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Guru Har Rai

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Title: Guru Har Rai  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Nanakshahi calendar, Guru Granth Sahib, Mata Nihal Kaur, Guru Hargobind, Bhai Sati Das
Collection: 1630 Births, 1661 Deaths, Punjabi People, Sikh Gurus, Sikh Warriors
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Guru Har Rai

Guru Har Rai
ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿਰਾਇ
Born January 16, 1630 (1630-01-16)
Kiratpur Sahib, Rupnagar, Punjab, India
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. (aged 31)
Kiratpur Sahib, India
Other names The Billionth master Jasim'
Years active 1644–1661
Predecessor Guru Hargobind
Successor Guru Har Krishan
Spouse(s) Mata Krishen Kaur
Children Baba Ram Rai and Guru Har Krishan

Guru Har Rai (; 16 January 1630 – 6 October 1661) was the seventh of the Sikh Gurus. He became Guru on 8 March 1644 following the footsteps of his grandfather. Just before his death at age 31, Guru Har Rai Sahib passed the Guru Gaddi to his younger son, the five year old Guru Har Krishan.

Guru Har Rai was the son of Baba Gurdita and Mata Nihal Kaur (also known as Mata Ananti). Baba Gurdita was son of the sixth Guru Hargobind. Guru Har Rai married Mata Kishan Kaur (sometimes also referred to as Sulakhni) the daughter of Daya Ram. He had two sons named Ram Rai and Guru Harkrishan.


  • Armed legion of Sikh soldiers 1
  • Helped Dara Sikoh escape death 2
  • War with Muslims 3
  • Establishment of Ayurvedic hospital 4
  • Travels 5
  • Reform of Masand system and expansion of Manji missions 6
  • Recitation of Gurbani 7
  • Death and Succession 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Armed legion of Sikh soldiers

Although, Guru Har Rai was a man of peace, he never disbanded an army of more than 1200 Sikh warriors ( which was a lot at that time ), who earlier were maintained by his grandfather, Guru Hargobind. He always boosted the military spirit of the Sikhs, but never indulged in any direct political or armed war with the Mughal Empire.

Helped Dara Sikoh escape death

Once, Dara Shikoh, came to Guru Har Rai asking for help in the war of succession launched by his half-brother Aurangzeb. Guru Har Rai had promised his grandfather to use the Sikh cavalry only in defense. Therefore, he used it to help Shikoh escape safely from the 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 Shikoh during his escape. No weapons were fired.

War with Muslims

Once, while Guru Har Rai was returning from a tour of the Malwa and Doaba regions, Mohammad Yarbeg Khan (son of Mukhlis Khan, who had been killed by Guru Hargobind when he had led his forces against the Sikhs), attacked Guru Har Rai's kafila (entourage) with one thousand armed men. The attack was repulsed by a few hundred Sikh. Khan's forces suffered a heavy loss of life and fled the scene. Guru Har Rai often bestowed Sikh warriors with robes of honor in reward. Due to Rai's help in Shikoh's escape, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb framed charges against Har Rai and questioned the verses of Guru Granth Sahib as anti-Muslim blasphemy.[1]

Establishment of Ayurvedic hospital

Guru Har Rai also established an Ayurvedic hospital and a research center at Kiratpur Sahib, where he also maintained a zoo. Once Shikoh fell seriously ill by some unknown disease. The court Hakims (physicians), both Indian and European attempted cures, but there was no improvement. At last the emperor made a request to Guru Har Rai for the treatment of his son. Guru Har Rai, sent some medicinal herbs, then available only in his Ayurvedic Medical Center, back with the emperor's messenger. Shikoh was cured of his near fatal illness. The emperor thanked Guru ji and offered a Jagir (title to land and villages and a portion of the revenue tax called lagaan derived from it), which Rai declined.


Guru Har Rai visited the Doaba and Malva regions of Punjab where he preached to the Sikhs in huge numbers. Guru Har Rai also visited Lahore, Sialkot, Pathankot, Samba, Ramgarh and many places in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

Reform of Masand system and expansion of Manji missions

Guru Har Rai sahib faced some serious difficulties during the period of his guruship. The corrupt Masands, Dhir Mal and Minas always tried to preclude the advancement of the Sikh religion. Third Sikh Guru Amar Das started the Manji and Piri system by appointing 94 men as Manji and 52 women as Piris for the spread of Sikhism.[2]

To reform the Masand system, Guru Har Rai expanded the Manji system by establishing additional 360 Sikh 'missionary' seats called Manjis. He also tried to improve the old corrupt Masand system and appointed pious and committed personalities, such as Suthre Shah, Sahiba, Sangtia, Mian Sahib, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bhagat Mal and Jeet Mal Bhagat (also known as Bairagi), as the heads of Manji's.

Recitation of Gurbani

One day the Sikhs asked Guru Har Rai whether those who read the Gurus' hymns without understanding them, derived any spiritual advantage from it. He gave no reply at the time, and next morning went hunting. En route, he came across a broken pot which had held butter. The rays of the sun were melting the butter on the broken pot fragments. He took one of these fragments in his hand and said, "Look my Sikhs, broken pot shreds—when heated, the butter that had adhered to them readily melts. As the grease adheres to the potshreds, so do the Gurus' hymns to the hearts of his Sikhs. At the time 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 whosoever 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 shabad is the Guru, and the Guru in the shabad, and in the Word is the essence of ambrosia."

Death and Succession

Though framed and prosecuted by Aurangzeb,Guru Har Rai died of natural causes. He appointed his 5 years old younger son Har Krishan as the eighth guru before his death.


  • Macauliffe, M.A. (1909). The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus Sacred Writings and Authors. Low Price Publications.  
  • Singh, Khushwant (1963). A History of the Sikhs: 1469-1839 Vol.1 (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.  
  1. ^ Guru Har Rai
  2. ^ Piri system

External links

  • DiscoverSikhism - Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib is the seventh of the Ten Sikh Gurus. Read about his life and stories here.
  • Official Website of Gurudwara Shri Guru Har Rai Village Bhungarni
  • Learn more about Guru Har Rai
Preceded by
Guru Hargobind
Sikh Guru
3 March 1644 - 6 October 1661
Succeeded by
Guru Har Krishan


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