Kaulan was a women who was a free spirit and wanted to explore her
surroundings. She had been adopted by a
Muslim priest called Rustam Khan. He was
Pakistan. Qazi Rustam Khan had bought her
from her parents while she was a child. It is possible that her parents were
Hindus. The Qazi gave her the education of
Islam and sent her to
Saint Mian Mir for higher schooling.
Mian Mir was a
Sufi saint. He had no prejudice against any
religion. He had a very deep love with
Guru Nanak's Institution. It was usual for
him to go to
Amritsar to meet the
Guru Arjan Dev ji. Whenever the Guru
Lahore, he never went back without seeing
Saint Mian Mir. Due to these meetings, Saint Mian Mir knew a large number of
Guru's verses by heart which he used to quote to his disciples.
Kaulan also remembered some of the verses by heart which she used to recite
herself as she found them very touching and allowed her to relate to God.
Her attachment to the Guru's institution increased further when she saw the
Guru Hargobind and the
Sikhs came from
Lahore at the time of the plague epidemic
and nursed the patients with their own hands. The dedication of the Sikhs to
serve God was something that impressed Kaulan ji as she too was a disciple
of the true Guru.
Qazi father rebukes Mata ji
day, Qazi Rustam Khan heard Bibi Kaulan reciting Guru Nanak's verses at
home. He rebuked her and said "Do not recite these verses of the infidels in
Kaulan Said, "Dear father!
Saint Mian Mir bows in all humility to the
man you call an infidel and thinks it a privilege to be seated by his side.
It is unbecoming to call the man an infidel whom the saint hold in such
qazi gave a sound thrashing to Bibi Kaulan on hearing the praise of the
Gurus from her and said, "I do not want that you recite the verses of these
infidels even unintentionally."'
Between her sobs Bibi Kaulan said, "You may
beat me to death but I cannot live without reciting these verses."
angered Qazi Rustam Khan immensely. He went and asked other Qazis, "Kaulan
persists with reciting the verses of the infidels inspite of my beating.
What remedy should be adopted?"
much discussion, they said, "It is a great sin for the Momins (believers of
Islam) to praise the infidels and recite their word. Kaulan should be
beheaded for this sin."
Hazrat Mian Mir is appalled !
the wife of Qazi Rustam Khan learned that the Qazis had declared Bibi Kaulan
an apostate and had ordered her execution (even in today's Lahore, any
Muslim who is declared apostate, is sentenced to death) she rushed her
adopted daughter to
Saint Mian Mir, who knew that the only
course of action was to get Bibi Kaulan to the safety of Guru Hargobind's
protection at Amritsar. He asked one of his disciple Abdullah Yaar Khan
(also given as Abdul Yar Khan) to escort Kaulan Ji safely to Amritsar where
would be safely beyond the Qazis' reach. At Amritsar
Guru Hargobind made arrangements for
separate accommodations for Bibi Kaulan.
Hargobind took over the role
of her spiritual guidance from Mian Mir. Under the Guru's guidance, Kaulan
was free to meditate and sing the Bani of the Gurus that she had refused to
abandon even after her adopted father had threatened her with death. Guru
Hargobind instructed some of his sikhs to construct a building to serve as
her living quarters, next to a pond beyond the
Harmandir Sahib. He told her not to worry,
that she could spend her time as she pleased. Even before leaving
Lahore, Kaulan had spent hours in deep
meditation and prayer often singing the hymns of Guru Nanak.
her new home in the Guru’s court, she continued her routine of study and
meditation. It is said that when Guru Hargobind saw her continual
contemplation on the Divine, he was deeply pleased with her devotion. In
order to protect that devotion and give it shelter, so it could flourish, he
took care of her completely. Soon the devotion of the Guru's new charge,
earned the respect of the Guru's sikhs, who took to calling her Mata Kaulan.
Mata ji becomes ill
years after the completion of the tank in
Amritsar, Kaulan became ill. Ever her
Protector, Guru Hargobind came to see her regularly. She was so weak, she
could hardly speak. Guru Hargobind could see that she had only another day
to live – another 24 hours. As she lay there, weak in body, with little
voice, he took her through the experience of her life. How lucky she was, it
is reported he said, that she left the company of people who had no sense to
see the Divine.
fortunate that she had come into the company of the Guru and the Sikhs to
meditate and pray. With his compassion, he guided her to assess her life and
see that there was no reason to feel pain about leaving her family – but
only joy at how her life had been transformed.
he began to give her spiritual instructions that would guide her through the
last 24 hours of her life. He directed her to keep meditating and reflecting
Akal Moorat – on the deathless spirit that
lived within her. Death could not touch her spirit, her awareness – it was
only an illusion. For the next 24 hours, the Guru instructed, she should do
nothing but meditate on the Creator, and stay present with that Deathless
Awareness inside of herself. He promised that he would come at the moment of
Mata ji last moment with the Guru
hours later, as he had promised,
Guru Hargobind returned to Kaulan’s side.
Macauliffe’s account of Kaulan’s last moment is very precise and very
moving; so let me just share with you what he wrote.
Guru proceeded to Kaulan’s apartments and addressed her consolatory words.
‘Be ready. Prepare thyself. Thine hour hath come. Dismiss all consideration
for thy body and fix thine attention on God, who is unborn and imperishable.
The world is unreal and only shineth with His light. The soul is pure, real,
conscious, happy. As long as man is proud of his body he is subject to birth
and death. But when he hath obtained divine knowledge and passed beyond the
bounds of love and hate, then he obtaineth deliverance.’
Kaulan, after meditating on the Guru’s instruction, again opened her eyes,
she addressed her last words to the Guru. ‘I thank thee! I thank thee! O
patron of the homeless that I found shelter in thee. Thou didst in a moment
confer on me the position which Jogis for years vainly strive to attain.
Thou didst dispel the ignorance which hung over my millions of births like
an inveterate disease.’ She then fixed her attention on God, repeated ‘Waheguru,’
and heaving her last breath departed to the heaven of her aspirations.
Guru ordered her maids and manservant to prepare her for the last rites. Her
maids bathed her and clothed her in a shroud and costly shawl. While the
minstrel sang the Guru’s hymns, her body was removed to the garden attached
to her dwelling and there cremated. The Sohila was read and prayers offered
for the repose of her soul.”
immortalize the memory of Bibi Kaulan's resolve to remain firm on her words,
the Guru constructed a pool named
Kaulsar in 1627 A.D. Bibi Kaulan died at
Kartarpur in 1630 A.D.