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Guru Granth Sahib ji - Torchbearer of Gender Equality

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    This year we are fortunate to be celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Gurta Gadee – ascension to the Throne of the House of Nanak – of the Perpetual GURU – Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Apart from the fact that the GURU Granth is a Masterpiece of Poetic thought put to music in the sense of its immense and mind boggling 31 Raags, meters, and various literary expressions, vaars, , sloks, dupdas, chaupadas, ashtpadees, paurees, etc. Etc. NO other such Granth exists that can even come near the superiority that GURU Granth ji enjoys in this field of literary genius.

    Before I go into my subject...I cannot but must marvel at the way so many varied holy men of varied backgrounds, rich and the poor, low and the high, coming from all parts of the Indian sub continent, all castes, regions, economic backgrounds, languages...religions..etc are all so well blended in one central theme....praise of the One almighty Creator and how to attain HIM- that no two verses ever “contradict” each other in spite of coming from such varied backgrounds and times – this Granth is truly a wonder.

    I am a Woman – half the world’s population is composed of my co-gender. YET each and every religion from time memorial has sought to push the woman back, keep her in check, make use of her as booty in war, make use of her body for pleasure, make use of her labour as slavery !! The World Society stands on the bedrock of the Family UNIT – of which the Woman is half partner – yet the Man dominated Social Order backed by the religions and religious texts of ALL religions, seeks to actively suppress the Woman – as lowly, unclean, unfit to rule,..and much worse just as an object of pleasure and property to be traded as livestock. IN Judaism..in Christianity..In Islam...woman has very little say in anything.

    The First person to stand up for woman and defend her rights is GURU NANAK. Guru nanak ji declared.... SO kion mandah akheayeah..jit jammeh rajaan- with one stroke of His mighty pen Guru Nanak ji lifted the lowly downtrodden woman to raise her up as the Equal of MAN.He encouraged them to take an active role in every sphere of life. He said: “We are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies we take another one. We are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? From a woman a woman is born. There is none without her. Only the True Lord is without a woman”( SGGS, p. 473).
    The cardinal principles of Equality and especially Gender Equality can best be practised while living truthfully as a householder. The Sikh Gurus believed that asceticism and renunciation of the world is unnecessary. The Sikh Gurus themselves were married and lived as householders. The life of a devout householder is favoured. Humanism is the doctrine centred on human interests or values. So is the Sikh scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). It speaks of equality -- human and gender – freedom and justice.

    Further to reinforce this message of equality among the genders, the Sikh founder Guru says in the GURU GRANTH JI that God's light shines in both men and women thus: "In the earth and in the sky, I do not see any second. Among all the women and the men, His Light is shining. (3)" (SGGS page 223). To further remove the long-ingrained prejudices of the masses, Guru Nanak also says that both men and women are created by the Lord thus: "He Himself created all women and men; the Lord Himself plays every play." (SGGS page 304) and again "Women and men, all the men and women, all came from the One Primal Lord God." (SGGS page 983). Furthermore, to make sure that people of both the Muslim and Hindu religions were listening, Bhagat Kabir say this: "You fashioned all these men and women, Lord. All these are Your Forms. Kabeer is the child of God, Allah, Raam. All the Gurus and prophets are mine. ||5||" (SGGS page 1349), mentioning that "God", Allah (the Muslim name for God) and Raam (the Hindu name for God) are all honoured.

    Guru Amardass Ji carried this line of reform further by abolishing the evil custom of Satee ( cremation of living widows), and the demeaning custom of veiling of women. Guru Amardass ji even established several Manjis or Seats of Administration which were headed by women. Such honour had never before been given to any woman.
    BUT what is the situation among Sikhs today ? Sadly much is left to be desired. Punjab leads in Female embryo foeticide – females to males ratio in Punjab is lowest in the world. We also burn brides, we also demand huge dowries. We also treat female children as inferior to male progeny. In Property cases the males get most of the property and in Education the Males get the priority. It is clear that in the Land of the GURUS..who gave us Gender Equality as a matter of right ordained by the Creator.... the SIKHS of the GURU have closed both eyes to such injustices. The GURU says...Bani GURU..Guru hai Bani....wich Bani amrit sareh..BANI KAHEH..sewak jan manneh..partakh GURU nistarey !! Meaning OBEY the GURBANI and have partakh Darshan of the GURU. Modern Sikhs rather listen to Fake babas who advice....”leave the path and ardass etc to ME..you just matha tek..and I will handle the rest ( BUT don’t forget to PAY me first )” Clearly all the evidence points to the Citizens of Guruan dee dhartee as having abandoned the GURU.

    In this Third Millineum.... and the 300 years of the GURU with US.... the least we can do is resolve to sink our differences and attempt to live our life according to the Winning Formula shown us by the GURBANI. The GURU of the Sikhs is the most modern, most complete, the most adaptable, the most wonderful and altruistic Guide available to Mankind today. The Sikh GURU is the only one that promotes Sarbatt Da Bhalla ( Doctrine of altruism)- this is the only doctrine that can bring World Peace and Harmony among all men.

    Guru Granth Sahib Ji – Torchbearer of Gender Equality
    by Jasvir Kaur Thind Malaysia
     
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  3. prabhsmart

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    See I beleive the only way a womens life can change is by educting there sons and daughter about it.
    the thing goes like this, if u tell ur sons to be nice to womans, to be nice to his sisters and then wife and daughter. U tell him all the problems u have faced and that his daughter or wife shouldn't face it.
    may b e in couple of generations we can change the attitue of mens and society.
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Prabhsmart -Nice name:)


    I beg to differ with you. Why do the ladies of the house have to teach their sons and daughters to be nice to women? Why can not the men of the house act like Guru Nanak? Guru Nanak gave women the same rights as men, so why do they have to fight for their rights that were given to them by our Gurus?

