The mission of Sikh Gurus was not only confined to meet the spiritual needs of the people, it had afar larger objective. The institution of Langar had been providing food to the needy irrespect of any distinction. But from the times of Guru Arjan Dev nursing the sick had become a new addition in their services for the welfare of the people. The lepers found Guru Arjan their benefactor, who.
treated them kindly and had built a colony (pingalwara) for their settlement. While coming back from his visit of Kashmir in 1618, Guru Har Gobind found the people of Lahore in the grip of plague.
The Guru nursed the sick and succeeded in arresting the intensity of the desease. In 1 648, Punjab was engulfed by the severe famine and the sickness associated with hunger. The tender hearted Guru Har Rai set up Langars at various places. He liberally supplied medicines from his store house for the sick. His sustained and compassionate efforts bore fruit. Their hard time passed and the people were grateful to Guru Har Rai.
During the stay of Guru Har Krishan at Delhi, the people were struck by the epidemic of Cholera.
Daily scores of people began to die of the fatal disease. Following the traditions of his forefathers, the child Guru thoroughy dedicated himself to mitigate the pains of the people.
The suffering people of Delhi visited him in large numbers. The Guru prayed for every visitor. He then gave them water touched with his hand and toe in a jug . He advised them to mix that water with some more water and administer it to the Cholera patients. He assured them that with the grace of Guru Nanak, the patient would be cured. People did as they were instructed by the Guru. The touch of Guru’s hand and toe to the jug of water and his p/ayers had the miraculous effect. Whosoever used the water given by the Guru, was fully cured of the disease. Thus, he was able to save many lives.
The graiteful people began singing praises of the Guru. The dedication and the sympathy of the Guru for the cause of the sick made him very popular. The people of Delhi wanted to keep the Guru stay at Delhi for a long time, but God’s will was not in consonance with their willingness.
The call of God came for Guru Har Krishan. He had an attack of small pox. Fearing that the end was approaching, the Sikhs wanted to know who the next Sikh Guru would be. Reading their minds Guru Har Krishan, through his gestures, asked the Sikhs to bring five paisas and a coconut. He touched them. He, then, raised his hand and waved it thrice in the air and uttered the word Baba Bakale. Saying these words the pious soul left the body to honour the call of God. He died on March 30,1664, when he was only a child of nine. His body was cremated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Gurudwara Bala Sahib now stands there in his memory.