KHĪVĪ, MĀTĀ (d.1582), wife of Gurū Aṅgad, was the daughter of Bhāī Devī Chand, a well-to-do Marvāhā Khatrī of village Saṅgar, 4 km north of Khaḍūr Sāhib in present-day Amritsar district of the Punjab. She was, on 15 November 1519, married to Bhāī Lahiṇā (later Gurū Aṅgad), then living at Khaḍūr . To her were born two sons, Dāsū and Dātū, and two daughters, Amaro and Anokhī. Bhāī Lahiṇā, after his first meeting with Gurū Nānak in 1532, left his presence but rarely. Mātā Khīvī stayed behind in Khaḍūr, looking after the children. Succeeding Gurū Nānak in 1539, Bhāī Lahiṇā (now Gurū Aṅgad) made Khaḍūr his principal seat. Disciples began to pour in from far and near to have a glimpse of the Gurū and to receive instruction. Mātā Khīvī now took it upon herself to look after the pilgrims and supervise Gurū kā Laṅgar, the community refectory, which remained open from morning till late in the evening. For her constant attention to it, the Laṅgar came to be called after her name as Mātā Khīvī Jī kā Laṅgar. Bard Balvaṇḍ, in his verses preserved in the Gurū Granth Sāhib, says how Khīvī, the noblest of women, provided comfort to pilgrims like a tree with deep leafy shade and how she distributed riches in the Laṅgar such as khīr, i.e. rice cooked in milk, enriched with ghee which tasted like ambrosia itself (GG, 967). Mātā Khīvī survived her husband to live through the times of Gurū Amar Dās and Gurū Rām Dās. She died at Khaḍūr in 1582.


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Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)