Parkash Utsav of the eighth Guru of Sikhs Sri Guru Har Krishan Sahib falls on July 14 this year. According to the religious calendar, he was born on Sawan Vadi 10, Bikrami Samvat 1713 at Kiratpur Sahib. He was the eighth of the ten Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on October 20, 1661, at the age of five following the footsteps of his father, Guru Har Rai Ji. Today, marks his 364th Jayanti. Before Guru Ji died, he nominated Baba Bakala Ji, as the next Guru of the Sikhs who was his grand-uncle Guru Tegh Bahadur. As we observe Prakash Utsav Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib, we bring to you some facts about his life. People wish each other saying Happy Gurupurab on the observance.

  • Aurangzeb, the emperor of Delhi at that time, wanted Guru Har Rai’s elder son Ram Rai to be the next Sikh Guru. Hence, Aurangzeb called the seventh guru to his court, but Guru Har Rai did not go, but sent his elder son Ram Rai.
  • Before his death, the seventh Guru, cautioned Guru Har Krishan not to meet Aurangzeb. However, after Guru Har Rai’s death, Aurangzeb sent Raja Jai Singh of Amber to invite Guru Har Krishan to appear in the Mughal court.
  • The eighth guru agreed to meet, but when he arrived in Delhi, Guru Har Krishan contracted smallpox and his meeting with Aurangzeb was cancelled.
  • Before Guru Har Krishan died in 1664, the eighth guru said, "Baba Bakale". The Sikh religious leaders interpreted that the next Sikh guru would be in Baka Bakala, a village in Punjab.
  • Although there were confusions regarding it, a few months later in August 1664, Sikh Sangat headed by some prominent Sikhs from Delhi, arrived at village Bakala and acknowledged Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji as the Ninth Guru.
  • At the last moment of his death, the eight gurus expressed a wish that nobody should mourn his death. He even instructed his disciples to sing the hymns of Gurbani when he dies.
  • Guru Har Krishan passed away on Chet Sudi 14, (third Vaisakh), Bikrami Samvat 1721.
  • His last rites were performed in Delhi and at the site of his cremation now stands Bala Sahib Gurdwara.
  • Guru Har Krishan Sahib had the shortest reign as Guru, which last only two years, five months and 24 days.

His resting site was the same place he had camped to look after the sick and suffering poverty-stricken people of Delhi. Among the Muslim community of the region, he was known as as 'Bala Pir' and by the Hindus as 'Balmukand'. In their prayer (ardas) written by Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikhs repeat every day these words, "Contemplate on Guru Harkrishan, the vision of whose divine personality dispels all sorrow and suffering."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 14, 2020 09:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website