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Hard Talk Trouble understanding this shabad with reference to women

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Ishna, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Sat Sri Akal and hi everyone

    After reading another thread here a while ago about another religion and what it's scripture has to say about women, I proceeded to search for references to women in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to see what the Guru has to say. I am already very well aware of all the positive things the Guru already says about women, especially when you consider the time and environment it was written in.

    I am confused at points when Maya is referred to in the feminine quite often and portrayed with female attributes, but that is for another thread.

    My current confusion is with the following shabad by Guru Ram Das Ji:

    ਮਃ
    Mėhlā 4.
    Fourth Mehl:

    ਸਾਰਾ ਦਿਨੁ ਲਾਲਚਿ ਅਟਿਆ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੇ ਗਲਾ

    Sārā ḏin lālacẖ ati▫ā manmukẖ hore galā.
    The self-willed manmukh is occupied with greed all day long, although he may claim otherwise.


    ਰਾਤੀ ਊਘੈ ਦਬਿਆ ਨਵੇ ਸੋਤ ਸਭਿ ਢਿਲਾ

    Rāṯī ūgẖai ḏabi▫ā nave soṯ sabẖ dẖilā.
    At night, he is overcome by fatigue, and all his nine holes are weakened.


    ਮਨਮੁਖਾ ਦੈ ਸਿਰਿ ਜੋਰਾ ਅਮਰੁ ਹੈ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਭਲਾ

    Manmukẖā ḏai sir jorā amar hai niṯ ḏevėh bẖalā.
    Over the head of the manmukh is the order of the woman; to her, he ever holds out his promises of goodness.


    ਜੋਰਾ ਦਾ ਆਖਿਆ ਪੁਰਖ ਕਮਾਵਦੇ ਸੇ ਅਪਵਿਤ ਅਮੇਧ ਖਲਾ

    Jorā ḏā ākẖi▫ā purakẖ kamāvḏe se apviṯ ameḏẖ kẖalā.
    Those men who act according to the orders of women are impure, filthy and foolish.


    ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਕੁਸੁਧ ਨਰ ਸੇ ਜੋਰਾ ਪੁਛਿ ਚਲਾ

    Kām vi▫āpe kusuḏẖ nar se jorā pucẖẖ cẖalā.
    Those impure men are engrossed in sexual desire; they consult their women and walk accordingly.


    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਆਖਿਐ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਸੋ ਸਤਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਭਲ ਭਲਾ

    Saṯgur kai ākẖi▫ai jo cẖalai so saṯ purakẖ bẖal bẖalā.
    One who walks as the True Guru tells him to, is the true man, the best of the best.


    ਜੋਰਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਸਭਿ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਖੇਲ ਸਭਿ ਖਿਲਾ

    Jorā purakẖ sabẖ āp upā▫i▫an har kẖel sabẖ kẖilā.
    He Himself created all women and men; the Lord Himself plays every play.


    ਸਭ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਣਤ ਬਣਾਵਣੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਲ ਭਲਾ ॥੨॥

    Sabẖ ṯerī baṇaṯ baṇāvaṇī Nānak bẖal bẖalā. ||2||
    You created the entire creation; O Nanak, it is the best of the best. ||2||



    It strikes me that Guru Ram Das is saying that people shouldn't follow the direction of women? I'm not seeing a strong connection to kaam being the negative force in this shabad, which is the connection usually made when one reads shabads about women.

    I do not want to provoke argument. I am not slandering Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I am trying to understand and quieten my mind.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

    Ishna
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Here is the translation by Bhai Manmohan Singh ji for the same passage on Ang 304. It gives a better context for what Guru Ram Das ji is communicating.

    ਮਃ ੪ ॥
    मः ४ ॥
    Mėhlā 4.
    4Th Guru.

    ਸਾਰਾ ਦਿਨੁ ਲਾਲਚਿ ਅਟਿਆ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੇ ਗਲਾ ॥
    सारा दिनु लालचि अटिआ मनमुखि होरे गला ॥
    Sārā ḏin lālacẖ ati▫ā manmukẖ hore galā.
    The perverse person is all day occupied with avarice though he talks otherwise.

