Friday, August 18, 2017

Dukh Bhanjani Beri

I saw a portrait of Bibi Rajni shared on a facebook page for Sikh history quotes, and I remembered seeing a movie about Dukh Bhanjani Beri when I was younger. I decided to refresh my memory about the history.

Bibi Rajni was the 7th daughter (some sources say fifth) of Raja Duni Chand, a revenue collector. She was a Sikh of Guru Ram Das Ji. One day her sisters were excited that their father had given them new dresses. Bibi Ji remarked that these gifts are actually from God. Raj Duni Chand was overtaken with anger and pride that he had bought those gifts. He decided to marry her to a leper to teach her a lesson- he would see how God would help her live her life now. Bibi Ji was a devoted wife. She cared for her husband, bathing and feeding him as sewa. She used to carry him in a basket (I realize the picture is showing a wagon, but the history says it was a basket).

Bibi Ji’s husband asked her to take him to a place of worship to end their suffering. They were poor so they had to beg for food. She carried her husband to many places of Hindu worship, but no one was able to cure him. Guru Ram Das Ji was constructing Amritsar at that time. When they met other Sikhs, they were given a room to live. Bibi Rajni started cooking meals for langar. Nearby there was a Ber tree. It was at this place that Guru Amardas Ji used to pick basil (Tulsi) to put on the infected toe of Guru Angad Dev Ji. She carried her husband to the shade of that Ber tree and left to go make food for langar.

Her husband saw two crows fighting for a piece of bread, and when they dipped into the nearby pool of water, the crows came out white. He pulled himself to the water. He was cured of leprosy! He kept one finger out of the water to show her it was still him. When Bibi Ji returned, she believed that this stranger had killed her husband. She didn’t believe his story. She went to Guru Ram Das Ji to determine if it was true. Guru Ji told her about the healing powers of the water, and that her husband should put that finger in as well and it would be cured. Indeed, he was cured. This spot became known as Dukh Bhanjani Beri (reliever of pain and suffering).

The couple continued to do sewa, and had seven sons together. Duni Chand apologized and accepted his son-in-law, giving him all of his property. He went on to become a disciple of the Guru.

This Sakhi reminds us to speak truth as Bibi Ji spoke to her father, telling him that God was the giver; to maintain faith in difficult times just as Bibi Ji did when she served her husband as a leper; and in the healing powers of Gurbani.

Photos and history from the following references:

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