Kirtan or Kirtana is a Sanskrit word that means "narrating, telling, describing" of an idea or story. It refers to a genre of religious performance arts, connoting a musical form of narration or shared recitation of spiritual or religious ideas. With roots in the Vedic anukirtana tradition, a kirtan is a call-and-response style song or chant, set to music, wherein multiple singers recite or describe a legend, or express loving devotion to a deity, or discuss spiritual ideas, it may include dancing or direct expression of bhavas by the singer. Many kirtan performances are structured to engage the audience where they either repeat the chant, or reply to the call of the singer. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankara. A Kirtan performance includes an accompaniment of regionally popular musical instruments, such as the harmonium, the veena or ektara, the tabla, the mrdanga or pakhawaj and karatalas or talas, it is a major practice in Hinduism, Vaisnava devotionalism, the Sant traditions and some forms of Buddhism, as well as other religious groups.
Kirtan is sometimes accompanied by acting. Texts cover religious, mythological or social subjects. Kirtan has Vedic roots and it means "telling, describing, reporting"; the term is found as Anukirtan in the context of Yajna, wherein team recitations of dialogue-style and question-answer riddle hymns were part of the ritual or celebratory dramatic performance. The Sanskrit verses in chapter 13.2 of Shatapatha Brahmana, for example, are written in the form of a riddle play between two actors. The Vedic sacrifice is presented as a kind of drama, with its actors, its dialogues, its portion to be set to music, its interludes, its climaxes; the root of kirtan is kirt. The root is found in the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and other Vedic literature, as well as the Vedanga and Sutras literature. Kirt, according to Monier-Williams contextually means, "to mention, make mention of, name, recite, relate, communicate, celebrate, glorify".kirtan, sometimes referred to as sankirtana, is a call-and-response chanting or musical conversation, a genre of religious performance arts that developed during India's bhakti devotional traditions.
However, it is a heterogeneous practice that varies regionally according to Christian Novetzke, includes varying mixture of different musical instruments, oration, audience participation and moral narration. In Maharashtra for example, states Novetzke, a kirtan is a call-and-response style performance, ranging from devotional dancing and singing by a lead singer and audience, to an "intricate scholarly treatise, a social commentary or a philosophical/linguistic exposition", that includes narration, humor and entertainment – all an aesthetic part of ranga of the kirtana. Kirtan is locally known as Abhang, Samaj Gayan, Haveli Sangeet, Harikatha; the Vaishnava temples and monasteries of Hinduism in Assam and northeastern, called Satra, have a large worship hall named Kirtan ghar – a name derived from their being used for congregational singing and performance arts. In regional languages, Kirtana is scripted as Bengali: কীর্তন. Musical recitation of hymns and the praise of deities has ancient roots in Hinduism, as evidenced by the Samaveda and other Vedic literature.
Kirtan were popularized by the Bhakti movement of medieval era Hinduism, starting with the South Indian Alvars and Nayanars around the 6th century, which spread in central, northern and eastern India after the 12th century, as a social and congregational response to Hindu-Muslim conflicts. The foundations of the Kirtan traditions are found in other Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna describes multiple paths to spiritual freedom, including karma marga, jnana marga and bhakti marga. Kirtan relates to the bhakti marga tradition of Hinduism. References to Kirtan as a musical recitation are found in the Bhagavata Purana, an important Vaishnava text. Kirtan is practiced as a kind of theatrical folk song with call-and-response chanting or antiphon; the ancient sage Narada revered as a musical genius, is called a kirtankar in the Padma Purana. The famous story of Prahlada in the Avatara Katha mentions kirtan as one of nine forms of worship, called the nava vidha bhakti along with shravanam, pada sevanam, vandanam, dasyam and atmanivedanam.
