Ram Rais Futile Attempts for Gurugaddi : Guru Har Rai Ji

Ram iRai had been staying in Delhi. He was clever and intelligent. He had developed relations with the nobles at the royal court. He was successful in cementing rapport with the Emperor. But inspite of his qualities as a good courtier and diplomat, he had become a base coin for the Guru and the Sikh Sangat at large. The manifestation of his clever but cowardly conduct at the royal court was not in tune with the Sikh character and particularly of a person, who was to occupy the holy seat of the Guru. The affront to the Gurbani was an unpardonable offence. The alteration of the word of Gurubani from Musalman to Beiman sealed his fate for ever. He failed in his test. He was overawed by the splendour and the might of the Mughal court. No doubt, he raised his status in the eyes of the Emperor. He pleased the Emperor. The latter conferred on him royal gifts but for Guru Har Rai he was unworthy, who had brought a slur against the glorious traditions of courage and sacrifice.

The news reached Ram Rai that he had been debared from inheriting the Gurugaddi. He also came to know of the injunction of Guru Har Rai that he had been deprived of the honour to have even the glimpse of the Guru.

But the displeasure of the Guru and his injunction not to have his sight did not dishearten Ram Rai. He was confident that he would get the Gurugaddi. Royal influence, he thought, would be his assets. He was sure that the Emperor would favour his claim for the Gurugaddi. He thought that it would be in the interests of the state to see an ally occupying the Gurugaddi in the Punjab.

Ram Rai was a resourceful person. He utilised the government influence to win over some Masands to his side. He, even, purchased certain greedy and corrupt Masands by tfie force of money. But falsehood had no feet to stand upon.

The Sikh Sangat in general refused to contribute the tithes to those unscrupulous Masands. It refused to recognise Ram Rai as the rightful heir.

Ram Rai did visit Kiratpur. He tried his level best to set things right. He made common cause with Dhirmal. Both exerted joint efforts to influence the Masands and receive the offerings. But their efforts bore little fruit. The Sikhs knew that their Guru, the true King, was the only authority to pass the Gurugaddi to any one, he thought worthy of it.

Having failed in influencing the Masands, the Sikh Sangat and seeing that the much sought help of Dhirmal would not cut much ice, he decided to take his case to the court of the Emperor.

Ram Rai appealed to the Emperor for his justice praying,” I am the eldest son of Guru Har Rai.

According to the established rules, the eldest son inherits the property of his father. Moreover, my brother Har Krishan is just a child of five years, how can he shoulder the responsibilities of the Guru?. The whole work of my ancestors would go to wreck and ruin under the pontification of Har Krishan”.

Aurangzeb, the Emperor, though a bigot, as far as religion was concerned, was wise and just when parties involved were not Muslims.^ He was told that the Gurugaddi was not a sort of property.

It was the holiest seat to be occupied by the worthiest of the worthies.

He was informed that it was not essential for the Guru to pass the Gurugaddi only to his sons. Guru Nanak gave it to his worthiest Sikh Bhai Lehna.

The Second Guru passed it to his devout and saintly old Sikh, Amar Dass and so on. There were no hard and fast rules to be followed to install the Gurus. So, Aurangzeb rejected the claim of Ram Rai to the Gurugaddi.