Gurudwara Mai Than – Agra
The ninth Guru Sri Tegh Bahadur on his way to Patna visited Agra. Earlier this city had also been graced by the visit of Guru Nanak Dev. According to available records the fourth Guru Sri Ram Das along with’Bhai GurDas had so stayed in Agra when they were assigned important mission by Sri Guru Amar Das to represent Sikhism in Akbar’s Court. A Devout disciple lady invited Guru Tegh Bahadur to her house where he stayed for a day or two. Her name was Mai Jassi. The site of house has become a Shrine and is known as Gurdwara Maithan.
Agra attained fame during Mughal period as it became the capital city. And it is for the Mughal glory, epitomised by the world famous Taj Mahal that Agra has become such a major tourist attraction. The massive grandeur of its fort also impresses the visitors. The Gurdwara is located in a narrow street near Ghatia Chowk in a ward which is also named Mai Than Mohalla after the Gurdwara. Here was the house of a Devoted Sikh lady, Mai Jassi, who had long cherished a desire to see the Guru and present to him a length of cloth made from cotton yarn spun by herself. Guru Tegh Bahadur visited her at her house shortly before his was arrest in 1675 and accepted her offering. It is a three-storey building with the sanctum in a spacious hall on the ground floor, where Guru Granth Sahib is seated in a canopied seat of white marble. Rooms on the upper floors are available to staff and pilgrims for administrative and residential purposes. The Gurdwara is registered as Sri Guru Singh Sabha and is administered by Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Central Board, a registered body.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, while returning from his travel (Udaasi) of South came to Agra via Ruhelkhand, Shivpuri and Gwalior and blessed this land with his visit. At that time Agra was just a small hamlet. Here lived a beautiful young women named Jassi, who acknowledge lord Krishna’s idol as her husband. She beautified herself, danced a sang before it. On meeting Guru Ji she asked him the way to meet God and Guru Ji answered her with his holy thoughts. She was so much inspired by Guru Ji’s teaching that from the day itself she left idol worship & become earnest Devotee of Guru Ji and started preaching his teachings. Her home become the centre of techings of Sikhism, At the time of fourth Guru, Guru Ram Das Ji, Bhai GurDas Ji an epitome of Sikhism during his sojourn of two and a half years stayed at Mata Jassi Ji`s home (Gurudwara Maithan) and preached sikhism here and also wrote ‘Kavitt Swaiye’ in Agra. Mata Jassi Ji also got the opportunity to meet 6th Guru, Guru HarGobind Sahib Ji. She was about 175 years of age.
When Makhan Shah Lubhana, was in search of True Lord, and finally met Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji, It become a belief among Sikhs that whenever a Sikh remembers his god with full Devotion, he will always find HIM by his side.
Acknowledging Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji, as true lord Nawab of Faizabad, gifted HIM a horse, Chacha Faggu of SasaRam (Bihar) presented HIM a bed with a thought that Guru Ji will be seated on this & Mata Jassi Ji thought of gifting HIM a roll of cloth made by her own hands.
Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji preffered to live in peace and avoid any abrasions. His main aim in life was to spread Guru Nank Dev Ji’s teaching and therefore under this thought of preaching Sikhism he started his travel towards east.. He founded a new township ‘Anandpur Sahib’ & traveled extensively to many parts of the country. He traveled to Ambala, Patiala, Rohtak, Delhi, Mathura and reached at Mata Jassi Ji’s home on approximately 1664-65 A.D and it was then he was offered a roll of cloth (THAN) by Mata Ji which was made by her own hands and therefore the name Mai Than.
Guru Ji stayed here for about a month during his sojourn he was requested by his Devotees for availability of pure and sweet water as the water of Agra was not healthy for drinking. On hearing their plea of Mata Jassi Ji and the Sangat, Guru Ji himself laid the foundation of the well, which was hence Developed by his Devotees. the water of this well was sweet and pure and the people were very happy. This holy well as still standing erect in Gurudwara Sahib premises & is treated as holy and pure.
Mata Ji got the opportunity to meet Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji second time, when Guru Ji reached Agra via Anandpur Sahib, Bangar (Haryana) for arrest on hearing the plea of Kashmiri Brahmins in 1675 AC. On meeting Guru Ji, Mata Ji expressed her fear as she thought, that her last days were near and because she did not have only heir, her name will have no existence in future. On this Guruji replied that one’s who have heirs there name is carried forward only till a generation or two, but the one’s who are earnest Devotees and are connected to God, their name lasts forever .Guru Ji said you have been blessed to meet Guru Nanak Dev Ji and have been true to your religion all your life, so till the date Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s name is preached by the world so will your be remembered in Sikh history. Then Mata Ji asked Guru ji that the charity done by the heirs reaches their anscetors in heaven after their death but as I don’t have any will I get nothing in heaven?
Guru Ji replied that Mata Ji, with the teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and said, all the work done by you will be paid back to you and your home will be holy place, Sangat will assemble here and there will be langers dedicated to you. You will always be remembered by the generations to come. After this Guru Ji gave his arrest through Hasan Ali, a shephard, who was rewarded 500 gold coins for this by the Mughal Government.
After the death of Mata Jassi Ji Nirmale Santo of UDasi Community undertook the responsibility to look after the place and preached Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings and his name is enShrined here forever. Then in 1918, S. Bahadur Dharam Singh Ji initiated the Development of the Gurudwara Sahib`s building. Gyani Sadhu Singh Ji “Bhora” – Jathhedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Bhai Amar Singh Ji – member SGPC Amritsar, S. Gurbaksh Singh Ji Nanda, Bhai Kishan Singh Ji gave their Devotion and co-operation to the Gurudwara Sahib by serving as sevadars. Sikhism was immensely preached in the areas of Agra, Bharatpur, Aligarh by them along with the co-operation of SGPC Amritsar. Thousands of people baptized AMRIT at that time and were admitted to Guru Ji`s family. In 1944 this Gurudwara Sahib was attached to central body Singh Sabha and since then it has been a central non profit organization of Agra. there by working under the Registered body Singh Sabha helping and benefiting people belonging to every caste and religion. It represents the Committees of all Gurudwara Sahibs and Sikh religious organizations in Agra and time to time the elections are held by the Sikh sangat under the rules specified by Singh Sabha under the blessings and guidance of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.