Batticaloa inscription refers to visit of founder of Sikh religion

A Tamil-Sanskrit-Gurmukhi inscription, dateable to 1511 CE, excavated in the Batticaloa (Maddak-ka’lappu) district of the country of Eezham Tamils, refers to the visit of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, to the island. The inscription refers to a conversation between the Guru and Vikramabahu VI, a king in the island at that time, The Times of India reported on Wednesday, citing Ashok Kumar Kainth, a Punjabi historian working in the island since 2004. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) will send a delegation to the island to study the inscription and site, the historian was further cited.

Apart from Tamil and Sanskrit, the third script Gurmukhi found in the inscription was a mixture of Sharda and Takri scripts of North India at that time, Kainth said.

The inscription is in 28 pieces and two more pieces are yet to be excavated, Kainth further said.

Guru Nanak, according to historical texts of his time, had made four long journeys called Chaar Udasiaan and his visit to the island is mentioned in the texts, the news report said.

Kainth said that the visit took place in 1511 CE.

Kainth is part of a 22-member international team working on the geographical locations mentioned in Ramayana and he has correlated several incidents mentioned in the epic with locations in the island, Times of India said.

An inscription is objective evidence, which could be verified for the authenticity of the information. But hitherto the ‘Ramayana’ sites in the island prove to be only myths, either old or new, and they are used in attracting gullible tourists, an academic in Jaffna commented.

Exploiting the superstitious gullibility of such tourists in the name of ‘heritage tourism’ for politico-economic purposes is largely carried out in India and among the diaspora in Malaysia and Singapore, the academic in Jaffna further commented.

The Austro-Asiatic or Veddoid word Lanka simply means any island or islet, including a river islet. The Lanka of Ramayana epic originally meant an islet in Central India was the opinion of the renowned Indian archaeologist and prehistorian, the late Professor H.D. Sankalia.

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