Did the Sikh Gurus ever debate with Jain monks?

By Sunil Kumar

Before I touch on the story of a debate; according to Khushwant Singh, many eminent Jains admired the Sikh Gurus and came to their help in difficult times. When the ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur was preaching in Eastern India; Salis Rai Johri; an eminent Jain invited Tegh Bahadur and his family to stay in his haveli in Patna. Later he donated half of it for a gurudwara to be built; as Guru Gobind Singh was born there. In one of his hukumnamas from Assam; Tegh Bahadur referred to the Patna haveli as “Guru-ka-ghar”.

Guru Gobind Singh (with bird) encounters Guru ...

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in Guru Gobind Singh (with bird) encounters Guru Nanak Dev. An 18th century painting of an imaginary meeting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from this a reference to a debate between Guru Nanak and Narbhi; monk-head priest of a Jain temple;

Guru Nanak at a Jain Temple

As a Jain Narbhi revered all forms of life; however Guru Nanak answered that he believed in the mercifulness of God; and critiqued many Jain customs such as plucking their hair; severe asceticism etc. In the end; Narbhi accepted Nanak as a Guru; according to the link.



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