Baba Ram Rai

Baba Ram Rai was the eldest son of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai.

Baba Ram Rai was nine years older than Guru Harkrishan. Baba Ram Rai was born in a palace called Sheesh Mahal.

Guru Har Rai helped Dara Shikoh, so Emperor Aurangzeb summoned Guru Har Rai to make an appearance in Delhi.

Guru Har Rai sent his elder son, Baba Ram Rai, to Delhi.

Baba Ram Rai was well received by Emperor Aurangzeb.

Baba Ram Rai not only satisfactorily responded to all of Emperor Aurangzeb's concerns, but he also impressed the Emperor with his cleverness.

As a result, Baba Ram Rai was asked to stay on as a state guest for some period.

One day, after prodding by some of the Ulema, Emperor Aurangzeb asked, why Sri Guru Nanak had criticized Islam in salok 'Mitti Musalman Ki'?

Baba Ram Rai satisfied the assembled Muslims by saying that the line had been copied incorrectly and that the actual writing was correctly 'Mitti Baimaan Ki' and not 'musalman ki' as were written.

Though Baba Ram Rai was well-blessed with all powers and strictly instructed only to explain Guru's position, but to sooth the mind of his host he choose to misinterpret Guru Nanak's writing, something his father had instructed him was completely forbidden.

Further, it has been said, that he performed miracles for Emperor Aurangzeb's pleasure.

When Guru Har Rai heard of this incident, he forbade Baba Ram Rai from ever returning home.

Though Baba Ram Rai managed to please Emperor Aurangzeb, Guru Har Rai Ji forbade all Sikhs from ever associating with Baba Ram Rai.

Therefore instead of Baba Ram Rai, Guru Harkrishan was installed as Guru at the tender age of five years and three months at Kiratpur.

At the time of installation of Harkrishan as Guru, Ram Rai his elder brother was a regular in the court of the Emperor of Delhi.

After learning that the Guruship had been passed to his younger brother, Baba Ram Rai became furious and envious of Guru Harkrishan.

He requested the emperor to summon Harkrishan to Delhi and ask him to perform miracles similar to those he had performed.

Baba Ram Rai knew that Guru Harkrishan had taken a vow to never appear before the emperor as it was also an order given to him by his father Guru Har Rai.

Shunned by all Sikhs Baba Ram Rai went to Srinagar Garwaal and became a great friend of Raja Fateh Chand.

Baba Ram Rai had many followers known as Masands. As Baba had no children to inherit his property his Masands were trying their best to occupy the Dera.

In his final days at Dehradoon, Baba Ram Rai strictly instructed his wife Mata Punjab Kaur to not allow anybody access to his enclosure.

He said to her that he was going into deep meditation and it was very important she obeyed his order.

His Masands quickly realised his miss-presence and debated on where he was.

After some time they asked Panjab Kaur who told them the situation.

However not obeying Mata Panjab Kaur order the Masands reluctantly opened the door and saw Baba Ram Rai lying on the floor.

The followers of Baba Ram Rai or Masands had become greedy on seeing his wealth and property.

Guru Harkrishan gave Baba Ram Rai a curse before they left for their heavenly abode as Baba Ram Rai had tried to insult them. Guru said you will also be burned alive.

As Baba Ram heard the call of Panjab Kaur for his return the guilty Masands were already preparing the funeral rites of his body. They cleaned his body according to the traditional customs.

Baba Ram Rai in his spiritual form returned to be shocked at what his followers had done. From above he lamented and saw his own body. He became very infuriated at them as they could hear him from below Ram Rai cursed them for their folly.

He also remembered his brother Guru Harkrishans saying.

Having been saddened Baba Ram Rai didn't re-enter his body but left for his heavenly abode. The Masands saw this and still continued the funeral rites of setting light to the body.

After his cremation, Panjab Kaur asked Guru Gobind Singh for assistance. Guru was very displeased at the news as Baba Ram Rai was his uncle by relation.

The Guru travelled to Dehradoon to punish the guilty Masands. Guru knew Baba Ram Rai was a Maha purakh and what the Masands had done was very shameful.

He tricked the Masands into believing they were accepting a saropa whilst they were punished severely one by one. They were numerous Masands that were punished in the order of hundreds.

Each one was tied and punished by pouring hot oil over their foreheads. The main leader Masands were also severly punished in the same way and killed.

Justice had been done and Panjab Kaur thanked Guru Gobind Singh for his support and said, 'BabaRam Rai's Aatma would now be at rest.'

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