Once upon a time, hundreds of years ago, in the year 717 A.D in the mystical land of Uddiyana, a child was born.
Some say he was came from his mother’s womb.
Some say he emerged as an eight year old from a blue lotus and was then adopted by a king.
Who would have known, that this miraculous child would one day become the reason why a country, as powerful as Tibet in the 8th century, who overran the capital of China and had installed a puppet emperor there would stop its aggressive military campaigns and turn into the most peaceful country in world history.
This child was none other than the second ancient guru in Buddhism, named Guru Rinpoche, also known as Guru Padmasambhava, who tamed and converted Tibet to Buddhism and thereby changed the course of Asian history.
Some say when Guru Padmasambhava visited India he came across a small village where people suffered from want of water, it was very very cold and the only lake in the village was always frozen.
The locals of the village asked Guru for help. Some say he had magic in his hands. And for someone who had enough magic in him to change the heart of a bloodthirsty king and turn him into a monk, also had enough magic to help out the poor villagers.
And some say Guru Rinpoche then placed his hands on the surface of the lake, and since then a part of the lake has never frozen even though the entire lake did.
We are now in the year 2021. And that lake is Gurudongmar lake in North of Sikkim 🙂
The year 1469 A.D, Fifteenth century was marked by the birth of another divine light in the history of kindness manifested in humanism.
A man who rejected the worldly distinctions at the tender age of eleven and started out to find his own path of faith and discovered a religion that has twenty million followers in India.
This man was none other than Guru Nanak, who discovered a religion that blurred the lines of Hinduism and Islam, known as Sikhism.
The religion that advocates justice and equality and urges its followers to serve mankind.
Legends are a curious thing.
Some of the fabled stories say that it was Guru Nanak who visited the Gurudongmar Village in the 15th century.
After his visit to Kailash ManSarovar, Guru Nanak returned along Kali River and went to Nepal. Visiting various religious places in Nepal, he crossed over to Tibet through Nanak-la pass and reached Shakya monastery and helped to reconstruct this monastery.
From Tibet, Guru Nanak entered Sikkim and reached plateau area around Guru Dongmar.
In this plateau the yak grazers approached Guru Nanak with a request, that: “they do not find water in winter as it gets frozen all over, temperature falling down to minus 35 degrees.”
Then Guru hit the perpetually snow-covered lake with his stick to provide water to the grazers. The ice melted giving way to crystal clear water. Since then there was one particular spot in the lake which was never frozen.
Some grazers projected another problem to Guru Nanak. Due to the effect of altitude, their virility was affected. They requested the Guru to do something about it.
Guru Nanak blessed the lake, saying,” Whosoever takes the water of this lake will gain virility and strength and will be blessed with children.”
The people of the area have firm faith in Guru’s words and consider the water of the lake as nectar.
Now coming back to the present times, In the year 1997 a Gurudwara was constructed on the bank of this pristine lake. And since then some dispute kept rising over the years as to whether it was Guru Padmasambhava, the Buddhist Guru or it was Guru Nanak, the Sikh Guru who blessed this sacred lake. Which led to the further dispute whether this sacred land belonged to the Sikh or the people of Sikkim. Because it was land that had somehow become the most important thing in this entire history.
Then came in another wise man whose name we do not know.
Which Guru had blessed the lake is still a mystery to us. But we all agree that it was an act of great kindness. And where there is kindness, there is magic. 🙂
Fighting over whose act of kindness had led to such a beautiful miracle destroys the very essence of the act itself.
So this wise man declared that this Gurudwara neither belonged to the Sikh, nor the Buddhist.
It belonged to everybody.
And henceforth this Gurudwara came to be known as the “Sarva Dharma Sthal“- A place of all religions.
Standing at an altitude of 16,900ft, when the mercury drops to a harsh minus fifteen, cold wind fills your lungs, a vast ice covered lake stretch out before your eyes and absolute wonder fills your soul, you start to believe. No matter how much of a non-believer you are, when you see an entire lake covered with thick ice, a small part, however, with crystal clear water, unfrozen, right in front of you, you believe that it is man who can create magic. And those who believe in it, will definitely find it. 🙂