Of Gurus, Queens, Madness and Veils

by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh

There is a story in “The Sikh Religion” by Max Arthur Macauliffe about a Raja from Haripur who came to Goindwal during the reign of Guru Amar Das. He brought his queens with him for the visit. History records a particular event that happened with one of the Raja’s queens. Let me share Macauliffe’s telling (with some slight changes in verb tense to make it easier on the eye):

 "Sawan Mal (one of the Guru’s Sikhs) went in advance to the Guru to announce the Raja’s arrival. The Guru said, ‘Let His Highness come by all means when he has eaten from my kitchen.’ The Guru’s condition was accepted. He received the Raja in private audience on the top story of his house, next in order the Raja’s prime minister, and lastly the Raja’s queens. They were all gratified with a sight of the Guru.

One of the queens lately married would not remove her veil. The Guru quietly said to her, ‘Crazy lady, if you are not pleased with the Guru’s face, why have you come here?’ On this she at once become insane and, casting aside her clothes, ran naked into the forest. Efforts were made to stop her, but she succeeded in escaping and baffling pursuit."

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