Bibi Bhago

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  • Not to be confused with Mata Bhago or Mai Bhago

Bibi Bhago was the wife of Bhai Manak Chand, who was the brother of Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru and also the brother of Bhai Ishar Das, the father of the famous Sikh scholar Bhai Gurdas. Bibi Bhago was married and settled in the in-laws home in the village of Basarke, about eight miles (12kms) south-west of Amritsar, Punjab, India.

She was the mother of son, Bhai Jasoo and the mother-in-law of Bibi Amro, the daughter of the second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad. Bibi Amro was the daughter of Guru Angad, the second Sikh Guru. She was born in 1532 in the village of Khadur Sahib, District Amritsar.

She received her early education and training directly from her parents Guru Angad Dev and Mata Khivi. Guru Angad spent a lot of time with his children. He taught them the Gurmukhi script that he had revised and simplified which is used in Guru Granth Sahib. When she came of age she was married to Bhai Jasoo son of Bhai Manak Chand and Bibi Bhago of Basarke village.

Traditional account and further details

Giani Gian Singh, writer of Panth Parkash, writes on Page 84 giving an account of the event that lead to Amar Das meeting Guru Angad Dev. Writer of Suraj Parkash also certifies the fact that devotion had manifested itself in the body of Bibi Amro (Dharmatam Gun Roop Lapeti). She was an ideal daughter-in-law who spent her time in meditation, household affairs and service of her in laws - both Bhai Manak Chand and Bibi Bhago.

Amar Das, real brother of Bhai Manak Chand and her husband’s (Bhai Jasoo's) real uncle, lived in the house next to her. He was attracted to the sacred hymn (Shabad) of Guru Nanak sung by Bhai Amro in her sweet melodious voice early in the morning when she was churning curd. He was in a receptive mood and in search of a Guru. The sacred hymn touched his heart. Two last lines from this hymn written on page 990 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib along with their meaning are given below:-

bhaeiaa munoor ku(n)chun fir hovai jae gur milai thinaehaa || 
eaek naam a(n)mrith ouhu dhaevai tho naanuk thrisuttas dhaehaa || 

The mind turned into rusted iron is again transformed into gold if it meets with the (philosopher’s stone of) the Guru. He blesses the mortal with the Ambrosial Name of the One Lord, and then, O Nanak, cease therewith ( the wanderings of)the mind.

Amar Das asked more singing of Gurbani

He approached Bibi Amro through her mother-in-law, Bibi Bhago, and wanted her to repeat that hymn once more. Bibi Amro hesitated, but being encouraged by her mother-in-law, Bibi Bhago, she sang it once again. Amar Das asked her who composed it and where he lived. She said, “It was composed by Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, the predecessor of my father.

I have learnt it from my father, Guru Angad Dev, the second Guru who lives at Khadur”.

She also explained to him the meaning of the whole hymn. His interest grew so much that he wanted to learn more about Sikhism. He asked her to take him to her father. She did not want to go uninvited and more over she had been there only a few days ago.

Bibi Amro repeats the singing of Gurbani

On being asked by her mother-in-law, Bibi Bhago, she accompanied Amar Das to Khadur sahib the next day. Amar Das was 62 and Guru Angad Dev was only 37 at that time. In spite of that Guru Angad Dev stood up out of respect to embrace Amar Das as he was the uncle of his daughter’s husband.

Amar Das fell at the feet of Guru Angad Dev and said, "I have come not as a relative, but as your disciple and follower". Amar Das become a devoted Sikh and Guru Angad Dev made him his successor, preferring him to his own sons. Thus through Bibi Amro, Guru Amar Das got the chance of becoming the Guru and leading the Sikhs.

See also