HAR KISHEN ( 1656-1664, Guruship 1661-1664 )
Guru Har Kishen who was the second and the youngest son of Guru
Har Rai and Mata Krishen Kaur, was born on 7th of July, 1656 at
Kiratpur. The reason why Ram Rai was superseded has already been
given in the last chapter. Guru Har Kishen was appointed Guru when
he was five years and three months old.
Ram Rai was at the Emperor's court in Delhi and
when the news of Guru Har Kishen's succession to Guruship reached
Ram Rai, he was inflamed with jealousy. The masand Gurdas who
attended on Ram Rai comforted him," There is no need to be
sad. Thou hast many disciples in this part of the country. Even
the Emperor himself holdeth thee in honor." Ram Rai was not
satisfied," Knowest thou not, when the Sikhs of this country
learn that the Guruship hath been given to my younger brother,
they will turn away from me and go to him." However Ram Rai
acted on Gurdas's suggestion and sent his masands in every direction
to proclaim his succession and bring him the offerings of the
faithful. His masands went in all directions to announce his succession
as Guru but the Sikhs who knew Guru's succession, refused to accept
Ram Rai as their Guru. At that time Ram Rai decided to lay his
case before the Emperor. Thus he addressed Aurangzeb,"Sir,
my father has appointed my younger brother as successor to him,
and now he has taken possession of his throne, his property and
offerings. This misfortune has befallen me on account of my obedience
to your Majesty. My father was opposed to you on that account,
and at his death he ordered my younger brother never to be reconciled
to you, and never to look upon your face. Now I pray thee to summon
him to Delhi and order him to exhibit miracles as I have done."
This situation provided the Emperor with a good
opportunity to realize his own religious mission. Aurangzeb wanted
to convert all Hindus to Islam but he apprehended failure in Punjab
because the people greatly revered the Guru there. If the Emperor
could get Ram Rai the Guruship, and through him he would perhaps
be able to spread Islamic faith in Punjab, or even if he were
successful to set both brothers at variance, they would die by
mutual slaughter, his purpose should be served.
Aurangzeb having contrived this wicked plan, called
Raja Jai Singh of Amber (Jaipur) and ordered him to summon Guru
Har Kishen and said," I wish to see him, be careful that
he (Guru) be treated with all respect on his journey." Ram
Rai was delighted to hear the Emperor's decision to summon his
Many writers have shown their disbelief over the
fact that Guru Har Kishen being a child, possessed high attainments
and he taught with all the confidence to those who asked him about
truth. Intelligentsia cannot understand the sanctity of Guruship
as they attribute every happening to age, intelligence and experience
of a person. It should be noted here that Guru Har Kishen because
of his divine prerogatives, had the spiritual powers at the age
of five. His spiritual attainments came with his status of Guruship.
As has been explained before, in Sikh Holy Scripture Guru means
Jot or Divine Light, once the Guruship is installed, then a person's
age, intelligence or experience has no value. It is then the Divine
Light that works in that person. The power of Divine Light is
beyond the reach of human intelligence. The intelligentsia cannot
perceive or apprehend the power of Divine Light through the media
of their technical knowledge. Our so called technical knowledge
or the intelligence, in reality is 'I-am-ness' or the veil of
ego. God is everywhere and within us too, but this veil of ego
separates us from Him and it hides the truth from us. According
to Gurmat, human being as bride and God as bridegroom, live together
but the veil of ego separates them. When by the grace of the perfect
Guru, this veil of ego is broken, the bride meets the Beloved,
"Bride and the Bridegroom live together,
but the screen of ego hangs in between;
When the perfect Guru breaks the veil of ego, O Nanak, we meet
our Beloved, God."
(Malar Mohalla 4, p-1263)
It is only the Guru's grace that opens up our
inner eyes with which we can perceive the Incomprehensible and
enter the stage of Eternal Bliss.
"Bisman bism bhaey bismad, Jin bujhaya tis
(Gauri Sukhmani Mohalla 5, 16-8, p-285)
'Man wondereth at the wonders upon wonders of Creation But it
is only he who knoweth God, who obtaineth bliss.'
(Translation of the above)
To reach that stage, a person first must seek Guru's grace. In
order to do that, one must abandon the sense of egoism and the
pride of technical knowledge; and then submit and surrender unconditionally
before the Guru and beg for his grace. The answer to the question
as to how the Guru at the age of five could possess attainments
of such a high magnitude lies not in the reasoning of egoistic
mind but in the spiritual vision. The answer to the spiritual
power of the young Guru lies in the understanding that the Guru
though human in body, is Divine in Spirit. Egoistic minds of the
so called scholars prohibit them from understanding the Divinity
of the Guru. As long as human mind remains under the intoxication
of egoism, the cycle of arguments of intelligence will continue
and a person can never perceive the power of Divine Light, cannot
comprehend God and can have no knowledge of Him. The egoistic
mind will then continue to wonder how a five years old Guru could
perform those supernatural acts.
Raja Jai Singh had previously heard the Guru's
praises and was, therefore, pleased at the prospect of making
his acquaintance and of listening to his instruction. He sent
his emissary to Kiratpur to request the Guru to come to Delhi.
