In the era of Guru Ram Das ji, one cannot leave out Rajni, youngest daughter of Rai Duni Chand, revenue collector (kardar) of Patti. Rajni was a Sikh, a disciple of the Guru. One day she was sitting with her sisters admiring some new clothing they all had received from their father. The girls were ecstatic and exclaiming how good their father was to them.
Rajni observed that all gifts are ultimately from God. Their father was merely an instrument of His greatness.
Unfortunately for her, her father overheard her comment and became very angry. It was not the first time that she incurred his wrath because of her extreme piety. The infuriated father, believing her to be an ungrateful wretch, married her to a leper with a taunt that he would see how her God would help her lead a normal life. The leper was severely disfigured and a foul smell came from his body. The poor girl had accepted her fate unchangingly and worked hard to maintain herself and her crippled husband.
She kept repeating the name of God (Naam Simran), and was certain that God was testing her with this turn of events. She was forced to beg for a living. Still she bathed, fed and cared lovingly for her leper husband, never losing faith.
Although the word 'husband' in Gurbani refers to the Lord and 'wife' refers to all of us; it is however important here as Bibi Rajni was a person who had accepted the light of the Lord in her husband as well and her service to her husband had a special meaning and a form of service to God; it was not just subversion to the male gender as was commonly practised by the general community in those times.
It is written in the Guru Granth Sahib, "Says Nanak, she who looks upon the Transcendent Lord as her Husband, is the blessed 'satee'; she is received with honor in the Court of the Lord.(4)(30)(99) " (SGGS p185)
|SGGS Page 185 Full Shabad|
|Gauree Gwaarayree, Fifth Mehla:
In the Dark Age of Kali Yuga, they come together through destiny. As long as the Lord commands, they enjoy their pleasures. ((1)) By burning oneself, the Beloved Lord is not obtained. Only by the actions of destiny does she rise up and burn herself, as a 'satee'. ((1)(Pause)) Imitating what she sees, with her stubborn mind-set, she goes into the fire. She does not obtain the Company of her Beloved Lord, and she wanders through countless incarnations. ((2)) With pure conduct and self-restraint, she surrenders to her Husband Lord's Will; that woman shall not suffer pain at the hands of the Messenger of Death. ((3)) Says Nanak, she who looks upon the Transcendent Lord as her Husband, is the blessed 'satee'; she is received with honor in the Court of the Lord. ((4)(30)(99))
At the time of holding the ‘pula’ the bride is promising to:
"Beloved husband if you take my hand; I shall never forsake You." (SGGSJ Ang 322)
|SGGS Page 321 Full Shabad|
To obtain the state of life of Nirvaanaa, meditate in remembrance on the One Lord. There is no other place; how else can we be comforted? I have seen the whole world - without the Lord's Name, there is no peace at all. Body and wealth shall return to dust - hardly anyone realizes this. Pleasure, beauty and delicious tastes are useless; what are you doing, O mortal? One whom the Lord Himself misleads, does not understand His awesome power. Those who are imbued with the Love of the Lord attain Nirvaanaa, singing the Praises of the True One. Nanak: those who are pleasing to Your Will, O Lord, seek Sanctuary at Your Door. ((2))
"Husband – if you are holding my hand in marriage then I will not leave your side until the day I die."
One day, she reached the site of a pool on her way to a neighboring village. Placing the basket containing her husband by the side of the pool, she had gone off on an errand, most probably to look for food. In the meantime, her crippled husband had seen a black crow dip into the water of the pool and come out white. Amazed at this miracle, the man crawled up to the edge of the pool and managed a dip. He found himself completely cured.
When his wife returned, she was amazed to find her husband in good health. He was handsome and whole. At first, she was alarmed and suspected that he might be a different person. He had, however, kept one finger with leprosy marks un-dipped. He showed her the diseased finger as proof of his identity.
The couple thanked God, and went to the Guru to seek his blessings.
The pool was the future site of the Sri Harminder Sahib or Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India. The medicinal properties of the water were said to have come from Basil (Tulsi), which grew in abundance on its banks. Guru Amar Das Ji used to pick the herb there to make poultices for an infected toe that plagued Guru Angad Ji. The legendary importance of the site highlights the medicinal properties of the waters of the pool (Sarovar); Rajni's leper husband was cured there.
Sakhi shows us that if you keep faith in God then one day all rewards are showers on us. Bibi Rajni had always kept her faith in Guru and God; being happy with whatever she had and thus was rewarded at the end.
- - Sakhi adapted from Blog - dedicatedkaurs