Bala Pritam: The Un-Equal Guru

This was the era of extreme atrocities on Hindus in the empire of Mogul emperor Aurangzeb. Even God was not able to see this cruelty on his children and he decided to sent his divine form to earth to save Hindus from the torturous rule of Aurangzeb. Following the will of Akal Purakh on 22 December 1608 Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji took avatar in the house of ninth Sikh guru Shri Teg Bahadur Ji and Mata Gujari Devi in Patna Sahib. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was in Asam at that time. He got the information in Asam that he has been blessed with a divine son. When people of Patna got this information they were extremely happy. Teg Bahadur Ji’s mother Mata Nanaki Devi organized open Langars for poor and did huge donations to the needy. She ordered doing Deepmala in the night to celebrate this occasion of great happiness.

Guru Govind Singh Ji’s mama Shri Kripalchand Ji was also present in Patna that time. He used to take total care of Guru Govind Singh Ji. He used to say again and again that Lord Shri Govinda himself has come to our house in the form of this child to bless us all and to take all our sorrow. That was the reason that Guru Ji was named as Govind Rai.

Peer Bhikan Shah lived in village Thaska in District Karnal, now in Haryana. On the day that Guru Govind Singh was born at Patna Sahib, Bhikan Shah did something that shocked the surrounding Muslims. That morning when everyone else was doing namaaz in the direction of Mecca, the Peer made a deep and respectful bow towards East in the direction of Patna. His Muslim disciples and village people were surprised and agitated because the Muslims always bow towards the West, in the direction of Mecca.

They asked the Peer, the purpose of his strange act. Bhikan Shah replied, “Today, a beloved of God has been born who will be both a saint and a hero, He will become a Guru and a savior. He has taken birth to destroy evil, sin, and falsehood from the earth. He will fight for the cause of virtue, and truth. I will go to that sacred place to be blessed by seeing this holy child.”

Bhikhan Shah then left for Patna with his disciples and some servants. Arriving at Patna, the Peer went to the house where Govind  Rai was born, after a respectful bow he sat down near the door of the house. Peer said loudly, “I have come to be blessed by having a look at your holy child.”

Mata Gujari Devi when informed of the arrival of the peer was not sure of his intention, She hesitatingly made some excuses but the Peer was adamant and implored that his wish to see the child be granted. He told that having traveled for many days covering hundreds of miles, he would not go away, neither he will eat nor drink till his wish was granted. The Peer was at last permitted to see the child.

On seeing the child, the Fakir respectfully made a deep bow after which he offered two earthen pots containing sweets. The Peer sat down with folded hands and was looking at the child, Govind Rai placed his left hand on one of the pots and at the same time placed his right hand on the other pot. The child then smiled and looked at the peer who made a long and deeper bow to the holy child one last time and left.

The disciples of the Peer had watched as the child touched both bowls at the same moment, but why had their Peer offered two bowls instead of one? They kindly asked their Peer why he had placed two bowls before the child. The Peer explained that he wanted to know whether this holy child would favor the Hindus or the Muslims, he explained, “I had placed the pots of sweets before the child, thinking that if he put his hand on the pot of Sweets from the Hindu shop, he would favor the Hindus, but if he placed his hand on the pot of sweets from the Muslim shop he would favor the Muslims. But the divine child wisely touched both pots showing me that both the Hindus and Muslims are equal to him and he will fight to eradicate evil but not any religion. Bhikan Shah remained a steadfast supporter of the Guru Ji for his entire life from that day onward.

Pandit Shivdutt was a famous Brahman of Patna city. Pandit Shivdutt was a great devotee of Sri Ram Chandra. Govind Rai was living in Patna Sahib and was only a few years old at that time. Pandit Shivdutt used to take a dip in holy Ganga river every day. After taking bath, he would sit on the bank of Ganga and meditate.

Once he was sitting in deep meditation doing the dhyana of Shri Ram, Govind  Rai Sahib came there playing and said some sweet words, “Pandit Ji open your eyes I am here”. When Pandit Ji opened his eyes and found a beautiful child standing in front of him. This innocent childlike act of Govind  Rai Ji delighted Pandit Shivdutt. He was continuously seeing the mesmerizing child his eyes filled with the tears of joy, that devotion can never be explained in words. Perhaps that day Pandit Shivdutt felt that Lord Ramchandra himself has come to bless him in the form of a child. He used to call Govind Rai, Bala Pritam with great devotion.

