A visit to Ayodhya in the 16th century by Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion, had a bearing on the judgement passed by the Supreme Court over the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute on Saturday. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said one of the judges recorded separate reasons on "whether the disputed structure is the birth-place of Lord Ram according to the faith and belief of the Hindu devotees."
The judge, who was not named by Justice Gogoi, said Guru Nanak, whose 550th birth anniversary celebrations are underway, had visited Ayodhya in 1510-11 AD, for a darshan, reported news agency PTI.
While the anonymous judge maintained there was no material evidence to identify the exact location of the Ram Janmabhoomi, a visit to Ayodhya by Guru Nanak before the building of the Babri Masjid could be held as proof that Lord Ram's birth was an event that took place.
It was also proof that many other pilgrims visited Ayodhya for darshan before the Babri Masjid was built, the judge had said.
The Babri Masjid was built at the disputed site by Mughal Emperor Babur in 1528.
"The visit of Guru Nanak Devji in 1510-11 A.D and to have darshan of Janmabhoomi of Lord Ram do support the faith and beliefs of the Hindus," the judge said, according to PTI.
The judge cited Hindu scriptures and sacred religious books, like the Valmiki Ramayana and Skanda Purana, to say that the faith and belief of Hindus over the location of the birthplace of Lord Ram cannot be regarded as baseless.
"Thus, it is found that in the period prior to 1528 A.D, there was sufficient religious texts, which led the Hindus to believe the present site of Ram Janmabhoomi as the birthplace of Lord Ram," the judge said, according to PTI.
The Supreme Court had taken into account the Janma Sakhies, ancient religious texts of the Sikh religion, to show that Guru Nanak had visited Ayodhya.
A witness, cross-examined by the Allahabad High Court when the Ayodhya case was being heard there, had referred to several books about the history of the Sikh religion to state that Guru Nanak had sought darshan of Ram Janmabhoomi, reported PTI.
The citation of Guru Nanak's visit to Ayodhya holds immense significance.
A corridor from Punjab's Dera Baba Nanak shrine to Kartarpur in Pakistan, the site considered holy by practitioners of the Sikh religion as Guru Nanak spent his final days there, was inaugurated on the same day the Supreme Court gave its judgement on the Ayodhya case.
Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary is today, on November 12.
(With Inputs From PTI)