Leaving Punjab and North India towards 1705, the tenth guru Gobind Singh stayed at Nanded in the Deccan. He toured the area extensively, and the banks of the Godavari river in modern day Nanded district of Maharshtra are dotted with a number of shrines associated with his stay.

One such shrine is the gurudwara at Hira Ghat, about 9 kilometers upstream from the main shrine at Nanded. Aurangzeb had died, and Bahadur Shah Zafar was the new Mughal emperor in Delhi, and he held Guru Gobind Singh in high esteem.

On a visit to the Deccan, on his way from Golconda, the Emperor came to meet the Guru. The meeting took place on the banks of the Godavari, where the Hira Ghat shrine is now located. Golconda state was known for its diamond mines, originating famous jewels like the Hope Diamond and the Regent Diamond, currently on display in Washington DC and Paris respectively. The emperor had been presented with some priceless jewels on his visit to Golconda, and he presented one diamond to the Guru.

The Guru and the Emperor had affectionate conversation, and the Guru talks of the priceless diamond that is in our very being. Thereafter, much to the surprise of the Emperor, the Guru threw the diamond into the river. On seeing the surprised and disappointed look on the Emperor’s face, the Guru asks him to go and recover the jewel. The Emperor says the diamond would have been swept away, but Guru Gobind Singh asks him to try. As the Emperor approaches the Godavari, he is said to have seen the river bed lined with many such diamonds.

The Guru had given a lesson—focus on our deepest self for the diamond of Truth, and not to be misled by trinkets. Guru Granth Sahib says:

Human birth and life is the priceless jewel;

Don’t squander it searching for trinkets.


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