Sikh history is incomplete without this woman. She is the cause for change in the status of women and the origin of the Sikh religion. Mata Tripta ji gave birth to our first guru and the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev ji. Although she has failed to receive much recognition in the past, the present tells a much different story, as SMH’s new Mata Tripta Family Birthing Unit is not only a source of pride for the South Asian community, but a reminder of this beautiful mother and the priceless relationship between a mother and child.
Mata Tripta ji and Mehta Kalu resided in a village in Talwind Punjab, which is now a part of Pakistan. When the saints and fakirs, exhausted, came to take rest in the village, Mata Tripta ji would give them shelter and food after their long journey. The couple’s hard work and selfless attitude awarded them the honour of being the parents of Guru Nanak Dev ji, who was put on this earth to help mankind.
From the beginning Guru Nanak Dev ji was a social boy, who was liked by all his friends. He would love to treat his friends with the money his mother would slip him and thus Mata Tripta ji noticed that he was not like the other boys. When he laughed and played with the other boys, she would be overjoyed to watch him. When he would leave his dinner unfinished to go listen to a wandering saint, she would bring him back. When he was distant and in deep thought, her forehead would wrinkle in concern for her son.
Mehta Kalu, fed up with Guru Nanak’s aloofness would scold him, and she would come and pacify him. As Guru Nanak Dev ji grew older, his parents were unable to understand his rebellious nature. But a mother’s love knows no bounds and his mother loved him unconditionally. After he married Bibi Sulakhni and she gave birth to two beautiful sons, Mata Tripta ji was overjoyed with happiness. She had a well of patience and understanding for her son’s mission for which he travelled long and often – she would soothe her daughter-in-law in his absence. As she knew her days were near, she asked for Guru Nanak to stay back and he then performed her last rites. During which he requested that everyone meditate on God’s name and “accept his will, as meditation and prayer is the only solace and reward for this life.”
Guru Nanak Dev ji said, “From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.”
Mata Tripta ji was a peaceful woman; a selfless wife; a devoted mother; a proud grandmother – above all, she is the beginning of our first guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji.