Guru Hargobind and Kaulan

by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

Lately, I have been leisurely perusing The Sikh Religion by Max Arthur Macaulifee. It was written nearly 100 years ago in what reads like very formal, Biblical English. For some, the language is too thick to penetrate, but my mind screens out the “Thees� and “Thous.� Longing to glimpse the remarkable history beneath.

Call it my prejudice from all those hours studying feminist theory in college, but the stories in Macauliffe that capture my attention the most are those brief brief passages that describe interactions between the Gurus and the women of their time. There are the famous Sikh women that we all know – Bibi Bani, the wife of Guru Ram Das; Mata Sahib Dev Kaur, the mother of the Khalsa; Mata Gujari, the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur and mother of Guru Gobind Singh.

But in the writing of Macauliffe, one can also find other women’s stories. Kaulan, the daughter of Qazi Rustam Khan who ran away from her father’s home to take residence in Amritsar.

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3 Responses to “Guru Hargobind and Kaulan”

  1. Beta,
    This is awesome. I always have our Akhand Paths done at the Mata Kaulon Gurdwara in Amritsar which is right next to the Golden Temple.

    Fact is, it is a beautiful Gurdwaraa to the memory of a very saintly woman. The Ishnaan Seva that happens there daily at 4 am is done by all people, men and women. So, I like to encourage people to put their energy into this Gurdwara rather than fomenting unhappiness with the status qou at Darbar Sahib.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear All,

    When it comes to Sikh history, I often tend to be a skeptic. But this piece is different because of the way Ek Ong Kar Kaur has weaved the elements of human drama and emotion into her story. So before I talk about my skepticism – I want to applaud her for sharing with us her unique perspective on this part of Sikh history.

    Religion and spirituality are primarily faith-based but history is not. My biggest problem with Sikh history is that it’s replete with bias against Muslims and Islam. I find it rather indefensible when Sikh tradition and psyche treat every single Muslim infraction with righteous indignation but exonerate the much more serious Hindu crimes with nonchalant unconcern. In my judgment, this is a recipe for bad history. History is about truth, about facts – not about beauty and goodness and definitely not about our individual dispositions. And when we subscribe to a flawed history – willfully or out of ignorance – we often enslave everything we cherish including our mind, body and soul.

    It’s precisely for this reason that every Sikh who seeks authenticity – relies more on Gurbani and less on history.

    Regards,

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you ek onkar kaur ji, thank you for bringing history forward and its very important have history and keeping it alive.

    I’m forward for your other posts of our Guru’s history!