    ਰਾਤੀ ਊਘੈ ਦਬਿਆ ਨਵੇ ਸੋਤ ਸਭਿ ਢਿਲਾ ॥
    राती ऊघै दबिआ नवे सोत सभि ढिला ॥
    Rāṯī ūgẖai ḏabi▫ā nave soṯ sabẖ dẖilā.
    At night he is over-powered by drowsiness and all his nine apertures get weakened.

    ਮਨਮੁਖਾ ਦੈ ਸਿਰਿ ਜੋਰਾ ਅਮਰੁ ਹੈ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਭਲਾ ॥
    मनमुखा दै सिरि जोरा अमरु है नित देवहि भला ॥
    Manmukẖā ḏai sir jorā amar hai niṯ ḏevėh bẖalā.
    On the head of an apostate is the order of the woman and he ever holds out good promises to her.

    ਜੋਰਾ ਦਾ ਆਖਿਆ ਪੁਰਖ ਕਮਾਵਦੇ ਸੇ ਅਪਵਿਤ ਅਮੇਧ ਖਲਾ ॥
    जोरा दा आखिआ पुरख कमावदे से अपवित अमेध खला ॥
    Jorā ḏā ākẖi▫ā purakẖ kamāvḏe se apviṯ ameḏẖ kẖalā.
    The men, who act as women tell them, are impure filthy and foolish.

    ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਕੁਸੁਧ ਨਰ ਸੇ ਜੋਰਾ ਪੁਛਿ ਚਲਾ ॥
    कामि विआपे कुसुध नर से जोरा पुछि चला ॥
    Kām vi▫āpe kusuḏẖ nar se jorā pucẖẖ cẖalā.
    The impure persons are engrossed in lust. They consult women and walk accordingly.

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਆਖਿਐ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਸੋ ਸਤਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਭਲ ਭਲਾ ॥
    सतिगुर कै आखिऐ जो चलै सो सति पुरखु भल भला ॥
    Saṯgur kai ākẖi▫ai jo cẖalai so saṯ purakẖ bẖal bẖalā.
    He who walks as the True Guru tells him he is the true man the best of the good.

    ਜੋਰਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਸਭਿ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਖੇਲ ਸਭਿ ਖਿਲਾ ॥
    जोरा पुरख सभि आपि उपाइअनु हरि खेल सभि खिला ॥
    Jorā purakẖ sabẖ āp upā▫i▫an har kẖel sabẖ kẖilā.
    He Himself has created all the women and men. God plays every play.

    ਸਭ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਣਤ ਬਣਾਵਣੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਲ ਭਲਾ ॥੨॥
    सभ तेरी बणत बणावणी नानक भल भला ॥२॥
    Sabẖ ṯerī baṇaṯ baṇāvaṇī Nānak bẖal bẖalā. ||2||
    All the make that Thou hast made, O Nanak is the best of the best.

    In the Sant Singh translation the first line begins with "the self-willed manmukh" and in Bhai Manmohan Singh's translation it is the "perverse" person who is the subject of the vaar. Bhai ji's translation brings the thought closer to what the shabad actually says.

    I do not read this shabad to mean that the orders of women lead to impurity and foolishness. It is dense I must admit. However, the shabad applies to someone who cannot or will not free himself emotionally from his avarice/greed and his lust for women, and remains stuck in his perverseness. This perverse person becomes drowsy in the spiritual sense (loses consciousness). A good analogy would be how we become sleepy when we eat too much. Guru Ram Das ji equates weakening of the spiritual centers with the drowsiness that comes from engrossment in lust/in sensuality.

    ਰਾਤੀ ਊਘੈ ਦਬਿਆ ਨਵੇ ਸੋਤ ਸਭਿ ਢਿਲਾ ॥
    राती ऊघै दबिआ नवे सोत सभि ढिला ॥
    Rāṯī ūgẖai ḏabi▫ā nave soṯ sabẖ dẖilā.
    At night he is over-powered by drowsiness and all his nine apertures get weakened.