Govind Rai Ji with his friends used to make two parties of soldiers and used to have artificial fight with each other, this was the game he used to love the most. He used to give training for bow and arrow to a group of children in his team. Pandit Shivdatt used to watch Bala Pritam’s  bal leela daily on the bank of Ganga. Pandit Shivdutt believed that Govind Rai Ji was indeed an incarnation of Lord Ram Chandra. Pandit Shivdutt became Guru Ji’s true servant from the depth of his heart.

Raja Fateh Chand Maini, a local Jagirdar owning great lands, served Guru Teg Bahadur Ji with total dedication. Fateh Chand Maini had no child. On one occasion, he and his wife visited Pandit Shivdutt. The couple shared their sorrow with Pandit Ji and asked to make some Pooja so that the couple could get a child.

Pandit Shivdutt said “Go to your home, sit peacefully and meditate on Bala Pritam, I have seen Lord Rama in him. He will surely fulfill your desire.”

Raja and Queen decided to pursue what Pandit Shivdutt asked to. The couple would sit daily and meditate on Govind Rai Ji. A few days passed off. One day, as the Raja and the Queen were sitting in meditation suddenly Bala Pritam along with his playmates came there, sat in the lap of the Queen, embraced her and said in charming voice, “Mother, I have come.”

This was the first occasion in her life that she was called by someone ‘Mother’. She was overwhelmed with pleasure and thankfulness. The pleasant-sounding word ‘Mother’ delighted the childless Queen. She held Govind  Rai Ji in her arms. The Queen served boiled grams curry and pooris to Bala Pritam and his companions. Bala Pritam himself served some pooris to the Queen that day. The life of Raja and his queen was now absolutely revolutionized. Govind Rai Ji was now their adopted son. They converted their Palace into Gurudwara and Govind Rai Ji used to come daily to visit his mother until the time he was in Patna.

Near Govind  Rai Ji’s house there was an old woman who used to spun yarn and she used a wheel to spin raw cotton into yarn balls. One day Govind Rai decided to make a little mischief, and he snuck up behind her chair. She couldn’t see him and suddenly he knocked her basket of yarn balls on the ground and ran away. The balls of yarn had taken ages to spin and got all dirty and dusty. So the old woman got really angry with him. She picked up a big stick and waved it wildly in her hand while shouting at Govind  Rai, “Come here you little brat! I’ve been working on that basket of yarn all day. How dare you knock it down!” She chased him, thinking she would give him a sound beating with the stick. She yelled, “I don’t care who your parents are, I’ll teach you some manners! Come here boy!” She almost caught him. “Now I gotcha!”. But he just ran away faster. He kept stopping and starting, dancing near to the old woman but not letting her catch him, and it was really driving the old woman up the wall.

Govind  Rai Ji used to do this prank on her until she got fed up. She went to Govind  Rai’s home and began complaining to Mata Gujri Devi Ji. She whined “Your son! He keeps sneaking into my workroom and scattering all my yarn. All I have is that yarn. And he does it all the time. I’m so miserable. He must stop this. I have no peace of mind.” Mata Gujri Devi was a kind and wise woman, and she could see the old woman was really in distress. So she gave the woman some clothes and double the money of her yarn’s cost, saying, “Here, take these. It’s the least I can do for you.”

The old woman was very poor and she was surprised and touched by Mata Gujri Devi’s kind response. It was not often she was given clothes and money. Instantly she became very happy and changed her tune, “Well after all he is just a child. Mata Ji, we shouldn’t mind if he does a little mischief. It’s alright, he can still play with me.

Mata Gujari Devi was surprised with Govind  Rai Ji  behavior and asked: “why you do such mischief with a poor old woman?”

Well, Mata Ji, “when I knocked it over it wasn’t her yarn that was being destroyed. It was the stains of her soul that were being destroyed. Her poverty had to be taken away somehow as she is not able to sell her yarn due to illness. She was poor before, but after knocking over the yarn look how rich she is. It was destiny for you to give her all the nice clothes and money.”

