Guru Har Rai - The 7th Nanak
Guru Har Rai, the seventh Guru, was the grandson of Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru. He was the son of Baba Gurdita, the eldest son of Guru Hargobind. Baba Gurditta had died during the life time of his father. Guru Har Rai was born in February 1630 AD. His mother's name was Nihal Kaur. Guru Har Rai was married in 1640 AD to the two daughters Kotkalyani and Krishan Kaur of Daya Ram a resident of Anup Shahr in Uttar Pradesh. He had two sons Ram Rai from Kotkalyani and Guru Harkrishan from Krishan Kaur. He was anointed as the seventh Guru in March 1644 AD. Guru Har Rai kept up the style Guru Hargobind had introduced. He was attended by armed followers, but no conflict occurred with the ruling power. The Sikh faith continued to gain strength. The Guru appointed disciples to preach in different regions of the country He made Kiratpur his headquarters.

"Bestower of Boons"

Once a man called Bhai Kala brought two of his nephews to the court of Guru Ji. The boys were called Sandlu and Roopa. Both of them played on their stomachs like on drums. Guru Ji was delighted and granted them estates. Later their descendents formed the princely states of Patiala and Nabha. On another occasion the same Kala, this time on his wife's insistence, brought his sons to Guru Ji and asked for a boon for them. However Guru Ji replied, "That was merely a push of that moment, will of God at that time."

During the struggle for succession among the sons of Shahjahan, Dara Shikoh had met the Guru at Goindwal to seek his blessings. This was misrepresented to Aurangzeb who called the Guru to Delhi after taking over. The Guru sent his elder son Ram Rai to the Mughal court. The latter performed miracles and even changed the text of a line of the Adi Granth to please the Emperor. The Guru was much displeased with Ram Rai on this account and resolved to have no connection with him. Because of this, the Guru chose his younger son Harkrishan as his successor. A day after Harkrishan was installed, Guru Har Rai passed away in Kiratpur in October, 1661 AD.

"Dara Shikoh Cured"

Dara, the elder son of Emperor Shah Jehan (r. 1627-1658 AD) fell ill. Inspite of the best efforts of Hakims, he could not be cured. The rare medicine needed for his ailment was nowhere available. Information reached the Royal Hakim that required medicine was available with Guru Har Rai. He came personally to the Guru Sahib and requested for the medicine. Guru Ji gave him the rare medicinne required for the treatment and also sent a pearl, which was to be ground into fine powder and taken with the medicine.

All these three painting of Guru Har Rai are by Muslim painters. (Courtsey Randhawa, "The Sikhs, Images of a Heritage."
Guru Har Rai (courtesy Prof Balwinder Singh)
'Bairagan' of Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji - used as an arm rest while meditating (courtesy Prof Balwinder Singh)