The Guru refused the invitation, for he had been forbidden by
his father not to see the Emperor. Raja Jai Singh sent back this
communication,"Raja Jai Singh humbly requests the Guru to
come to Delhi so that he and the Guru's Sikhs may behold him.
The Guru may act as he pleases regarding an interview with the
Emperor." It was made clear by the emissary of Jai Singh
that he (Guru) would not be compelled to go to the Emperor.
The Guru set out from Kiratpur. On his way he
waited for some Sikhs who had come to Kiratpur after his departure.
Among them were the maimed and the leprous, all of whom he cured
by the imposition of his hands. At Panjokhra, a village near Ambala,
came a proud learned Brahman, who without even saluting the Guru,
sat down in his presence. He then said," Thou who callest
thyself Sri Har Kishen, must be greater than Lord Krishna. Translate
the Gita for me." At that time, there stood nearby a dumb
and illiterate man, Chhaju who hailed from the same village as
the Brahman. Chhaju was serving water in the kitchen of the Guru
where he had encamped. The Guru asked the Brahman whether he should
translate Gita himself or he should get it done from Chhaju. The
Brahman thought, Chhaju who could not even talk, how could he
translate it? So he replied after a little pause, that Chhaju
should do it. The Guru was always carrying a stick with him. He
called Chhaju, put his stick on his head and asked him to answer
the Brahman's questions. To the utter amazement of the Brahman,
Chhaju explained in detail each and every verse that the Brahman
asked. Upon this the Brahman fell on the lotus feet of the Guru
and apologized for his indiscreet behavior.
When the Guru reached Delhi, he was received by
Raja Jai Singh who came bare footed to meet the Guru. He requested
the Guru to stay at his palace. That palace is now known as Gurdwara
Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. Thousands of people of Delhi came to
have 'darshan' (holy sight) of the Guru. The sick were healed
and those in distress were comforted at the very sight of the
The Emperor sent presents at the arrival of the
Guru and expressed a wish to see him but the invitation was refused.
The Guru said," My elder brother, Ram Rai, is with the Emperor
and he will transact all political affairs with His Majesty, and
I better not meddle with him. My mission is to preach the true
Name. Ram Rai bears enmity with me on account of Guruship, and
if the Emperor shows any favor towards me , Ram Rai will become
more hostile and grave dissensions in the family may better be
avoided. For this and other reasons my father forbade me to meet
The next day the Emperor's son, prince Muazzam
paid a visit and conveyed his father's desire to see the Guru.
The Guru emphasized that he had already given the reason not to
see the Emperor. If the Emperor desired any religious instructions,
he would give it to the prince. If the Emperor understood the
religious instructions and acted upon them, the blessing of Guru
Nanak would light on him and he would be happy. The prince asked
for the instructions and the Guru dictated the following Sabad
of Guru Nanak:
"If the True God dwell not in the heart,
What is eating, what is clothing,
What fruit, what clarified butter and sweet molasses, what fine
flour and what meat?
What dresses, What a pleasant couch for billing and cooing,
What an army, what mace-bearers and servants, and what palaces
to dwell in?
Nanak, except the true Name all things are perishable."
(Var Majh ki Mohalla 1, p-142)
On the instruction of Emperor Aurangzeb, Raja
Jai Singh agreed to test the Guru whether he possessed any superhuman
power. His head queen dressed like a maid servant and sat among
other maid servants and queens. The Guru was requested to identify
the head queen (Rani) which he immediately did. Upon this Raja
Jai Singh and his queens acknowledged the Guru's spiritual power.
Cholera and small-pox were raging fiercely in
Delhi at that time. The Guru ordered to spare all the offerings
to reduce the suffering of the poor. The food, medicine and clothes
were distributed among the poor and the sick. He won many followers
in this way.
Shortly after the above occurrence, the Guru was
seized with high fever which was followed by small-pox. His mother
sat by him and pleaded," My son, why art thou intent on thy
death? Thou hast only lately been seated on the Guru's throne,
thou art still a child, and it is too soon for thee to depart."
The Guru replied," Be not anxious. My safety is in His Will.
He is the Reaper of His crop; it is His pleasure, and sometimes
He reaps it while it is still green, half-green and sometimes
when it is ripe. The Creator will do what is best."
The Guru was ill for several days. He knew his
end had arrived and called for five paise and a coco-nut. He waved
his hand three times in the air in token of circumambulating his
successor and said," Baba Bakale," which meant that
his successor would be found at village of Bakala. He then breathed
his last on 30th of March, 1664. His body was cremated on the
bank of river Jamna where now stands the Gurdwara Bala Sahib.
FN-1:This Gurdas is different from Bhai Gurdas.
is said that small-pox was so rampant in Delhi that the Guru out
of human compassion took the small-pox to himself and absolved
the inhabitants of Delhi of it. Raja Jai Singh got a tank excavated.
The Guru dipped his feet in the water of the tank and after that
whosoever took bath with that water, was cured from small-pox.