Guru Har Rai Ji is the seventh Guru of the Sikhs. He was the grandson of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. He was born to father Baba Gurditta and mother Nihal Kaur. He was born on January 16, 1630 at Kiratpur Sahib. He was married in 1697 B.S. (1640 A.D.) He had two sons named Ram Rai and Har Krishan Ji. He acceded to Gurgaddi on March 3, 1644.
Guru Har Rai Ji followed the policy of non-violence and popularized the Sikh ideology of self discipline and love of God. He consolidated the organization of the Sikhs on peaceful lines. He started dispensary for the sick and poor people. He made Sikhism strong. He was kind hearted and fountain of love and tenderness. He believed that the greatest sin was to hurt others. He believed in serving langar with humility and kindness.
Once, Guru Har Rai was called to Delhi by the Emperor Aurangzeb to yield to his cruel designs. The Guru decided not to go to Delhi himself. He sent his elder son Ram Rai to meet with the Emperor and interpret Adi Granth Sahib correctly if he was required to do so.
Ram Rai was asked many questions about Sikh and Muslim religions. He did not want to annoy the Emperor. He performed miracles to win laurels from Aurangzeb. He even changed a line from Adi Granth “Mitti Musalman Ki” to “Mitti Be-Iman Ki” (The dust of Musalman to the dust of treacherous; p-466) to please the Emperor. The action of changing the sanctity of Gurbani was rejected by Guru Har Rai Ji.
Due to un-Sikh action, Ram Rai was not found suitable for Guruship. The emperor pressed upon the Guru to accept claim of Ram Rai for Guruship.
Ram Rai also tried to persuade his father. The Guru disagreed by saying, ” The Guruship is like a tiger’s milk which can only be contained in a golden cup. Only he who is ready to devote his life thereto is worthy of it. Let Ram Rai not look on my face again”.
Before his eternal rest on October 6, 1661, Guru Har Rai nominated his younger son, Har Krishan Ji as his successor .
Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ ਸਾਹਿਬ ) (31 January 1630 – 20 October 1661) was the seventh of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became Guru on Tuesday, 19 March 1644 following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Hargobind Ji.
Guru Har Rai Sahib was the Son of Baba Gurdita and Mata Nihal Kaur (also known as Mata Ananti Ji). Baba Gurdita was son of the Sixth Guru Guru Hargobind Sahib. Guru Har Rai Sahib married Mata Kishan Kaur (sometimes also referred to as Sulakhni) the daughter of Sri Daya Ram . Guru Har Rai had and two sons: Baba Ram Rai and Guru Harkrishan.
The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Ji’s life:
• Continued the military traditions started by his grandfather Guru Hargobind Ji.
• Kept 2200 mounted soldiers at all times.
• Was disturbed as a child by the suffering caused to plants when they were accidentally destroyed by his robe.
• Made several tours to the Malwa and Doaba regions of the Punjab
• Guru Ji’s son, Ram Rai, distorts Bani in front of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, after which the Guru is supposed to have said, ” Ram Rai, you have disobeyed my order and sinned. I will never see you again on account of your infidelity.”
Although, Guru Har Rai was a man of peace, he never disbanded the armed Sikh Warriors, who earlier were maintained by his grandfather, Guru Hargobind. He always boosted the military spirit of the Sikhs, but he never indulged in any direct political or armed controversy with the Mughal Empire. Once, Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan), came to Guru Har Rai asking for help in the war of succession launched by his half-brother the murderous Aurangzeb. The Guru had promised his grandfather to use the Sikh Cavalry only in defense. He, nevertheless, helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzeb’s armed forces by having his Sikh warriors hide all the ferry boats at the river crossing after they had been used by Dara Shikoh in his escape.
Although, Guru Har Rai Ji was a man of peace, he never disbanded the armed Sikh Warriors (Saint Soldiers), who earlier were maintained by his grandfather, Guru Hargobind. He always boosted the military spirit of the Sikhs, but he never himself indulged in any direct political and armed controversy with the contemporary Mughal Empire. Once on the request of Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shahjahan), Guru Sahib helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzebs armed forces during the war of succession.
Once Guru Sahib was coming back from the tour of Malwa and Doaba regions, Mohamad Yarbeg Khan, (son of Mukhlis Khan, who was killed by Guru Hargobind in a battle) attacked the kafla of Guru Sahib with a force of one thousand armed men. The unwarranted attack was repulsed by a few hundred Saint Soliders of Guru Sahib with great courage and bravery. The enemy suffered a heavy loss of life and fled the scene. This self-defense measure, (a befitting reply to the unwarranted armed attack of the privileged muslims), was an example for those who professed the theory of so called non-violence or “Ahimsa Parmo Dharma”. Guru Sahib often awarded various Sikh warriors with gallantry awards.
Guru Sahib also established an Aurvedic herbal medicine hospital and a research centre at Kiratpur Sahib. There also he maintained a zoo. Once Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan fell seriously ill by some unknown disease. The best physicians available in the country and abroad were consulted, but there was no improvement. At last the emperor made a humble request to Guru Sahib for the treatment of his son. Guru Sahib accepting the request, handed over some rare and suitable medicines to the messenger of the emperor. The life of Dara Shikoh was saved from the cruel jaws of death. The emperor, whole heartily thanked and wanted to grant him some “Jagir”, but Guru Sahib never accepted.
Guru Har Rai Ji also visited Lahore, Sialkot, Pathankot, Samba, Ramgarh and many places of Jammu and Kashmir region. He established 360 Sikh missionary seats (Manjis). He also tried to improve the old corrupt Masand system and appointed pious and committed personalities like Suthre Shah, Sahiba, Sangtia, Mian Sahib, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bahagat Mal and Jit Mal Bhagat (also known as Bairagi), as the heads of Manjis.
Suthre Shah was born in sampat 1672, in the village of Berampur in the house of Nanda Khatri. He was born with a full set of teeth, his father after consulting the pundits and astrologers, placed the child outside the house, leaving him to and uncertain fate (most likely death), but it just so happened that Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, on his way back from Kashmir, saw the abandoned infant and took pity on him and he order his sikhs to carry the child with them, it was Guru Hargobind sahib Ji who named the child ‘Suthra’.
Guru Har Rai Sahib faced some serious difficulties during the period of his guruship. The corrupt massands, Dhir Mals and Minas always tried to preclude the advancement of the Sikh religion.
Source: Discover Sikhism