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Mata Khivi Ji / Mata Sullakhni Ji / Mata Bhani Ji

History > Sikh Women > Guru Matas

Mata Khivi Ji
Mata Khivi was married to Bhai Lehna for 20 years before he became the second Guru of the Sikhs. Life became very busy for Khivi. She took upon herself the onerous task of managing every detail of the langar. Only the best possible ingredients were used, and everyone was treated with utmost courtesy. Her hospitality has been emulated over the centuries and has become the first cultural identity of the Sikhs. She helped the Guru in establishing the infant Sikh community on a stronger footing. She has been described as good natured, efficient, beautiful and all round perfect. She has the distinction of being the only one of the Guru's wives to be mentioned by name in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. There she is described as a "good person", "an affectionate mother" and as "one who provides shelter and protection to others."

Khivi did much more than work in the kitchen. She created a loving atmosphere for all whom she came in contact with. Mata Khivi lived for thirty years after her husband's death. She continued to serve the community and remained associated with the Guru's house in all that time.

Khivi had the distinction of meeting five Gurus. She lived to the age of 75 and died in the year 1582.

Mata Sullakhni Ji (1473-1560)
Mata Sullakhni Ji was married to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and they lived in Nankana Sahib for fourteen years. Guru Nanak Dev Ji took great interest in his family and gave them his love and attention. He demonstrated by his actions, that salvation is reached best through a married family life.

Mata Sulakhani kept Guru Nanak Dev Ji's teachings alive in the community when he was away. She did all the household chores herself. Nothing was beneath her. Guru Nanak was committed to the equality of women right from the very beginning and he first trained women to take their equal share of responsibility of this new religion.

Mata Bhani Ji

Bibi Bhani was daughter of Guru Amar Das Ji, wife of Guru Ram Das Ji and mother of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Bibi Bhani has a unique place in Sikh history. She is the noble lady who was daughter of a guru (Guru Amardas), wife of a guru (Guru RamDas), mother of a guru (Guru Arjan Dev), grandmother of a guru (Guru Hargobind), great grandmother of a guru (Guru Tegh Bahadar) and great, great grandmother of a guru (Guru Gobind Singh). She was a symbol of service. From her very childhood, she spent a lot of time in meditation and in the service of her father like a disciple.

She also loved solitude and simplicity. She left this world in 1598 at the age of 65 at Tarn Taran where she was serving the lepers. Guru Arjan Dev had a well constructed in her memory at Tarn Taran. She was the embodiment of service, truth, endurance, obedience, and humility. She will always be remembered for the unique service rendered by her to her father.

She has the distinction of being the mother of the first Sikh martyr, Guru Arjan Dev, great-grandmother of the second Sikh martyr, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and great-great- grandmother of Guru Gobind Singh, who sacrificed himself and his four sons for the sake of justice. Thus she belongs to a family whose seven members were martyred.

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