The Fourth Role of a Woman
In the home of Khalsa I marry and I by following in the steps of Bibi Amro Ji I become the proper daughter-in-law. In this day and age it is easy to become a wife but nearly impossible to become a daughter-in-law. That is why it is very important for us to look at the life of Bibi Ji and see where we went wrong. Bibi Amro Ji was willing to learn, use it to create her own identity and then live out her destiny.
Bibi Amro Ji’s willingness to learn made her life extraordinary for the time period because she had an academic education. Bibi Ji was educated not only in the household ways but also educated in reading and writing Gurmukhi. Traditionally the women of that time period only received a domestic education because it seemed useless to receive an academic one. But Bibi Ji’s received both and used it to learn Gurbani by heart and be capable of doing all the household work at same time. This way when Bibi Ji got married, she was able to sing Gurbani as she worked. One day while she was working in the kitchen her husband’s uncle, Guru Amar Das Ji, who lived next door heard her and got inspired. Guru Amar Das Ji immediately came over and requested Bibi Ji’s mother-in-law to ask Bibi Ji to sing Gurbani again and tell him all about it. Bibi Ji did just that and Guru Amar Das Ji went to go serve Bibi Ji’s father Guru Angad Dev Ji. Guru Amar Das Ji later would become the third Guru of the Sikhs, all because of Bibi Ji’s willingness to get all-rounder education. Bibi Ji inspired the third Guru, why today we are so unwilling to get all-rounder education and inspire our families on the path of Sikhi. An all-rounder education today would mean learning from our mothers the way of the house, not just an academic education. Only when we are capable of running our homes, we can inspire our families. Let’s all be like Bibi Amro Ji and learn everything we can also inspire our families.
When we inspire others and make them happy, we get the chance to use that to create our own identity. Bibi Amro Ji inspired the third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji and in turn she was able to preach Sikhi freely. It was almost unheard of in those times for women to preach but Guru Amar Das Ji made her in charge of one of the twenty-two teaching districts (manji). In fact you can credit Bibi Ji for much of the things that Guru Amar Das Ji did for the equality of women. She was his inspiration; he wanted more women to have the chance she did, so they could inspire more Sikhs. So through her ability to inspire she made just as big, if not bigger impact on Sikhi then she did with her preaching after she received charge. That should be reminder to all Sikh women that if we our good daughter-in-laws we can accomplish more then we could with just whatever our profession is. Bibi Amro Ji is a prime example that you can be a family person and still accomplish your dreams.
Bibi Ji has to be the first women in Sikh history that held a job outside of her home successfully. Bibi Ji had the responsibility of collecting revenues and making decisions for the welfare of people that lived in the area of which she was in charge. That included the village Basarke, where she lived with her family. Bibi Ji was so good at her job that she is credited along with other Sikh preachers for making Amritsar what it is today. There also has been sarovar (manmade pool of water) created in her memory, so she is never forgotten. How did she mange that in the time period where women barely left their homes? She managed it with the support of her family, her in-laws. She didn’t try to do everything on her own; she included her family in everything. She asked permission of her in-laws before doing anything as a way of giving them respect. She gave her in-laws love and respect and in turn they accommodated her so she could preach and do her job. That is where we go wrong today; we don’t work with our in-laws. We are so busy trying to create our own identity, that we forget without the help of our in-laws its double work. Double work in the sense, we now have to work in the real world and run our own homes. If we lived all together peacefully like Bibi Amro Ji, we would have someone to help us out at home. Through teamwork with our loved ones, we can accomplish anything.
That’s what being a daughter-in-law is all about, it’s about moving forward with your family. It is pointless to be at the top if you are there by yourself. Today we think it is hard to live in joint families because we don’t get as much privacy as we like. But what we forget is that if we lived in harmony with our family and look out for them, they’ll do the same for you. Yes, sometimes things don’t work out in a joint family but we can’t give up without even trying. It is a humbly request to every women marrying into a joint family to think like Bibi Amro Ji and not go in with a negative thoughts or vibes. Following in the steps of Bibi Ji we can accomplish more then we could ever imagine.