MATA TRIPTA JI
In the annals of Sikh history, the greatness of Mata Tripta Ji, the mother of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, deserves to be celebrated. Mehta Kalu, and his wife Mata Tripta Ji, lived in Talwandi, Punjab, which is now part of Pakistan. Weary saints and 'fakirs' would take rest here, and, from their home Mehta Kalu and Mata Tripta welcomed all these passers-by. God rewarded their service for others; Hence, Mata Tripta Ji was blessed with the honour of giving birth to God's own messenger Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who came to redeem mankind.
No poet has ever been able to convey the ethereal beauty attained by Mata Tripta Ji when she was expecting Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Of the many prophets that have visited the earth, many of their mothers were unable to celebrate in the joys of rearing such wondrous offspring. For example; in Hinduism, Mata Devaki, the mother of Krishan Ji, was unable to fulfil her maternal role as she languished in jail. She yearned for her child, and he too missed the love of his mother. In Christianity, Mary, the mother of Jesus, endured disbelief and prejudice, as a result of the 'immaculate conception' and 'virgin birth' of Jesus. Buddha's mother died on the day of his birth, and he was reared by his mother's sister. Trishula, the mother of Mahavir, was constantly tormented by nightmares before his birth. In contrast to all of these examples, Mata Tripta Ji was happy and peaceful throughout her pregnancy with the great saviour Guru Nanak Dev Ji, meditating constantly on God's name. No other mother can have been more fortunate than her, in rearing the saviour Nanak so peacefully. On giving birth to Guru Nanak Dev Ji, she was blessed with all the joys of motherhood as she raised him and cherished him.
Watching her son grow, Mata Tripta Ji increasingly realised how unlike other children he was. Seeing the different facets of his personality develop, fascinated her; when he laughed and played, like other children, she was full of joy; however when became quiet and contemplative, she felt anxious; when he left his meals unfinished to go and listen to the sermons of the 'sadhus', she would be the one to bring him back home; when he fell into deep, meditative sleeps, she would be the one who would worry.
Mehta Kalu often became angry at Nanak for his detachment and aloofness from worldly matters, and in such instances Mata Tripta would explain to her daughter Nanaki, who was very close to Guru Nanak Dev Ji, "Please try not to spoil your brother too much, and try to make him understand not to upset his father." When Mehta Kalu became angry and scolded Nanak, she would pacify him, and explain to him that they had been blessed with Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who was a messenger from God.
On the occasion that Guru Nanak Dev Ji did the "Sacha Sauda" (i.e. the incident when his father gave him money to buy some bargains from the nearest town, but Nanak used that money instead to buy food for some starving sadhus' he met on the way), Mehta Kalu was furious, but Mata Tripta Ji's heart melted as she realised the greatness of her son's action, and, taking Nanak into her embrace, she hugged him gently and chided "my darling son, try not to go wandering off."
When Guru Nanak Dev Ji got married and his wife Bibi Sulakhni came to their home, Mata Tripta Ji was thrilled. She was overjoyed on the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji's first son, Sri Chand and distributed sweetmeats throughout the village, and on the birth of his second son, Lakhmi Chand, she could barely contain her joy.
During many travels of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, though she herself desperately missed her beloved son, Mata Tripta Ji selflessly, always comforted and guided Bibi Sulakhni. On Guru Nanak Dev Ji's return to Talwandi, she knew her end was nigh so she implored him to stay. As Guru Nanak Dev Ji touched her feet to receive her blessings, she pulled him instead into one last loving embrace. It was in 1522 that she left this earth. Guru Nanak Dev Ji performed her last rites himself, and instructed everyone that there was no need for any rituals to be performed and everyone should meditate on God's name instead, as meditation and prayer is the only solace and reward for this life.
Mata Tripta Ji had always been of a very high spiritual level, and thus the great honour of being the mother of the great saviour Guru Nanak Dev Ji was bestowed upon her.
Bibi Gurdev Kaur M.A., B.Ed., Founder Sikh Nari Manch UK
Shromani Baal Sahitkaar (best children's writer) Punjab Govt 1997