ATAL RAI, BABA (1619-1628), son of Guru Hargobind (1595-1644), was born to Mata Nanaki at Amritsar on 23 October 1619. He died at the tender age of nine years. The circumstances of his death, as narrated in Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi, were most extraordinary. Atal Rai had a playmate, Mohan, who was the son of a local businessman, Suini Shah. One day as they played with ball and sticks far into the evening, the forfeit was upon Mohan.

During the night Mohan was bitten by a snake and he died. When he did not turn up for play the following morning, Atal Rai went to his home to find the members of his family wailing and lamenting. Baba Atal Rai innocently walked up to where Mohan was lying under a sheet spread over him, and spoke: “Why do you sleep so soundly, dear friend? It is not time for sleep: an4, remember, you owe us the forfeit.” Saying these words, he touched the boy with his stick.

The boy stood up. The story that Atal Rai had raised a dead body swept through the town. Guru Hargobind was not pleased when he heard this. “Karamat qahar hai miracle making is violence. None should attempt to intervene in the Will of the Lord,” he told his son. Atal Rai took the admonition to heart. Making a respectful bow, he quietly retired from the Guru`s presence.

After ablutions in the sacred pool of Amritsar and having recited the Japu on the bank of Kaulsar, he lay down on the ground with the stick underneath his head and went to his eternal repose. This happened on 13 September 1628. A 9storey octagonal edifice in Amritsar commemorating the 9 year old Sahibzada (Guru`s son) is also popularly known as Baba Atal after him.

References :

1. Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi. Patiala, 1970
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37
3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint].Patiala, 1970
4. Macauliffe, M. A., The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909