Baba Atal Rai (1619 - 1628)


Gurdwara Baba Atal, Amritsar

Baba Atal Rai was son of Guru Hargobind ji born to Mata Nanaki at Amritsar on 23 October 1619. He died at the tender age of nine years. The circumstances of his death, as narrated in Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi, were most extraordinary. Atal Rai had a playmate, Mohan, who was the son of a local businessman, Suini Shah. One day as they played with ball and sticks far into the evening, the forfeit was upon Mohan. During the night Mohan was bitten by a snake and he died. When he did not turn up for play the following morning, Atal Rai went to his home to find the members of his family wailing and lamenting. Baba Atal Rai innocently walked up to where Mohan was lying under a sheet spread over him, and spoke: "Why do you sleep so soundly, dear friend? it is not time for sleep: and, remember, you owe us the forfeit." Saying these words, he touched the boy with his stick. The boy stood up. The story that Atal Rai raised a dead body swept through the town. Guru Hargobind was not pleased when he heard this. "Karamat Qahar Hai -- Miracle making is violence. None should attempt to intervene in the Will of the Lord," he told his son. Atal Rai too the admonition to heart. Making a respectful bow, he quietly retired from the Guru's presence. After ablutions in the sacred pool of Amritsar and having recited the Japu on the bank of Kaulsar, he lay down on the ground with the stick underneath his head and went to his eternal repose. This happened on 13 September 1628. A 9-story (in the picture on the left) octagonal ediface in Amritsar commmemorating the 9-year-old Sahibzada (Guru's son) is also popularly known as Baba Atal after him.

The Gurdwara of Baba Atal is known for its langar and an old saying "Baba Atal Pakiyan Pakaiyan Ghal" "Baba Atal send us the already cooked food" is true with 24-hour ever continuous Langar at this Gurdwara., possible only through the volunteer service of Gursikhs


BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Copyright © Harbans Singh "The encyclopedia of Sikhism. Page 208"