    Then he goes on to explain the consequences of losing spiritual consciousness to investments in sensuality. One ends up driven like a horse, a mere animal. ਹੈ Hai in this case means in metaphor he is (like) a horse. He is like a horse who is controlled by (his lust for ) a woman.

    ਮਨਮੁਖਾ ਦੈ ਸਿਰਿ ਜੋਰਾ ਅਮਰੁ ਹੈ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਭਲਾ ॥
    मनमुखा दै सिरि जोरा अमरु है नित देवहि भला ॥
    Manmukẖā ḏai sir jorā amar hai niṯ ḏevėh bẖalā.
    On the head of an apostate is the order of the woman and he ever holds out good promises to her.


    The man who ends up driven like a horse is also utterly dependent on receiving the favors of the one who drives him, in this case a woman, and "walks accordingly." In other words he is driven like a horse, and walks in the harness of another human being, like a mere animal.

    ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਕੁਸੁਧ ਨਰ ਸੇ ਜੋਰਾ ਪੁਛਿ ਚਲਾ ॥
    कामि विआपे कुसुध नर से जोरा पुछि चला ॥
    Kām vi▫āpe kusuḏẖ nar se jorā pucẖẖ cẖalā.
    The impure persons are engrossed in lust. They consult women and walk accordingly.


    One also has to read the saloka that comes before and the pauree that follows because they elaborate. Other kinds of perversity undermine. In the pauree, Guru Ram Das repeats that we pine for those things that are poisonous to our spiritual health. One part of it says,

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਰੀਸੈ ਹੋਰਿ ਕਚੁ ਪਿਚੁ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸੇ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਕੂੜੇ ਝੜਿ ਪੜੀਐ ॥
    सतिगुर की रीसै होरि कचु पिचु बोलदे से कूड़िआर कूड़े झड़ि पड़ीऐ ॥
    Saṯgur kī rīsai hor kacẖ picẖ bolḏe se kūṛi▫ār kūṛe jẖaṛ paṛī▫ai.
    By way of emulating the True Guru some others utter filth bad and good sermons but because of falsehood, those false ones soon get devastated.

    ਓਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਹੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਨੋ ਝਖਿ ਮਰਦੇ ਕੜੀਐ ॥੯॥

    ओन्हा अंदरि होरु मुखि होरु है बिखु माइआ नो झखि मरदे कड़ीऐ ॥९॥
    Onĥā anḏar hor mukẖ hor hai bikẖ mā▫i▫ā no jẖakẖ marḏe kaṛī▫ai. ||9||
    In their heart is one thing and in their mouth is quite another. They hanker after and pine away for the poisonous wealth.

    The point of these vaars is not about the evils of women. This is the point.

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥
    सतिगुर की बाणी सति सरूपु है गुरबाणी बणीऐ ॥
    Saṯgur kī baṇī saṯ sarūp hai gurbāṇī baṇī▫ai.
    The Gurbani if the Satguru is the embodiment of Truth. Through Gurbani the mortal becomes perfect.


    This is a clumsy effort on my part. But the best I can do.
     
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  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I posted this question in 2006 and The following was reply of Drkhalsa regarding the shabad

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-...pretation-of-guru-granth-sahib.html#post46327
     
  5. Ishna

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    Thank you Narayanjot for taking the time to give me your explanation. I had read the entire Ang but lack the understanding to interpret it properly.

    This part of your explanation is what has assisted me most:
    The man who ends up driven like a horse is also utterly dependent on receiving the favors of the one who drives him, in this case a woman, and "walks accordingly." In other words he is driven like a horse, and walks in the harness of another human being, like a mere animal.
    I guess the reference provided by Drkhalsa via Kanwardeep about Tria Charitar would further expand this theme, perhaps with stories of women withholding sex to obtain favours from men (I'm sure men ruled by lust would sometimes do anything to fulfill their desire). Not sure I need 200-odd examples to prove that tho... prefer to stick with Guru Ram Das ji's version personally.

