Guru Arjan Dev ji wrote Baavan Akhree for his wife Mata Ganga Jee. It states that one should only wear necklaces around one's neck made from only the Lord's name and that eyeliner on one's eyes should only be that of giaan (knowledge). Guru Sahib wrote Baavan Akhree after Mata Ganga Jee asked them why it was wrong to wear jewelry and make up. Upon writing Baavan Akhree, He explained to Mata Ganga Jee that this would be her jewelry.
Guru Arjan Sahib jee, who was all-knowing, naturally inspired and advised his wife – Mata Ganga jee as follows –
“Women of rich Mahaajans and Khatrees come to see you everyday but you should be aware that no matter how rich or nice these women are, they are still far from Gurmat. Never adopt their non-Gurmat, Manmat advice”.
This way after naturally advising his wife to not adopt the Manmat actions of the visiting rich women of Mahaajans and Khatrees, Guru jee went to Gur-Darbaar (where the sangat was). That day when Guru jee was preaching Gurmat to Sangat, a very rich Setth (merchant) made an offering of "Nau-Lakhaa Haar" (a necklace worth 900,000 rupees). The whole city of Amritsar Sahib was talking about this very expensive necklace. Many rich women of the city came to see the necklace and loved the sight of this necklace.
Many of these women got together and went to Mata Ganga jee and starting requesting and persuading her to wear that expensive necklace. They said:-
“You are the Mother of this whole world yet you are not wearing any ornament. You are the Queen of this world but are without any necklace. Being wife of Guru Arjan Sahib jee, it does not suit you to be without ornaments. Today, someone has offered the Naulakha Haar (necklace) to Guru jee and being our Guru Mata and being the wife of Guru Arjun Sahib jee it would be highly befitting to have you wear that necklace around your neck. We implore to you that you beg before your husband Guru Arjun Sahib jee to let you wear this necklace.”
What to say more, this way the group of rich non-Sikh women who came to see Mata Ganga jee, convinced her to wear the Naulakha Haar. Before Guru Arjan Sahib jee arrived back at his residence from the Darbaar, Mata jee lay herself on her bed, pretending to be angry. Jaani-jaan (the all-knowing) Satguru jee knew about the real cause of Mata jee’s anger and said, “Today you seem to have been affected and influenced by the manmat (non-Gurmat) lessons of the rich women who visited you today and I had warned you about this earlier.”
Mata jee got conscious of arrival of Guru jee and with folded hands and with pallaa (hazooriya) in her hands, pleaded before Guru jee,
“O True King (Sachay Paatshah), this servant of yours has never ever asked you for anything. This is the first time, I am asking for anything. I am hoping you will show your mercifulness by granting me my wish.”
Guru jee knew everything but still asked her, with a sweet smile on his face, as to what her wish was. Mata jee immediately said,
“Today a Nau-Lakhaa Haar was offered in your Darbaar. Please grant me your approval in form of letting me wear that nau-lakhaa haar (the necklace).”
Guru jee hearing this plea from Mata Ganga jee laughed a lot and said,
“You have confirmed that you have been influenced by your meeting with the non-Sikh rich women who met you today. O innocent one (bholeeyay) and O naïve one, you are talking about necklace worth nine hundred thousand, but even if you wear necklaces worth millions and billions of rupees, it would still be false and a waste thing to do. Today, we are going to make such necklace for you that will not only help you in THIS world but also in the NEXT world.”
After these words to Mata jee, Guru Arjan Sahib jee started uttering 'Sree Baavan Akhree' and such was the positive and heavenly influence of this baani on Mata jee that as she listened to this baani, this baani got carved inside her heart. Such a miracle occurred at that time that as Guru jee uttered this baani, this baani got carved on the beautiful heart of Mata Ganga jee and she got this baani memorized in a short time (listening to it only once). With the affect of listening to this beautiful baani, Mata Ganga jee’s heart and her inside got illuminated with this baani. This way, Mata Ganga jee wore the true Naulakha Haar of Baavan Akhree.