab main apnee katha bakhaano.
Tap saadhat iih bidh muhe aano.
Hemkunt Parbat hai jahaan,
Sapt sring sobhit hai tahaan.
The Guru Ji tells us about his previous incarnation, that in the Himalayan range, where there is Sapt Sring Mountain, on that hill he meditated the Name of God. In his meditation when he became one with God, then the Almighty ordained him to take birth in India in order to crush the cruel rulers.
“My father and mother meditated on the incomprehensible. They both practiced the highest yoga through diverse spiritual efforts. Their devout service in the love of God pleased the Almighty who commanded me to take human form in this world. I did not like to come. God sent me into the world with a mandate saying, ‘I cherish thee as my son and send thee to establish the path of truth. Go into the world and establish virtue and keep the people, away from evil.’When my father came to Triveni (Allahabad) he daily devoted himself to meditation and charity. There at Allahabad the dazzling light manifested itself into human form.”
Ih bidh karat tappsaya bhayo
Davai te ek roop havai gayo.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Chit na bhayo hamro aavan kaih
Chubhi rahee srut Prabhu chaman maih
Jio tio Prabh ham ko samjhaayo.
Im Kaih kai ih lok Pathaayo.
The Guru was so much engrossed in the Name of God, that he did not want to take re-birth. But some how the Almighty, persuaded him and he was born at Patna Sahib. His mother was Mata Gujri and his father was ninth Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib.
As Guru Gobind Singh had mentioned, the place of his previous incarnation in his auto-biography, many sikh scholars tried very hard to locate the exact place. In this field the names of Sant Sohan Singh, Hawaidar Moan Singh, Sant Thandi Singh and Sant Surat Singh are taken with great respect. They dedicated their whole life to locate the exact place in order to construct the Gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib. In this field the services of the Hem Kunt-Trust are laudable. The Trust has constructed roads leading towards Hemkunt Sahib and for the benefit of the travellers it has built big Gurdwaras on the way.