Realization of Offering Water to Ancestors at Haridwar
Haridwar is one of the Hindu pilgrimages situated on the bank of river Ganges. As the sun comes out in the morning, people start throwing water with their hands towards the sun from the river. When Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited Haridwar, he asked the people as to what they were doing. A priest replied, “We are offering water to our dead ancestors in the region of Sun to quench their thirst.”
Upon this, the Guru started throwing water towards the west. The Hindu pilgrims were astonished and asked Guru Nanak about what he was doing. The Guru replied, “I am watering my fields in Punjab.” The priest asked, “How can your water reach such a distance?” The Guru retorted, “How far your ancestors are from here?” One of them replied, “In the other world.”
Guru Nanak Dev Ji stated, “If this water cannot reach my fields which are about four hundred miles away from here, how can your water reach your ancestors who are not even on this earth?” The crowd stood in dumb realization. Some of the listeners came to understand the point made by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. They realized that the water that they were throwing simply returned to the river and it is a fake belief that it could reach their ancestors.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached against superstitions, false rituals, worship of demi-gods and goddesses. He stressed that only One God, the Formless, is to be glorified. In this way, he showed the path of truth and enlightenment. There is a Gurdwara called Nanakwara in Haridwar on the bank of the river Ganges where Guru Nanak Dev Ji stayed on his visit to Haridwar.