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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Sutra Shaieh

Time of origin: circa 1730

In 1625, in the household of Nandeh Khatriya within the village of Brahmpur was born a son. This child possessed teeth at birth and this led his parents to consult an astrologer thinking this was an inauspicious sign. The superstitious Brahmin astrologer predicted the child would bring ruin to his family’s fortunes, and he should be discarded as quick as possible. The naive parents who were lead astray by the priest’s mad advice left the child in the nearby jungle. By coincidence, Akali Guru Hargobind Sahib was making his way back home from Kashmir. Traveling through the jungle on horseback, his eyes fell upon the discarded child.

Akali Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji

The sixth Sikh Guru, circa late 19th century

He ordered one of his warrior Sikhs to go and pick up the child. Upon seeing the child close-up, the Guru stated this child is very ‘Suthra’ (clean/handsome). Thus the child came to be known as Suthra.

Akali Guru Hargobind brought the child with him to his residence, and catered for its needs. When Suthra was five, his parents came to learn of the fate of their child, and with regret and sadness in their heart, they came to the Guru seeking forgiveness for abandoning their child. They hoped to take their child back with them. Suthra returned with his patents, and on reaching adolescence, he began to spend all his parents’ wealth on religious Ashrams and returned to the sixth Sikh Guru. The Guru on seeing him welcomed him back and as Suthra was the son of a ‘Shah’ (rich man), the Guru began to call him ‘Suthra Shah’. Suthra Shah went onto become an Udhasi Sikh of Akali Guru Har Rai.

Akali Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji

Painting of the seventh Sikh Guru done in the Pahari style, circa mid 19th century

He served the Guru in such a way that Sikh tradition holds he attained great spiritual powers. It is said anything he said came to be true.

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