Saakhi – Bibi Basant Lata Kaur Jee
“When the Mughal forces laid siege around Anandpur Sahib, many Singhs deserted the Guru, including the 40 Singhs who later became the 40 Muktas. Guru Gobind Singh Jee asked Bibi Basant Kaur if she wanted to leave the fort, as there would be terrible hardships in the coming months. However Bibi Jee politely declined, saying that she would not leave her Guru whatever the circumstances.
After some months of real difficulties and hunger, Guru Gobind Singh Jee decided to leave Anandpur Sahib at the request of his Sikhs. Evading the Mughal forces, the Guru and his Sikhs reached the River Sirsa. It was the winter months, and due to the cold weather and fast flowing river current, the Sikhs got scattered. Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh got separated from Mata Gujjer Kaur ( Mata Gujri), Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh.
Bibi Basant Kaur was with Mata Gujjer Kaur at this critical time, leading Mata Jee’s horse through the River Sarsa. Mata Jee’s horse led her to the other side of the river, but Bibi Basant Kaur got swept away by the cold but rapidly flowing river water. As the river carried her for some distance, she fell unconscious due to the horrendously cold water. Finally her body was washed up on the side of the riverbank.
A Mughal soldier, Samund Khan, seeing Bibi Basant Kaur unconscious, took advantage of her vulnerability and took her to his house. When she regained her consciousness, he asked her to accept Islam and become his wife. He said if she accepted his wishes, she would have all the material pleasures that she could ever dream of. Bibi Jee replied: “I could have left my Guru months ago and not had to endure such hardships at Anandpur Sahib. I will never leave my Guru.” Samund Khan was taken aback by Bibi Jee’s response, but thought leaving her locked up and hungry in a cell for some days would easily break her resolve.
Bibi Basant Kaur’s health was already in a bad state, but throughout her stay in the cell, she resolved to make Gurbani her Aasra. She sat cross-legged in one spot, but with deep concentration and faith in Waheguroo, she kept doing Sukhmani Sahib da Paath. No fears about the future could remove her concentration from Guru Jee and Gurbani.
When Samund Khan came to Bibi Jee after eight days, her resolve was nowhere near broken. This left Samund Khan seething with anger. Evil thoughts crossed his mind. He started to move towards Bibi Jee. Bibi Jee realised the situation, and started praying to Kalgidhaar Dasmesh Pita.
Samund Khan was saying in an antagonising and sarcastic manner “what’s your Guru going to do for you now? Are you ready to accept Islam now?” Bibi Jee responded “My Guru is always with me. You cannot do anything to me.” “Don’t lie … your Guru is nowhere to be seen,” he said in a taunting manner, as he moved further towards Bibi Jee. Bibi Jee started to do Ardaas to Guru Sahib with even greater pyaar and faith. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Bibi Jee said “My Guru is here.” He was now within touching distance of Bibi Jee. He said, “I cannot see him … you’re imagining things.” Bibi Jee said, “you will not be able to see him … you’re a Paapi person, full of the 5 vices. Only those with high Kamayee can see him. My Guru Jee is here with me.”
“gur m aerai sa(n)g sadh aa hai n aalae || s imar si mar th is sadhaa samh aalae ||1|| reh aao ||”
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