The so-called Naradiya Kirtan divides kirtan into five parts: naman, chanting, katha or akhyan and a final prayer for universal welfare. Kirtan as a genre of religious music has been a major part of the Vaishnavism tradition starting with the Alvars of Sri Vaishnavism sub-tradition between the 7th to 10th century CE. After the 13th-century, two subgenres of kirtan emerged in Vaishnavism, namely the Nama-kirtana wherein the different names or aspects of god are extolled, the Lila- kirtana wherein the deity's life and legends are narrated; the Marathi Varkari saint Namdev used the kirtan
The Bhakti movement refers to the theistic devotional trend that emerged in medieval Hinduism and revolutionised in Sikhism. It originated in eighth-century south India, spread northwards, it swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE. The Bhakti movement regionally developed around different gods and goddesses, some sub-sects were Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Bhakti movement preached using the local languages; the movement was inspired by many poet-saints, who championed a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from theistic dualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta. The movement has traditionally been considered as an influential social reformation in Hinduism, provided an individual-focused alternative path to spirituality regardless of one's caste of birth or gender. Postmodern scholars question this traditional view and whether the Bhakti movement was a reform or rebellion of any kind.
They suggest Bhakti movement was a revival and recontextualisation of ancient Vedic traditions. Scriptures of the Bhakti movement include Bhagavata Purana and Padma Purana; the Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the root bhaj, which means "divide, partake, participate, to belong to". The word means "attachment, devotion to, fondness for, faith or love, piety to something as a spiritual, religious principle or means of salvation"; the meaning of the term Bhakti is different than Kama. Kama connotes emotional connection, sometimes with erotic love. Bhakti, in contrast, is spiritual, a love and devotion to religious concepts or principles, that engages both emotion and intellection. Karen Pechelis states that the word Bhakti should not be understood as uncritical emotion, but as committed engagement. Bhakti movement in Hinduism refers to ideas and engagement that emerged in the medieval era on love and devotion to religious concepts built around one or more gods and goddesses. Bhakti movement preached against the caste system using the local languages so that the message reached the masses.
One who practices bhakti is called a bhakta. Ancient Indian texts, dated to be from the 1st millennium BCE, such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the Katha Upanishad and the Bhagavad Gita mention Bhakti; the last of three epilogue verses of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, 6.23, uses the word Bhakti as follows, This verse is notable for the use of the word Bhakti, has been cited as among the earliest mentions of "the love of God". Scholars have debated whether this phrase is authentic or insertion into the Upanishad, whether the terms "Bhakti" and "God" meant the same in this ancient text as they do in the medieval and modern era Bhakti traditions found in India. Max Muller states that the word Bhakti appears only in one last verse of the epilogue, could have been a insertion and may not be theistic as the word was used in much Sandilya Sutras. Grierson as well as Carus note that the first epilogue verse 6.21 is notable for its use of the word Deva Prasada, but add that Deva in the epilogue of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad refers to "pantheistic Brahman" and the closing credit to sage Shvetashvatara in verse 6.21 can mean "gift or grace of his Soul".
Doris Srinivasan states that the Upanishad is a treatise on theism, but it creatively embeds a variety of divine images, an inclusive language that allows "three Vedic definitions for personal deity". The Upanishad includes verses wherein God can be identified with the Supreme in Vedanta monistic theosophy, verses that support dualistic view of Samkhya doctrines, as well as the synthetic novelty of triple Brahman where a triune exists as the divine soul, individual soul and nature. Tsuchida writes that the Upanishad syncretically combines monistic ideas in Upanishad and self-development ideas in Yoga with personification of Shiva-Rudra deity. Hiriyanna interprets the text to be introducing "personal theism" in the form of Shiva Bhakti, with a shift to monotheism but in henotheistic context where the individual is encouraged to discover his own definition and sense of God; the Bhagavad Gita, a post-Vedic scripture composed in 5th to 2nd century BCE, introduces bhakti marga as one of three ways to spiritual freedom and release, the other two being karma marga and jnana marga.
In verses 6.31 through 6.47 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna as an avatar of deity Vishnu, describes bhakti yoga and loving devotion, as one of the several paths to the highest spiritual attainments. Shandilya and Narada are credited with two Bhakti texts, the Shandilya Bhakti Sutra and Narada Bhakti Sutra; the Bhakti movement originated in South India during the seventh to eighth century CE, spread northwards from Tamil Nadu through Karnataka and gained wide acceptance in fifteenth-century Bengal and northern India. The movement started with the Saiva Nayanars and the Vaisnava Alvars, who lived between 5th and 9th century AD, their efforts helped spread bhakti poetry and ideas throughout India by the 12th–18th century CE. The Alvars, which means "those immersed in God", were Vaishnava poet-saints who sang praises of Vishnu as they travelled from one place to another, they established temple sites such as Srirangam, spread ideas about Vaishnavism. Their poems, compiled as Alwar Arulicheyalgal or Divya Prabhandham, developed into an influential scripture for the Vaishnavas.
