24. Bibi Sachansach
When any one wanted an audience with Guru Amar das, they had to comply with some simple instructions. First, they had to eat from the Guru's kitchen with all his other guests regardless of status or gender. Women were asked to remove their veils. The Raja of Haripur was no exception. He came with his entourage of wives, and all were asked to have a meal first. The youngest wife was very shy and refused to remove her veil. The Guru asked her what the problem was. In those days, women never ate with men and were certainly not used to he spoken to by men. The poor girl was totally confused and embarrassed. She ran out to hide herself. The Raja wanting to please the Guru, feigned disgust with her behaviour and abandoned her altogether. Thus, when he returned home, she was left behind, alone and frightened. This was 500 years ago, when women were not able to work and support themselves independently. This poor girl was far away from family and friends. She hid in the forest, and people said she went totally insane. The Guru had many disciples and they all did their chores together and listened to the Guru's teaching. There was one such man who came from a place near Shaikhupura which is now in Pakistan. He left his home and joined the Guru's camp at Goindwal. He took upon himself the responsibility of bringing firewood daily for the kitchen. One day, while he was in the forest, he had a terrible clash with an insane woman. She was filthy, her clothes were torn, and her hair was matted. He startled her when he accidently tripped over her. She reacted by screaming and biting and clawing. He managed to subdue her with kind words and a strong arm. Covering her with his shawl, he brought her to the Guru. After taking a bath and eating well in the kitchen, the lady was invited to join the congregation and listen to the prayers and the teachings. A great peace entered her soul and she was able to slowly regain her strength and self-esteem. She was once thc Rani of Haripur, but no one knew her real name. As she grew stronger and joined the others in chores as well as prayers, she was often heard muttering "sachan sach" meaning "truth is truth". This soon became her nickname. As time passed, she became totally cured, and showed and good intelligence. The Guru was immpressed with her commitment and devotion. She eventually married the gentleman who had rescued her against her will from the forest. Mata Sachan Sach was made a masand and sent with her hushand to his home in west-Punjab to preach the word of God.