Polygamy And Sikhism

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
If Sikhs aren't into polygamy, why was Maharaja Ranjit Singh a polygamist?

Ishna Ji.. you disappoint me..

Is this a valid question..IF Christians are NOT into Genocide..how come Hitler murdered 6 million Jews ??

You chose Maharaja ranjit Singh over hari Singh nalwa, Akali Foola Singh, nawab Kapoor Singh, baba banda singh bahadur, Bhai mani Singh, and THOUSANDS MORE SIKHS who were Not into POLYGAMY...or having company of dancing girls..or drinking alcohol...or donating GOLD by the Ton to mandirs, Temples, Gurdwaras...An INDIVIDUAL..no matter who..doesnt represent the Entire Kaum or even THE RELIGION...

Btw the Maharaj ranjit singh was NOT an ideal SIKH..he was more of a Brahmanist or keshadharee Hindu...heavily under the inffuence of the Dogra brothers..to the Integrity and Honesty of Akali Foola Singh jathedar of Akal takhat the Maharaja conceded to be TIED to a TREE in front of Akal Takhat and be Publicly WHIPPED for visiting a Muslim prostitute...so he wasnt as BAD as BADAL...the present uncrowned Maharaja of Punjab...Badal has the Jathedars in his BACK POCKET....and the jathedar who committed the mistake of summoning him..had to lock himself up in a TOILET to escape a BEATING !!..so a much better question I may ask..IF Badal Can be a SIKH...then who is NOT a Sikh ??:swordfight-kudiyan:


Aug 8, 2011
OK if the wives also agree to convert because they feel the Gurus spoke the truth? This is more of a hypothetical question as I would like to know what the Theory behind Polygamy would be from a Converting family and if Sikhism accepts the Marriage then how can Sikhism hold to be Against Polygamy? Would it rather be that Sikhism encourages Monogamy and Discourages Polygamy? vs. the stance many have taken that it completely denounces Polygamy?... This is an honest question I know in some religions like Catholicism Greek orthodox priests can marry and then if they convert to roman Catholicism they are still allowed to keep their wife. Would it be similar circumstances?

imperative duty ji
In my personal opinion Sikhism is not a dogmatic religion and it only gives a broad moral outline to how should one live. Rest is up to the individual how he/she wants to lead their life within that compass.

Sikhsim would not allow injustice and leaving 3 wives out for 4 would be doing just that.

In my personal opinion one should be allowed to keep all the wives only because he was married before he decided to convert(rarest of rare case). As for those who are already in Sikhism it should be discouraged (As I do not see any justification for polygamy/andry in SGGS ji).

It is also a legal matter as Aristole ji already mentioned.


May 9, 2006
Ranjit Singh was used as an example since the he was ruler of what some consider a golden age for Sikhi. But rightly called, we probably shouldn't base our opinion of a religion on the conduct of its faulty human followers which 99.9% of us are.

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Ranjit Singh was used as an example since the he was ruler of what some consider a golden age for Sikhi. But rightly called, we probably shouldn't base our opinion of a religion on the conduct of its faulty human followers which 99.9% of us are.

IT was the GOLDEN AGE all right..Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the BEST thing that ever happened to PUNJAB...but he wasnt the best SIKH. He was Totally SECULAR..looked at ALL with ONE EYE ( figuratively and physically !!)had TOP posts given to Muslims, hindus etc on MERIT...was very very GENEROUS and FAIR MINDED,He is FAMOUS for making the harmandar into the GOLDEN TEMPLE..but what many DONT KNOW is that he donated MUCH MUCH MORE GOLD to Hindu mandirs and money to masjids as well...His Administration Never hanged a single criminal,he regularly used to go MUFTI at night to walk among the common people to seek out injustice, corruption ,mismanagement, bad governance. At the WEDDING of His Grandson Nau Nihal Singh he had set up a camp and announced that each person coming in together with his "dependents" would be gifted a GOLD MOHR for EACH !! People streamed in bringing along their fmailies, children etc..and ALL Got the Gold Coins as per counting members of each "family"...then ONE Muslim Potter came IN..and he had a GHARRA (clay water pot) filled with ANTS. He claimed the ANTS were his "dependents" and he should receive a Gold Coin for himself and EACH ant member of hsi family. Obviously the Distributing Agent of the Maharaja couldn't accept such a ridiculous demand..so the claimant went to Lahore darbaar to Lodge a complaint that the Maharaja had RENEGED on his Announcement. Finally the Maharaja and the Potter came to an agreement that since it was IMPOSSIBLE to COUNT his dependents would he agree to having his GHARRA FILLED to the BRIM with GOLD COINS ? The Potter smiled and agreed. Immediately the Treasurer was ordered to FILL the POT with Gold Coins and the man went away happy that the Maharaja a had kept his word. This is just one example of How GOOD a Ruler the Maharaja was..BUT he still doesn't qualify to be called BEST SIKH/Best SIKH ROLEMODEL.He had many FAILINGS...


