9. The Guru, His Son Ram Rai And Mughal Emperor
The Emperor, Shah Jahan, kept his eldest son Dara Shikoh near him. He made his second son, Shujah Mohammad, the governor of Bengal. The third son, Aurangzeb was appointed governor of Dakhan and Murad Bakhsh received the province of Gujrat. Their ambition was not satisfied and each one of them was eagerly seeking to become Emperor, and for that purpose they amassed wealth and armies in their respective regions. When Shah Jahan became ill and showed no signs of recovery, a war of succession broke out. Dara Shikoh dispatched Raja Jai Singh against Shujah Mohammad and sent Raja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur to Dakhan. Jai Singh defeated Shujah Mohammad but combined armies of Aurangzeb and Murad forced Jaswant Singh to retreat. Upon this Aurangzeb prepared to retaliate and tried to seize the reigns of empire. Dara proceeded with great pomp and show to oppose Aurangzeb, and pitched his camp at Samugarh near the margin of the river Chambal. Aurangzeb soon appeared at the head of his own and Murad's armies and ensued a determined battle. Aurangzeb succeeded in capturing Dara's several nobles. Dara himself fled from the battle field. Aurangzeb came to Agra and imprisoned his father and his brother Murad, and then proceeded to Delhi. Dara fled towards Lahore. Famous Muslim saint Mian Mir was Dara's priest from whom he had heard Guru's praises. Dara's life was saved with the medicine from the Guru. In view of these circumstances Dara had great regard for him. Since Dara ecame governor of Punjab, there were healthy relations between the Emperor and the Guru. Shah Jahan had an order against the Hindu temples while Sikh temples were exempt from such an order. While Dara Shikoh was on his way to Lahore, the Guru happened to be in Goindwal. They both met. Many writers give their own fanciful accounts of the assistance that the Guru gave to Dara. What type of assistance Dara asked or the Guru gave to Dara, is a big question ? He had all the royal wealth, he had his generals and he had his army of thousand` and thousand of men. He enlisted twenty thousand men in his army within days at Lahore. He had everything but he lacked a brave heart to fight in the battle-field. He fled from the field and ultimately was captured through a Pathan who betrayed him. He was brought to Delhi and was executed. Having made his position secure on the throne of Delhi, Aurangzeb embarked on his religious crusade against the Hindus. After Dara the enemies of the Guru got a chance to poison the mind of Aurangzeb that he had rendered assistance to Dara against him. Upon this Aurangzeb summoned the Guru to his presence in Delhi. The Guru had vowed not to see the Emperor. Instead he sent his eldest son Ram Rai to Delhi instructing him to rely on the divine ower of the Gurus, not in any way recede from the principles of his religion, and in all his words and actions to fix his thought on God, everything would prove successful. When the Emperor was informed that the Guru had not come himself but sent his son, he thought that if his object in trying the Guru was not fulfilled by his son, he would send for the Guru himself. It is said that Ram Rai performed seventy miracles. The Emperor sent him poisoned robes which he wore but was not hurt. In one interview a sheet of cloth was spread over a deep well so that Ram Rai when asked to sit, would fall into the well. The sheet did not give way and Ram Rai was miraculously preserved. The Emperor was shown the sight of Mecca while sitting in Delhi. After seventy such miracles were shown, Aurangzeb was almost convinced of Ram Rai's powers and became friendly to him. Then came the last question. The Qazis' asked Ram Rai," Ram Rai, your Guru Nanak has written against the Muslim religion. In one place he has said,
'Mitti Musalman ki peirei paee kumiar; Ghar bhandei itan kia, jaldi karei pukar.' (Aasa Mohalla 1, Page 466)
'The ashes of the Mohammadan fall into the potter's clod; Vessels and bricks are fashioned from them; they cry out as they burn.' (Translation of the above)
What is the meaning of this ?"
Ram Rai had won Aurangzeb's respect so much that he perhaps did not want to displease him and forgot his father's parting injunctions not to recede from the principles of his religion. So in order to please the Emperor, Ram Rai replied," Your Majesty, Guru Nanak wrote, 'Mitti beiman ki', that is the ashes of the faithless, not of the Musalmans, fall into the potter's clod. The text has been corrupted by ignorant persons and Your Majesty's religion and mine defamed. The faces of the faithless and not of the Musalmans, shall be blackened in both worlds." All the Mohammadan priests were pleased with this reply. The Emperor then conferred a mark of favor on Ram Rai and dissolved the assembly. The Sikhs of Delhi immediately sent an envoy to Kiratpur and informed the Guru of the pomp and honor with which Ram Rai had been received in Delhi, and detailed miracles he had exhibited. The envoy then explained how he had made an alteration in a line of Guru Nanak in order to please the Emperor. The Guru was much distressed at the insult and remarked that no mortal could change the words of Guru Nanak and that 'the mouth which had dared to do so should never be seen by me.' The Guru decided that Ram Rai was not fit for Guruship. He confirmed," The Guruship is like a tigress's milk which can only be contained in a golden cup. Only he who is ready to devote his life thereto is worthy of it." After Ram Rai had resided in Delhi for some time, he decided to go to Kiratpur and try to convince his father to reverse his decision regarding him. He pitched his camp near Kiratpur and wrote to his father for permission to visit him. He confessed that he had suffered for his sins and desired forgiveness. The Guru replied,"Ram Rai, you have disobeyed my order and sinned. How can you aspire to become a holy man? Go whither your fancy leads you. I will never see you again on account of your infidelity ?".