Friday, February 02, 2007
Guru Har Rai Ji (26 Febuary 1630 - 30 May 1661)
Guru Har Rai Ji (26 Febuary 1630 - 30 May 1661) was the seventh of then gurus of Sikhism and became Guru on 8 March 1644 following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Hargobind Ji. Before Guru Ji died, he nominated Guru Har Krishan Ji, his son as the next Guru of the Sikhs. The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Ji life:
Continued the military traditions started by his grandfather Guru Hargobind Ji
Kept 2200 mounted soldiers at all times.
Was disturbed as a child by the suffering caused to plants when they were accidentally destroyed by his robe.
Made several tours to the Malwa and Doaba regions of the Punjab
Guruji's son, Ram Rai, distorts Bani in front of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and is never again seen by the Guru. The Guru is supposed to have said, ” Ram Rai, you have disobeyed my order and sinned. I will never see you again on account of your infidelity.”
The Guru made his other son Guru at the age of only 5 years.
Guru Har Rai ji was the son of Baba Gurditta Ji and Mata Nihaal KaurJi (also known as Mata Ananti Ji). Baba Gurditta was son of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. Guru Har Rai ji married to Mata Kishan Kaur Ji (sometimes also reffered to as Sulakhni Ji) daughter of Sri Daya Ram Ji of Anoopshahr (Bulandshahr) in Utter Pradesh on Har Sudi 3, Samvat 1697. Guru Har Rai ji had two sons: Baba Raam Rai Ji and Shri Har KrishanJi.
Although, Guru Har Rai Ji was a man of peace, he never disbanded the armed Sikh Warriors (Saint Soldiers), who earlier were maintained by his grandfather, Guru Hargobind. He always boosted the military spirit of the Sikhs, but he never himself indulged in any direct political and armed controversy with the contemporary Mughal Empire. Once on the request of Dara Shilkoh (the eldest son of emperor Shahjahan), Guru Sahib helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzebs armed forces during the war of succession.
Once Guru Sahib was coming back from the tour of Malwa and Doaba regions, Mohamad Yarbeg Khan, (son of Mukhlis Khan, who was killed by Guru Hargobind in a battle) attacked the kafla of Guru Sahib with the force of one thousand armed men. The unwarranted attack was repulsed by a few hundred Saint Soliders of Guru Sahib with great courage and bravery. The enemy suffered a heavy loss of life and fled the scene. This self-defense measure, (a befitting reply to the unwarranted armed attack of the privileged muslims), was an example for those who professed the theory of so called non-violence or "Ahimsa Parmo Dharma". Guru Sahib often awarded various Sikh warriors with gallantry awards.
Guru Sahib also established an Aurvedic herbal medicine hospital and a research centre at Kiratpur Sahib. There also he maintained a zoo. Once Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan fell seriously ill by some unknown disease. The best physicians available in the country and abroad were consulted, but there was no improvement. At last the emperor made a humble request to Guru Sahib for the treatment of his son. Guru Sahib accepting the request, handed over some rare and suitable medicines to the messenger of the emperor. The life of Dara Shikoh was saved from the cruel jaws of death. The emperor, whole heartily thanked and wanted to grant some "Jagir", but Guru Sahib never accepted.
Guru Har Rai Ji also visited Lahore, Sialkot, Pathankot, Samba, Ramgarh and many places of Jammu and Kashmir region. He established 360 Sikh missionary seats (Manjis). He also tried to improve the old corrupt Masand system and appointed pious and committed personalities like Suthre Shah, Sahiba, Sangtia, Mian Sahib, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bahagat Mal and Jeet Mal Bhagat (also known as Bairagi), as the heads of Manjis.
Guru Har Rai Sahib faced some serious difficulties during the period of his guruship. The corrupt massands, Dhir Mals and Minas always tried to preclude the advancement of Sikh religion.