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Guru Har Rai

He was the younger son of his eldest, Baba Gurditta, who had predeceased his father. HarRai acceded to Guru Nanak’s spiritual legacy on on 8 March 1644. He had been his gradfather’sfavourite. He was gentle by nature, kind hearted and devout. He had received guidance instruction from the guru himself. He was married in 1640 and had two sons: Ram Rai and HarKrishan.

 

Guru HarRai continued to maintain the style of his grandfather, with armed retainers. However he faced no armed conflict. He took steps to further propagate Guru Nanak’s message. He sent several devout and accomplished Sikhs to spread the faith:   BhagatBhagvan to eastern India, BhaiPheru to Rajputana and southern Punjab, BhaiGonda to Kabul, BhaiNattha to Dhaka and Bhaijodh to Multan. He himself travelled in Punjab and Kashmir and attracted more followers. He kept his permanent seat at Kiratpur where he continued the traditions of community prayer, daily discourses, the langar and counseling his followers.

 

Once, when the emperor Shah Jahan fell seriously ill, his son, Aurangzeb, imprisoned him in Agra Fort, and connived with his older two brothers against the eldest, DaraShikoh, who fled to the Panjab and sought the guru’s help.

 

The Latter is said to have deployed a modest force at Goindval to delay Aurangzeb’s forces who were in pursuit. DaraShikoh was eventually defeated and Killed. Aurangzeb later contrived also to kill his other brothers and ascended to the throne in 1658, while his father was alive. Shah JahanRai went to Dehra Dun where he settled without ever seeing his father again.

 

Guru HarRai then nominated his younger son, HarKrishan to succeed him before he passed away at kiratpur on 6 October 1661.