The Bhagavata Purana's references to the South Indian Alvar saints
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Sikh scriptures. It was compiled by the ten gurus of Sikhism and is itself regarded by Sikhs as the final and eternal living guru. Adi Granth, the first rendition, was compiled by Guru Arjan; the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, added one shloka, dohra mahala 9 ang, 1429 and all 115 hymns of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur. This second rendition came to be known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib. After Guru Gobind Singh's death in 1708, Baba Deep Singh and Bhai Mani Singh prepared many copies of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib for distribution; the text consists of 1,430 angs and 6,000 śabads, which are poetically rendered and set to a rhythmic ancient north Indian classical form of music. The bulk of the scripture is divided into sixty rāags, with each Granth rāga subdivided according to length and author; the hymns in the scripture are arranged by the rāgas in which they are read. The Guru Granth Sahib is written in the Gurmukhī script, in various languages, including Lahnda, Braj Bhasha, Sanskrit and Persian.
Copies in these languages have the generic title of Sant Bhasha. Guru Granth Sahib was composed by the Sikh Gurus: Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh added 1 sloakh in mahala 9 Ang 1429, it contains the traditions and teachings of Indian sants, such as Ravidas, Ramananda and Namdev among others, two Muslim Sufi saints Bhagat Bhikan and: Sheikh Farid. The vision in the Guru Granth Sahib is of a society based on divine justice without oppression of any kind. While the Granth acknowledges and respects the scriptures of Hinduism and Islam, it does not imply a moral reconciliation with either of these religions, it is installed in a Sikh gurdwara. The Granth is revered as the spiritual authority in Sikhism. During the guruship of Guru Nanak Dev, collections of his holy hymns were compiled and sent to distant Sikh communities for use in morning and evening prayers, his successor Guru Angad Dev began collecting his predecessor's writings.
This tradition was continued by the fifth gurus as well. When the fifth guru Guru Arjan Dev was collecting religious writings of his predecessor, he discovered that pretenders to the guruship were releasing what he considered as forged anthologies of writings of the previous guru and including their own writings with them. In order to prevent spurious scriptures from gaining legitimacy, Guru Arjan Dev began compiling a sacred scripture for the Sikh community, he finished collecting the religious writings of Guru Ram Das, his immediate predecessor, convinced Mohan, the son of Guru Amar Das, to give him the collection of the religious writings of the first three gurus. In addition, he sent disciples to go across the country to find and bring back any unknown religious writings of theirs, he invited members of other religions and contemporary religious writers to submit writings for possible inclusion. Guru Arjan pitched a tent by the side of Ramsar tank in Amritsar and started the task of compiling the holy Granth.
He selected hymns for inclusion in the Adi Bhai Gurdas acted as his scribe. While the holy hymns and verses were being put together Akbar, the Mughal Emperor, received a report that the Adi Granth contained passages vilifying Islam. Therefore, while travelling north, he asked to inspect it. Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas brought him a copy of the Adi Granth. After choosing three random passages to be read, Akbar decided. In 1604, Adi Granth was completed and installed at the Harmandir Sahib, with Baba Buddha as the first granthi, or reader. Since communities of Sikh disciples were scattered all over northern India, copies of the holy scripture needed to be made for them; the sixth guru added the tunes of 9 out of 22 Vars. Seventh and eighth guru did not have writings of their own added to the holy scripture; the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, included writings of his father Guru Tegh Bahadur in the Guru Granth Sahib, included 1 salokh in mahala 9 Ang 1429. In 1704 at Damdama Sahib, during a one-year respite from the heavy fighting with Aurangzeb which the Khalsa was engaged in at the time, Guru Gobind Singh and Bhai Mani Singh added the religious compositions of Guru Tegh Bahadur to Adi Granth to create a definitive compilation.
