SHIVNĀBH, RĀJĀ, was, according to the Janam Sākhī tradition, a Ceylonese king who became a devotee of Gurū Nānak. It was a merchant of Lahore, Bhāī Mansukh, who during a visit to Ceylon, then known as Sinhaldvīp, had impressed the king with his conduct as well as with the account of what he described as his perfect Gurū, Nānak. Shivnābh became interested in Gurū Nānak and was anxious to see him. But Mansukh advised him to meditate on the Gurū and wait for him in Ceylon itself. Since then the Rājā had awaited the Gurū's coming. Gurū Nānak travelled to the far off "Singhal dīp" (Sinhaldvīp, the island of the Sinhalese) accompanied according to Purātan Janam Sākhī by two disciples, Saido and Siho. Rājā Shivnābh along with his wife Chandrakālā, and their 12-year old son, entered the path of discipleship. So did some of the populace. At the Gurū's instance, Shivnābh established a dharamsālā where the faithful assembled by night to pray and recite hymns in praise of God.

        While in Ceylon, relates the Purātan Janam Sākhī, Gurū Nānak was inspired to utter Pran Saṅglī, a metrical composition of twenty-one stanzas describing the state of true religious discernment. A written script was made by Saido and left with Rājā Shivnābh. When Gurū Arjan (1563-1606) began to collect the sayings of his predecessors for inclusion in the Scripture, a Sikh by the name of Bhāī Paiṛā was sent to Ceylon in search of this composition. The copy that he brought was not regarded as genuine by the Gurū and was thus excluded from the sacred volume he was compiling. It was however included in Bhāī Banno's copy of the Scripture as Haqīqat Rāh Maqām Shivnābh Rāje Kī, which is considered by the Sikhs as an apocryphal composition.


  1. Vīr Siṅgh, Bhāī, ed., Purātan Janam Sākhī. Amritsar, 1971
  2. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
  3. Kirpāl Siṅgh, Janam Sākhī Paramparā. Patiala,1969
  4. Macauliffe, M.A., The Sikh Religion, Oxford, 1909
  5. Harbans Singh, Guru Nanak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969

Gurnek Siṅgh