Thursday, 14 April 2011

Loving Memories: Mata Kartar Kaur

By Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee taken from Jeevan Charitar Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee 

Time passed and passed well. Our time outside passed well and our time in the dark dungeons passed even better. My entire life has passed in one tone. Beauty outside and splendour in jail. I spent years in dark cells passing my life sentence but it was all in soaring spirits. I considered no real difference between the beauty of the outside and the splendour of time spent inside. Besides Guru Akal Purakhs ever-present divine and spiritual colours and his blessings there was another blessing he gave so that jail never seemed like jail and my life sentence never struck me as a punishment at all. The blessing was this, that Guru Kartar gave me a precious gift that resulted in my every pore being in bliss. How can I describe that gift? My loving memories won’t allow me to describe it. Satguru jee had given me an amazing other-half, divinely-coloured wife. Because of this, I was always in bloom and always happy. I didn’t feel pain when pain came and was able to consider it like pleasure.

My 16 years in jail passed in spiritual intoxication. The torture I suffered seems insignificant. When I recalled my other-half [in jail], I realise I had forgotten about her loving memories. They had become like a dream. After hearing the Fatwa of the life-sentence, according to the Gur-vaak

ਮਰਣੈਕੀਚਿੰਤਾਨਹੀਜੀਵਣਕੀਨਹੀਆਸ ॥

I considered myself dead and the outside world too was dead for us.

This was to such an extent that in this intoxicating bairaag and inadvertent tyaag, I had even forgotten my life-long companion who from the age of 20 until the age of 38 accompanied me in a way that is hard to parallel in the world. For her I was like dead and for me, she too was like dead. From 1916 until 1921 this state persisted.

Then suddenly, in Hazari Bagh jail, the wife who for me was deceased, my other half, Srimati Kartar Kaur came to meet me with her smiling and glowing face.

This was like an amazing dream to me.

The world I considered dead again returned and seemed to spring to life.

This was that time when the political prisoners of 1914 were not allowed to receive any news of the outside world. Forget someone coming to visit them, no one could even dare send them a letter or message. I don’t know about the others, but I had forgotten about the outside world.

But now it felt as though after five years I had again come to live in the world. This was even more blissful for me because my loving-wife came to meet me in high spiritual colours. It was Guru Kartar’s mercy and amazing ways that I was able to see my Kartar Kaur again. There was no sadness or grievance on her face. The Chardi Kala and spiritual colours I saw on her face were just as I had left them.

That Guru-blessed one did not even mention a bit about the hardships she had faced. When Veer Surjan Singh who was accompanying her began to tell about her hard experiences, she tried to stop him but he would not. Her (my other-half’s) high thinking in stopping him was that I already had so many problems, why make me even sadder by telling about her own troubles? But the Veer could not stop. He gave me a summary of what had happened and I was left shocked. It seemed as though the earth had been removed from below my feet.

I was cast into an ocean of sympathy. How the lands had been seized, how she bore the grief of her jeevan-sathi being cast into jail for life, how friends had become enemies, all relations had turned their backs, all doors had been shut and how there was no place for her either inside or even outside their homes. The evil rulers had seized her lands and even wanted to throw her out of her home. But this lioness also reached a point of do or die. She challenged the Tehsildar of the time, where am I supposed to go with my young children? I’ll only leave here after you kill me. Just kill me or send me to be with my husband in jail. At least there I’ll continue to live by seeing my husband.

Hearing this lioness’s spirited reply, the wicked Officer backed down. He never came again nor did he ever come back to ask about her. This is how she secured her nest.

Hearing about her other experiences, I was left shocked and breathless. Then I heard that her worries had caused her to develop dropsy, and had dried up all her blood, I was left like a statue. Around 50 kg of water was removed from her stomach. Miss Brown, when giving her chloroform to take the water out noticed that her pulse was almost gone. Only her desire to see her husband again kept her alive. The operation was completed and this was the first time such an operation had been a success. When she returned to health, she made the long effort of trying to meet me.

This meeting not only revived the world for me, but also had the greatest effect on my consciousness to take note of and value her hidden Gurmat-qualities. She was truly a collection of good qualities. Because of her faith and meditation, my life-sentence was broken and I returned home after 16 years to meet her.

At that time, her body was very frail because of the long separation and hardships. Because of her knees, she could just barely climb to the top of the house. By my coming home, her world again became alive. It came alive in such a way that her health too returned. 20 years passed so well. They passed in beauty but her body too became weak and she was just barely breathing now. And now those [breaths] too have passed. From my time in jail, I include here some examples of the spiritual poetry that my close veer Dr. Trilochan Singh has copied with great effort from my writings.

Bhai Sahib's poetry then follows on his thoughts on Mata Kartar Kaur and the world

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