The Eighth Guru - Guru Har Krishan ji (1661 - 1664)
Guru Har Krishan ji
Guru Har Rai & Mata Krishen Kaur
July 23, 1656, Kiratpur Sahib
• Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji
23 July 1656 – 30 March 1664) is the eighth of the eleven Sikh Gurus. He became Guru Ji on 7 October 1661, succeeding His Father, Guru Har Rai. After His death from smallpox, His Granduncle, Guru Tegh Bahadur, became the next Guru Ji of the Sikhs.
Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji was born in Kiratpur Sahib, Rupnagar, Punjab, India to Guru Har Rai and Kishan Kaur (Mata Sulakhni Ji). Before His death in October 1661, Guru Har Rai designated his younger son Har Krishan as the next Guru. Guru Har Rai chose Har Krishan, rather than his elder son Ram Rai, because Ram Rai was in collusion with the Mughal Empire. Har Krishan was only five years old when he succeeded his father as Guru.
Attainment of Guruship
When Guru Har Rai was asked who among his two sons Ram Rai and Har Krishan would be the next guru. Guru Ji asked the person to go with a needle and insert the needle in the leg of the bed where these two sat and recited baani. The person did the same and he was surprised
Guru Harkrishan Ji
to see that the needle went inside the bed when Guru Har Krishan Sahib was doing meditation but not when Raam Rai was doing it. The person obviously perplexed went to Guru Har Rai to ask the meaning. Guru explained that although both of them were reciting the same baani, needle going inside the bed was symbolic of softness in the heart of Har Krishan and Ram Rai was rough in the heart. Since the child guru was to take up so many diseases on his own self, softness was of prime importance. Thus next Guru came to be Guru Har Krishan at the age of 5 years. Its the first time in the history when the light of the Guru had entered a small child.
As the Guru
Ram Rai complained to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi that he had been passed over because of his loyalty to the emperor. He also claimed that he had not received his due share of his father's property. Ram Rai knew that before his death, Guru Har Rai had publicly instructed Guru Har Krishan never to meet Aurengzeb. Ram Rai hoped if Guru Har Krishan met the emperor, it would be against his father's wishes and the Sikhs would be displeased with their Guru. On the other hand, if Aurangzeb summoned Guru Har Krishan to Delhi, and he refused to go, then Aurangzeb would send troops to compel him. Aurangzeb favored Ram Rai, and summoned Guru Har Krishan to Delhi. The Sikhs were very apprehensive about young Guru Har Krishan travelling to Delhi and appearing at court. To calm these worries, Aurangzeb sent Mirza Raja Jai Singh I to escort the Guru to Delhi. Mirza Raja Jai Singh I was a high court official and a Rajput ruler known for his devotion to the Sikh Gurus.
Raja Jai Singh assured Guru Har Krishan that he would not have to meet the emperor personally while in Delhi. He also said there were many devout Sikhs in Delhi who were anxious to see and hear their Guru. Guru Har Krishan convinced the Sikhs at Kiratpur Sahib that he should go to Delhi. Guru Har Krishan, his mother, and a group of devotees set out for the long journey to Delhi. On the journey, Guru Har Krishan was met by large crowds of devotees.
As the legend goes, at Panjokhara Sahib a jealous Brahmin taunted the Guru, mangling his name, which was close to that of the Hindu god Krishna. The Brahmin said “Your
Harkrishan Ji & Chhajju
Guru is called Har Krishan, a mere child of eight years! Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu, uttered the Gita, which is the repository of all the eternal truths. If your Guru also calls himself Krishna, let him expound the truths of Gita to us.” Hearing this, a poor water-carrier named Chhajju stood up, and proclaimed that anyone could expound on the Gita if he were so blessed by the Guru. Guru Har Krishan touched Chhajju with his walking stick, and Chhajju immediately began to expound the philosophy of the Gita. The Brahmin was so humbled by the spectacle that he fell to Guru Har Krishan's feet and asked forgiveness for his arrogance.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Where the Guru lived his last breath.
When they reached Delhi, Guru Har Krishan and his party were the guests of Raja Jai Singh. Every day, large numbers of Sikh devotees flocked to see the Guru. A smallpox epidemic was then raging in Delhi. Guru Har Krishan helped to heal many sick people. Coming in contact with so many people
Harkrishan Ji & Chhajju
every day, he too was infected and taken seriously ill. On March 30, 1664, Guru Har Krishan decided to name his successor. He called for five coins and a coconut. He took them, and being too weak to move, waved his hand three times in the air, and said "Baba Bakala", meaning his successor was to be found in Bakala. Guru Har Krishan then died of smallpox at the age of seven.
One of the historic gurdwaras in India, the Bangla Sahib in Delhi was built on the site where Guru Har Krishan helped the sick, and he also died himself of smallpox at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.