May 27, 2011
However, the Sikh Guru's didn't have multiple wives so your comparison doesn't work I'm afraid. If they did, the above quote from Gurbani would never have been written. Men with multiple wives may not physically abuse their wives but making a woman share a man is a form of emotional abuse (and vice versa if it were to happen the other way round).
Kamala ji has anyone in your family been in polygamy? If there is no instance in your house, why do you think there would be one in Guru Ghar?

When I read the first post, I thought those names were names of their wives... correct me if I am wrong!
Jul 1, 2012
this topic gave me a little bit headache for some time but at the end now am here with the answer.
first of all this whole topic is copy pasted from a islamic site -----http://www.islamawareness.net/Polygamy/poly_nm_article0003.html------
second thing is that we as sikhs must be aware of our history so that people from other faiths specially islam and hinduism (both faiths having superiority complex and suffer from converto-phobia)can get befitting reply on the very onset of their mis-information and mis-quotations of sikh history and gurbani.
as per my information and knowledge which i've gathered on this topic, there is no authenticated proof that any of the sikh gurus performed polygamy. what references i collected all state that there is dispute among authors/ writers of respective references. no writer is 100% sure about any polygamy, what they wrote is on the basis of sayings of people (which off course contains majority of bhramins and off course muslims).
regarding the most common reference of polygamy by sikh gurus given by most of islamic scholars (we can find them on sites like convert to islam, why i choose islam, dawah to sikhs etc......the list is unending) is of our tenth guru, guru gobind singh jee. it is mostly argued that guru gobind sing was having three wives. although i think most of the gursikhs know the real truth and this may be already discussed by some one on this site but i may like to repeat it again ----mata jito and mata sundri jee were names of single person...i.e. mata jito was her real name and mata sundri becoz. of her beauty which lead guru gobind singh's mother call her sundri. we can visit guru ki lahore at anandpur sahib where the final marriage ceremony of both was performed as at that time it was not okay for guru jee to visit lahore. now coming to the third name associated among wives og guru gobind singh jee is mata sahib kaur. i think all the khalsa knows that she is our religious mother and the tenth master our religious father and thats what create confusion among these converto-phobic people and they say that mata sahib kaur was also wife of guru gobind singh (the history and turn of events regarding wife of guru gobind singh jee is very well mentioned in some sikhi sites therefore i compiled it in short)
now coming to so called wives of other gurus as mentioned in the topic of this thread, i may like to inform the readers of this thread that what really matters to sikhs is not what is written by so called writers, historians and scholars because most of them rely on sayings which exist during their time or i can also say that they most of the time are biased and misrepresented. i think (as per my knowledge as sikh till now) that the only literature which sikhs can rely on is sri guru granth sahib jee and vaars of bhai gurdaas jee. if there is any literature what soever it is if it does not stands to the test of guru granth sahib jee it can not be accurate.
thus if we read and ask sri guru granth sahib jee about the marriage and relation thereof guru jee tells us "They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies."
(Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Pauri, pg. 788)
"The blind-man abandons the wife of his home, and has an affair with another's woman. He is like the parrot, who is pleased to see the simbal tree, but at last dies clinging to it." (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Bhairo, pg. 1165)

these are only two examples what is the sikh view point on marriage and offcourse some thing more then that.
i think the second example makes it ample clear that if in sikhi extramarital relations are dealt with such hardline what would be the condition in case of polygamy.
those who say/tell/write these things are actually spreading misinformation and trust deficit among sikhs and their faith and offcourse this job is also done by some of our so called katha vachaks who frame their own stories to woo the sangat.
thus from "thesikhviewpoint" the only one we have to rely on is our guru---sri guru granth sahib jee" .....what these historians, writers write and say is to sell their books but what guru granth sahib jee say is the real truth.....so what ever question you have redarding lives of gurus consult the living guru...you'll definitely get the answer....:noticemunda:


Jun 13, 2012
Nagpur, India
I think it's very important to check the genuineness of the contents before posting. Secondly the contents being referred are from primary, secondary or what source .. Primary is impossible when talking about history so .. it gets even more important the check the sources of contents.

I my views it's even terrible to discuss on this topic. Gurus can never do anything wrong...and it ends the discussion ..

