AṬAL RĀI, BĀBĀ (1619-1628), son of Gurū Hargobind (1595-1644), was born to Mātā Nānakī at Amritsar on 23 October 1619. He died at the tender age of nine years. The circumstances of his death, as narrated inGurbilās Chhevīṅ Pātshāhī, were most extraordinary. Aṭal Rāi had a playmate, Mohan, who was the son of a local businessman, Suinī Shāh. 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, Aṭal Rāi went to his home to find the members of his family wailing and lamenting. Bābā Aṭal Rāi 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: and, remember, you owe us the forfeit. " Saying these words, he touched the boy with his stick. The boy stood up. The story that Aṭal Rāi had raised a dead body swept through the town. Gurū Hargobind was not pleased when he heard this. "karāmat qahar hai-miracle-making is violence. None should attempt to intervene in the Will of the Lord, " he told his son. Aṭal Rāi took the admonition to heart. Making a respectful bow, he quietly retired from the Gurū'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 9- storey octagonal edifice in Amritsar commemorating the 9-year-old Sāhibzādā (Gurū's son) is also popularly known as Bābā Aṭal after him.


  1. Gurbilās Chhevīṅ Pātshāhī. Patiala, 1970
  2. Santokh Siṅgh Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37
  3. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint ]. Patiala, 1970
  4. Macauliffe, M. A. , The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

Gurnek Siṅgh