(1656 - 1664)

GURU HARKRISHAN SAHIAB (1656 - 1664), the younger son of Mata Sulakkhani and Guru Har Rai Sahib, was born at Keeratpur Sahib. He was installed as the Eighth Nanak on October 7, 1661. Ram Rai, the elder son of Guru Har Rai Sahib, who had been excommunicated by Guru Sahib, approached the Mogul emperor and submitted his claim as Eighth Nanak. Ram Rai was known as a collaborator of the Mogul regime. In order to help him, the Mogul government summoned Guru Harkrishan Sahib. In March 1663, Guru Harkrishan Sahib left Keeratpur Sahib for Delhi.

On his way to Delhi, Guru Sahib visited several places and gave sermons to the Sikhs. During this tour Guru Sahib visited Panjokhara (district Ambala) too. Here, Pandit Lal Chand, a learned scholar of the Hindu literature, in order to test the knowledge of Guru Sahib, asked Guru Sahib to interpret Bhagwad Gita (a book of Hindu religion). Guru Sahib told Lal Chand that such an easy job could be performed by even an illiterate person. Guru Sahib asked Bhai Chhajju Ram, a Jhivar (literally : a water carrier), to satisfy Pandit Lal Chand. Bhai Chhajju Ram interpreted Bhagwad Gita in an intelligent manner and humbled the pride of the Pandit. Pandit Lal Chand apologized for his vanity. Later, he escorted Guru Sahib to Kurukashetra. At Delhi, Pushpa Devi, the wife of Raja Jai Singh Amberi, too, tried to test Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib satisfied her and blessed her. Guru Sahib reached Delhi in the middle of March 1664, On March 21, 1664, (Guru) Tegh Bahadur Sahib too reached Delhi from his long missionary journey of Bengal, Bihar and Assam and met Guru Harkrishan Sahib at the residence of Mirza Jai Singh.

On March 23, 1664 Guru Harkrishan Sahib appointed (Guru) Tegh Bahadur Sahib as Ninth Nanak. Guru Harkrishan Sahib met Aurangzeb March 25, 1664. Another meeting was fixed for the next day. Guru Sahib, however, proclaimed that he (Guru Sahib) won't meet Aurangzeb again. On the same night Guru Sahib had a swear attack of smallpox. Guru Sahib died on March 30, 1664. Before his death, he appointed "the Baba, who was staying at Bakala (i.e. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib)" as his successor. Gurdwara Bala Sahib (where he was cremated) and Gurdwara Bangla Sahib (the residence of Raja Mirza Jai Singh, where he stayed) have been built to preserve memory of the stay of Guru Sahib at Delhi. Ashes of Guru Harkrishan Sahib were immersed in river Sutlej at Keeratpur Sahib.


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