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Women In Sikhi

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Dec 21, 2010
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Inderjeet Kaur ji I had that in my mind (SRM) when I commented but I did not want to depend upon such. One has to be totally arrogant to not recognize that the reason why some of us are even around may be because of the Guru ji's teachings, sacrifices of Guru jis and their families, sacrifices of many Sikh, men, women and children. Many forefathers and fore-mothers would have been dead to stop us from being if Sikhism through our Guru ji did not take hold. Talk about biting the hand that feeds or cutting the branch you are sitting on.

I really feel sorry for Seeker3K (I don't know what he/she is seeking) if he/she thinks self to be a Sikh. If he/she is not Sikh the post is not appreciated and such nonsense needs to stop being contrary to spn TOS.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

ravneet_sb

Writer
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Nov 5, 2010
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Sat Sri Akaal,

What we read/write speak/listen may not be fact, it may come as reflection on one's
own mind.
If one has faith than only one can seek/one should seek.

Fancy words do not resolve, action reflects mind.

To read and reach fact's for deluded is not so simple.

If one have doubt's where stand faith.

It is very difficult to leave subconscious mind, cause of involuntary actions. One's
speech, writing and actions are not in control and contains doubt.

"Faith" comes as blessings from practice of "GURU's BANI"

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa
Wahe Gur Ji Ki Fateh
 

Admin

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Jun 1, 2004
6,646
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SPN
It is good thing that woman have to speak up for women’s place in history of Sikhism.
Writing here will not do much. Women have to take a lead in the villages cities. They should not wait for men to recognize them. Take the bull by the horn so to speak. A woman can not do the kirtan in Golden Temple.Why the women not going there and demand the change?

This next comment is going to make many people here upset.

Admin Note: Rest of the babbling removed from public domain...
Seeker3k ji, please provide a reliable source to support your babbling about Sikh Gurus. What you personally think or presume holds no merit whatsoever. Next time such a dare would invite more strict action. You are banned for a fortnight . This would give you sufficient time to gather some reliable sources to support your allegations.

Gurfateh,
Aman Singh
 
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Harry Haller

Panga Master
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Jan 31, 2011
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Incorrect!!!!!!! NO GURU MARRIED MORE THAN ONCE. Guru Gobind Singh ji only married once. His wife's name changed after marriage as per the old custom (my grandmother did this also). Another follower then offered his daughter to Guru Gobind Singh and it is often quoted she was the 3rd wife but he never married her as he said he was already married. Mata Sahib Kaur was a sevadaar in the Guru's court and had no other relationship. The reference to providing her children referred to the Khalsa which is why she was involved in the amrit sanchar ceremony-she had proved herself a worthy sevadaar. Please research the facts before supporting rumours!
I have to confess to reading the material for my post from a book I bought at Amritsar Market when I was 9, it was a paperback sized pink book about Guru Gobind Singh ji, it went into huge detail about lots of things, and I have never really bothered to question it, I was brought up thinking the tenth master had at least two wives, but some internet browsing and The explanation above has put paid to that, I am extremely glad I made my post as today I have lost another mistruth about Sikhism that has held over from my younger days, I have to confess that the Sikhism I see before me today has no resemblance whatsoever to the Sikhism that not only I embraced, but to the one that thousands embrace daily, in some respects I feel a bit angry, Why are mistruths like these allowed to propogate, why is there not more done by those 'in charge' to encourage peope to see the true colours of Sikhism.

Jasleenji, never before have I been this happy to be corrected, thank you
 

Naamsimiran

SPNer
Nov 21, 2011
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Sat Nam Ji.

It is funny that Banda Singh Bahadur was mentioned, as I near to finished an image of his wife, Susheel Kaur and the reason being is that, yes we need to see, hear and learn about the women of Sikhi. Banda Singh Bahadur's wife also went through the loss of her son and also did not give up her faith.

My humble response:

1. However the issues is not that women are or were in the background, they are depicted/portrayed in the background. There is a very interesting book called relocating gender in Sikh history: Transformation, meaning and identity by Doris R. Jakokbsh.

Jakokbsh writes how a lot of historians were men and in India, men were the literate ones, so usually wrote from a male perspective. (See Jakokbsh's intro).

