The Guru had five sons and one daughter. They were:
Baba Gurditta was born to Mata Damodri in 1613.
Bibi Viro was born to Mata Damodri in 1615.
Baba Surj Mal was born to Mata Marwahi in 1617.
Baba Ani Rai was born to Mata Nanaki in 1618.
Baba Atal Rai was born to Mata Nanaki in 1619.
Baba Tegh Bahadur was born to Mata Nanaki in 1621.
There lived a Sikh, Gurmukh in Amritsar who had the only son, Mohan. Baba Atal and Mohan used to play together. One day they played until nightfall. The victory remained with Baba Atal and it was agreed upon that the play would be resumed the next morning. When Mohan went out, he was bitten by a cobra and the boy succumbed to death. Next morning Baba Atal Rai went to Mohan’s house and was told that Mohan was dead. Baba Atal did not believe that he was dead and he lifted the dead Mohan to life. Upon this the Guru angrily addressed to his son,” You must be working miracles, while I teach men to obey God’s Will.” Baba Atal replied,” Great King, may you live for ages, I depart for Sachkhand (heaven).” By saying this, he left and went to bathe in the tank of nectar. After his ablutions, he circumambulated the Golden Temple four times. As he finished his morning devotions, his light blended with the Light of God when he was nine years old.
Guru Har Gobind narrated all the circumstances to his eldest son Gurditta and sent him to Budhan Shah, whose devotion he commended. Baba Gurditta took his wife Natti and his son Dhir Mal and met Budhan Shah on the bank of river Satluj. Baba Gurditta reminded,”O priest, thou hast the milk that was entrusted to thee. Bring that to me. The Guru is my father, and he has sent me to taste it.” Budhan Shah gave the milk and it is said that it was as fresh as it had been set. Baba Gurditta and his wife Natti continued to reside in Kiratpur. A son was born to them on January 16, 1630 and they called him Har Rai.
|Baba Budha Ji handing over the Gurgaddi to the young Hargobind. Here he also adorned him with two sword – one of Miri and the other of Piri.|
Bhai Buddha remained in his village of Ramdas intent on his devotions. When he saw his end near, he asked for the Guru to come and fulfil his promise once he made to him. He told him,”Bhai Buddha, you have lived long, you have been ever with the Gurus. Give some instruction.” Bhai Buddha replied,”Great King, thou art a sun, I am a fire-fly before thee. You have come to save me, and to hear my dying wordsI have been a servant of the Guru’s house for six generations. Succor me in the next world, and allow me not to suffer when I enter death’s door, which I fondly hope is the portal of salvation. Here is my son, Bhana at your service; take his arm and keep him at your feet.” The Guru replied,”Bhai Buddha, you shall assuredly obtain bliss. Your humility is an assurance.” He then put his hand on Bhai Buddha’s head and blessed him who then left for his heavenly abode. The Guru and his Sikhs sang congratulations on the event of Bhai Buddha’s death after his long, holy and eventful life, and lauded him for the assistance he had given in the propagation and consolidation of Sikh faith. The Guru himself ignited his funeral pyre.
Bhai Gurdas was a contemporary of the fourth, fifth and sixth Gurus and was acquainted with them and their contemporaries, especially Bhai Buddha, an aged Sikh who had survived from the time of Guru Nanak. The tenets of Sikh religion are given in Bhai Gurdas’s Vars. There are forty Vars in number and each is divided in varying number of pauries (stanzas) and each pauri contains from five to ten lines.
One morning the Guru went to Bhai Gurdas whose end was now approaching. He begged pardon for any sins he might have committed. The Guru replied,” I thank thee, Bhai Gurdas, for having assisted in laying out the road of the Sikh faith. Among the Gurus’ Sikhs thy name shall be immortal.” Having heard this Bhai Gurdas meditated on God and drew a sheet over him and closed his eyes in eternal sleep on Friday the fifth day of the light half of Bhadon, Sambat 1686 (1629 A.D.). After performing the last rites he returned to Amritsar.
He lived in Kiratpur from 1635 to 1644. He chose Kiratpur, a city in the foothill of the Himalayas, which was not so easily accessible during those days of undeveloped and scanty means of transportation and communication, to ward off any further hostility between the Sikhs and the Mughal government after the confrontation of four battles. There were hilly Rajas who were great admirers of the Guru because he was instrumental in getting them released from the fort of Gwalior and some of them had developed veneration for Sikhism. These are some of the circumstances in which the Guru seemed to have set up his headquarters at Kiratpur. When he was busy in the battle field, Baba Gurditta was incharge to look after the organizational work. In 1636 the Guru asked Baba Gurditta to appoint four head preachers: Almast, Phul, Gonda and Baba Hasna. Almast was made the chief organizer of the proselytizing activities in the east. Baba Hasna who was the younger brother of Almast, established himself among the people of Pothohar, Kashmir, Chhachh and Hazara. Similarly Phul and Gonda were assigned the area of Doab to carry on the proselytizing work. All these four Udasis were founded in their allotted areas, preaching centers which were named as Dhuans or Hearths, to symbolize the flame of Sikhism. Besides this the Guru sent Bidhi Chand to Bengal. He had sent Bhai Gurdas earlier to Kabul and then to Banaras to enlighten the people on Guru’s gospel and also to encourage trade in horses.