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Small MINDS discuss people...GREAT MINDS discuss GURBANI.
mnay So called Sikhs very willing and able to drool over multiple wives etc...BUT the Bottom line is How many have evr asked themselves...OH this Guru sat on the Hot plate..can I DO that ? This Guru sacrificed his mother, father and four sons..can i do the same ?? This SIKH had the living beating heart of his son thrust into his mouth..he never relented or begged or apologised for beinga SIKH..can we do the same in similar situation ?? Most of us CANNOT..yet we cna discuss multiple wives for the sake of discussing ONLY..when the SGGS declares OTHERWISE and so clearly...we still indulge in USELESS GOSSIP and Slander of our GURUS. ONLY GURBANI is the TOUCHSTONE of our History...anything that goes ULTRA VIRES the GURBANI is JUNK.period...Leave JUNK to junk collectors.:)


Aug 12, 2012
I respectfully disagree a bit with Platinum.

""women by nature like tend to be drawn to raising there children"

The women that have children often do tend to be raising them, yes. But with the birth control pill, as well as some erosion prejudice, there are many women that are content to not have children at all.

""which leads them not able to work as many hours as men.. making them more dependent to a certain degree ""

I don't necessarily agree with that. There are many situations where the husband simply does not earn enough to support the household, and the wife must earn something so the household stays solvent. In that situation, the husband is just as dependent on the wife.

"" YES it could go the other way around too... but generally speaking this is how its always been, and by nature how females are. ""

But women working isn't "how it's always been." That has been more recent. But if having children and staying home with them were how all females are...then there would be substantially less women in the workforce...as they would all be drawn to staying at home caring for their children.

""If you look at modern day society you will see that many women are drawn to a wealthy man (provider) and would care less if that man has a wife...so some women today jump into pural marages with both arms and legs without thinking of a males first wife.""

A woman in that situation is not fulfilling the role of a wife, she is fulfilling the role of a prostitute.

""the highly respectful Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Hari Rai, and Guru Gobind Singh all had more then one wife ""

But the reasons behind it were not specifically (or exclusively) so a man can indulge himself sexually with more than one woman.

There was very little in those days for medicine, or medical care. Diseases were common...especially in hot climates. Life provided much more risk. Childbirth was risky. Children were paramount. Women did not have careers of their own, and sterile women were dismissed as useless.

In addition to the reasons sited by Dr. Gurbaksh Singh, polygamy had a very important role of ensuring perpetual children. It provided genetic diversity to fend off diseases and disorders. It is a fantastic solution.

And now, centuries later, the planet is feeling the strain of all of that genetic diversity. Two coutries where polygamy thrived for centuries, India and China, are now desoerately overcrowded with populations topping over 1,000,000,000 each.

But in modern times, we have much better medical care, many diseases are under control, and a very watchful eye is taken torwards reproductive habits. Or in China's case, a very legislative eye. There may have been a time, and a need, for polygamy. However, that time is likely not now.

Polygamy or keeping mistresses is the same as far as child production is concerned in older times. Most people who could afford do have multiple women wifes or mistresses this is true even today.

To look at absolute numbers of population in countries is ridiculous and immature. Population is function of total livable area which can sustain human habitation in terms of food and water and weather conditions.

We should instead look at population per sq km. If we look then all places where there is fertile land have similar population densities. This is true especially of tropical and sub-torpical areas. In most of India, pakistan, Bangaladesh etc due to rivers, good weather and fertile land more two whole crops are feasible every year and even one short half crop cycle is possible apart from that. There is no danger of snow and extreme cold which makes plants dormant for months together. Similarly in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, southern china and southern Japan very fertile soil is there supporting large population density. In US even in hot Texas which is also has major green areas where temp goes to 40-43 degrees in summer they still have a very cold winter and soil in many parts is not very fertile and also is alkaline which limits the variety of food that can be grown.

In cold areas people have to grow food in summer and also have enough for summer and be able to store some for winter either in form of animals. animal products, feed for animals and food for themselves. Thus a particular stretch of land supports a much lesser population.

India and china and many other countries have been blessed with rivers good land and good weather thus support larger population density plus they are also large land mass so total population seems large as compared to other countries.


Dec 23, 2010
I was heartened to read this post. Whilst there is much need to revert to pre-colonial sources of history, there has to be a wider recognition by all that the British colonialists were not on a charitable mission in the Punjab! They had a clear agenda that required the replacement of pre-colonial institutions with their own; and they did so with fervour from 1846 and 1849 onward. However, one has to be careful not to replace one type of history with another biased view. It would only be a commendation to the legacy established in the roots of Sikhi if a learned approach was taken and more Sikh educational institutions established. On another note, how would the various commentators look at polyandry - there may not be obvious recorded examples but its sits perfectly in terms of equality with polygamy?!