Gurdwara Sri Mal Ji Sahib Nankan
This Gurdwara Sri Mal Ji Sahib Nankana stands about one and a half kilometres east of Gurdwara Janam Asthan. The Janam Sakhis mention how Guru Nanak was one day sleeping on the ground under a Mal tree. Mal (also called jal and van) is a shady tree.
It is said that once, in the afternoon, as Rai Bular and his men were riding among the fields in this area they noticed that while all shadows had lengthened and shifted eastward, the shade of that particular tree stood still over the sleeping Nanak.
The Bala Janam Sakhi has a slightly different version saying that as the shadow of the tree shifted, a cobra was seen spreading its hood over Guru Nanak’s face protecting it from the sun. Rai Bular, impressed by the miracle bacame a Sikh.
The Gurdwara on this site was first built by Diwan Kaura Mall and renovated during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is larger and more imposing than Kiara Sahib with its broad copings mounted with domelets around the central dome, domed kiosks at the corners of the roof and porches on the sides of the hall. The interior of the gurdwara is decorated with ancient ceramic tiles, about four inches square, each depicting a cobra.
Deadly King Cobra
One day Rai Bular, the headman of Nanak Sahib’s village, rode out on horseback to check his fields taking along a couple of servants. He came across Methu Kalu, who was searching for his son Guru Nanak. Looking around the pasture where Nanak’s herd usually grazed, the Rai spotted the head of a large cobra showing above the tall grass with its hood spread wide. The sweltering afternoon sunlight glittered on its scales.
The cobra hovered motionless as though transfixed. He wondered what had mesmerized the serpent and why it continued to remain in the open exposing itself to the sun’s searing heat. Curious, he motioned the others to be still and urged his horse closer to investigate.
Nearing the cobra, Rai Bullar saw Guru Nanak on the ground beneath it. The cobra’s hood cast a dark shadow over the boys face. The approaching horse disturbed the cobra and it slithered away into the grass. Fearing Guru Nanak had been bitten and poisoned by the serpent’s venom, Rai Bullar jumped from his horse and bent over the boy’s body.
Deeply absorbed in a meditative state and unaware of his surroundings, Guru Nanak appeared senseless. Rai Bular roused Guru Nanak and found him unharmed.
Guru Nanak had become so deeply entranced, while contemplating God as his herd grazed, that he had neglected to move out of the sun. Rai Bular realized that the cobra had been offering protection by sheltering the boy from the sun’s scorching rays.
Methu Kalu approached Guru Nanak and was concerned for his welfare of his only son. Astounded, the servants felt that the incident had shown Guru Nanak to be a saint.
Rai Bular commented to Mehta Kalu that his son had a divine spirit and told him the boy must surely be destined to be something other than a mere grazer.