Mai Bhago ji (archive)

“She is the most beautiful among women who loves the Guru and wears this jewel on her forehead.”

– Guru Nanak Dev ji (AGGS, 54)

Mai Bhago, Mata Bhag Kaur, Sikh Women

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Mata Bhag Kaur detail, Mai Bhago, Mata Bhag Kaur, Sikh Women

Mai Bhago

Mai Bhago ji, mother Bhago ji, was a descendent of Pero Shah, a Muslim Dhillon Jatt who had converted during the time of Guru Arjan Dev ji. Born in a village known as Jhabal, Mai Bhago ji was married to Nidhan Singh Varaich. She is known for persuading the Sikhs – that deserted Guru Gobind Singh ji in difficult times – to apologize for their action. Mughals and hill chiefs had surrounded the fort of Anandpur in Punjab and were demanding it be evacuated. They announced that any Sikh who would say that “he/she is not a Sikh of Guru Gobind anymore” will be left untouched, while others will be done to death.

40 Mukte detail, Chali Mukte, Mai Bhago, Mata Bhag Kaur, Sikh Women

Chali Mukte

A group of forty Sikhs, led by Mahan Singh Brar told Guru Gobind Singh that they were no longer his Sikhs. Guru Sahib asked them to put this in a document and sign it. They all did so, and left Anandpur. When Mai Bhago ji heard of this, she was distressed. She rode to their gathering, and made them realize their mistake. She set off along with them and some other Sikhs, to find the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh ji, who had to evacuate the fort of Anandpur, was now being pursued by the Mughal army. Guru Sahib’s youngest sons got lost in the confusion, and his eldest sons attained martydom in Chamkaur, where he had found temporary shelter. Guru Sahib then evacuated Chamkaur, and travelled in the Malwa region, in Punjab, with several Khalsas. He reached the village of Khidrana, Punjab, where he met up with Mai Bhago and the forty Sikhs. Together, they challenged the pursuing Mughal army, and fought furiously, forcing it to retreat. All forty Sikhs attained martyrdom in this pitched. Mahan Singh, who was fatally injured, died, as the Guru took him into his lap. Guru Gobind Singh then blessed those forty dead as the Forty Liberated Ones, Chali Mukte. He took into his care Mai Bhago ji, who had also suffered injury in the battle. She, thereafter, stayed with Guru Gobind Singh as one of his bodyguards. After the death of Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded in 1708, Mai Bhago ji retired further south. She settled down at Jinvara, 11 km from Bidar in Karnataka where, immersed in meditation, she lived to attain a ripe old age.

Shield detail, Mai Bhago, Mata Bhag Kaur, Sikh Women

Dhal (Shield)

Details of the painting
Mata Bhago ji always reminds me to take an active role in moving myself and those around me, towards the Gurus’ way, towards meditation, social work and martial arts, and she reminds me to be the leader of change and to avoid waiting around for change to “just happen”.

6 Responses to “Mai Bhago ji (archive)”

  1. Bindi Gill September 5, 2015 at 12:00 am Permalink

    Why does your painting of Mai Bhago reminds me of Xena Warrior Princess?

    • Bhagat Bedi September 7, 2015 at 8:50 am Permalink

      Do you like Xena a lot?

      • Bindi Gill September 9, 2015 at 5:23 am Permalink

        Heck. Yes. Which hot blooded man doesn’t?

        • Bhagat Bedi September 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm Permalink

          Ok that’s why you see Xena in her because I actually didn’t know about Xena untill much later haha.

  2. Jasdeep Grewal December 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm Permalink

    WJKK WJKF, veer ji I really like the painting but the colors seemed it bit dull to me for such a great warrior,can you please explain your choice of colors? I hope you make another painting of a women sikh worrior like your nihang painting’s, they are truly amazing, I and am sure many others well appreciate a painting like that, thank you,WJKK,WJKF!

    • Bhagat Bedi December 21, 2015 at 3:18 am Permalink

      Thank you veerji, in my older work I used muted colours to convey a certain mood.

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