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why some guru's never visited akal takht ?


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We have heard the statement "Some Gurus never even visited the Akal Takht". Let us examine why these Gurus were unable to do so in safety.

Brahmins high in the priestly and political heirarchy, started getting hostile to the Sikhs during the era of Guru Ram Das (1552-1574), when they presented a petition to Akbar against Sikhism. The opposition became virulent during Guru Arjan's time, when the Harimandir was constructed, leading to his martyrdom.

His son became the Sixth Guru, in 1606. No Guru was safe in Amritsar after 1634, when Guru Hargobind was driven out, and Harimandir fell to the Brahmin cohorts, the Minas. Guru Hargobind died in Kiratpur, in 1645.

His grandson, Har Rai became the Seventh Guru. His elder son, Ram Rai, after his disgraceful conduct at the court of Aurangzeb, turned against him after being passed over for Guruship. He apparently had the support of Aurangzeb in Delhi. He found support in Lahore from Sikhs because he was thought to have the confidence of the Emperor; in fact there were conversions to Sikhism because of this! Ram Rai's uncle, Dhir Mal, living in Kartarpur, also supported him, and together with the Guru's mother, tried to convince Guru Har Rai to accept Ram Rai back, and make peace. This he could not do, thus Guru Har Rai was confined to Kiratpur, where he died in 1661.

His second son, Har Krishan became the Eighth Guru, at age five, and was summoned to Delhi, at the instigation of Ram Rai, by Aurangzeb. He died of smallpox there, after a three year reign, at age eight.

Guru Hargobind's youngest son, Teg Bahadur, who had been living at Bakala, became the Ninth Guru, in 1664. In Bakala alone, there were 22 Sodhi aspirants to Guruship. If this was not enough, Dhir Mal, his nephew, got his masand, Sihan, to put a bullet through the Guru. The Guru survived, but the masand and his men took away all the Guru's moveable property.

Guru Teg Bahadur visited Amritsar, but was not allowed within, by the masands, in 1665. The same year, the Guru founded Anandpur, in the hills. He spent most of his time touring India, but chose to leave his mother, Nanaki, and his wife, Gujari, at Patna, which was, significantly, a strong Mohammedan centre, then.

Gobind Rai was born in Patna, in 1666, came to Anandpur in 1672, and became the Tenth Guru in 1676. Before the gathering storm, Guru Gobind Singh had to leave even Anandpur, for the relative safety of the mountains to the east, where he founded Paonta, in 1685. His first battle was fought here, in 1688. In between battles and seiges, he initiated the Order of the Khalsa at Anandpur, in 1699.

The Guru sent Bhai Mani Singh and six Sikhs to Amritsar, at the request of some Sikhs there. They managed to take charge of the Harimandir and the Akal Takht, at great personel risk, in the name of the Khalsa. "Harimandir, being the source of Sikh life and faith,, remained the main target during the period of persecution by both Mughal rulers and Afghan invaders.."

(Harbans Singh)

Guru Gobind Singh left Anandpur, for the last time, on the dark night of 5-6 Dec 1705. A day later was the Chamkaur battle, on 7 Dec 1705. Then Muktsar, his last battle, on 29 Dec 1705. It was in Rajasthan that the Guru heard of the death of Aurangzeb, in 1707, and he despatched a contingent of Sikhs to assist the eldest claimant, the liberal Prince Mu'azzam, who became Emperor Bahadur Shah.

The Guru met the Emperor in Agra, and accompanied him to Jaipur and the Deccan, preaching to assemblies the word of Guru Nanak. He decided to stay behind at Nanded, while the Emperor proceeded on. He died here in 1708, passing on the Guruship to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

It is distressingly clear why all the Gurus, after Guru Hargobind, never could visit the Akal Takht in safety. We hope this insinuation, that the Harimandir and the Akal Takht were unimportant to some of our Gurus, was made in error due to ignorance of history.

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