Date of birth of Guru Nanak Sahib

Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, author of the 10-volume Complete History of the Sikhs and Guru Granth Sahib translation in English (7 volumes), has some strong views on when Guru Nanak was born. He provides an alternate view to that expressed by Giani Jagtar Singh Jachak published in an earlier article entitled 'How Sikhs have been fooled….'

By Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer | OPINION |

Guru Nanak Sahib, son of (Mata) Tripta and (Baba) Kalyan Das (son of Baba Shiv Narayan and grandson of Baba Ram Narayan Bedi, was born on 20 October 1469 (Julian Calendar), at village Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi (now Naanakana Sahib).

Another date (15 April 1469) has also been mentioned by some writers as Guru’s birth date. This mistake occurred due to distortion by Mehrban (who wrote a biography of Guru Nanak suiting to his planning to establish himself in the Sikh world).

Meharban, who had been functioning under the guidance of the Brahmins, who assert that a child born in Katak month of Bikrami calender (October-November of Julian/ Gregorian calendar or Common Era/ C.E.) is in-auspicious; hence he changed the date of birth of Guru Nanak.

SEE ALSO: How Sikhs have been fooled….

SEE ALSO: Guru Nanak was an original, says Women In Sikhi conference organiser

The date 15 April 1469 has been accepted by those who have followed Janamsakhi Meharban Wali. Well known writer Karam Singh Historian too accepted the Visakh (April) date. Karam Singh, in his book Katak Ke Visakh, rejected the authenticity of the book Bhai Bale Wali Janamsakhi and proved that it (book) was the work of the descendants of Handal (of Jandiala, district Amritsar), who wanted to present Handal as superior to Guru Nanak.

Hitorian Karam Singh totally rejected this ‘Janamsakhi’ and with this he rejected even the date of the birth of Guru Nanak Sahib. But, Karam Singh made a mistake; he accepted Meharban’s date of birth of Guru Nanak without analysing it. (Meharban’s Janamsakhi is the basis of the rest of the Janamsakhis, i.e. Bhai Mani Singh Wali Janamsakhi (in fact written by Surat Singh Nirmala), Puratan Janamakhi, Wilayat Wali Janamsakhi etc).

Was Guru Nank’s birth anniversary ever celebrated on April 15th?

This is another big gossip that before 18th century Guru Nanak’s birthday was celebrated in April and it was Sant Singh Giani priest who changed the date to October. It is very funny. It was Sant Singh’s father Surat Singh Nirmala (who wrote a Janamsakhi in the name of Bhai Mani Singh) who tried to establish the date of Visakh. There is not a single instant of Guru’s birthday being celebrated in April. Not a single source mentions it, whereas there are at least three major instances mentioning that Guru Hargobind and Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib celebrated Guru Nanak’s birthday on the Pooranmashi of Katalk (on the basis of 20 October 1469).

These include: Bhai Gurdas, 1630s (Kabit no. 345); Guru Kian Sakhian, 1790, by Swarup Singh Kaushish; Sakhi Pothi, 1726 (unknown author), Kesar Singh Chhiber, 1780, Bansavalinama Dasan Patsahina Da; Gulab Singh Nirmala, 1753, Guru Parnali; Sant Singh Chhhiber, early 19th Century, Janamsakhi Baba Nanak; Ram Sukh Rao, c. 1820s, Jassa Singh Binod & Sri Fateh Singh Partap Parbhakar, Santokh Singh, 1832, Nanak Parkash; Gulab Singh IInd, 1851, Gurparnali; Nihal Singh – Gurmukh Singh, 1890, Khursheed Khalsa; Sondha Kavi, end of 18h century, Guru Bansavali; Tara Singh Narotam, 1884, Gur Teerath Sangrah, J.D. Cunningam, 1848, History of the Sikhs and several others. (For analytical study of this issue, read the book Nanakshahi Calender, 2010, by Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer).

Other distortions by Meharban

Only Meharban has written that Guru Nanak was born at Chahal, at the residence of his maternal grandfather (Nana in Punjabi), hence his name Nanak; and Meharban further says that Guru Nanak spent first seven years of his life at Chahal;, all other writers accept that he was born at Talwandi (now Nanakana Sahib). It is remarkable that several places of Nanakana Sahib are associated with Guru Nanak’s childhood whereas there is not a single such place at Chahal village. It seems that all the wrong traditions about Guru Nanak had been started by Meharban in his Janamsakhi; including his date (Visakh) and place (Chahal) of birth and date of death (22.9.1539 instead of 7.9.1539) etc. Meharban shows Guru Nanak wearing Janeo and various other distortions go to his credit.

How many years did Guru Nanak live in the world?

Those writers who have tried to establish the date of 15th April, they have also propagated that Guru Nanak lived in this world for 70 years 5 months and 10 days, whereas the truth is that, he lived in this world for 69 years 10 months and 19 days (in calculations of different writers there is difference of a few days).

Why did Meharban do so?

Meharban (son of Pirthi Chand, and grandson of Guru Ramdas, who had been rejected as a successor of the Guru) was under the influence of the Brahmins. That is why he wanted to give some special date for the birth of the founder of Sikhism. He chose the mythical date of the beginning of the so-called ‘satyug’ (Golden Age or Age of Truth), which is Akshay Teej (Akshay Tritya, Visakh sudi 3). The Hindus have preached this as the date for the birth of their great gods like Parsu Ram, Nar Narayan, Haygriv (a deity of Vishnu). This date is so pious that the doors of Badri Nath temple are opened on this date. Charity, donations, ritual baths and meditation of this day is considered as most pious. Meharban chose this date so as to preach that the birth of Guru Nanak was the beginning of Satyuga.

For link to the original article in Punjabi (ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਅਸਲ ਜਨਮ ਤਾਰੀਖ਼), go here

harjinder-singh-dilgeerDr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer is the author of the 10-volume Complete History of the Sikhs and Guru Granth Sahib translation in English (7 volumes)

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Samachar.


How Sikhs have been fooled…. (Asia Samachar, 22 Nov 2016)

All is not well at Akal Takht (Asia Samachar, 20 Oct 2016)

Are our Gurdwaras Dysfunctional? The Assessment. (Asia Samachar, 9 Jan 2016)

Nanak Shah Faqir: An Epic of Sorts – PART ONE  (Asia Samachar, 4 June 2015)


ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |