Sikh Women’s Day celebrated in Washington while Remembering Valiant Mata Gujri ji

Last month, Guru Gobind Singh Foundation in Washington celebrated Sikh Women’s Day while paying tributes to Mata Gujri j...

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Washington, January 26, 2012: Last month, Guru Gobind Singh Foundation in Washington celebrated Sikh Women’s Day while paying tributes to Mata Gujri ji, the mother of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, an inspirational figure in Sikh history who faced many challenging circumstances. The entire program was conducted by ladies of the community. They took turns to recite Sikh hymns and many spoke to highlight the positive role played by the women in history and evolution of the Sikh community in the last 500 years.

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Mandeep Kaur reciting a shabad and is accompanied by her two sisters, Jasdeep Kaur and Jasjit Kaur. Bhai Sucha Singh playing tabla

Rani Kaur Sawhney, a board member of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation and who conducted the stage, said, “The divaan that GGSF held in honor of Mata Gujri Ji was a tribute not only to her, but to all women; I felt honored to take part in it. It forced me to remember our unique history as Sikhs, and the ways in which we as Sikh women have come to be who we are. As Singhnis, we hold a unique place in today’s society as women who belong to a faith that places unequivocal importance on the role of a female. “

Speeches and poems by female sangat members highlighted each of the many roles played by Mata Gujri Ji – that of daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, leader, role model, and martyr – and compelled us to think about the extent to which we as women fulfill these roles in our own lives today. We were inspired to seek guidance from her legacy in history as a ‘puran istree’.

We were able to hold our heads high as we fulfilled the various duties within the divaan – chaur sahib, parshad seva, langar seva, ardaas, and even taking hukamnama – as we were reminded of Mata Gujri Ji’s role in history. It was appropriate in this context that we as females fulfilled the duties traditionally carried out by males, and that we were even encouraged by male sangat members to do so.

‘Inspirational’ is an apt description of the GGSF divaan held in honor of Mata Gujri Ji: inspirational not only to women of all ages to encourage them to consider her a role model and sculpt their own lives according to hers, but also inspirational to men of all ages to encourage them to respect the women in their own lives in the way that our gurus intended.”

Jaspreet Kaur Ahuja spoke on the occasion and said, “It was Mata Gujriji who supported Guru Tegh Bahadur ji when he was deep in meditation for 20 years, when he was on missionary tour for 5 years, and finally, when Guruji left for Delhi to make the supreme sacrifice. Ladies look at this from a wife’s point of view.

It was Mata Gujri ji who raised Guru Gobind Singh ji single handedly when Guru Tegh Bahadur ji was on missionary tours and then after his martyrdom. She molded and raised Guru ji as a model human, who was perfect in all aspects of life - compassionate, kind, courageous, fearless, and a Sant Sipahi. Guru Gobind Singh ji was only 9 at the time of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji’s martyrdom. She had the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Panth. She organized the langar and played an important role as the administrator of the army.”

She added, “It was Mata Gujri ji who supported her grandsons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, 9 and 6 years old to stand up to the Mughal empire and not budge from their beliefs. They gave up their precious lives but did not give up their Sikhi – a lot of the credit for bringing up such outstanding children goes to Mata ji. If the Sahibzadas had accepted Islam on that winter day, Sikhi probably wouldn't exist as it does today.

Again it was Mataji who attained shaheedi the same day as her grandsons. While imprisoned on top of an open tower or Thanda Burj during the cold month of December, Mata Gujri continually did simran with no complaints about her physical being. Her mission had been fulfilled. She was complete.

Let us today remember this amazing and powerful women and pray that Waheguru gives us the women some of that zeal and spirit in raising our children and grandchildren.”

Amrit Pal Kaur recited the shabad 'Dhan Jio Teh Ko Jag Maih' and exhorted the youth to keep their identity if they really feel connected with Mata Gujri ji. Dr. Natasha Kaur recited the shabad ‘Se Gursikh dhan dhan hai” and Dr. Gunpreet Kaur also recited a shabd.

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Kawal Kaur leading the Ardas

Kawal Kaur lead in ardas and Perveen Kaur Sidhu read the hukumnama from Guru Granth Sahib.

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Gagan Kaur Narang reciting a poem

Gagan Kaur Narang wrote a poem paying tributes to Mata Gujri ji and recited it with passion:

“Many mothers sparkled
But only one shined
With a grace unheard of
your kin you sacrificed
You walked the path of death
But gave the panth a new life
Your courage undying
Conviction unwavering
You gave a new direction
to motherhood, womanhood and sainthood
Your path I shall ever trace
O Mother Sublime.
Mata Gujri Jee ...


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