As we now are in the 21st century, it is now important to look at Sikh women from a more holistic perspective. This can be done by also looking at the movement of Sikh men and women, the Imperialist structures, what happen during the British Raj, Patriarchal systems and migration. Sikh men and women had many things that affected them.
2. Not all cultures or situations have men as leaders. There are in fact tribes were women and the dominant gender, possess courage, strength. In the African Aka tribe, the women go and hunt, while the men tend to the babies. There is a great article in the Guardian about this tribe:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/jun/15/childrensservices.familyandrelationships

There are other reasons too. But you can find this out by following my research:happykudi:
WJKK WJKF
Sat Naam

It seems that I have a lot to learn! After doing a lot of reading, going to a talk in Leicester about the Dasam Granth and Sikhism and Human Rights as part of Sikh Society and speaking to the Historians and Lawyers who presented the above talks, it has come to light that Jakokbsh (who I quoted and referenced above) may in fact have a very Euro-centric biased to her writing. Although being aware that writers do have their own biased (despite the fact they are suppose to remain objective), I have realised I need to read more critically. Jakokbsh in fact may not be right in her view and may have missed the point of Sikhism being Egalitarian altogether. However, at this stage it is important not to dismiss points of view, but rather read with a critical eye.

In fact my research is taking me on a very difficult journey. On one hand I Love Sikhism and Sikh philosophy. I love it because my understanding is that it promotes equality and oneness and humanity.

However, like a lot of you have expressed here on this blog, in our culture, in reality women seem to be on the 'background'. I guess this is one part of what I am trying to research. Are women in the 'background'? Or is this now changing? I guess the best way forward and to remain objective is to gather people's experiences and observations and feelings. Also I realise it is not only in punjabi culture, it is in other cultures too. But obviously not always the case.

But the journey seems confusing at times.

Apologies for any mistakes I have made.
WJKK WJKF
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Naamsimiran Bhain you sound a little upset or dis-heartened. Let me know if I can help. If you have not already done so I believe it will be worthwhile to subdivide the topic into Past, Present and Future.

Past is the easiest to do it is Historic and reasonably certain who was treated which way specific to Sikhism, culturally and other religions. Little can be done to bring out a large positive base to build from aside from very specific examples but the massive male oriented historic will most likely swamp it.

Present one needs to recognize the Good, Indifferent and bad and address how it can be a springboard for positive future.

Future should be cut loose from past other than anecdotal as repeating bad is going to keep bad in focus. There should be a reality check to a path in terms of rate of change over thelast say 20 years and a plan for the next 20 or generation back and a generation forward.

Just some thoughts and please ask for help if it is useful and it is no imposition as those with helpful attitude or mindset will love to help. You are the future.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Naamsimiran

SPNer
Nov 21, 2011
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Sat Naam Ambarsaria Ji

Thank you for your comment and contributions and I will definitely consider them.

In fact yes I have been a little upset. It is actually such a challenging journey. I think because when you have look at your own culture and behavior, looking at the positives and negatives is difficult. As obviously I do not want to paint my own culture in a bad light, but if we are going to move forward, we do need to look at what improvements can be made. This is where we need to look at the 'negative aspects'.

However I guess it is also challenging as when someone from punjabi culture, starts writing about the improvements that can be made, it can easily be viewed by an 'outsider' of the culture as our culture is unequal and oppressive. However, in reality it is a spectrum. There are empowered men and women and husbands and wives who live on equal terms, but oppression and negative issues also exists.


  • Men and women are still being forced into marriages.
  • There are still females being aborted.
  • In Gudwaras, there are still more pictures of men (as great and lovely as they are) compared to women.
  • There are a lot of women who did great things in Sikh history and thankfully yes their images are being painted and their stories are being told. But it could be better.
These are facts. However it is hard to say these things out loud as it is about things happening in my beloved community. Communities and cultures are complex. I guess I just don't want an 'outsider' to read the negatives and demonise punjabi culture. Yet the faults need to be looked at, so things can change.


What do you think? icecreamkudi
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Dec 21, 2010
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Bhain one who is scared of the outcome cannot get to the truth. So don't worry about demonizing. Find what you do, propose what you want and have people comment for sensitivities and sensibilities thereafter. Be honest and keeping the scope and percentages of good, indifferent and bad in focus. It by itself leads to honesty.

It is a very challenging subject even 1 bad is too many but very little can come out of such an approach in terms of challenge for change and positive impact of your endeavor.

You are family I love ice cream too icecreammunda

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Naamsimiran

SPNer
Nov 21, 2011
24
66
Sat Naam Ji

thanks for the support. Your words are comforting and I am grateful.

I also believe in truth and being honest. I am not scared of the outcome, just concerned that I get it accurate! Which is the scary thing.

And yes hurray for ice-cream

In the words of Guru Nanak: “Truth is high but higher still is truthful living.”

WJKK WJKF
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
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Dec 21, 2010
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Following an example what kind of people kept company of our Guru jis and how Women were so respected, loved, honored. This about love of a child for mother.