Religious verses of Guru Gobind Singh were not included in Guru Granth Sahib, but he added 1 sloak in mahala 9 Ang 1429. His banis are found in the Sri Dasam Granth, they are part in the daily prayers of Sikhs During this period, Bhai Mani Singh collected Guru Gobind Singh's religious writings, as well as his court poems, included them in a secondary religious volume, today known as the Dasam Granth Sahib. Sikhs consider the Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal living guru, the highest religious and spiritual guide for Sikhs and inspire all of humanity, its place in Sikh devotional life is based on two fundamental principles: on the "Gurbani", received by the Sikh gurus in their divine consciousness from God and revealed to mankind. The Guru Granth Sahib answers all questions regarding religion and that morality can be discovered within it; the word is the guru and the guru is the word. Thus, in Sikh theology, the revealed divine word was written by past gurus. Numerous holy men, aside from the Sikh gurus, are collectively referred to as Bhagats or "devotees."
In 1708 Guru Gobin
Guru Maneyo Granth
"Guru Maneyo Granth" refers to the historic statement of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, shortly before his demise, on affirming the sacred scripture Adi Granth as his successor, thus terminating the line of human Gurus. Installed as the Guru Granth Sahib, it is now the central holy scripture of Sikhism, the eternal living Guru of all Sikhs, it is central to Sikh worship as it is said to imbibe the one light of the creator manifested in the Ten Sikh Gurus - one spirit in ten forms. The event in 1708 at Nanded, when Guru Gobind Singh installed Adi Granth as the Guru of Sikhism, was recorded in a Bhatt Vahi by an eyewitness, Narbud Singh, is now celebrated as Gurgaddi, statement is part of the central chant, Sabh Sikhan ko Hukam Hai, Guru Maneyo Granth. October 2008 marked the Tercentenary year of Guruship of Guru Granth Sahib and was marked by major celebrations by Sikhs worldwide, at Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded saw year-long celebrations; the composition of the sacred Granth contains renderings of the Hymns of 5 Sikh Gurus of the Sikh faith along with 15 Bhagats, 11 Bhatts and 3 Gursikhs.
It was composed in this form in the year 1604 with the addition of Guru Tegh Bahadur's Bani. Its blessings are sought by the true seeker with a devout heart; the Sikh religion sincerely believes that in each of the succeeding Gurus the spirit, the light of God which manifested in Guru Nanak Dev was operating and passed onto the next Sikh Guru. Guru Ram Das says in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib: Waho Waho Satgur Nirankar Hai, Jis Ant Na Paravar - The Lord descends in this world in the form of The Satguru, but only some rare soul/devotee is able to recognise him; the sacred Granth is installed in all Sikh holy places of worship and treated as the presiding presence of the Guru, an embodiment of Divine Truth. The devotees of the Sangat or congregation gather in solemn assembly to pray and seek the blessings of the Supreme; this comes through in the mystical wisdom contained within the words of Gurbani and it stands for realization of the Truth. The Gurus' word, known as'shabad' is taken as the mystic experience of the Guru.
In the words of Bhai Gurdas, a great scholar of the Guru's time, "In the word is the Guru, the Guru is in the word. In other words, the human body was not the Guru, but the light of the word within the heart was their real personality." When the human mind dives deeper and deeper into the Guru's word, all mental impurities depart and the wisdom of the Guru permeates the human soul. Thereby the devotee attains the divine light and wisdom which leads him to contemplate and meditate on God's name. In the light of the above realities, the Sikh religion makes the holy Granth the living master of the Sikh Panth. Before Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru left his human body, he conferred the Guruship to the, he delivered a self-composed hymn: Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth. Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth. Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh. Jo Prabhu ko milo chahe khoj shabad mein le. Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe, Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe." Translation:"Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created.
All Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as an embodiment of the Gurus; those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The pure Khalsa shall rule, the impures will be left no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees of the Guru shall be saved." He offered his obeisance to the sacred Granth thus conveying his Light to it. This historic development took place in Oct. 1708 which ensured that the order of the Khalsa brotherhood always remained an abiding force for Sikh Panth unity. The Guru Granth Sahib begins with the Mul Mantar, an iconic verse created by Nanak: Punjabi: ੴਸਤਿਨਾਮੁਕਰਤਾਪੁਰਖੁਨਿਰਭਉਨਿਰਵੈਰੁਅਕਾਲਮੂਰਤਿਅਜੂਨੀਸੈਭੰਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥ ISO 15919 transliteration: Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha'u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṅ gura prasādi jap ade sache jugade sache, haibhi sach, Nanake hosee bhee sache' Simplified transliteration: Ik ōaṅkār sat nām kartā purkh nirbha'u nirvair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhaṅ gur prasād jap, aad sach, jugad sach, hai bhee sach, Nanak hosi bhee sach.
