Mai Bhag Kaur and the 40 mukte’s
Mai Bhag Kaur: As a young girl, she had heard sakhis of Sikh Gurus’ and their disciples(other sikhs). A regular hearing of the sakhis made a deep effect on her tender heart and inspired her to live a life of a Khalsa Women. She went to Anandpur Sahib along with his father in 1699 A.D., when Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji founded the Khalsa Panth. “She took Amrit and learned the art of fighting and self defence.”
When mughals and hilly chiefs had surrounded Anandpur sahib and were demanding it be evacuated. They called that any Sikh who says that “he/she is not anymore a Sikh of Guru Gobind” will be left untouched. A group of 40 Sikhs, led by Mahan Singh told Guru Gobind Singh that they are not his Sikhs anymore. Guru told them that they have to write it in a document that “they are not his Sikhs anymore” and sign it. “All forty Sikhs signed this document Bedava and left Guru Gobind Singh.”
Mai Bhag Kaur was distressed to hear that some of the Sikhs of her neighborhood who had gone to Anandpur to fight for Guru Gobind Singh had deserted him under adverse conditions. Hearing her taunts, these Sikhs were ashamed at their deed. Her sharp words awakened the souls of numerous men. she inspired them to return to the Guru’s fold and led them to meet the Guru and seek his pardon.
It was the consciousness of MaiBhag Kaur and the Khalsa wives of this 40 Sikhs what inspired them to return. This Sikh Women would have rather endured all the worldly hardships than to see their husbands walk away from their destinies and betray their Guru.
Knowing that Wajir Khan was advancing to attack the Guru, Mai Bhago took up positions along with this forty Sikhs and others at Mukatsar.
Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh had to evacuate the fort of Anandpur, The Sahibzada’s were lost in the confusion. Two youngest one’s Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, went along with their grandmother (mother of Guru Gobind Singh). While elder one’s Ajit Singh and Jhujhar Singh were with their father. Then at battle of Chamkaur Guru’s elder sons attained martyrdom, Guru was persuaded by the five Sikhs (Panj Pyaara’s ) to evacuate Chamkaur and was traveling in Malva region, being pursued by Mughal forces of Aurungzeb. Traveling day and night in the Jungles of Malva region, imperial Mughal forces were in constant pursuit of Guru. Guru Gobind Singh had reached village of Khidrana, when Mai Bhag Kaur and the men, she was leading stopped near the dhab or pool of Khidrana where the imperial army in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh had also reached. They challenged the pursuing host and fought furiously forcing it to retreat. All forty Sikhs attained martyrdom in this pitched battle, in which Guru himself was supporting them with a shower of arrows from a nearby high ground. Guruji found all the men except one Mahan Singh, killed when he visited the battlefield. Mai Bhag Kaur and Guru Gobind Singh ji were the sole survivors of this fiercely fought battle.
“Mai Bhag Kaur showed the bravery by lighting with valour and redeemed the honour of the faithless forty Sikhs.”
Mahan Singh, who had been seriously wounded, requested Guru ji to tear the ‘Bedava’ on which they had written that they were no Sikhs of the Guru. The Guru took him into his lap, tore the Bedava and blessed him. Guru Gobind Singh blessed those forty dead as the Forty Liberated Ones.
Kabeera, janaa gyan tah Dharam hai jahaa jhooth tah paap Jahaa lobh tah kaal, jahaa khima tah aap Kabeer, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness and Dharma. Where there is falsehood, there is sin.
Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.
–Bhagat Kabeer, GGS ji
After the battle was won, Guru Gobind Singh asked Mai Bhag Kaur to go back to her village. “She told Guru her long cherished desire to become an active saint soldier in the army of the Guru’s.”
He took into his care Mai Bhag Kaur who had also suffered injury in the battle. She there after stayed on with Guru Gobind Singh as one of his bodyguard. After Guru Gobind Singh ji left his human body in 1708, she retired further south. She settled down at Jinvara, 11 km from Bidar in Karnataka where, immersed in meditation, she lived to attain a ripe old age. Her hut in Jinvara has now been converted into Gurdwara Tap Asthan Mai Bhag Kaur. At Nanded, too, a hall within the compound of Takht Sachkhand. Sri Hazur Sahib marking the site of her residence is known as Bunga Mai Bhag Kaur.
“One becomes Jivan-mukta – liberated while yet alive, by listening to the Shabad.
Living a truthful way of life, one finds true peace. ||7||” ( GGS ji)