    I agree with Kanwardeep that passages which could be interpreted negatively without proper understanding need to be discussed and explained thoroughly to minimise misinterpretation. This shabad is easily misinterpreted!

    Ishna
     
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  6. spnadmin

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    Ishan ji

    I need to add something. The reference to horse in my reply was not taken form any other source except Guru Granth Darpan, which I consulted to the best of my ability, given my limitations, last night.

    The "horse" is given as a metaphor for an animal driven by greed and lust, and who must be harnessed by a master. When the true Master is Satguruji, but we are not harnessed to the Divine, we become harnessed to our lower instincts and passions and become prey to be used by other human beings. Like a horse.

    While I agree that the vaar does not refer to male/female relationships in general, but to enslavement to instinct and passion, I do not agree with drkhalsa ji as below

    Tria Charitar in Dasam Granth has an unmistakable bias against women. The Charitars are about the "evils of women." That takes you in a direction completely opposite from what the shabad is about.

    This is inconsistent with the bani of Guru Ram Das, and something he would not do. His own father-in-law Guru Amardas ji appointed 4 women to lead the panth in regional sangats during his lifetime. They led as granthis and enlightened human beings.

    Given the questions of authorship regarding Tria Charitar it is hard to imagine how it could shed light on any passage of Guru Granth Sahib. I hate to re-open the controversies regarding Dasam Granth in this thread. However, drkhalsa ji wrote his comments a while back before the panth was taking a closer look at the authorship of Dasam Granth.
     
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  7. Ishna

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    Thank you for your clarification, Narayanjot ji. I'm confident I'm grasping the concept Guru Ram Das Ji is conveying now, with your assistance.

    I also don't want to provoke further Dasam Granth discussion as it is not the focus of my query and I tend to get quite vicious when discussing it (especially Tria Charitar), hence my comment:
    Not sure I need 200-odd examples to prove that tho... prefer to stick with Guru Ram Das ji's version personally.
    However I do not want to offend Kanwardeep ji and do try to keep a relatively open mind.

    So back to the original topic, perhaps if any curious gursikhs reading this thread would like to post a shabad where Guru Ram Das may have used feminine imagery to illustrate a positive attitude, it would be a nice counterbalance to the discussion.

    Ishna
     
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  8. spnadmin

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    :blinkingkaur:wahmunda
     
  9. findingmyway

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    Narayanjot Ji,
    You have given a wonderful explanation of the shabad wahkaur

    I don't think that the shabad has anything to do with gender per se. The Guru's were very good at using everyday examples that people could identify with to demonstrate their point. A male-female relationship is used to demonstrate 2 things:
    1) How excessive attachement or reliance on another person is a bad thing, especially when causing you to behave in anti-gurmat ways.
    2) Lust can lead to no good :down:
    I guess it is easier to demonstrate lust from a man's perspective as it is more visible!

    Ishna Ji,
    Here are some shabads by Guru Ram Das Ji which also reference attributes specific to women. Howver, these are positive so women are super important ;) I think in these shabads, again the gender is not the important thing but the metaphor, the point being illustrated is the focus.

    p1178
    ਬਸੰਤੁ ਹਿੰਡੋਲ ਮਹਲਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਇਕੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਰਹਿ ਸਕੈ ਨਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਰਸਿ ਗੀਧੇ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਰਿਕੁ ਰਸਕਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਥਨਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਥਨਿ ਕਾਢੇ ਬਿਲਲ ਬਿਲੀਧੇ ॥੧॥
    Basanṯ hindol mėhlā 4. Merā ik kẖin manū▫ā rėh na sakai niṯ har har nām ras gīḏẖe. Ji▫o bārik rasak pari▫o than māṯā than kādẖe bilal bilīḏẖe. ||1||
    Basant Hindol, Fourth Mehl: My mind cannot survive, even for an instant, without the Lord. I drink in continually the sublime essence of the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. It is like a baby, who joyfully sucks at his mother's breast; when the breast is withdrawn, he weeps and cries. ||1||

    ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਜੀਉ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਤਨ ਨਾਮ ਹਰਿ ਬੀਧੇ ਵਡੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਨਗਰ ਹਰਿ ਸੀਧੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
    Gobinḏ jī▫o mere man ṯan nām har bīḏẖe. vadai bẖāg gur saṯgur pā▫i▫ā vicẖ kā▫i▫ā nagar har sīḏẖe. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    O Dear Lord of the Universe, my mind and body are pierced through by the Name of the Lord. By great good fortune, I have found the Guru, the True Guru, and in the body-village, the Lord has revealed Himself. ||1||Pause||

    This shabad is about how life is wonderful since meeting with Akal Purakh, about how life is terrible without that feeling. Breastfeeding is essential for a baby and the baby loves it. In that positive way we attach ourselves to Waheguru, like the baby attaches itself to its mother.


    p720
    ਬੈਰਾੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ ਜਪਿ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਪਾਰਾਵਾਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
    Bairāṛī mėhlā 4. Jap man har niranjan nirankārā. Saḏā saḏā har ḏẖi▫ā▫ī▫ai sukẖ▫ḏāṯa jā kā anṯ na pārāvārā. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    Bairaaree, Fourth Mehl: Meditate, O mind, on the immaculate, formless Lord. Forever and ever, meditate on the Lord, the Giver of peace; He has no end or limitation. ||1||Pause||

    ਅਗਨਿ ਕੁੰਟ ਮਹਿ ਉਰਧ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗਾ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਖੈ ਉਦਰ ਮੰਝਾਰਾ ਸੋ ਐਸਾ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਛਡਾਵਣਹਾਰਾ ॥੧॥
    Agan kunt mėh uraḏẖ liv lāgā har rākẖai uḏar manjẖārā. So aisā har sevhu mere man har anṯ cẖẖadāvaṇhārā. ||1||
    In the fiery pit of the womb, when you were hanging upside-down, the Lord absorbed You in His Love, and preserved You. So serve such a Lord, O my mind; the Lord shall deliver you in the end. ||1||

    ਜਾ ਕੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਬਸਿਆ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਕਰਹੁ ਨਮਸਕਾਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਧਾਰਾ ॥੨॥੫॥
    Jā kai hirḏai basi▫ā merā har har ṯis jan ka▫o karahu namaskārā. Har kirpā ṯe pā▫ī▫ai har jap Nānak nām aḏẖārā. ||2||5||
    Bow down in reverence to that humble being, within whose heart the Lord, Har, Har, abides. By the Lord's Kind Mercy, O Nanak, one obtains the Lord's meditation, and the support of the Naam. ||2||5||

    Women here are also in a positive light as they are supporting this wonderful being in their womb that will become a Gurmukh hopefully. Waheguru loves that being from the beginning so if women were bad then surely Waheguru would wait til the being was separated from the womb and the gender of the child was known before showering it with love!!
     
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  10. Ishna

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    @Harkiran Kaur bhainji

    I was thinking about this shabad today (after the thread we've had recently called 'Refuge?', and thought I'd flag it with you, in case a misguided Singh brother ever tries to bring it up.

    I've never seen one do so, but as you sometimes visit places where it might be brought up, forewarned is forearmed. :)
     
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  11. Sherdil

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    Ishna ji, I think you were correct in making a link towards Maya in OP.

    Maya is given feminine qualities due to its ability to enchant and seduce. Since scriptures in various Indian philosophies were written by men, they compared the seductive appeal of Maya to that of a woman.

    So when this shabadh discusses being under the power of a woman, the bigger picture it is painting is being under the seductive charm of Maya. This is why the manmukh's "nine holes" are weary. Nine holes are the equivalent of the five senses. By chasing sensual pleasures of Maya, the manmukh grows weary.

    Maya is the Hindu goddess of illusion.

