I thought I’d take this chance to write about Bibi Bhani Ji since we are celebrating Guru Ramdas Ji’s Gurpurb. Bibi Bhani Ji was daughter of Guru Amardas Ji, wife of Guru Ramdas Ji, mother of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Grandmother of Guru Hargobind, Great Granmother of Guru Teg Bahadur, and Great Great Grandmother of Guru Gobind Singh! This is truly amazing. She thus was a very important woman in our history.
Bibi Bhani was born in 1535 to Guru Amar Das Ji and Mata Mansa Devi. She got married to Bhai Jetha Ji (Guru Ramdas) in 1554 as discussed in my previous post. The couple did sewa together, and she devotedly served her father even after having three children. Sikhiwiki writes “There is special status of Bibi Bhani in the life of Guru Amardas by the way she cared for her father proving that there was no difference between a son and a daughter. Both can equally serve their parents.” Bibi Bhani lived her life with humility and always thought about others. When a Sikh offered Bibi Bani money for new dresses and jewellery for her wedding, she read this line of Gurbani “False is gold, false is silver, false are those who wear them,” and requested that this money should be spent on the langar to serve others. After the torture and martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, she stayed strong and supported Guru Ji’s wife and son, Hargobind. She was doing sewa of individuals with leprosy when she left this world in 1598.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji has written about his mother’s blessings in Ang 496 of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji
“Remembering Him, all sins are erased, and ones generations are saved.
So meditate continually on the Lord, Har, Har; He has no end or limitation.
O son, this is your mother's hope and prayer, that you may never forget the Lord,
Har, Har, even for an instant. May you ever vibrate upon the Lord of the Universe (Pause).
May the True Guru be kind to you, and may you love the Society of the Saints.
May the preservation of your honor by the Transcendent Lord be your clothes, and may the singing of His Praises be your food.
So drink in forever the Ambrosial Nectar; may you live long, and may the meditative remembrance of the Lord give you infinite delight.
May joy and pleasure be yours; may your hopes be fulfilled, and may you never be troubled by worries.
Let this mind of yours be the bumble bee, and let the Lord's feet be the lotus flower. Says servant Nanak, attach your mind to them, and blossom forth like the song-bird, upon finding the rain-drop.”
“Noble and Brave Sikh Women” by Principal Sawan Singh