NURSHAH, was, according to the Janam Sakhi tradition, the queen of sorceresses of Kauru or Kamrup, one of the districts of Assam, then known as the land of magic and witchcraft. Guru Nanak along with his companion Mardana visited this region during his first preaching odyssey. The Purdtan Janam Sdkhi relates the.story of how Bhai Mardana was bewitched by an enchantress.

Troubled by pangs of hunger, he once begged leave of the Guru to go into a nearby town to procure some food. “Do go if you have to,” said the Guru. “But beware! This is the country of Kauru and here women rule.” As Mardana was passing through a street, a woman standing at the door of her house called him inside.No sooner did he step across the threshold than a spell was cast upon him and he was made to bleat like a ram.

The Guru set out in search of him and entered the house where he had been kept in captivity. The sorceress tried her skill on him as did several of her associates. Finally came Nurshah, the leader of the magicians, who applied all the arts she had mastered. Finding herself powerless, she, as says the Janam Sdkht, threw her scarf round her neck in penitence, and made obeisance before the Guru, along with her slaves. The Guru taught them to attach themselves to the Name of God.

References :

1. Bhalla, Sarup Das, Mahima Prakash. Patiala, 1971
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
4. Vir Singh, Bhai, ed., Puratan Janam Sdkht. Amritsar, 1982 5 Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909