    In Sikhi Maya pertains to the transient world as well as to the illusion of duality, as the self is also transient (it will die).
     
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  12. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Let us see whether in this shabad guru sahib really is referring 'ਜੋਰਾ ਦਾ ਆਖਿਆ' to a woman, wife and or jora has some other meaning.
    ਜਿਉ ਜੋਰੂ ਸਿਰਨਾਵਣੀ ਆਵੈ ਵਾਰੋ ਵਾਰ ॥
    As a woman has her periods, month after month,
    ਜੂਠੇ ਜੂਠਾ ਮੁਖਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥
    so does falsehood dwell in the mouth of the false; they suffer forever, again and again.
    ਸੂਚੇ ਏਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਹਨਿ ਜਿ ਪਿੰਡਾ ਧੋਇ ॥
    ਸੂਚੇ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਿਨ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥੨॥ SGGS.472.9

    By surface meaning woman's period have been compared with state of falsehood but 'ਜੋਰੂ' really stands for a woman or wife in this pankti. I am wondering whether Guru sahib really are concerned and referring to bleeding or periods of woman. I don't see the consistency in period as it stops when a lady is pregnant and also after the age of almost fifty it stops for ever. I think Guru Nanak Ji would never endorse perpetuation of false ideas and notions and keeping people in the dark as in next line guru sahib is referring to 'ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ॥ disturbance and hyper of manh every moment and I don't think so that woman is disturbed every moment at the time of period. I find some sense when I interpret ਜਿਉ ਜੋਰੂ - as the manh intoxicated in maeya and 'ਸਿਰਨਾਵਣੀ' means blood of greed when enters then 'ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ॥ as last line of pauree states, 'ਜਰੁ ਆਈ ਜੋਬਨਿ ਹਾਰਿਆ ॥੧੭॥ over here again ਜਰੁ is not old age but the moment I think negative then 'joban haaria' lost the wisdom.
     
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  13. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    As mentioned before, the languages derived from Sanskrit and Latin have been given genders for things and also the adjectives have plurals unlike in English. It has also been said that Latin is derived from Sanskrit which I happen to agree with because many words in Portuguese, which is the closest to Latin than Spanish,French and Italian, are quite similar to Hindi and Punjabi.

    Although it is puzzling but very interesting how the genders were chosen but we do not know the modus operandi. The interesting thing is that all the genders for things are the same in Punjabi/Hindi and Portuguese.

    As Maya is a very unique Indic language word, I could not find its equivalent in Portuguese. Having said that I agree with Sherdil ji about the Goddess Maya in Hinduism and her seduction seems quite enticing.
     
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  14. Brother Onam

    Brother Onam United States
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    Quote: "Maya is given feminine qualities due to its ability to enchant and seduce. Since scriptures in various Indian philosophies were written by men, they compared the seductive appeal of Maya to that of a woman."

    It can't be overstated that most religious texts emerged from cultures in which males dominated, and so much of the teachings are hence written to reflect the male's quest, duties, relationships, etc. This doesn't tarnish the merit of the teachings, but I do find it dismaying that virtually every time a female is mentioned in our scriptures, it will be in terms of motherhood, child-rearing, nursing, wife, seductress. That a female is on exactly the same quest to achieve ecstatic union with Waheguru and to attain liberation from Maya is rather overlooked by those who put pen to paper.
     
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  15. Sherdil

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    It is not overlooked ji.

    Physical gender is part of the illusion of Maya. The Divine doesn't have a gender and neither does the soul within the body.

    Poetically speaking, Gurbani refers to all of us as being female (Sister Soul-Brides). The Divine is the only male (Husband-Lord). The same thing is seen in Sufi poetry.

    When Gurbani says that the day of marriage has been predetermined, it is talking about death. In Indian tradition, the husband comes to take the bride from her home on their wedding day. She leaves her family behind to go and live with him.

    On our wedding day (death) our Husband-Lord will come to take us from our home (body). We will have to say good bye to our friends, family, and everything else we have become attached to.

