14. At Shri Patna Sahib ji
Patna, or Patliputra as it was known in the ancient times, was the capital of Ohandragupta Maurya and his descendants, including Ashoka the Great. It became the centre of Buddhism during Ashoka's reign. Many a holy men have set foot on this sacred place including Budha, Guru Nanak ji and Guru Tegh Bahadur ji. This city is particularly blessed, for here was born on December 22, 1666, the Creator of the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Patna is now one of the Five Takhats (seats of authority) of the Khalsa Panth. The birth-place of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is known as Sri Harimandir and is a magnificent building. There are also many other Gurdwaras associated with the names of Guru Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. One day Raja Ram Singh of Jaipur came to pay his homage to the Great Guru. He had travelled from Delhi with all his army. On enquiring the purpose of his visit, it was known that the Raja had been sent by the Emperor of Delhi to conquer Kamrup (Assam). The Emperor had succeeded in merging all princely states into his empire, except Kamrup. He had attempted once, but failed and his Commander-in-Chief Mir Jumla simply perished. Now the Raja of Jaipur, who was chief amongst the Rajput princes of Rajputana, had been sent by the Emperor on this difficult mission. The Emperor, being cunning, had thought that if Raja Ram Singh succeeds in his mission, well and good; and if he does not, and perishes, he would have got rid of another Hindu Rajput Prince. The Emperor only wanted an excuse to take over the State of Jaipur. The House of Guru Nanak had very special relationships with the Rajput Chiefs. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji's Father Guru Hargobind Ji had earlier rescued 52 Rajput Princes from the fort of Gwallor where they had been imprisoned by the then Mughal Emperor Jahangir. It was, therefore, natural for all Rajput Princes to have a great respect for the successors of Guru Hargobind Sahib. Guru Harkrishen ji, our Eighth Guru, was once the guest of Raja Jai Singh, the father of Raja Ram Singh and during His visit to Delhi had stayed in one of Raja Jai Singh's bungalows at Raisina. Raja Ram Singh remembered the occasion. Both Raja Jai Singh and Raja Ram Singh regarded it a privilege to be referred to as the Sikhs of the Guru. With this history in mind the Raja had come to the Holy Feet of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji. Kamarup is known to be the land of magic to this day. It was believed amongst the nobles of the Emperor that the Raja of Kamarup and his Ministers were great magicians and Raja Ram Singh was rather apprehensive at the thought of facing such powers. He knew that with the assistance and blessings of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, no magic could harm him. Therefore, he begged Guru ji to accompany him to Assam. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji agreed, but on the condition that Raja Ram Singh would not conquer Kamarup. Since Guru ji thought that the King of Kamarup was innocent, He did not wish to be an agent in annexing his territory simply to satisfy the greed of the Emperor. Guru ji suggested to the Raja that He would act as an intermediary in bringing about a peaceful settlement between the two Hindu Rajas; thus avoiding the need for bloodshed. It would be worth noting here that if there had been a War between the two Rajas, the casualties would have been all Hindu Rajputs, whereas. any gain would have accrued to a Turk muslim ruler. Soon afterwards Guru ji left Patna and went with Raja Ram Singh to Kamarup through Bengal. Guru ji instructed Mata Gujri and Mata Nanaki to stay at Patna and He asked His brother-in-law Kripal Chand to look after them. Before leaving Guru ji told His mother Mata Nanaki that she would be blessed with a grandson whom she should name Gobind Rai.