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Eminent Sikh Women - Book By Dr. Mrs. M. K. Gill
Preface Of The Book 'Eminent Sikh Women' By Dr. Mrs. M. K. Gill
MATA Sundri College has been celebrating Mata Sundri Memorial Day every year since 1983. An extension lecture on one of the Guru Mahals (consorts of Gurus) is prepared in printed form and distributed among the sangat (congregation) and students on this historic day. To mark the silver Jubilee of the College in 1992, a book 'Das Guru Mahal' was published in Punjabi, Hindi and English. The publication of this book gave birth to certain new issues, for example, the acceptability of the concept of ten Guru Mahals.
The Eighth Guru left for his heavenly abode in childhood only. I always used to justify, and emphasise, the fact that Mata Sahib kaur was the mother of Khalsa. Another suggestion received during this period was that work should be done on those Guru Mahals, whose life histories had not been researched into till date. After a lot of contemplation I have come to the conclusion that there are three Guru Mahals whose lives still need to be researched into. They are:
1. Mata Damodri (Mahal Sixth Guru),
2. Mata Maha Devi (Mahal Sixth Guru), and
3. Mata Jeeto (Mahal Tenth Guru).
In my search for suitable intellectual writers, I humbly approached Dr. Bhajan Singh and Dr. Harbans singh Chawla and requested them to write some papers on Guru Mahals. Respecting my wishes, they wrote on Mata Damodri and Mai Bhago, respectively. However, the lack of material availible on Mata Damodri Devi posed a problem, with which Mrs. Sukhjeet Kaur, Reader, Department of Panjabi in our college, helped me resolve with her timely co-operation. That is how the work could be completed on the 13 Guru Mahals, and the credit for this goes to my learned friends and well-wishers. It is essential to furnish details of 13 Guru Mahals here:
1. Mata Sulakhani (Mahal; Guru Nanak Dev)
2. Mata Khiwi (Mahal; Guru Angad Dev)
3. Mata Mansa Devi (Mahal;Guru Amar Dass)
4. Mata Bhani (Mahal;Guru Ram Dass)
5. Mata Ganga (Mahal; Guru Arjun Dev)
6. Mata Nanki (Mahal; Guru Har Gobind)
7. Mata Damodri" "
8. Mata Maha Devi " "
*9. Mata Kishan Kaur (Mahal, Guru Har Raj)
10. Mata Gujri (Mahal;Guru Tegh Bahadur)
11. Mata Sundri (Mahal;Guru Gobind Singh)
12. Mata Jeeto " "
13. Mata Sahib Kaur " "
During the publication of the book 'Das Guru Mahal' many teachers of our College were inspired to write articles on various Guru Mahals. The articles on Mata Gujri and Mata Sahib Kaur were written by Miss Iqbal Kaur (Punjabi Deptt.). It is important to note here that the article on Mata Maha Devi could be completed with the joint efforts of Mrs. Sukhjeet Kaur and Mrs. P. Amrinder Singh. after being inspired by Mrs. Sukhjeet Kaur's unstinted efforts, Mrs. P. Amrinder Singh wrote another article on Mata Jeeto also. In this way, work on the life sketches of 13 Guru Mahals could be compiled.
It has been my endeavour to collect and disseminate the availble information, for successful completion of this work. The articles in this book have not been listed chronologically, instead they have been serialised according to the order of Guru Mahals. While going through all this, I felt that although Guru Mahals have contributed a lot for the success of the mission of the Gurus, the hard struggle and efforts put in by their women relatives and followers can not be ignored. The House of Gurus was glorified due to their untiring efforts too.
The Contribution of Bebe Nanki to the success of the mission of Guru Nanak Dev, the role of Mai Sabhrai who was the paternal aunt of Guru Angad Dev, and the contribution of Mai Bhago to the history of the Tenth Guru are quite interesting and important. When Guru Nanak Dev used to undertake missionary tours, it was Bebe Nanki who looked after and supported the Guru's family by making the atmosphere congenial. Guru Nanak's father had some materialistic expectations from his son. The elder sister Nanki gave moral support to her father as well as love and cooperation to brother Nanak. In this way, the loneliness and the sadness in the hearts of members of her parental family were dispelled.