Historical events have brought out that when Guru Nanak Dev appeared before the Supreme Lord, he himself presented to him a cup of God's name, known as Amrita to propagate in his subjects. Guru Nanak Dev received the Mul Mantar in his divine consciousness which defines the fundamental directive spiritual philosophy of Sikhism, it appears in the beginning of Sri Granth Sahib, ahead of Japji. It is composed of two elements – the figure ek and logo or symbol'onkar'; the term'ekonkar' in full form was meant to describe transcendent formless god as creator and dissoluter. The symbol'onkar' gives mystical interpretation of immanent spirit of god and his becoming aspect which created the universe, it is a well-known fact that this universe was created through a primordial sound, known as first wisdom of god. It acts as an intermediary between his creation. God is spirit and pure light. In Sikh mysticism, while meditating on Mul Mantar and its repetition believed to lead the soul to absorption in the absolute.
The Mul Mantar and the Gurmantra Waheguru - the Name of god in Sikhism, repeated induce a high spiritual state. The Gurmantra Waheguru - Naam unites the individual soul with the God; the Mul Mantar invokes all qualities of
Namdev transliterated as Nam Dayv, Namadeva, was an Indian poet and saint from Maharashtra, India, significant to the Varkari sect of Hinduism. Bhagat Namdev's writings were recognized by the "Gurus" of Sikhism and are included in the holy book of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Namdev worship lord Vitthal, one of the name of lord Vishnu. Other Hindu warrior-ascetic traditions such as the Dadupanthis and the Niranjani Sampraday that emerged in north India during the Islamic rule; the details of Namdev's life are unclear. He is the subject of many miracle-filled hagiographies composed centuries. Scholars find these biographies to be contradictory. Namdev was influenced by Vaishnavism, became known in India for his devotional songs set to music, his philosophy contains saguna Brahman elements, with monistic themes. Namdev's legacy is remembered in modern times in the Varkari tradition, along with those of other gurus, with masses of people walking together in biannual pilgrimages to Pandharpur in south Maharashtra.
Details of the life of Namdev are vague. He is traditionally believed to have lived between 1270 and 1350 but S. B. Kulkarni — according to Christian Novetzke, "one of the most prominent voices in the historical study of Maharashtrian sant figures" — has suggested that 1207-1287 is more based on textual analysis; some scholars date him to around 1425 and another, R. Bharadvaj, proposes 1309-1372. Namdev was married to Rajai and had a son, both of whom wrote about him, as did his mother, Gonai. Contemporary references to him by a disciple, a potter, a guru and other close associates exist. There are no references to him in the records and inscriptions of the then-ruling family and the first non-Varkari noting of him appears to be in the Lilacaritra, a Mahanubhava-sect biography dating from 1278. Smrtisthala, a Mahanubhava text from around 1310, may possibly refer to him. According to Mahipati, a hagiographer of the 18th century, Namdev's parents were Damashet and Gonai, a childless elderly couple whose prayers for parenthood were answered and involved him being found floating down a river.
As with various other details of his life, elements such as this may have been invented to sidestep issues that might have caused controversy. In this instance, the potential controversy was that of caste or, more his position in the Hindu varna system of ritual ranking, he was born into what is recognised as a Shudra caste, variously recorded as shimpi in the Marathi language and as Chhipa, Chhimpa,Chhimba,chimpi in northern India. Shudra is the lowest-ranked of the four varnas and those of his followers in Maharashtra and northern India who are from those communities prefer to consider their place, thus his, as the higher-status Kshatriya rank. There are contrary traditions concerning his birthplace, with some people believing that he was born at Narsi Bahmani, on the Krishna River in Marathwada, others preferring somewhere near to Pandharpur on the Bhima river; that he was himself tailor and that he spent much of his life in Punjab. The Lilacaritra suggests, that Namdev was a cattle-thief, devoted to and assisted Vithoba.
