B. of Journalism
M.A, English & Hindi
सावित्री पुत्र वीर झुग्गीवाला द्वारा रचित-
Virendra Dev Gaur Chief Editor (NWN)
Guru Gobind Singh And Guru Ram Rai
People of Doon valley fortunately share extremely unique religious-history of Guru Ram Rai. This religious-history was even further enriched by the luminous presence of another towering personalty of seventeenth century. Guru Hari Rai the seventh great Sikh Guru had his eldest son Ram Rai who developed some differences probably about sikhism from his father, there after he approached the court of Aurangzeb. Ram Rai is said to have misinterpreted a verse of Guru Nanak to the emperor in order to seek his favour. Perhaps, this reason broke Ram Rai away from his father and from the set traditions of sikh gurus forever this led him joining the ranks of Udasis. Udasis valued the rich traditions and customs of Hinduism promoting philanthropic activities to serve the people. It does not mean that sikh gurus were not philanthropic in their approach, they too believed in social welfare and reforms but their code of conduct was unlike Udasis. Obviously, Guru Ram Rai was the cousin of Guru Gobind Singh who also blessed the soil of doon valley with his divine presence, through his quite brief presence for defending the Guru Ram Rai mission from his own “masands” who wanted to usurp the mission for their own luxury-seeking life.
Aurangzeb by that time had become suspicious of Sikhs to some extent and thinking Ram Rai a different one from Sikhs he permitted Ram Rai to take possession of Doon-valley. Returning from the court of Aurangzeb Guru Ram Rai encamped at a place where pious Jhanda Darbar exists today. Thus, it is believed that a tiny and unknown village around this place started growing into the present day Dehradun. No doubt, the same Dera of Guru Ram Rai is a fast-growing capital of Badri-kedar pradesh (Uttarakhand).Meanwhile, on the invitation of Raja of Nahan Guru Gobind Singh had visited him and on the way enchanted by the natural beauty of a place on the banks of Yamuna he made a hault there. Today this place is known as Paonta where a famous Sikh Shrine (Gurudwara) stands and attracts sikh devotees in large number every year. By then, Guru Gobind Singh had gained much name and fame for his outstanding chivalrous and great religious composure.
Guru Ram Rai continued his philanthropic activities in the valley alongwith his deep meditations. One day his Masands (deputies) observing Guru Ram Rai in extreme-meditation which is a state of mind when a person is totally cut off from worldly surroundings cremated him conspiringly ridden with selfish motives. These Masands wanted to become the master of the estate and entire property which the Guru had in the valley. Punjab Kaur the widow of Guru Ram Rai informed Guru Gobind Singh who was staying at paonta about the plot of Masands. Neglecting all differences with Udasis broad minded Guru Gobind Singh rushed to Dera and punished the wrong doers thus foiling their attempt to take over the Dera unethically. For some days it is guessed that the great warrior and an accomplished saint walked across the valley making its soil holy and revered.
Two greatest saints of 17th century breathed in this valley with their sacred soul in their body. Though, it is beyond doubt that Guru Gobind Singh was unparalleled warrior as well as matchless saint at heart. Guru Gobind Singh had strong belief that Bharat was a great and big country which needed social and religious harmony. For the sake of this cherished dream he set up Khalsa to convey the message across the length and breadth of the country that the menace of casteism and religious bigotry must escape from the soil of Bharat. At Paonta Shahib Darbaar there were 52 chosen poets who would chant verses in praise of goddess of war (Durga or Chandi) , Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. Guru Gobind Singh lavishly rewarded the poets for meritorious verses. It is also believed that the Dasam Ghranth was also completed by the Guru at Paonta Shahib. It is quite blissful to say that there was a time when probably the greatest personilty of seventeenth century dwelled from today’s Dehradun to Paonta Shahib greatly revered by the sikhs from all over the world. In fact, Raja of Nahan had invited the Guru to his kingdom and while enroute to his capital Guru Gobind Singh was enchanted with the place for its natural beauty on the banks of Yamuna.
Going by the firm and rich traditions of Udasis the Nineth Mahant late Indiresh Charan Das ji took the responsibility from his predecessor and expanded the alround activities of the mission in full swing. He raised the Shri Guru Ram Rai education mission taking profound interest and tried hard to revolutionise contemporary backward state of education in the whole of north India. The tenth Mahant Devendra Dass ji took the rein of the mission with a farsighted vision and in no time further expanded the network of the mission in all possible directions.
As a result of his great zeal today one can observe not only the renovations of old buildings and establishments but many other new institutions of great repute have come up like Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital, a medical college which is producing well trained doctors with MBBS degree reconised by MCI and MOHFW. Moreover from the year 2011 post-graduate degree courses are also being pursued in the medical institution set up by Mahant Devendra Dass ji. The prestigious mission is doing great service to the nation is beyond doubt as the medical college has 1000 beded multispeciality and superspeciality hospital apart from 122 schools and colleges besides “institute of technology and pharmacy”. The mission took pioneering lead in spreading education in remote areas and promoted education and generated employment contributing to the economy of the country at large. But it is also a notable reality that the teaching staff of the mission is yet to get justice. Even the senior teachers working for the mission get such a nominal amount as their salary that it is ridiculous to compare them with their counterparts in government schools and colleges. It is awkward to say that a fourth class employee in gov. sector fetches far higher salary than a senior teacher of the mission. However, those who teach science, commerce and maths earn more than enough conducting tuition classes at their homes. But those teachers who teach other subjects are vociferously fighting for their survival. Anyway, the services of the mission are praiseworthy, over all. On the fifth day of Holi in 1646 kiratpur, district Ropar in Punjab the great Guru Ram Rai took his holy birth while he left this earth for his heavenly abode in 1687. The famous one month long fair kicks off on his pious birthday to remember one of the greatest saints of Bharat, which is a much awaited festival cum fair for the people of north.