Sunday, December 17, 2017

Episode 3 of Punjab Travels: Meeting Mata Amarjit Kaur Ji...

During our stay at Sri Amritsar, we stayed at the Nishkam NRI Niwas. The accommodation is well maintained and provides a comfortable stay. The following afternoon, we visited Mata Amarjit Kaur Ji. On the way to visiting Mata Ji, we met a Singh from France and Bhenji from Malaysia who both joined us.

Mata Amarjit Kaur Ji is the wife of Shaheed Bhai Fauja Singh Ji. This April marks the 40th Shaheedi (martyrdom) anniversary of Bhai Fauja Singh Ji and the 12 other Gursikhs who spilt their blood defending the honour of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Bhai Fauja Singh Ji received the gift of Amrit in 1964 at a Smaagam organised by the Akhand Kirtani Jatha. On Vaisakhi 1965 he got married to Mata Amarjit Kaur Ji. By profession, Bhai Sahib was an agriculture inspector. He dedicated his life to the service of the Panth and would go from village to village spreading the message of Sikhi through Kirtan, Katha and Gatka. Not only a saint, he displayed qualities of a blessed warrior. Bhai Sahib stood up for Sikhi at various places and challenged tyranny and oppression.

On 13th April 1978, a large group of Sikhs were led by Bhai Fauja Singh Ji to protest against a procession led by the "Sant Nirankari" cult (known as "Nakli Nirankari") and their leader Gurbachan Singh's insults against the Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs were attacked with acid bottles and bullets, resulting in the Shaheedi of 13 Gursikhs and just under 100 injured. On 15th April 1978 the 13 Gursikhs were cremated outside Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib in Amritsar. Approximately 25-30,000 people attended. This event led to a new lease of life in the Sikhs in searching for religious and political freedom.

Below is a poem written by Bhai Fauja Singh Ji whilst serving time in jail:
ਤੇਰੀ ਅਮਰ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ, ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਨਿਭਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
O True Guru we will serve your everlasting Sikhi with our every word, thought and deed.

ਧਨ, ਧਾਮ, ਜਵਾਨੀ, ਜਾਇਦਾਦ ਸਭ ਕੁਝ, ਲੇਖੇ ਪੰਥ ਦੇ ਅਸੀਂ ਲਗਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
We will devote our youth, wealth and all worldly possessions to the cause of the Panth.

ਭਾਲ-ਬਿਵਸਥਾ ਤੋਂ ਦੇਹ ਸੰਭਾਲ ਰਖੀ, ਹੁਣ ਤਾਂ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ ਘੋਲ ਘੁਮਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
My body, preserved since childhood, will be sacrificed now the need has arisen.

ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਨੂੰ ਰਿਦੇ ਨਿਵਾਸ ਦੇ ਕੇ, ਅਵਗਣ ਆਪਣੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਗਵਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
By continuously repeating and sincerely following Gurbani we will get rid of all our evil-mindedness.

ਜੇ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਹਰ ਰਖੀ, ਮਿਹਰਬਾਨ ਮੇਰੇ, ਬੰਦੋ ਬੰਦ ਭੀ ਅਸੀਂ ਕਟਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
If you keep your Grace my Graceful Lord, we will sacrifice ourselves limb by limb.

ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਧਾਨੀ, ਸੋਹਣਾ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨ ਸਾਹਿਬ, ਦਸੇ ਦਿਸ਼ਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸੀਂ ਝੁਲਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
We will endeavour to fly the wonderful flag, which marks the treasure of your Naam, all over the world.

ਬੁਝ ਰਹੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਜੋ ਅਸਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਜਾਪਦੀ ਹੈ, ਖੁਨ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਾਲ ਜਗਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
The light of faith that seems to be dwindling will be rekindled with our blood.

ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਨੂੰ ਮੇਟ ਕੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਦਾਤੇ, ਤੇਰੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਵਿੱਚ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
By forsaking our mind's wisdom O Lord, we will blend our soul with yours.

ਧੁਰੋਂ ਧੋਰੰਦਰੀ ਅਵਤਰੀ ਰੀਤ ਸੁੰਦਰ, ਰਾਹੂ ਕੇਤੂ ਨੂੰ ਰੋਕ ਚਮਕਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
With your divinely ordained faith we will overcome all evil.

ਮਿੱਟ ਰਹੇ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨ ਜੋ ਧਰਮ ਵਾਲੇ, ਲੁਕ ਛੁਪ ਕੇ ਅਸੀ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
By sacrificing ourselves we will revive and renovate the fading symbol of our faith.

ਮਿਹਰ ਤੇਰੀ ਨਾਲ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਬੋਲਦਾ ਏ, ਆਵਾਜ਼ ਅੰਦਰਲੀ ਬਾਹਰ ਸੁਣਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
The Khalsa speaks with your Grace; our inner-voice will be heard by all.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ-ਰੂਪ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਹੈ ਅਮਰ ਕਰਦੀ, ਕੇਸਾਂ ਸੁਆਸਾਂ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਨਿਭਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
Sikhi is immortalising nectar and we will serve it with Rahit and our last breath.

ਜਬ ਆਵ ਜੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਬਣਸੀ, ਸੀਸ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੈ, ਤੈਨੂੰ ਚੜ੍ਹਾ ਦਿਆਂਗੇ।
When all else fails, in the hour of need, we will sacrifice our heads at your altar.
Mata Ji's health is not too good. She struggles to walk after a nurse injected her with something harmful. She said that the nurse was sent by the RSS, a Hindu nationalist terrorist group, to disable her. Despite her ailments, she remains in high spirits and very positive. Mata Ji lives in a small room near Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Her window faces Sri Darbar Sahib. Mata Ji said that she lives in heaven and could not ask for any more nor less. She lives in the lap of Sri Guru Ram Das Ji. She can listen to the Kirtan from her room and see the Sangat and Guru Ji's court from her window.

I asked Mata Ji about the changes to the building complex of Sri Harmandir Sahib. She said before 1984, there was no proper memorial for Shaheed Baba Gurbaksh Singh Ji. There were houses surrounding Sri Harmandir Sahib and it was very congested and unsightly. She said, Bhai Fauja Singh once said, "I wish I could take down all these houses and make it a beautiful area." Mata Ji smiled and said, "Today Bhai Fauja Singh Ji would be glad to see that the congestion and unsightly houses have been cleared and we have nice gardens and a nice memorial for Baba Gurbaksh Singh Ji Shaheed." 

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