|During on on his travels Guru Hargobind once was in a village Addi in the Ludhiana district, when the people begged Guru Ji to provide water for them as there was no water in their area. Guru Ji obliged the people and his horse dug in the earth and water gushed out of it.|
One day Baba Gurditta went for a hunting trip. It so happened that one of his Sikhs shot a cow by mistake for a deer. The shepherds came and arrested the offending Sikh. Baba Gurditta went to his assistance and offered to give compensation. The shepherds would have from the Guru’s son (Gurditta) nothing less than the restoration of the cow to life. If he restored the cow to life, the Guru would be angry as he was before in the case of Baba Atal and if he refused to satisfy the shepherds, they would detain his Sikh as a hostage. He was at last persuaded to reanimate the cow. When it was reported to the Guru, he remarked,”It is not pleasing to me that any one should set himself up as God’s equal, and restore life to the dead. Everybody will be bringing the dead to my door, and whom shall I select for reanimation?” Baba Gurditta replied,” Mayest thou live for ever! I depart.” He went to Budhan Shah’s shrine, drove his cane into the ground, lay down, and left for his heavenly abode at the early age of twenty- our in 1638.
After this the Guru sent for Baba Gurditta’s eldest son, Dhir Mal, from Kartarpur, and also for the Adi Granth which was in his custody. He intended that the holy volume should be read for the repose of Gurditta’s soul, and also that Dhir Mal should be present to receive a turban after his father’s death in token of succession to his property and position. Dhir Mal declined the invitation saying,”My father is not in Kiratpur. To whom shall I go? It is through fear of the Guru my father died. I do not desire to die yet. I will myself have the Adi Granth read for my father.” Thus he kept holy scripture thinking that whosoever had its custody would be the Guru. Bhai Bidhi Chand had unfinished copy of the Adi Granth which was read at that time. One day the Guru’s wife Mata Nanaki asked him,”O my lord, you always show great kindness to Har Rai, who is your grandson, but you never show regard to your own son Tegh Bahadur. Fulfil my wishes to put him on your throne.” The Guru replied,” Tegh Bahadur is a Guru of Gurus. There is none who can endure the unendurable so well as he. He has obtained divine knowledge and renounced worldly love. If you have patience, the Guruship shall revert to him.”
A day was appointed for a great assemblage. When all were present, Guru Har Gobind rose, took Har Rai by the hand and seated him on the throne of Guru Nanak. Bhai Bhana, son of Bhai Buddha, affixed thetilak to Har Rai’s forehead and decorated him with a necklace of flowers. The Guru putting five paise and a coco-nut in front of him, bowed before him declaring him the Guru, and addressed the Sikhs,”In Har Rai now recognize me. The spiritual power of Guru Nanak hath entered him.” Upon this the Sikhs shouted congratulations and minstrels began to sing. After this Guru Har Gobind left this world in March, 1644 at Kiratpur.
When the last rites were completed, Mata Nanaki and her son Tegh Bahadur set out, according to the Guru’s order, for Bakala, where they both lived until Tegh Bahadur obtained the Guruship.
FN-1: Wazir Khan was the viceroy of Punjab at the time of Guru Arjan. He was suffering from dropsy and was ompletely restored to health by hearing the recitation of Sukhmani, upon which he became Guru’s follower.
FN-2: Some writers charge that the Guru was imprisoned on account of money due. If this or any other case was the cause of his imprisonment, how could he get the release of fifty-two Rajas from the Fort? The Guru was on good terms with the Emperor. On his illness Jahangir requested the Guru to go to the Gwalior Fort and in return the Emperor conceded to the Guru’s wish to release the princes.
FN-3:Kahan Singh, a Sikh historian, writes that she was a Hindu girl named Kamla. Qazi Rustam Khan purchased er and kept her as slave. She was taught Islam.
FN-4:Some writers say that it was neither Shah Jahan nor the Guru, but there were only their respective men.
FN-5:Some writers say that Bidhi Chand never met the Emperor.
FN-6: Some writers claim that it was Guru Har Gobind himself who asked Budhan Shah for milk. When Guru Nanak met Budhan Shah, he offered milk to the Guru as a mark of respect. The Guru promised that he would drink milk later on. Now Guru Har Gobind reminded Budhan Shah of the milk he promised to drink. Budhan Shah said,”You do not look like the Guru I gave the milk.” Upon this Guru Har Gobind appeared in the appearance of Guru Nanak before Budhan Shah and accepted the milk to fulfil the promise.