Sikh History & Personalities

What do you know of Guru Harkrishan Ji?

Guru Harkrishan Ji (1656-1664) was called upon to assume the responsibilities of leadership of the Sikh community at the tender age of five. He is known as the “Child Guru” and is specially loved and cherished by children and students.

Guru Harkrishan Ji was a genius and showed extraordinary talents for his age. Once a Brahmin questioned him about the meaning of certain difficult passages in the Gita. He wanted to test the intellectual powers of the Guru. The Guru did not take it ill and called a passing unlettered water-carrier to expound the meaning of those passages. The Brahmin was surprised at the extraordinary exposition and wisdom of the water-carrier. A Gurdwara known as “Panjokhra Sahib” was later established at this spot.

Once Raja Jai Singh decided to seek and then test out the genius and wisdom of the child Guru. He disguised his queen as a slave and made her sit among many other women in the Guru’s presence. He asked the Guru to point out which was the queen. By his extraordinary talent the Guru went directly to the queen and sat on her lap. The Raja became a devoted disciple to the Guru.

The Guru’s elder brother Ram Rai complained to Emperor Aurangzeb that he had been passed over for the succession. He claimed the right of succession as the eldest son of Guru Har Rai. The emperor called Guru Harkrishan Ji to Delhi. In response to the wishes of the Sangat, the Guru went to Delhi and while there started his mission of healing the sick. Cholera was raging in the capital at that time. The Guru brought health and happiness to many Cholera-stricken people. The Guru stayed at the place where Gurdwara Bangla Sahib now stands. Soon after, he fell ill. Asked about his successor, he replied: “Baba Bakale”. He meant that the next Guru would be his Baba (grandfather) found in the village of Bakala (i.e. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji). He passed away on 30th March, 1664.