    At Punjabi Sikh weddings, as with other weddings from the subcontinent I'm sure, there is a big drama made when the bride's family sees her off. Everyone starts to cry. The same thing is seen at funerals when the deceased person's family comes to "see them off".

    The lesson to be learned is that attachment (moh) to people and things is something we are meant to overcome on our path to become gurmukh. Such things are transient by nature and are thus categorized under Maya. The more you are attached to these things, the more pain you will feel when the time comes to let them go.
     
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  16. jiharji

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    The question to answer is, if everyone is equal, men and women, why is it always written from the mens perspective, for men as if women are always second in importance!
     
  17. Ishna

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    Welcome to SPN, Jiharji.

    Can you suggest how it could be written from a female perspective?

    This same issue came up in discussion with a friend recently. I said the ongoing 'soul-bride' and 'Husband Lord' imagery provides a 'female perspective', but she disagreed, saying its more like that's how men think women feel, or want to imaging women feeling (that they are always pining after their men).

    Is a specific gender perspective required? Is a man's experience of spirituality, connection to Akaal Purakh, or application of the Sikh philosophy in everyday life that much different than a woman's?
     
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  18. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Just an observation if it helps.

    Let us put or take ourselves back in time to the 15th and 16th century in greater Punjab (probably included all of North West India, Gujrat, present Pakistan and swaths of North West Frontier/parts of Afghanistan). The dominant audience groups were Muslims and Hindus. The power brokers, the influencers in both of these groups were men. So a common method of teaching (as Guru ji and Guru Granth Sahib ji are personas of great teachers) is to put yourself in the mind of a student. That way you are more likely to succeed in making a connection, create ease of learning, and so on. Hence the analogies, the metaphors and so on are much inclined to depict the understandings, the beliefs of the pupils that the Guru ji had at the times. This most likely was predominantly men. So the gender usage was a necessity but not the end or purpose of the teachings for stereotyping or otherwise condoning any such. The rest follows. Had Guru ji been in a pluralistic and gender neutral location of today, would their poetry have been written differently, it most likely would have been. Would they have addressed drugs, pollution, corruption, and other malaise of today, quite likely. Are these topics not addressed in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji? Many are and perhaps all are indirectly. Guru ji as much focusing on what ailed people and society of the day had to decide upon an evergreen way of providing spiritual leadership and thought invocation into posterity. I believe they achieved this balance by creating Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji which was specific enough for the day but deep enough for use five to six hundred years later.

    Just some thoughts and I always stand corrected.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  19. jiharji

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    Hello Ishna,
    I think the problem with most religions and Sikhi is the best, is that they are all written down by men and Im sure God is Being rather than Gender. Also in the times they were written down and still now in parts of the world, man has power and the women are kept in a secondary role, or lower!
    At least Sikhi tries to redress the balance somewhat, but has still been written
     
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  20. jiharji

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    As Sikhi is forward in its outlook/teaching and especially when it was written, should it be updated and rewritten for this modern age and for many who are living in the western world where it seems more appropiate for women to be seen as equals and a cosmopolitan society.
     
  21. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    jiharji thanks for your post. If all the Sikhs in the world got together and tried to update Guruji's writings they will still fall way short. So updating Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is an absurd and demeaning ideas and I assume that is not what you are talking about. Sikhism will be finished if this was ever attempted and there have been many conspiracies, attempts devious and indirect to do that. So I will be totally against any such thoughts personally.

    Where what you are talking about makes sense perhaps is documents and rituals created outside of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji like Sikh Rehat Maryada and lot of rituals around Gurdwara practices, etc. Even with Sikh Rehat Maryada I believe it is identified to be in synch with Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It took greater than a decade to frame it in the 1940's and it created lot of divisions within Sikhs.

    I hope we don't get into a revisionist mode of thinking just because our understanding is lacking or people get explained things in a way which may put things out of context.

    Sat Sri Akal and I believe we are going quite off topic in this thread and I will not post further regarding this in this thread. I am OK too if an Admin were to delete any or all of such posts including mine out of this thread.
     
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