Mata Jito Ji or Mata Sundri Ji ?

There seems to be a common thought amongst 'modern' Sikhs that Mata Jito Ji and Mata Sundri Ji were the same person. It is said that Mata Ji was called (Mata) Jito before she was married and once she came to her in-laws they named her (Mata) Sundri. They propogate this as the alternative sits uncomfotably with their western sensibilities and because they look at Guru Ji as someone on the same level as them.

We know that Mata Sundri Ji survived the tenth master for forty years on the basis of hukamnamas written by Mata Sundari ji living in Delhi. Where as we are also certain that Mata Jeeto ji passed away in Anandpur where there exists a Gurdwara Sahib at the place (Agamgarh) where Mata Jeeto ji was cremated.

I would trust more the actual existence of a Gurdwara to commemorate the place where Mata ji was cremated or a source such as Mahan Kosh by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha where the relevant entry is as follows:"Jeeto Mata: Lahore niwasi Harjas subhikeeye khatri di sputri, jis da viah 23 harh samat 1734 (1677) nu Guru Gobind Singh ji naal Anandpur pas Guru ke Lahore hoia. Mata ji di kukh ton Baba Jujhar Singh ji, Baba Zorawar Singh ji ate Baba Fateh Singh ji janme. Mata ji da parlokgaman 13 assu, samat 1757 (1700 AD) nu Anandpur hoia. Aap da dehra Agampur vidman hai. Mata ji da shudh naam amrit sanskar ton pichhon Ajit Kaur Nam si."Translation:

Jeeto Mata: Daughter of Harjas Subhikhi Khatri, resident of Lahore, who was married on 23 Harh, sambat 1734 (1677 AD) to Guru Gobind Singh ji at Guru Ka Lahore near Anandpur. Mata ji gave birth to Baba Jujhar Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh ji, and Baba Fateh Singh ji. Mata ji left for heavenly abode on 13 Assu, Sambat 175 at Anandpur. Her Dehura (monument at cremation site) exists at Agampur. Mata ji's correct name was Ajito and after Amrit Sanskar it became Ajit Kaur.

 

Another reference regarding Mata Jeeto ji's name remaining Jeeto ji till the last moment when she passed away in 1700 AD is 'Guru Kian Sakhian' written by Sarup Singh Kaushish in 1790 and based on the Bhatt Vahis (genaological records kept by Bhatts) he inherited from his Bhatt ancestors. These Bhatt ancestors were those whose writing is included in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Also among these ancestors were Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Mati Das and many other members who laid down their lives for sixth Guru ji in battles and also remained with the subsequent Gurus and were prominent warriors in tenth Guru ji's sikhs. Sarup Singh collected details from these Vahis (genealogical books) that he had with him and even during the twentieth century some of these are now in the possession of Punjabi University Patiala known as Bhatt Vahis.

This book was recently edited and published by Piara Singh Padam in 1986. The relevant quote is from the Sakhi about tenth Guru Ji's temporary move to Nirmohgarh leaving Anandpur. From Nirmohgarh Guru ji moved to Bisali at the request of Raja Salahi Chand of Bisali who was devoted to Guru ji. After some time Guru ji came back to Anandpur. So the narrative continues:

"Guru ji ne Anandpur pahunch ke prithme sarey kilion ki murummat kraee, raja Salahi Chand ki koshish se sare aman amaan hoi gia. Anandpur nagari ke charon disha main sikh sangtan ane lag gayeean. Rajion ne Guru ji ki aan ko maan leea. Anandpur gaon ke charon disha Khalsayee raj kayam ho gia. Parja ko sukh ka saah ane laga.


Isi saal sammat satran sai satwanja (1757, 1700 AD) Pokh privishte chhe veervar ke dihun Mata Jeet Kuir ji Gurpuri piana kar gaye. Satguran ne in ka daah sanskar Agampura nagri ke najdeek jai ke kar deea. Agle divas sat poh shukarvar ke dihun Mata Jeet kuir ke namit sri Guru Granth ji ka paath rakha gia jis ki samapati satarmi te pokh mase baee Shanivar ke dihun teeje pahir hoee."

 

Translation: On reaching Anandpur first thing Guru Ji did was to get all the forts repaired. As a result of Salahi Chand's efforts peace descended all around. From all around Anandpur Sikh Sangats began arriving. The Rajas accepted Guru ji's superiority. Khalsa rule got established (in villages) around Anandpur. The residents (of villages around Anandpur) breathed a sigh of relief.

During this very year Sambat 1757 (1700 AD) in the month of Poh (Dec-Jan) dated 6th on Thursday Mata Jeet Kuir ji passed away. Satguru ji cremated her near the Agampur village. Next day on 7 Poh Friday the reading of Guru Granth was begun in the name of Mata Kuir ji that was completed on the 17th day, the 22 Poh, Saturday in the afternoon.

If we assume that Mata Sundari was none other than Mata jeeto ji herself whose name was changed at the time of her marriage then there should be no Mata Sundari ji surviving after this date. However, we find her very much alive even 40 yerars later. She was in Dehli during 1730's sending letters to sikhs that are still available as evidence.

One other point, if we are to assume that Mata Jito Ji and Mata sundri Ji were the same person then Mata Ji only became famous once she was married to Guru Sahib Ji, before that she would have been a young girl living with her parents. So why do we find a Gurdwara dedicated solely to Mata Jito Ji? If Mata Jito Ji and Mata Sundri Ji were the same person then surely any Gurdwara dedicated to Mata Ji would be named after Mata Sundri Ji since now she was the Mahal (wife) of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, yet we have a Gurdwara with Mata Jito Ji's name thus giving strong evidence that Mata Jito Ji was a person in her own right.

Mata Sundari Ji's father was Bhai Ram Saran a Kumarav Khatri of Bijwara in present Hoshiarpur district and marriage took place on 4 April 1684.

 

 

Marriage with Mata Jeeto Ji

Marriage to Mata Sundri Ji

Birth of S. Ajit Singh Ji to Mata Sundri Ji

Birth of S. Jujhar Singh Ji to Mata Jeeto ji

Birth of S. Zorawar Singh Ji to mata Jeeto Ji

Birth of S. Fateh Singh Ji to Mata Jeeto Ji

July, 1677

May, 1685

November, 1686

March,1690

1697

1699

In the days of the Gurus, society was such that it was not considered as something wrong to have more than one wife, as Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji had two wives and Maharaja Ranjit Singh had many wives.
Today Society has changed the rules.
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