RAJANI, BIBIRAJANI, BIBI, was, according to a tradition recorded by Giani Gian Singh, Panth Prakash, the youngest of the five daughters of Duni Chand, a 16th century Kaura Khatri and a rich landlord and revenue collector of Patti, an old town 44 km southwest of Amritsar. Once, during a conversation, while the four elder daughters expressed their indebtedness to their father alone for the comforts and luxury they enjoyed, Rajant differed from them saying that, though their father was no doubt kind to them, the source of all bounty was God, the sustainer of entire existence. Duni Chand, a vainglorious man, was annoyed at the views of the child whom he rebuked for what he considered her ungratefulness. In order to teach her a lesson, he married her to Vikram Datt, a poor leper of Patti itself.
Rajant, unshaken in her faith in God, served her husband with devotion. Carrying her helpless husband in a basket on her head, she lived on the proceeds other own labour and alms given by compassionate householders. One day she happened to visit the site where Guru Ram Das (1534-81) was in the process of founding a new habitation, Amritsar of modern day. Rajant sat her invalid husband under a ber tree (Zizyphus mauritiand) on the bank of a pond and went to bring food from the langar or free kitchen she knew the Guru maintained.
Vikram Datt, Rajam`s husband, while sitting alone under the tree had a vision. He saw, so goes the tradition, a crow having a dip in the pond and emerging from it with its colour turned pure white. Vikram Datt got an inspiration. He dragged himself to the water, bathed in it, and was instantly and completely cured of leprosy.
Rajant, on her return, could hardly believe her eyes. The couple then went and reported the mircale to Guru Ram Das, who decided to develop the pond into a properly lined tank. He called the lank Amritsar, the Pool of Nectar, which name in due course passed on to the habitation as well. The ber tree near which Bibi Rajani`s husband had washed his affliction away came to be known as Dukhbhanjani (eradicator of woes) Ben.
It can still be seen in the parikramd or circumam bulatory terrace around the pool in the middle of which stands today the famed Golden Temple. A gurudwara and a women`s college at Patti are named after Bibi Rajani.
1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratdp Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsd [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
3. Amole, S.S., Amritsar. Patiala, 1975