Gurdwara Sri Bala Sahib is one of the most important Sikh Gurdwaras in Delhi, next in importance to Gurdwara Sri Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Sri Bangla Sahib. Large number of Sikhs and hindus visit this holy place daily.
This Gurdwara is associated with Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji and seperately Mata Sundri Ji and Mata Sahib Kaur Ji.
Guru Harkrishan was called upon to lead the Sikhs at a very crucial juncture. He was nominated as successor by his father Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji in 1661 AD in preference to his elder brother Ram Rai who was a favourite at the court of Aurangzeb.
Ram Rai latter complained to the Emperor against the decision of his father who ignored his claims to Gurgaddi. Consequently Bala Guru (the child Guru) was summoned to Delhi by the Emperor.
At first the Guru refused to oblige but later agreed to come at the intervention of Raja Jai Singh of Amber. The Raja sent a high official to bring the Guru to Delhi and he was received with full honour.
The Raja persuaded the Emperor to leave the choice, of their spiritual leader to the Sikhs themselves and a deputation of the Sikhs made it clear to him that their choice was Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji. Aurangzeb was however, anxious to meet Guru Harkrishan and Raja Jai Singh promised to arrange a meeting between them. But due to sudden demise of Guru this meeting could not be held.
During his stay in Delhi, Guru Harkrishan Sahib won the hearts of a large number of admirers by applying a healing touch on ailing bodies. He cured hundreds of people, suffering from acute attack of cholera and smallpox. For Sikhs of Delhi, his very presence amidst them, had a very healthy impact. For them the Guru was the boat of salvation, a ladder to reach one's ultimate home, a key to open the lock, a unifier of man with God. In fact for Sikhs a Guru is indispensable, yet he is not an end in himself, but only a means for the attainment of salvation.
All were happy to be in close association of Guru Harkrishan Sahib. But their joy was short-lived as soon Guru Harkrishan Sahib left for his heavenly abode. During his stay in Delhi as guest of Raja Jai Singh, Guru Harkrishan performed the humane miracle of healing and giving solace to the poor and the sick.
In fact the noble deeds of serving the suffering humanity won him more adherents than any other religious leader living in Delhi at that time. Even muslims respected him greatly for the radiant peace and the hope his serene personality reflected. As if he had taken the burden and sufferings of others on his own shoulders, he himself got a severe attack of smallpox and died on 30th March 1684.
Guru Harkrishan Sahib moved from the bungalow of Raja Jai Singh to the bank of river Yamuna where Sikhs pitched a large tent. Guru Harkrishan Sahib was cremated at the location of Gurdwara Sri Bala Sahib. This Gurdwara is situated on the ring road on the other side of Maharani Bagh Colony. The Gurdwara is no longer on the bank of the river as the Yamuna has since changed its course.
Guru Harkrishan informed his Sikhs that he was going to leave for Sach Khand. He was asked who his successor wouild be and only answered 'Baba Bakala'. Bakala is a small village on the bank of river Beas in Amritsar District, where Tegh Bahadur the younger brother of his grandfather Baba Gurditta lived. Sikhs went to Bakala village and eventually found Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur as their ninth Guru. Guru Harkrishan's ashes were taken to Gurdwara Sri Patal Puri Sahib in Kiratpur.
Gurdwara Sri Bala Sahib is also sacred because Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur were also cremated there. The samadhi of Mata Sahib Kaur, a small marble room, is in the main hall of the Gurdwara, whereas that of Mata Sundri is outside the new Gurdwara building.
The Sikhs of Delhi have constructed a magnificent Gurdwara Sri Bala Sahib to perpetuate the memory of Guru Harkrishan, Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur. Both old and new buildings of the Gurdwara are situated side by side. The new building has a big hall and it was completed in 1957-58.
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