Mata Jito Ji (Ajit Kaur) First Wife of Guru Gobind Singh

A Khalsa Woman in Amrit Ceremony
A Khalsa Woman in Amrit Ceremony. Photo © [Ravitej Singh Khalsa / Eugene, Oregon / USA]

The exact birth-date of Jito Ji is unknown, as is the name of her mother. Her father Hari Jas was a resident of Lahore and was a Subhikkhi of the Khatri Clan. In the year 1673, Hari Jas arranged the betrothal of his daughter to Prince Gobind Rai, the son of Mata Gujri and Ninth Guru Teg Bahadar.

Marriage to Tenth Guru

The marriage of Jito Ji took place about a year and a half after Gobind Rai succeeded his father as the tenth guru.

Hari Jas requested Guru Gobind Rai to follow tradition and bring the groom's wedding party to the bride's hometown of Lahore for the nuptial ceremonies. However, the circumstances of Guru Teg Bahadar's martyrdom made it inadvisable for Guru Gobind Singh to travel far from home. The guru's maternal uncle Kirpal Chand arranged for a meeting place to be set up nearby and tents erected just north of Anandpur close to the village Basantghar and called the camp Guru ka Lahore. Jito Ji's family joined Guru Gobind Rai his mother and Uncle and the marriage festivities commenced. The wedding between Jito Ji and Guru Gobind Rai took place the 23rd day of Har, SV year 1734, or on June 21, 1677, A.D. The groom was 11 years old when he married Jito Ji. The bride's exact age at the time of her marriage to the tenth guru is unknown.

Co-Wife to Sundri

After seven years of marriage without children, Jito Ji's husband Guru Gobind Rai married again after his mother, Mata Gujri, urged him to take another wife.

Sundari, the daughter of new Sikh convert Ram Saran of Bivjara, wed the guru in April of 1684 A.D. and became co-wife to Jito Ji. Three years later, Sundari gave birth to the guru's eldest son Ajit in 1687 A.D.

Mother of Sons

In the year 1690 A.D., after nearly 13 years of marriage, Jito Ji became pregnant.

She gave birth to her first son, (the guru's second son) in the spring of 1691 A.D. During the next eight years, Jito Ji conceived two more times, and became the mother of three of the tenth guru's four sons:

  • *Jujhar Singh born the first day in dark half of Magh, SV year 1753, or Sunday, March 14, 1691, A.D.
  • *Zorawar Singh born seventh of day Chet, SV year 1747, or November 17, 1696, A.D.
  • Fateh Singh born the 11th day of Phagan, SV year 1755, or Wednesday, February 25, 1699, A.D.
  • * Birth order according to Encyclopaedia of Sikhism by Harbans Singh

First Khalsa Woman

A few weeks after the birth of his youngest son, the tenth guru established the Khalsa order on April 14th during the Vaisakhi spring festival of 1699. Guru Gobind Rai took the name of Singh and created the Panj Pyare, a council of five to administer the immortalizing Amrit to Khalsa initiates. Jito Ji entered the initiation ceremony where, turn by turn, while reciting prayers, the five stirred the Amrit nectar in an iron bowl with a double edge sword. Jito Ji sweetened the nectar adding bits of puffed cane sugar to the Amrit in the bowl. She then submitted herself for initiation and received the name of Kaur, becoming Ajit Kaur, the first Khalsa woman.

Death and Memorial

Ajit Kaur spent much time in deep meditation. She talked with her husband and told Guru Gobind Singh that she had a vision in which she glimpsed the future strife and turmoil that Khalsa warriors would have to face which would include the sacrifices of their young son's lives. The mother of three young sons, the youngest not yet two years of age, her tender heart grieved sorely, and she begged release. Just 20 months after her initiation, Ajit Kaur expired and left her earthly body on December 5, 1700, A.D. Her funeral rites and cremation took place in Agampura not far from Holgah Fort near Anandpur. A memorial in honor of Ajit Kaur marks the cremation site at Gurdwara Mata Jito Ji on Garshankar Road, Anandpur.

Jito Ji and Sundari Co-Wife Controversy

Co-wives Jito Ji and Sundari have been the subject of much controversy.

Historical records indicate the two were born in different locations, had different parents, were married at different times, died 40 years apart, and were cremated in different locations. However, in 1984, Dr. Gurbakhs Singh fueled a controversy hypothesizing that the two women were in fact one.

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