Dhan Sri Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji

Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa Vaheguru ji ki Fateh

“The early morning sun looks small in size, but its light is everywhere. So was Guru Har Krishan’ s fame, without limit.” – Bhai Santokh Singh

Guru Har Krishan ji, the 8th Sikh Guru, was born in Kiratpur in the Sivalik Hills mountain range in the Himalayas, Nepal. Guru Ji was the son of Krishen Devi (Mata Sulakhni) and Guru Har Rai ji.

Guru Har Rai ji supported the moderate Sufi influenced Dara Shikoh instead of conservative Sunni influenced Aurangzeb, as the two brothers entered into a war of succession to the Mughal Empire throne.

After Aurangzeb won the succession war in 1658, he summoned Guru Har Rai in 1660 to explain their support for the executed Dara Shikoh. Guru Har Rai sent his elder son Ram Rai to represent him. Aurangzeb kept the 13 year old Ram Rai as hostage, questioned Ram Rai about a verse in the Adi Granth – the holy text of Sikhs. Aurangzeb claimed that it disparaged the Muslims.

Ram Rai changed the verse to appease Aurangzeb instead of standing by the Sikh scripture, an act for which Guru Har Rai excommunicated his elder son, and nominated the younger Har Krishan to succeed as the next Guru of Sikhism.  At the age of 5, he became the youngest Guru in Sikhism in October 1661.

Guruship of Har Krishan Sahib Ji

One Sakhi (fable) of Guru Ji is about when they were invited by Raja Jai Singh and the Sikhs of Delhi to stay at the Raja’s palace. Jai Singh requested Guru Sahib to identify the real queen out of the equally and well dressed ladies surrounding Guru Ji. The Guru at once went to a lady dressed as a maidservant and sat in her lap. This lady was the real queen.

During the year 1663, when Guru Har Krishan Sahib was in Delhi, an epidemic of cholera and smallpox broke out. The 7 year old Guru attended to the sick. The lake at Bangla Sahib provided a cure for thousands of people and Guru Har Krishan helped the suffering by giving aid and fresh water from the well at this house. While serving the suffering, Guru Ji too contracted high fever and an attack of smallpox, eventually passing away in March 1664, aged just 8 years.

The Gurdwara later built at Bangla Sahib to commemorate the Guru and its Sarovar (river) are now a place of great reverence for Sikhs, and a place for special congregation on birth anniversary of Guru Har Krishan. A small tank was also constructed by Raja Jai Singh over the well, its water is now revered as having healing properties and is taken by Sikhs throughout the world back to their homes.

Before Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji’s death, Emperor Aurangzeb had rewarded Ram Rai, Guru Har Krishan Sahib’s elder brother, with land grants in the Himalayas. A few years after Guru Har Krishan had assumed the role of Sikh leader, Aurangzeb summoned the young Guru to his court. It is believed that Aurangzeb had planned to replace Guru Har Krishan Ji with Ram Rai as the Sikh Guru.

However, Guru Ji contracted smallpox when they arrived in Delhi and their meeting with Aurangzeb was cancelled. On their deathbed in 1664 Guru Har Krishan uttered: “Baba Bakale”. The Sikhs understood those words to mean that the next Guru is to be found in Bakala village, whom they identified as Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Sikh Guru, who went on to travel extensively spreading Sikhi, creating new cities and writing Gurbani (Word of God) before sacrificing their own life to successfully end Aurangzeb’s policy of forcing conversion to Islam or death upon the people.

In the process of serving the diseased, Guru Har Krishan Sahib wished that nobody mourn his death, rather instructing the Sikhs to sing hyms from Gurbani. The 10th Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, later paid tribute to Guru Har Krishan Sahib by stating “Let us think of the holy Har Krishan, whose sight dispels all sorrow”, which forms a part of the daily Sikh prayer Ardas.

Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa Vaheguru ji ki Fateh