Guru Harkrishan Ji An Apostle of Humility

Inderjeet S.Bhatia “Prince”
Guru Harkrishan sahib ji, the 8th sikh guru was the youngest guru in Sikhism.Born on 7th of July 1654 at Kiratpur in Punjab in the house of 7th Sikh guru ,Har Rai ji and mata Sulkhani ji.Guru Harkrishan sahib ji was the youngest son of Guru Har Rai ji who was blessed with two sons.The elder namely Ram Rai took some decisions against the principles of sikh religion .An annoyed Guru Har Rai ji had expelled him from Sikhism..As such when the end of 7th sikh guru came he appointed Guru Harkrishan ji as the next guru of sikhism
Guru Harkrishan ji”s guruship was opposed by his elder brother Ram Rai who was in collusion with the emperor Aurangzeb .Ram Rai complained to the emperor that he had been discriminated against by his father because of his loyalty to the Mughal emperor .He complained that he had not received his due share in the ancestral property.
Aurangzeb summoned Guru ji to Delhi apparently to settle their family dispute with his elder brother .But actually Aurangzeb’ s plan was to replace Guru Harkrishan ji with his elder brother Ram Rai as the next guru of the Sikhs. Aurangzeb deputed Raja Jai Singh ,a high court official known for his devotion to sikh gurus, to escort Guru Harkrishan ji to Delhi .Guru ji convinced his followers at Kiratpur about his visit to Delhi to meet the Emperor .Guru ji ,along with his mother and a group of devotees set out for the long journey to Delhi .On their journey Guru ji met large crowds of devotees who were anxious to see and hear their Guru .At Panjokhra near Ambala, Haryana, Guru ji halted for their night stay.A magnificant Gurudwara called Panjokhra Sahib stands their in the memory of Guru Harkrishan ji. At this place, a learned man called Lal Chand, with the intent to test the knowledge and spiritual powers of Guru ji,asked Guru ji the meaning of a few shalokas from Bhagwad Gita .
Guru ji , in a bid to cure Lal Chand of his pride said that he did not need the Guru for this task and added that anyone could do that.On hearing this Lal Chand brought a mute and ignorant water carrier named Chajju in front of Guru ji. At this Guru ji placed a stick on the head of Chajju. Lal Chand and Chajju began to discuss and the later gave such learned replies that Lal Chand ,the learned man, stood there astonished and silent before the Guru ji. Lal Chand then begged for Guru ‘s pardon for his mistake and became the Guru ‘s disciple .
It is said that because of the young age of Guru ji,Raja Jai Singh’ s wife too wanted to test his spiritual powers.Disguised herself as a maid, she sat amongst lady attendants. However Guru ji instantly identified her and sat on her lap proclaiming ‘. This is the Rani’.
One of the most famous Gurudwaras of the Sikhs in north India is Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi. This was the bunglow (residence) of Raja Jai Singh of Delhi.He humbly had requested Guru Harkrishan ji to stay at his bunglow after his arrival in Delhi to which Guru ji agreed . Now gurudwara Bangla Sahib stands here in memory of Guru Harkrishan ji.
However , coming in contact with so many ill people everyday the Guru ji himself was got infected with the deadly small pox disease and was taken seriously ill .On March 30, 1664. Guru Harkrishan ji decided to announce his successor .The Guru ji called for 5 coins and a coconut .He took them and being too weak to move , Guru Harkrishan Sahib ji waved his hand 3 times in the air and said “Baba Bakale”.
At that time, when Guru ji arrived in Delhi,the Small Pox epidemic was raging in Delhi.Everyday large number of devotees started flocking the bunglow where Guru ji stayed ,to seek his blessings for protection from the deadly small pox disease. Thousands ill people were healed by Guru Harkrishan ji. Guru ji asked ill people to have a bath in the well water situated inside the Bunglow and sing hymns of Gurbaani to cure themselves. Anyone who took a bath was fully recovered.
The sikhs interpreted those words to mean that the next Guru was to be found in village Bakala, which they later on identified as Guru Tegh Bagadur ji, the grand uncle of Guru Harkrishan Sahib ji, who ultimately became the 9th Guru of the Sikhs.
Guru Harkrishan Sahib ji ,then suddenly passed away after uttering the words “Baba Bakale” at the Bunglow of Raja Jai Singh in Delhi on 30th of March 1664. After the death of Guru Harkrishan Sahib ji, the small pox also subsided in Delhi.