Bishwa Nath Singh:
The seventh Guru of the Sikhism Guru Har Rai was born on January 16,1630 at Kiratpur(presently Ropar district) of the Punjab in India. He had received his name from his grandfather, Guru Har Govind Ji. He had one elder brother whose name was Dhir Mal. His mother’s name was Nilhal Kaur where his father’s name was Gur Ditta who was the eldest son of Damodari and Guru Har Govin Ji.. To the dismay of Dhir Mal, his grandfather decided that his youngest grandson proved to be the most suitable in his image to be his successor, and appointed Har Rai to be the Seventh Guru of the Sikhism.. Guru Har Rai was married to Sulakkhani, daughter of Daya Ram of Anupshahr, in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh in 1940 at the age of ten. He was gentle by nature and had a religious temperament. He was Guru Hargobind's favourite grandchild, and he had been given the name of Har Rai by the Guru himself.
(Photo of Guru Har Rai- the seventh Guru of Sikhism.)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
Once as the legend goes, Har Rai was returning home after his horse riding exercise. From a distance he saw Guru Har Gobind sitting in the garden. He at once got down from his horse to run to pay his obeisance to the lotus feet of his grand...father Guru Har Gobind. While in hurry, his robe was caught in a bush and a few of the flowers were broken from their stems and that had pained Har Rai's heart very much He sat down on the spot and wept bitterly. Guru Har Gobind after watching his grandson weeping, he came to him to console and advised him to put on his robe by all means, but be careful as he walks that behooves God's servants to be tender to all things.This advice had a very deep meaning in the Guru's words. One must live in this world and be good master of oneself. Guru Har Gobind knew Har Rai to be the fittest to inherit the light from him. He nominated him as his successor and consecrated him Guru before departing this life on March 3,1644. Guru Har Rai had kept the stately style of his grand father Guru Har Gobind Ji that were introduced. He was attended by two thousand two hundred armed followers, but no further conflict with the ruling power occurred. He established three important preaching missions called bakhshishes for the spread of Guru Nanak's teaching. First was that of Bhagvan Gir, renamed Bhagat Bhagvan, who established missionary centres in eastern India. The second was that of Sangatla, renamed Bhai Pheru, who preached in Rajasthan and southern Punjab. Guru Har Rai also sent Bhat Gonda to Kabul, Bhai Nattha to Dhaka and Bhai Jodh to Multan to preach. The ancestors of present-day families of Bagarlan and Kaithal preached in the Malva region. Guru Har Rai himself travelled extensively in this area and a large number of people accepted his teaching. He confirmed the blessing earlier bestowed by Guru Har Gobind on a poor boy, Phul, who became the founder of the families of Patiala, Nabha and Jind. These families ruled in their territories in the Punjab until recent years. Kiratpur was his permanent seat. Here disciples and visitors came to seek blessings and instructions from him The Guru Har Rai had carried out the daily practice of his predecessors very successfully The institution of Langar( free Kitchen) community eating, continued to flourish during his tenure Guru Har Rai chose himself to be the the simplest one and managed his personal expenditure that he used to earn through the labour that he use to carry out from his own hands. In the morning, he sat in the sangat and explained the Sikh doctrine. He did not compose any hymns of his own, but quoted those of his predecessors in his discourses. He often repeated to his followers the verses of Bhal Gurdas Varan . He often use to preach that a true Sikh rises before the night ends, He wishes everyone well and he is joyed to give away gifts from his hand. He sleeps but little and little does he eat and talk. He lives by the labor of his hands and he does good deeds. However eminent he might become, he demonstrates not himself. He sings God's praises in the company of holy men and such company he seeks night and day.Upon word is his mind fixed and he delights in the Guru's will. Unenvied he lives in this world of enticement He admonished rulers to govern mercifully without oppression, attend only to their own spouses, abstain from drink, and be always available to their subjects. He suggested that they see to the people needs providing wells, bridges, schools, and religious ministry”.As mentioned earlier, as a youth, Har Rai exhibited great remorse when the robe he wore snagged a rose bush and damaged its petals. Guru Har Rai learned the medicinal properties of herbs. He tended to medicate injuries of animals which he found wounded and kept them in a zoo where he fed and cared for them. On appeal for help by his enemy, Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan, Guru Har Rai provided a cure for his eldest son, Dara Shikoh, who had been poisoned with tiger whiskers. The Guru Har Rai had demonstrated, that the actions of others ought not to dictate those of a Sikh, and as a youth Har Rai had received marital training and became adept with weapons and horses. Guru Har Rai maintained a militia of two thousand two hundred men at arms as revealed earlier The Guru Har Rai had managed to avoid confrontation with the Moguls, but was drawn into the intrigue of succession when the Mogul emperor's heirs fought over his throne and the eldest, Dara Shikoh, appealed to Guru Hair Rai for aid. Dara Shukoh's meeting with Guru Har Rai was misrepresented to Emperor Aurangzeb Highly coloured stories were carried to him. His officials and courtiers reported to him that Guru Har Rai was a rebel and that he had helped the fugitive prince, Dara. Further, that the Sikh Scripture contained verses derogatory to Islam. The Empror asked Raja Jai Singh of Amber to have Guru Har Rai brought to Delhi. The Raja's envoy, Hari Chand, who reached Kiratpur on the Baisakhi day of 1661, presented the royal summons. Guru Har Rai wondered why he had been called to Delhi and, to quote Bhat Santokh Singh," Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, he said, "I rule over no territory, I owe the king no tax, nor do I want anything from him. There is no connection of teacher and disciple between us, either of what avail will this meeting be?" He sent instead his elder son, Ram Rai, his minister Diwan Dargah Mall, escorting him According to the Guru kian Sakhian, Guru Har Rai blessed his young son as he seated him in the carriage and exhorted him "Answer squarely and without fear any questions the Emperor may ask. Exhibit no hesitation. Read the Granth attentively as you make halts on the way. The Guru will protect you wherever you might be." Gurdas, of the family of Bhai Bahilo, was asked to accompany Ram Rai with a copy of the (Guru) Granth Sahib in order to please the Emperor, Ram Rai deliberately misread one of the lines from the (Guru) Granth Sahib. This was reported by the Sikhs accompanying him to Guru Har Rai, who anathematized him for altering Guru Nanak's utterance . Debarred from presence before the Guru, Ram Rai retired to Dehra Dun. Guru Har Rai chose his younger Son, Har Krishan, to be his successor • He had died at Kirat Pur on October 20, 1661 when more than lakh of his devotees mourned his passing away and resolved to carry out his legacy in the right earnest.Let us join to pay ur humble obeisance to His lotus feet and seek His bliss for well-being of all living-being of this universe!