Mata Ji was amazed that this young boy, not much older than a toddler could say such things. His grandmother knew better though. She thought, “He’s a real Guru. He is bringing all the wisdom he brought with him from the heavens. This is how Govind Rai Ji helped people. Even when he was annoying or bothering someone, he was actually helping them. Even when he was mischievous, it always turned out better for others. On one hand, this old woman was blessed with wealth. But she was even more enriched by the blessings of the heavens. Her spirit had been touched by the Guru Ji.

There was a well in the family house of Govind Rai Ji. Its water was very sweet and a lot of women used to take water from that well. Guru Ji was excellent in playing with Gulel and he used to shoot at the water pots when women used to return after filling their earthen water pots. This act of naughty Bala Pritam used to make them extremely angry and they used to ask why you are breaking our water pots then Guru Ji used to say “I am not breaking your water pots I am breaking your pots of sins and now you are free from all your past sins as they have been broken like these pots”.

Guru Govind Singh Ji father Teg Bahadur Ji decided to leave Patna and moved to Anandpur Sahib. People of Patna accompanied Guru Ji family till first stoppage Tanapur village. In Tanapur an old lady requested Guru Ji’s family and people who accompanied Guru Ji to have food at her home and they all agreed seeing the devotion of the old woman. While all people being served Dal and Roti, Guru Govind Singh requested the old women to prepare Khichadi for him in the same earthen vessel she once prepared for his father Guru Teg Bahadur Ji while he visited her house long back. Old women and whole family were surprised how Bala Pritam know about earthen vessel and that his father once had khichadi prepared in that same vessel. Bala Pritam had that khichadi with great interest and said now I am fully satisfied.

Jagta Seth was a rich businessman he was the devotee of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and often used to come for darshan of his holy Guru. He used to love Bala Pritam a lot. He used to travel all over the Bharat for business purposes and used to bring beautiful toys for Bala Pritam. He used to love him like his own child. He was very wealthy but dint had any child. With the blessings of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji finally, he was blessed with three sons from his three wives.

He came to see Teg Bahadur Ji with his three wives and newborn sons. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji became very happy to see Jagta Seth with his newborn sons. After taking blessings from Teg Bahadur Ji, Jagata Seth asked Bala Pritam tell me my Govind which toy you need this time. Bala Pritam replied firmly I have got bored with playing with toys so this time bring a nice Dagger and Bow for me. All present in the house were surprised to see young kid demanding bow and dagger instead of precious toys. Jagata Seth asked once more do you really want Bow and dagger over beautiful toys but Bala Pritam was firm on his decision.

Next time when Jagta Seth came to see Guru Teg Bahadur Ji he gifted a beautiful Dagger and Bow with arrows to Bala Pritam. Bala Pritam was very happy after getting his favorite toys.

One day In Anandpur Sahib some Kashmiri pundits came to see Guru Teg Bahadur Ji . They were in great pain and distress because of atrocities committed by Muslim rulers on innocent Hindus in Kashmir. All heinous crimes against Hindus were done to force them to accept Islam. Kashmiris were forced for the conversion by every possible means. Someone suggested them that only Ninth Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur Ji can save them from such barbarous attacks so they finally came to Guru Ji to discuss their sorrow. Guru Ji listens to their issues and he said you need such a leader who is ready to take firm stand against the Moguls. Who would not fear even to give his life to protect his people from inhuman rulers and save you from the wrath of ruthless Moguls!

Young boy Govind Rai was listening to all these conversations and on being described by Teg Bahadur Ji that what kind of leader they need, Bala Pritam stood from his seat and said.

“Hey Guru Pita who can be better leader of such distressed Hindus who don’t have any hope but you. My great father, you have to take the bow and protect Hindus from the cruel Moguls.”

Everyone in the meeting was surprised to see such courage in a 9-year-old young boy. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji considered this as the order of his Gurus from the mouth of Bala Pritam and assured Kashmiri Pundits that he himself will protect them from Moguls and from forced conversion imposed on them.

Guru Teg Bahadur Ji said that let the cruel king know that if he can convert me to Islam then rest of us will happily convert. Kashmiri Pundits were now very sure about their fate and they got support and protection of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji.

After this incident, everyone was confident that Bala Pritam is destined for a great glory in coming days and Hindus in Bharat will no longer be treated like animals. People believed that Bala Pritam is sent by God to defend Hinduism from the clutches of monsters.


The author extends his gratitude to SikhiWiki for sourcing content.

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