JĪTOJĪ, MĀTĀ, the first wife of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh who died in 1700, was the daughter of Bhāī Harī Jas, a Subhikkhī Khatrī of Lahore. The betrothal had taken place in 1673. The father-in-law had desired that the bridegroom should come at the head of a marriage party to Lahore where the ceremony should be performed with due dignity. But the fateful events leading to the martyrdom of Gurū Tegh Bahādur intervened, and in the changed circumstances it was not possible for the young Gurū to go to Lahore. Therefore, a temporary encampment was raised near the village of Basantgaṛh, 10 km north of Anandpur, and named Gurū kā Lahore where the nuptials were held on 23 Hāṛ 1734 Bk/21 June 1677. Three sons were born to Mātā Jītojī -- Jujhār Siṅgh (14 March 1691), Zorāwar Siṅgh (17 November 1696) and Fateh Siṅgh (25 February 1699). As Gurū Gobind Siṅgh was preparing amrit for initiating the Khālsā, on 30 March 1699, stirring clean water in an iron bowl with a khaṇḍā or double-edged sword, Mātā Jītojī, as the tradition goes, came with sugar crystals which were dropped into the vessel at the Gurū's bidding. Sweetness was thus added to the alchemy of steel. Mātā Jītojī died at Anandpur on 5 December 1700. The cremation took place at Agampurā, near the Holgaṛh Fort. A memorial shrine now stands upon the spot.
Shamsher Siṅgh Ashok