NANAKI, MATA (d. 1678), mother of Guru Tegh Bahadur, was born to Hari Chand and Hardei, a well to do Khatri couple of Bakala, in the present district of Amritsar. She was married to Guru Hargobind in April 1613. Tegh Bahadur, the youngest of the five sons of Guru Hargobind, was born to her on 1 April 1621. It is said that the Guru on seeing the newborn babe predicted auspiciously: “Of my five sons, he shall take the office of Guru.”

The fond mother rejoiced at the prophecy, but, although Tegh Bahadur grew up into a healthy youth and even exhibited military prowess in the battle of Kartarpur, he seemed to take little interest in worldly affairs. He remained always saturated in the remembrance of God and spoke but little. This raised misgivings in Mata Nanaki`s heart about her son succeeding his father on the throne of Guru Nanak. Besides, her husband had lately started bestowing special favours upon his grandson, Har Rai.

However, when she unburdened her heart to Guru Hargobind, he simply repeated his prophecy and advised her to rejoice in God`s Will. Guru Hargobind passed away on 3 March 1644. Mata Nanaki, obeying her husband`s command, removed to Bakala along with her son and daughter-in-law.Twenty years later, the prophecy was fulfilled and her son was anointed Guru on 11 August 1664.

The family moved back to the Sivalik foothills where Guru Tegh Bahadur founded, on 19 June 1665, a new habitation which he named, after his mother, Chakk Nanaki. Soon after this, however, the Guru set out on a long journey, through the Malva region and what is now Uttar Pradesh, to the eastern parts visiting old sangats. Mata Nanaki accompanied him. Guru Tegh Bahadur had been married since his early youth but had been without off spring.

Mata Nanaki had longed to sec a grandson, and none was happier than her when Gobind Rai was born on 22 December 1666 at Patna.But as the family returned to the Punjab in 1670, the shadows of a gathering gloom were already appearing in the distant horizon. Guru Tegh Bahadur`s increasing concern at the bigoted policies of the Delhi ruler gave rise to forebodings also in the mother`s heart. Her worst fears proved true when, on 16 November 1675, she saw the severed head of her martyred son brought to Chakk Nanaki.

The grief stricken mother was consoled by her grandson, Guru Gobind Singh. Mata Nanaki, re-asssured by the quiet dignity of the young Guru, lived on for another few years. She died in 1678. NANAK MATA in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh is sacred to Guru Nanak and Guru Hargobind.In old times, it was the home of the Siddha yogis.

It was named Gorakh Mata after their principal teacher Gorakhnath. During his encounter with yogis, Guru Nanak had expatiated on the value of the householder`s way, and an UdasT Sikh, Almost by name, had set up a missionary seat on that spot. The place was visited by Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind, as well. In modern times, one of the local Nawabs, made a liberal land grant to the shrine.

The present Gurdwara is managed by a committee of prominent local Sikhs. It has a magnificent four storey domed building in a huge compound with ancillary buildings for staff and pilgrims. A sarovar, Nanak Sagar, has been formed by damming the adjoining stream Dcoha. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Tara Singh, Sri Gur Tirnth Sangrahi. Amritsar, n.d. 2. Tliakar Singh, Giani, Sri Gurdudre Dnrshan. Amritsar, 1923 3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsd [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970

References :

1. Sohan Kavi, Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi. Amritsar, 1968
2. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10. Patiala, 1968
3. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar. 1927-35
4. Gian Singh, Giani, Panth Prakash. Delhi, 1880
5. Macauliffc, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909
6. Trilochan Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur: Prophet and Martyr. Delhi, 1967
7. Harbans Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur: Delhi, 1982.