Guru Har Rai

Guru Har RaiGuru Har Rai was the seventh of the ten Gurus of Sikhism, becoming Guru on 8 March, 1644, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind, who was the sixth guru. Before he died, he nominated Guru Har Krishan, his youngest son, as the next Guru of the Sikhs.

The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Har Rai's life: continued the military traditions started by his grandfather Guru Har Gobind. maintained a cavalry of 2,200 soldiers throughout his Guruship.

As a very young child he was disturbed by the suffering of a flower damaged by his robe in passing. Though such feelings are common with children, Guru Har Rai would throughout his life be noted for his compassion for life and living things. His grandfather, who was famed as an avid hunter, is said to have saved the Moghul Emperor Jahangir's life during a tiger's attack. Guru Har Rai continued the hunting tradition of his grandfather, but he would allow no animals to be killed on his grand Shikars. The Guru instead captured the animal and added it to his zoo. He made several tours to the Malwa and Doaba regions of the Punjab.
Just before his death at age, 31, Guru Har Rai passed the Gaddi of Nanak on 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 Ji). Baba Gurdita was the son of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. Guru Har Rai married Mata Kishan Kaur (sometimes also referred to as Sulakhni), daughter of Sri Daya Ram of Anoopshahr (Bulandshahr) in Uttar Pradesh on Har Sudi 3, Samvat 1697. Guru Har Rai had two sons: Baba Ram Rai and Sri Har Krishan.
Although, Guru Har Rai 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, Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan), came to Guru Har Rai asking for help in the war of succession with his brother, the murderous Aurangzeb. The Guru had promised his grandfather to use the Sikh Cavalry only in defence. Nevertheless, he helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzeb's armed forces by having his Sikh warriors hide all the ferry boats at the river crossing used by Dara Shikoh in his escape.

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