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Monday, 06 January 2014 07:39

Birthday of Guru Har Rai

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Guru Har Rai (1630-1661) was the seventh of the eleven Sikh Gurus. 

He succeeded his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind. 

He was known for his compassion for living things, and as a child got

 

really upset when his robes damaged a flower. 

He owned land (called Shikars) where hunting was allowed, but killing was not.  He had a zoo where animals were protected. 

Guru Har Rai maintained a cavalry of 2,200 armed soldiers, known as the Saint Soldiers, who were only used in defence. 

Guru Har Rai also established an Ayurvedic (herbal medicine) hospital and a research center at Kiratpur Sahib, where he maintained another zoo. 

Once the eldest son of Shah Jahan fell seriously ill with some unknown disease. The best Indian and European hakims (physicians) were consulted, but they could not help him.  Finally the emperor humbly requested Guru Har Rai to provide treatment to his son.  Guru Har Rai gave some rare medicine to the messenger of the emperor, and the emperor's son was cured of his near fatal illness. The emperor was so grateful that he offered a jagir (title to land with villages and the profits derived from it) as payment, but Guru Har Rai declined the gift. 

When Guru Har Rai died at age 31, he did not pass the leadership of the faith over to his eldest son Ram Rai, because Ram Rai questioned one word in a verse in Guru Nanak (the Sikh holy book), and also performed miracles in the Emperor's court against his father's instructions. 

Sikhs are constrained by their Gurus to not believe in magic, myth or miracles.  Guru Har Rai passed the Gaddi of Nanak (leadership of the faith) on to his younger son, the five year old Guru Har Krishan.

Read 1658 times Last modified on Friday, 14 February 2014 07:55
Elsabe Smit

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