Guru Harkrishan was anointed the eighth Teacher in 1661, when he was only five years of age. His elder brother, Ram Rai, had become friends with Emperor Aurangzeb. Ram Rai thought he should have been the Guru, and prevailed upon Aurnagzeb to ask Guru Harkrishan to come to Delhi. Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur was sent to convey the Emperor’s request. Aurangzeb’s letter mentioned the truth – upon the insistence of Ram Rai, the Emperor was requesting the Guru to visit Delhi. The Guru left for Delhi shortly thereafter, where he stayed with Raja Jai Singh. The Raja conveyed to Aurangzeb that the Guru would not visit the Emperor’s court, but stay with him. The Emperor sent Prince Muazzam with a basket full of gifts, with fruits and gems as the top layers, and a rosary at the bottom. This was Aurganzeb’s method of testing the young Guru. When the basket was placed before him, Guru Harkrishan told Raja Jai Singh to distribute the fruits and precious stones to the poor, because what the Guru needed was at the bottom of the basket. The Guru then took the rosary, and the prince and the Guru being of equal age, played in the garden. Prince Muazzam, who later became Emperor Bahadur Shah, saw dates and raisins in the garden, and he ate them with relish.

When Aurangzeb learnt of these incidents, he instructed Ram Rai to back off. Meanwhile, Prince Muazzam wanted to eat more raisins, and Aurangzeb sent him back to the Guru’s garden. But the raisins and dates had vanished. Instead, the young Guru quoted these lines from the Guru Granth Sahib:

What good are raisins, jaggery, or flour?

What good are clothes, or a soft bed?

What good is an army, soldiers, servants, and palaces?

O Nanak, without the True Name, all this paraphernalia shall disappear.

The announcement was prophetic, and the demise of the Mughal empire commenced shortly thereafter.

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