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Mata Gujri (1624 - 1705)

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Takhat Harmandir Sahib in Patna

Takhat Harmandir Sahib in Patna Where Gujri Gave Birth to Tenth Guru Gobind Singh.

Photo © [Devesh Bhatta - Courtesty GNU Free Documentation License]

Daughter:

Gurjri (Gujari) was born in 1624 at Kartarpur (Jalandar District) Punjab. She was the daughter of her mother Bishan Kaur and her husband Bhai Lai Subhikkhu of Lakhnar, Ambala District. Gujri lived in Kartarpur until her marriage.

Wife:

Gujri became betrothed at her home village of Kartarpur in 1629, at about age 6, to Tayg Mall Sodhi, who would one day become Ninth Guru Teg Bahadar. Tayg Mall was the son of Sixth Guru Har Govind and his wife Nankee. After 4 years passed, Gurjri became a wife at about age 9 when she wed Tayg Mall, age 12. The wedding took place on February 4, 1633, (Assu 15, 1688 SV). Gujri resided in Amritsar with her husband until 1635, and then in Bakala until 1664. After Guru Teg Bahadar's formal inauguration they returned to Amritsar, and then moved on to Makhoval of Kiratpur to establish Chakk Nanaki, which would one day become Anandpur.

Mother:

Guru Teg Bahadar traveled extensively in the east on a missionary tour. He arranged for Gujri to stay in Patna under the care of her brother Kirpal Chand and the Guru's mother Nankee. They lodged in the palace of a local Raja where, at age 42, Gujri became a mother when she gave birth to the guru's son Gobind Rai. She and her son spent much of their time in Patna and later Lakhnaur often separated from Guru Teg Bahadar whose duties and travels took him from them for extended periods. The boy received training in weaponry along with his other studies.

More:
The Story of Guru Gobind Singh's Birth

Widow:

Gujri's husband, Guru Teg Bahadar, was martyred in Dheli on November 24, 1675 when he appealed the Mughal court on behalf of Hindus being forcibly converted to Islam. A widow at 51, Gujri' became respectfully known as Mata Gujri, mother of the Guru, when her 9 year old son Gobind Rai became succeeded his martyred father as the tenth guru of the Sikhs. She arranged marriages of alliance for her young son and took an active role with her brother Kirpal Chand in leading the Sikhs.

Grandmother:

Mata Gujar Kaur became a grandmother for the first time at age 63 with the birth of Tenth Guru Gobind Singh's eldest son in 1687. She took an active role in raising four grandsons:
  • Ajit Singh
  • Jujhar Singh
  • Zorawar Singh
  • Fateh Singh Singh

Khalsa Initiate:

On Vaisakhi of 1699, the tenth Guru created the Khalsa and became known as Guru Gobind Singh. At age 75, Gujri received the name Gujar Kaur when initiated along with the Guru's family during the first Amrit ceremony.

Martyr:

Mata Gujar Kaur was with her family during the 1705, seven month, siege of Anandpur. When Guru Gobind Singh refused to evacuate, starving Sikhs turned to his mother hoping to persuade her to leave knowing the Guru would follow. Influenced by false promises made by Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb, Mata Gujri was instrumental in making a decision to flee desperate circumstances. On the stormy eve of the flight from Anandpur, the 81 year old Mata Gujar Kaur took charge of her two youngest grandsons. They became separated from the Guru while crossing the flooded river Sarsa. A former Servant offered her protection but turned treacherous and informed Mughals of her whereabouts.

Mata Gujar Kaur and the two youngest sahibzadas were arrested on December 8, 1705. They were detained in an open tower known as Thanda Burj meaning "cold tower". They passed several days and nights without warm clothing and little food. Mata Gujar Kaur encouraged her grandsons to remain steadfast in their faith. Mughal efforts to convert the boys to Islam failed. On December 11, 1705, the two younger sahibzade aged 7 and 9 were bricked up alive. They nearly suffocated, however the mortar did not set and the bricks gave way. On December 12, 1705 A.D. the boy heads were cut from their bodies. Mata Gujar Kaur she remained isolated in the tower. On learning her grandsons' cruel fate, she fainted, suffered heart failure, and did not recover.

More:
The Siege of Anandpur (1705)
Sikhs Flight From Anandpur Sahib (December 1705)
Battle of Chamkaur and Martyrdom of Elder Sahibzadas (December 1705)

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