Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bhai Randheer Singh's wife: Mata Kartar Kaur

The following was found in a old newspaper describing the yearly gathering of the Central Sikh League in October 1920 .

"On one side of the hall, the daughters of Mata Sahib Kaur were appearing. At this, our royal meeting, the Singhnis present appeared to the Panth in the image of Mai Bhago. From amongst them, Bibi Kartar Kaur jee (wife of Bhai Randhir Singh ji) was in the uniform of an Akali of old. It was said that she was in truth the picture of a female Singh of ancient times" [Akali Newspaper, October 23, 1920, page 2]

Mata jee was dressed like an Akali of Guru Sahib's time in a chola and dumalla and shastar. What an amazing sight it must have been!

Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee's Singhnee, Mata Kartaar Kaur jee is a modern day role model for Sikh women. She had an extremely high spiritual state. When once Bhai Sahib was eating, he suddenly stopped and his mother asked from Mata Kartaar Kaur why this had happened, Mata jee replied that Bhai Sahib was feeding his Sarblohi fellow Gursikh Bhai Atma Singh who was at that time in Bhai Joginder Singh's house in Patiala. Bhai Atma Singh later came to Narangvaal and when he was asked about this, admitted that this indeed was what had happened.

On another occasion, Bhai Sahib and other Singhs were doing keertan and were lost in divine colours and skipped dinner time. In Ranglay Sajjan in the story of Bhai Sarwan Singh, Bhai Sahib writes,

"We were so lost in the Kirtan, that we passed into deep meditation. My wife, Kartar Kaur, visioned all this and came along late at night with our dinner. She shook us out of our stupor and had brought the steel utensils for serving food to the four persons. After getting our hands washed, the food was served. With half-closed eyes, drenched with Divine Love, while we were eating we watched this lady, a picture of true loving devotion. Bhai Sarwan Singh uttered a cry of pure love at her sight. In humility he had his head on her feet, saying “The holy sight of this Revered Mother has killed my hidden imperceptible ego. This ego had led me to believe, that I alone enjoyed the super-vision, extra-ordinary. I see visions in normal life and was feeling proud. This self-conceit has been destroyed today. I wonder how this Mother envisioned our presence here from a distance of one mile and known our exact number to bring food and utensils for four of us.” She partook of the food left by me. She always remained without food, till such time that I ate first. It was past mid-night." (translated by Bhai Jaspinder Singh jee)

When Bhai Sahib was jailed, Mata jee endured days of extreme hardship and had all her property confiscated and could not even meet her beloved husband in jail.

When Bhai Sahib returned, Mata Jee's joy could not be described.

Bhai Sahib too had no less love for his wife. When Mata jee became very ill and it appeared she was close to passing, an ardaas was done at the Shimla Smaagam in 1951 during the amrit sinchaar for her health. As the Ran Sabaaee progressed that night, it was coming to a close at 5.30AM when a phone call arrived that Mata jee was absolutely fine and no one need worry. Bhai Sahib then took the vaja at 6AM and continued to do keertan for two and a half hours till 8.30 AM, even though the sangat had planned to leave by train at 6AM. The program finally ended at 10AM with an ardaas thanking Guru Sahib for curing Mata jee.

It was at the 1952 Jalandhar Smaagam Ran Sabaaee on January 26-27 that Bhai Sahib was sitting in keertan and lost in divine colours when suddenly, Bhai Sahib opened his eyes at 2.30AM and looked towards Baoo Mul Singh jee and said "Look! Sree Kartaar Kaur jee has ascended!" and then again he was lost in keertan. At 4AM a Singh arrived from Ludhiana and the news spread in the rest of the Sangat that Mata jee had left this earth. Bhai Sahib and Mata jee's souls were so close, that he knew the moment she left this earth and didn't need anyone to tell him. Such is the closeness that is the ideal between a Sikh man and wife.

Mata Kartaar Kaur is an example for all of us and an ideal Sikh Woman.

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