    There was an incidenceat Harmander Sahib a few years ago when the Ladies could not do Seva inside when they wash and clean the walls. There was a lot of jostling and fighitng went on. I wrote a little essay called --> Bogey Men about it.

    It is not the women who have to fight for what have been their right. It is about us men who should shed off this macho skin for good for the sake of Gurmat ideals, then only we can truly claim from the heart what we sing from our lips," Sabh Gobind hein, Gobind bin nahin koi".

    Otherwise we shall remain parrots of Gurbani rather its practitioners with a chauvanistic mentality. What a shame!

    Tejwant Singh
     
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    #3 Tejwant Singh, Feb 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
  5. pk70

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    Prabhsmart Ji
    Co incidentally you have said what I have been thinking and discussing in my circles.
    I tried to open a school for little girls to enable them to understand basic principles advocated in Gurbani but failed due to lack of interest of the people.
    I strongly believe, if a mother passes on Gurmat to her off spring that could be more influential than the father who some how harbors “controlling instinct” to stamp what he thinks is right regardless his declaration of being open. Mothers into Gurmat played a vital role to sculpture the minds of the kids to make Gurbani base to live not to preach only. Man is layered into different kinds of complexes that lead to no where. No wonder, it is said quiet often that every great man has a woman behind the exceptional achievement. A new generation of mothers into Gurmat will change Sikh psyche, at least I believe it strongly. Look, otherwise for centuries Guru advised the man to get out of that jungle thinking in context of woman, you know how much, Guru Followers could do that to date. I am happy to know at least there are some who believe what you and I feel. Thanks.:)
     
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  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Much of the problem that written here about the plight of women in punjab have 1 simple solution and that is simple lifestyle.sikhs these days have abandoned this lifestyle and are chasing money badly.
     
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Pk70ji

    Guru Fateh.

    I beg to differ with you as I have done with Prabhsmart. It seems you, yourself as a man- which I presume you are as your name does not indicate your gender- no offense intended- giving a free pass or creating an excuse for us men and putting all the burden onthe women of the household to instill equality. Equality means both mother and father should take active roles in instilling equality in their children otherwise this is just one more pipe dream and passing the buck by men. Women do not have to fight for their rights as they were given the equal rights by Guru Nanak. We men have to change and take responsibility in a Gurmat fashion.

    Let us men face the music and give the women what is theirs rather than making excuses.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  8. Admin Singh

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    Genearl Clarification: Dear members, although it is appreciated that we use our real names as a usernames in a public forum/domain but the Right to choose any username entirely lies with personal choice/preference of the member... We have to respect the privacy of a member.

    Thank you for understanding and kind consideration. Let the focus be on the topic not the person. :)

    Warm Regards
     
  9. prabhsmart

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    Guys, I am not showing my maleness here. what i am saying is that its difficult for us to change the thinking of the current generation. i have seen this and have personally seen a lot of injustice done on womans. When i started gadka classes in ur gurudware, i just had boys, not a single girls. I tried to talk to parents to send there daughters, but to wain. I just want to change things but in a long term manner. As of Gursikh people, my father is also gursikh and he has been close to Guruji from a very long time. We had opportunity of actually feeling the Guruji standing next to us several times, be it when ur car met with accident or when the pressure bursted in front of my mom, we were not hurt at all, Guruji was there next to us. But when it came to give my going to be wife some liberty regarding threading of hairs they didn't care for here chiose. She wasn't interested in threading but my mom wanted here to do threading. i have to call off the relation to let be hershelf and not compromise here faith for me. I have seen many such things.
    Guruji did told us about gender equality but tell me other than a few names have sikh woman been encouraged to be them selfs. I have never seen a sikh girl/woman at any sewa around guru granth sahib ji in mumbai, if yes then rarely.
    the point here is if we can't change others thinking we can change the thinking of present and going to be generations thinking for the betterness of future. its a long term stuff but will work. As of a maleness, todays sitution is bad and if people, sikh people in punjab r taking to drinking and drugs, cutting there hairs, there is little hope from there.

    Untill Waheguruji blesses them.

    Waheguruji ka khalsa waheguruji ki fateh.
     
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  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Its sad to hear that your relationship was broken on a very small point of threading.I am sorry to say but here your mom was wrong If you and your going to be wife were not
    interested in threading then she should not have interferred
     
  11. AdsKhalsa

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    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa..Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh..Prabhsmart Ji...

    This can be possible, but many times it happens that male dominates his partner and it effects children...and many times children are used to such pressure and never able to gather confidence to raise voice for equality, especially female child....so it continues...to change this we need to break the rule at inception...female partner has to revert back with own rights...should fight for equality.....this will develop courage and confidence in children....

    another scenario, many females are not worried about their children...females are busy with beauty parlors, kitty parties, even they are so bored of combing and tying hairs of their child that they got it cut...our basics is Sikhi ...its principles should be developed in children, either male or female, to have a strong Sikhism........

    Chardi Kala........
     
  12. spnadmin

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    I want to point out (shearwater ji please pay attention) that repeated posting of passages from the Bible in sections that are about Sikhism will be considered spam. Please limit these postings to Interfaith Dialogs and make sure they are relevant to a thread topic, or they weill be considered proselytizing as well. You are warned. If you continue, you will be put under moderation. Thank you, Narayanjot Kaur
     
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