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Guru Har Rai Ji

Guru Har Rai Ji (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 Har Gobind Ji. Before Guru Ji died, he nominated Guru Har Krishan Ji, his son as the next Guru of the Sikhs. The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Ji life:

    Continued the military traditions started by his grandfather Guru Har Gobind 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
    Guruji'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.”

The Guru nominated his youngest son, the five year old Har Krishan as the Eighth Sikh Guru; Guru Har Krishan Sahib on Sunday, 20 October 1661.


Guru Har Rai ji was the son of Baba Gurdita Ji and Mata Nihal Kaur Ji (also known as Mata Ananti Ji). Baba Gurdita was son of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. Guru Har Rai ji married Mata Kishan Kaur Ji (sometimes also reffered to as Sulakhni Ji) daughter of Sri Daya Ram Ji of Anoopshahr (Bulandshahr) in Utter Pradesh on Har Sudi 3, Samvat 1697. They had two sons: Baba Ram Rai Ji and Sri Har Krishan Ji.

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 Jeet 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.

One day the Sikhs asked the Guru whether those who read the Gurus' hymns without understanding them derived any spiritual advantage from it. The Guru gave no reply at the time, and next morning went hunting. En route, the Guru came across a broken pot which had held butter. The rays of the sun were melting the butter on the broken pot fragments. The Guru took one of these fragments in his hand and said, "Look my Sikhs, broken pot shards - when they are heated, the butter that adhered to them readily melts. As the grease adheres to the potshards, so to do the Gurus' hymns to the hearts of his Sikhs. At the hour of death the Gurus' instruction shall assuredly bear fruit. Whether understood or not, it has within it the seed of salvation. Perfume still clings to a broken vase." The meaning of the parable is that whoseoever daily reads the Gurus shabads shall assuredly obtain peace. And even though he may not fully understand them, God will undoubtedly assist him.

Guru Ram Das has said: "The Word is the Guru, and the Guru in the Word, and in the Word is the essence of ambrosia."

A devout Sikh called Bhai Gonda used to stay with the Guru. He was a saint in thought, word and deed. Guru ji was very much pleased with his sincere devotion and asked, “Bhai Gonda, go to Kabul, and instruct the Sikhs there in the worship of the true Name, and preach the Sikh faith. Feed holy men and pilgrims with the offerings you receive and send whatever remains here for the upkeep of the Langar. These are to be your duties, and I am confident that you will succeed in them.”

Although Kabul was a foreign country and there was danger from Muslim bigotry in living there, Bhai Gonda cheerfully accepted the task given to him. On arriving there he built a Gurdwara and carried out all the Guru’s instructions.

One day, while Bhai Gonda was repeating the Japji, he felt as if he was actually clinging to the Guru’s feet. He was in such a state of abstraction that he became quite unconscious. He grew as absorbed in the sight of the Guru as a drop of rain in the ocean. The Guru knew what was passing through Bhai Gonda’s mind, and sat firmly on his throne keeping his feet together. At mid-day, when dinner was announced, the Guru made no response. When the announcement was repeated an hour later, he still remained silent. A longer interval later, the call was again made for the third time and cook asked permission to serve the food, but again the Guru did not speak. Several Sikhs gathered together and were about to make a representation to the Guru, when he finally spoke. “Brother Sikhs. Bhai Gonda is in Kabul. He is in thought, word, and deed, a saint of the Guru. He today clasped my feet. How can I take them away from him? How can I go take my dinner until he lets go? I am therefore waiting until the conclusion of his meditation and obeisance.” Bhai Gonda did not awake from his trance before twilight, and it was only then that the Guru felt free to take his meal.

About Singh Sabha Gurudwara

Registration of Singh Sabha Brisbane done in November 2009. Since 2009, a search for a suitable place for the Guru's house has also started, With the Blessing of the Satguru we got successful in this work in May 2011.

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