A friendship between Namdev and Jñāneśvar, a yogi-saint, has been posited at least as far back as circa 1600 CE when Nabhadas, a hagiographer, noted it in his Bhaktamal. Jñāneśvar known as Jñāndev, never referred to Namdev in his writings but had no cause to do so; such men, who comprised both Hindus and Muslims, traditionally wrote devotional poetry in a style, acceptable to the Sikh belief system. A tradition in Maharashtra is that Namdev died at the age of eighty in 1350 CE. Sikh tradition maintains that his death place was the Punjabi village of Ghuman, although this is not universally accepted. Aside from a shrine there that marks his death, there are monuments at the other claimant places, being Pandharpur and the nearby Narsi Bahmani. Scholars note that many miracles and specifics about Namdev's life appear only in manuscripts written centuries after Namdev's death; the birth theory with Namdev floating down a river, is first found in Mahipati's Bhaktavijay composed around 1762, is absent in all earlier biographies of Namdev.
Mahipati's biography of Namdev adds numerous other miracles, such as buildings rotating and sun rising in the west to show respect to Namdev. The earliest surviving Hindi and Rajasthani biographies from about 1600 only mention a few miracles performed by Namdev. In Namdev biographies published after 1600 through the end of the 20th century, new life details and more miracles appear with the passage of time; the earliest biographies never mention the caste of Namdev, his caste appears for the first time in manuscripts with statements from Ravidas and Dhana in early 17th century. Namdev's Immaculate Conception miracle mentioned in era manuscripts, adds Novetzke, is a story found for other sants in India; the Namdev biographies in medieval manuscripts are inconsistent and contradictory, feeding questions of their reliability. The literary works of Namdev were influenced by a belief in Vithoba. Along with the Jñānēśvarī, a sacred wor
Guru Har Krishan
Guru Har Krishan' was the eighth of the ten Sikh Gurus. At the age of 5, he became the youngest Guru in Sikhism on 7 October 1661, succeeding his father, Guru Har Rai, he died of the disease in 1664 before reaching his 8th birthday. He is known as Bal Guru, sometimes spelled in Sikh literature as Hari Krishan Sahib, he is remembered in the Sikh tradition for saying "Baba Bakale" before he died, which Sikhs interpreted to identify his granduncle Guru Tegh Bahadur as the next successor. Guru Har Krishan Sahib had the shortest reign as Guru, lasting 5 months and 24 days. Har Krishan was born in Kiratpur in northwest Indian subcontinent to Guru Har Rai, his father, Guru Har Rai supported the moderate Sufi influenced Dara Shikoh instead of conservative Sunni influenced Aurangzeb as the two brothers entered into a war of succession to the Mughal Empire throne. After Aurangzeb won the succession war in 1658, he summoned Guru Har Rai in 1660 to explain his support for the executed Dara Shikoh. Guru Har Rai sent his elder son Ram Rai to represent him.
Aurangzeb kept the 13 year old Ram Rai as hostage, questioned Ram Rai about a verse in the Adi Granth – the holy text of Sikhs. Aurangzeb claimed. Ram Rai changed the verse to appease Aurangzeb instead of standing by the Sikh scripture, an act for which Guru Har Rai excommunicated his elder son, nominated the younger Har Krishan to succeed as the next Guru of Sikhism. Aurangzeb meanwhile rewarded Ram Rai, patronizing him with land grants in Dehra Dun region of the Himalayas. A few years after Guru Har Krishan assumed the role of Sikh leader, Aurangzeb summoned the young Guru to his court, with an apparent plan to replace him with his elder brother Ram Rai as the Sikh Guru. However, Har Rai contracted smallpox when he arrived in Delhi and his meeting with Aurangzeb was cancelled. On his deathbed, Har Krishan said, "Baba Bakale", died in 1664; the Sikh religious organization interpreted those words to mean that the next Guru is to be found in Bakale village, which they identified as Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhism.
Authentic literature with more details about Guru Har Krishan's life and times are scarce and not well recorded. Some of biographies about Guru Har Krishan about who his mother was, were written in the 18th century such as by Kesar Singh Chhibber, as well as in the 19th century, these are inconsistent. Sikhs.org Sikh-History.com
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle