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PRITHI CHAND, BABA

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PRITHI CHAND, BABA (1558-1618). the eldest son of Guru Ram Das (1534-81), and Mata Bhani, was born in 1558 at Goindval, in present day Amritsar district of the Punjab. He was by nature ambitious and haughty. Guru Ram Das chose his youngest son Arjan (1563-1606) as his successor to the spiritual seat This excited the jealousy of Prithi Chand who endeavoured to harm Guru Arjan in every possible way.

His attitude became even more hostile as the latter had a son born to him in 1595. His conspiracies to get the infant poisoned having failed, Prithi Chand retired to Hehar, village his wife came from. There he set himself up as guru and established a separate sect. He also spread his influence in the Malva region where he founded a village named Kotha Guru, now in Badiinda district. He misled the Sikhs by composing bdmm the name of Guru Nanak. He also induced Sulhi Khan, a Mughal commander, to lead a force against Guru Arjan.

Sulhi Khan, however, met with an unholy end and was accidentally burnt alive in a brick kiln before he could attack the Guru. Prithi Chand became desperate and joined the detractors of the Sikh faith who frequently carried complaints against the Guru to the Mughal officials at Lahore and even to Prince Salim, the heir apparent to the Delhi throne. It was Prince Salim who, after accession to the throne as Emperor Jaharigir, had Guru Arjan executed in 1606. The Sikhs derisively called Prithi Chand and his followers minds (lit. hypocrites). Prithi Chand died at Hehar in April 1618.

References :

1. Gurdas, Bhai, Varan.
2. Gurbilas Chhevin Pdtshdhi. Patiala, 1970
3. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Cur Pratdp Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
4. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983
5. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

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