Mata

Mata Gujri

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Mata Gujri was the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the ninth Sikh’s Guru and the mother of Sikh’s Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Mata Ji was born in Sikh Gurjar family as the daughter of Bhai Lal Chand Subulikka of Kartarput, in Punjab.

Mata Gujri was married to Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji on 4 February 1633. The betrothal had taken place four years earlier when Tegh Bahadur had come to Kartarpur in the marriage party of his elder brother, Suraj Mall. Bishan Kaur, the mother, had been charmed by the handsome face of Tegh Bahadur and she and her husband pledged the hand of their daughter to him. After the marriage ceremony, the couple came to reside in Amritsar. Bride Gujari won the appreciation of everyone “Like bridegroom like bride” records Gurbilas Chhevi patshsahi. “Gujri is by destiny made worthy of Tegh Bahadur in every way ” In 1635, Mata Gujri left Amritsar with the holy family and went to reside at Kartarpur, in the Sivalik foothills. After of Guru Hargobind left this world in 1644, she came with her husband and mother-in-law, Mata Nanaki, to Bakala, now in Amritsar district of the Punjab. There they lived in peaceful seclusion, Tegh Bahadur spending his days and nights in meditation and Gujari performing the humble duties of a pious and devoted housewife. After he was installed Guru in 1664, Guru Tegh Bahadur, accompanied by Mata Gujri, went on a visit to Amritsar, travelling on to Makhoval, near Kiratpur, where a new habitation, named Chakk Nanaki (later Anandpur) was founded in the middle of 1665.

Soon after this,Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his mother, Nanaki, and wife, Gujri, set out on a long journey to the east Leaving the family at Patna, he travelled on to Bengal and Assam. At Patna, Mata Gujri gave birth to a son on 22 December 1666. The child was named Gobind Rai, the illustrious Guru Gobind Singh of later day. Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Patna in 1670 for a brief stay before he left for Delhi, instructing the family to proceed to lakhnaur, now in Haryana.

Mata Gujri, accompanied by the aged Mata Nanaki and young Gobind Rai, reached, on 13 September 1670, Lakhnaur where she stayed with her brother Mehar chand, until she was joined by her husband. An old well just outside Lakhnaur village and reverently called Matta da Khuh or Mata Gujri da Khuh still commemorates her visit. From Lakhnaur the family proceeded to Chakk Nanaki where Guru Tegh Bahadur rejoined them in March 1671 after spending some more time travelling through the Malva region and meeting sangats. At Chakk Nanaki, 11 July 1675 was a momentous day when Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Delhi prepared to make the supreme sacrifice. She showed courage at the time of parting and bore the ultimate trial with fortitude. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed in Delhi on 11 November 1675, and, Guru Cobind Singh then being very young, the responsibility of managing the affairs at Chakk Nanaki, initially, fell to her. She was assisted in the task by her younger brother, Kirpal Chand

Mata Ji was with her family during 1705, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji refused to evacuate, starving Sikhs turned to his mother hoping too presuade her to leave knowing the Guru Ji would follow. Influenced by false promises made by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Mata Gujri was instrumental in making a decision to flee desperate circumstances. On the stromy eve of the flight from Anandpur, the 81 year old Mata Gujri took charge of her two younger gransons. They became separated from Guru Ji while crossing river Sarsa.

Mata Gujri and her younger grandsons Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh sought shelter with a priest by profession, called Gangu, as he offered their protection but betrayed them by telling the Mughals where Mata Gujri and Sahibzadey were staying. Mata Ji and Sahibzadey were arrested on 08 Dec 1705. They were detained in an open tower known as, Thanda Burj meaning ‘Cold Tower’, where they passed several days and nights without warm clothing and only little food. Mata Ji encouraged her grandsons to remain steadfast in their faith. Aurangzeb wanted them to convert to Islam but when they refused to convert to Islam but when failed then ordered to kill the Sahibzadey and Mata Ji. He ordered to lay Mata Gujri on an ice block and Sahibzadey were bricked alive, while younger Sahibzadey were being bricked alive by Mugals they were reciting The Japji Sahib.

At Fatehgarh Sahib, near Sirhind, there is a shrine called Gurdwara Mata Gujri (Thanda Burj). This is where Mata Gujri spent the last four days of her life. Ahout one kilometre to the southeast of it is Gurdwara Joti Sarup, marking the cremation site. Here, on the ground floor, a small domed pavilion in white marble is dedicated to Mata Gujri. The Sikhs from far and near come to pay homage to her memory, especially during a three-day fair held from 1113 Poh, Bikrami dates falling in the last week of December.

Thanda Burj