20. Bibi Nanaki
Bibi Nanaki ji (1464-1518) was the elder sister of Guru Nanak and the daughter of Kalyan Chand Mehta (Mehta Kalu) and Mata Tripta. She was born in 1464 in her mother's home at the village of Chahal, now in Lahore district of Pakistan Punjab. The Guru's love for his sister is referred to in most touching terms in some of the Sakhis. A sister's love for her brother is a perennial theme of Punjabi folklore. There are many stories of Nanaki's deep and devoted affection for her brother, Nanak. Bibi Nanaki was five years older then Guru Nanak, she was the first to recognize his spiritual eminence and to become his devotee. She is often credited as becoming the first Sikh. She protected Nanak from their father's wrath, when repeatedly he disappointed and angered him. She was with him throughout the early years of his childhood. When Guru Nanak Dev was only six years old in 1475, Nanaki was married to Bhai Jai Ram, a revenue official of very good reputation, at Sultanpur, which is in the present-day native state of Kapurthala, and was then the capital of the Jalandhar Doab. Nanak continued to live at home. He rebelled against Hindu ritual customs and rites that were imposed without reason. He loved to be in the company of saints, and gave money away to the poor and the hungry. His father despaired of never being able to make him behave and take on a respectable employed position in the village. Rai Bular, who revered young Guru Nanak, got continuous reports of Mehta Kalu's ire directed towards him. One day he invited Bhaiyya Jai Ram to his home, and advised him to take him to Sultanpur with him and get him employment with the Nawab Daulat Khan of Sultanpur. He wrote a letter of recommendation for young Guru Nanak and so, at the age of fifteen, Nanak came to live with his sister, and to work as a mamager of the royal granaries and provision stores of the Nawab of Sultanpur. It was Bhai Jai Ram who arranged the wedding of Nanak to Sulakhani, daughter of Baba Mool Chand Khatri and Mata Chando Rani of the village Pakhoke, District Gurdaspur. Bibi Nanaki adored her brother, Nanak, and felt herself blessed when he came to join the Nawab's service and stayed with her at Sultanpur. Childless, she loved Guru Nanak's sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das, as if they were her own. Guru Nanak reciprocated her affection and after he had quit the Nawab's service to go out to preach his message, he did not fail to visit Sultanpur and meet with his sister between trips. Once as he visited her in 1518, Bibi Nanaki sensing her end near, detained him a short while. Soon, she departed this life , as she had wished, in the presence of her brother – Guru Nanak Dev ji. Three days later, her husband, Bhai Jai Ram Ji, also passed away. Guru Nanak performed their obsequies. There is no doubt that, perhaps, the first Gur Sikh was none other than Bibi Nanaki and second Gursikh was Rai Bular, the ruler of Talwandi.