PRASADI HATHI, an elephant trained to perform several unusual feats, was among the presents brought to Guru Gobind Singh by an Assamese chief, Ratan Rai. According to Sikh chronicles, Ratan Rai`s father. Ram Rai had served Guru Tegh Bahadur during his travels across Assam in the mid1660s and received his blessing. Ratan Rai, as he grew up, learnt that after the death of Guru Tegh Bahadur, his son, Gobind Rai, sat on his spiritual seat. He travelled upcountry and came to Anandpur to make obeisance to the Guru, bringing with him as presents a young and trained elephant, five horses of rare breed and a five-in-one weapon.
According to Bhai Santokh Singh, Gur Pratdp Suraj Granth, ritui, ansu 23, the Guru gave the name Prasddi to the elephant. Prasadi was a beautiful little beast with a round white mark on his head and white streaks on its trunk and back. He soon learnt to salute the Guru, wash his feet, put a saffron mark on his forehead, wave a whisk over him, collect and bring back arrows shot by him, and walk before him at night holding a torch high with his trunk.
Prasadi soon became famous in the hill territory and instantly excited the envy of Bhim Chand, the Raja of Kahlur, as he once saw it while on a visit to the Guru. Failing to acquire the animal by strategem, he resorted to force and led out an armed contingent to attack Anandpur, but was repulsed. According to Sukha Singh, Gurbilds Dasvm Pdtshdhi, Prasadi was reduced to a skeleton owing to lack of food during the prolonged siege of Anandpur (1705), and Guru Gobind Singh had him killed to save him the torture.
1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
2. Sukha Singh, Gurbilds Dasvm Pdtshdhi. Patiala, 1970
3. Kuir Singh, Gurbilds Pdtshdhi 10. Patiala, 1968