Guru Har Gobind Ji had five sons. They were Baba Gurditta, Baba Suraj Mai, Guru Teg Bahadur, Baba Ani Rai and Baba Atal. Baba Atal was a lovely child. He was smart and very active.
He was a sports loving child. He liked playing with his playmates. Playing with a ball and a stick was his favourite game. This game was very popular among the children of the old Punjab.
Baba Atal was endowed with Divine powers.
Whatever he said in his general way came out to be true. His father knew that boy Atal possessed great powers. He was very fond of him. He showered on him his fatherly love. Sometimes, he said to him, “Dear Atal, God has given you uncommon powers, you should preserve them. You should not waste them over small things.” In his * answer Atal would say “Respected Father! You are the store house of all powers, divine as well as worldly. I am your son. It is my right to get my share. Thus, I can make use of the powers. It will never make you poorer.”
Baba Atal had a playmate. His name was
Mohan. He was eight years old. Baba Atal was nine years old. Thus, they were of the same age.
They were very close friends. Daily, they played the game of ball and stick. One day they continued playing fate in the evening. It grew dark, so they could not play the game properly. They decided to stop the game for the night. They would again start playing early in the morning. Mohan was to throw the ball and Baba Atal was to hit it with his stick.
After arriving at this decision, they parted for their homes.
Lying on his bed at night, Baba Atal was thinking about his turn to hit the ball. Mohan had taken his turn. He had been hitting the ball and Baba Atal had been throwing it to him. He had been running to pick the ball after every hit of Mohan’s stick. He would hit the ball with his stick. It would amuse him.
On the other hand, Mohan reached his home.
He took his dinner and went to sleep. At night, he got up from his bed to answer a call of nature. It was pitch dark. He could see nothing. There was a cobra in the courtyard of the house. Mohan stepped on it. The cobra bit him. He cried for help.
His parents woke up. They rushed out. They found that Mohan had been bitten by the cobra. It was a poisonous snake. Mohan died in a very shortime.
The next morning, Baba Atal waited for his friend for some time, but he did not come. That kind of wait made him uneasy. So, he himself, went to Mohan’s house to ask him for his turn of the game.
He found that a large number of mourners had gathered there. The ladies were crying loudly.
Mohan’s mother was beating her breast. Baba Atal saw Mohan lying on the floor. His body was covered with a white sheet of cloth.
He called Mohan. There was no response. The mourners told him that Mohan had been bitten by a deadly snake and that he had died. But Baba Atal said, “No, he is alright, he is only making excuses to escape from his turn of throwing the ball to me, I will not let him go. He will have to play with me.”
Saying so, he stepped forward. He uncovered his face. He placed his stick at his neck and said, “Do not pretend to be sleeping. Get up at once. I am here to take you to the field. Open your eyes and getup. I must have my turn with the stick.”
Just then, Mohan got up as if he were sleeping.
He had been dead for a few hours. He got himself ready. Baba Atal took him out along with him to the field. They started playing the game.
It was a strange experience for the people. They had never seen a dead person regaining life.
Mohan’s parents were very happy. The mournful atmosphere changed and in its place there was joy and happiness.
The news of Mohan’s coming back to life after death became the talk of the town. In every home the members were talking of Baba Atal’s supernatural powers. Guru Har Gobind Ji also heard the news.
He called Baba Atal to him. He showed his displeasure to him for making the show of his powers. He told Baba Atal that he had acted against the will of God. He said, “No mother wants to lose her child, On the death of their children, the mothers would ask you to revive them back to life.
It would be a meddling with the ways of GodC In order to put an end to this show of miracle, you will have to depart to the house of God.”
Baba Atal took his bath in the tank of nectar. He changed his dress. He put on new clothes. He walked around the Harmandar Sahib for four times. He, then, went towards the Kaulsar tank.
He sat on the bank of the tank with his face towards the Harmandar Sahib. He, then, prayed to God. While sitting in composure he breathed his last. He gave life to Mohan; but himself took leave for the heavenly abode.
Hearing that Baba Atal had given up his life, the ladies began to wail. His body was brought home.
Guru Har Gobind said /’Baba Atal’s soul has reached its destination. He was here for a short period of time. We must bow before the will of God.
What pleases Him is good. There should be no weeping and wailing. Recite Gurbani and read the Granth Sahib.”
Baba Atars body was cremated near Kaulsar.
Guru Har Gobind said, “Baba Atal had seen only nine springs of his life. He has left for heavenly abode at his will. We should build a nine storeyed temple in his memory. It would be seen from far and wide. It would become a sacred place, where the hungry people would be served with baked loaves.
A magnificient nine storeyed Gurudwara was built near the site of the cremation. It is called Gurudwara Baba Atal.
The devotees offer baked loaves at this Gurudwara. Hungry people are seen here in good number. They are served with the baked loaves. They repeatedly say, “Baba Atal, Pakki Pakaee ghal”
(Baba Atal send us well baked loaves.)