It was February 26, 1630. There was great rejoicing and celebrations in the house of Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru of Sikhs. The good news of the birth of guruís grandson, son of eldest son, bhai Gurditta, had just spread to the whole Sikh community. All the people had gathered outside his house, and were as jubilant as the Guru. There was a spirit of festivity, and sweets were distributed to all. The Guru gave gifts of money and clothes to the poor of the town.
The family priest was also consulted and the child was then named Har Rai. The Guru was very happy with his grandson, and held him lovingly in his arms. He knew that this grandson of his would one day be the Guru of the Sikhs and guide them spiritually. He had been highly disappointed in his elder grandson, Dhir Mal, but all his doubts as to the succession had been put to rest, with the birth of Har Rai. The Guru also adored Har Rai because he was the son of his favourite son, Bhai Gurditta. He had always felt that Bhai Gurditta resembled Guru Nanak a lot. He was inwardly aware that the flame of Guru Nanak, that was now passing through him, also illuminated his son Bhai Gurditta and his grandson Har Rai.
With such pious souls around, Guru Hargobind felt that he could concentrate wholeheartedly to the problems that the Sikhs faced from the Mughals. He had seen two Mughal rules in his time. One of them was Jahangirís who had initially extended a hand of friendship, but later grew jealous of Guruís power and authority, and so tried to overthrow him. Various battles were fought between the Mughal army and the Guruís Sikhs, and the Mughals had to often take a beating. Even when Shah Jahan ascended the throne, his policies too were intolerant and hostile towards the Sikhs, So Guru Hargobind had to maintain a huge army to defend his religion and his Sikhs from the Mughal rulers, who were set to wipe them from the roots.
Such were the troubled times that Har Rai grew up in. He had seen his father and grandfather going for battles against the powerful Mughal army. He had heard heroic tales of how they fought the Mughal generals, and routed the enemy. He had seen his grandfatherís skill with the sword, and admired him for it. He had also seen the Guru betrayed by men he had trusted like Painde Khan, Chandu and Asman Khan. They had once been very close to him. But the worst blow came when his own brother, Dhir Mal, conspired with the Mughals against his grandfather.
It so happened that Painde Khan, who was Guru Gobindís most trusted commander, left the Guru in arrogance and joined the Mughal army. Then, he decided to attack the Guru with the help of the Mughal army under the leadership of Painde Khan. Dhir Mal, the Guruís elder grandson, knew that Guru Hargobind was not too fond of him, and that he would never appoint him the Guru as long as he lived. Thus he decided to make use of the strained relations between the Mughal rules and the Sikhs. Percieving this to be the best opportunity he wrote to Painde Khan secretly, and offered his full assistance. He also suggested that if they attacked the very night they would be able to catch the Guru and his army unawares, and even take over the fort and the treasures.
On receiving the letter, Painde Khan acted immediately on Dhir Malís cue and attacked that very night. Although the Guru and his army were caught unprepared, they fought valiantly and wrecked havoc in the Mughal camp.
Har Rai later got the news that his grandfather slew Painde Khan with his sword, while his father, Bhai Gurditta, killed Painde Khanís son-in-law, Asman Khan, with his arrow.
Guru Hargobind, Sixth Guru of Sikhs, Bhai Gurditta, Guru of The Sikhs, Dhir Mal, Guru Nanak, Mughals, Mughal Army, Painde Khan, Asman Khan, Guru Har Rai