PRITHĪ CHAND, BĀBĀ (1558-1618), the eldest son of Gurū Rām Dās (1534-81), and Mātā Bhānī, was born in 1558 at Goindvāl, in present-day Amritsar district of the Punjab. He was by nature ambitious and haughty. Gurū Rām Dās chose his youngest son Arjan (1563-1606) as his successor to the spiritual seat This excited the jealousy of Prithī Chand who endeavoured to harm Gurū 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, Prithī Chand retired to Hehar, village his wife came from. There he set himself up as gurū and established a separate sect. He also spread his influence in the Mālvā region where he founded a village named Kothā Gurū, now in Baṭhiṇḍā district. He misled the Sikhs by composing bānī in the name of Gurū Nānak. He also induced Sulhī Khān, a Mu ghal commander, to lead a force against Gurū Arjan. Sulhī Khān, however, met with an unholy end and was accidentally burnt alive in a brick kiln before he could attack the Gurū. Prithī Chand became desperate and joined the detractors of the Sikh faith who frequently carried complaints against the Gurū to the Mu ghal officials at Lahore and even to Prince Salīm, the heir apparent to the Delhi throne. It was Prince Salīm who, after accession to the throne as Emperor Jahāṅgīr, had Gurū Arjan executed in 1606. The Sikhs derisively called Prithī Chand and his followers Mīṇās (lit. hypocrites).

         Prithī Chand died at Hehar in April 1618.


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Piārā Siṅgh Padam