Shah Hussain to whom Siri Guru Arjun Dev jee treated very well, when he came to include his Baani, was a contemporary of Guru Sahib. He was very humble and obtained Guru Sahib's Khushi by his humility. Complete Saakhi can be read here:
Song composition from the 1600s by Shah Hussein from Punjab,

Maye Ni Mein Kinu Akhan - YouTube
HAMAD ALI BELA-MAYE NI MAIN KINO AAKHAN COMPLEAT KAFI - YouTube
Mai ni main kinu akhan by Sain zahoor Post by Zagham - YouTube

With so much love to leverage, mothers need to be center stage in your project for the future.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Naamsimran ji,

Guru Fateh.

You write:


Sat Naam

It seems that I have a lot to learn! After doing a lot of reading, going to a talk in Leicester about the Dasam Granth and Sikhism and Human Rights as part of Sikh Society and speaking to the Historians and Lawyers who presented the above talks, it has come to light that Jakokbsh (who I quoted and referenced above) may in fact have a very Euro-centric biased to her writing. Although being aware that writers do have their own biased (despite the fact they are suppose to remain objective), I have realised I need to read more critically. Jakokbsh in fact may not be right in her view and may have missed the point of Sikhism being Egalitarian altogether. However, at this stage it is important not to dismiss points of view, but rather read with a critical eye.

In fact my research is taking me on a very difficult journey. On one hand I Love Sikhism and Sikh philosophy. I love it because my understanding is that it promotes equality and oneness and humanity.

However, like a lot of you have expressed here on this blog, in our culture, in reality women seem to be on the 'background'. I guess this is one part of what I am trying to research. Are women in the 'background'? Or is this now changing? I guess the best way forward and to remain objective is to gather people's experiences and observations and feelings. Also I realise it is not only in punjabi culture, it is in other cultures too. But obviously not always the case.

But the journey seems confusing at times.
Pardon the intrusion. Ambarsaria ji is a great help and I am sure he will be able to help you a lot in your research.

I must confess, I almost cringed when you talked about Jakokbsh talking about Sikh women. She is not only Euro-centric but has no idea about the Punjabi Sikh woman's culture which is an amalgam of many cultures which include Indo Aryan, Mughal, Afghani, Turkish, Baluchi, Pathani to name the few. I know she has been praised by many Sikh women, most of whom are converts. Her book has many flaws and it seems she is talking about the Punjabi Sikh woman's culture from a window of a running train. I am glad you are taking a critical look at her works.

Yes, you are on a difficult journey but as they say, a journey without the labyrinthes is like walking on a straight line from one end to the other. One does not even realise where one has been and where one is. But that is what a true journey is all about.

It is a wonderful endeavour and if you need any other help, please post it here.

Thanks & regards

Tejwant Singh
 

Navdeep88

Writer
SPNer
Dec 23, 2009
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NaamSimran Ji,

I've been thinking about this and I think the fact that Sikhi is such a young religion and has had to face a lot of hardship (both historically and in present times) to sustain itself, has resulted in a narrative that celebrates a lot of masculine qualities because that's just been the need. There's been almost a constant struggle to establish a foothold (ie physically, a specified state etc... and spiritually, because of the overwhelming presence of Hinduism etc and the almost coercive efforts to Hinduize Sikhi)... and in these contexts, the masculine qualities have been key to sustaining the Sikh Faith. So retelling stories of strong male role models has been key.

But imo, there is another need. Old bibis taunting younger mothers when they have daughters but no son, is an issue. Females being aborted because they're viewed as burdens and disposable... I wonder if there could be a link between the Sikh Narrative and its focus mainly on the role of strong males, and the current thinking of Punjabi people. Could it be that Old bibis who are Sikh themselves and go to Gurdwarars, hear the parchar... could it be that the near absence of acknowledging and celebrating a large group of otherwise unknown Sikh women who were mothers, wives, daughters and sisters... has a very real effect?

Or perhaps, this has little to do with Sikhi and its just centuries old cultural ideas still trying to grip people in categories... i may be confusing cultural influence with religious.

**my apologies if any of the above causes offence, not intended.
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Dec 21, 2010
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Little strong language in my post below, no swearing (no 4 letter words of course).

I believe the tables have already turned against the influencers of "Female Infanticide", idiots. Be these men or women, society pressure, cultural pressure, etc. We know there is no religious pressure. That is as gracefully as I can address such people.

There is coming a time where men will be giving out dowry (to marry good women). The ratio of females to males is looking terrible in terms of 1:1. Not to push dowry but the mediocre male guys with attitude will have difficulties finding good soul mates. There are Doctors, Lawyers and accomplished kids with attitude having such difficulties in Canada. It will get worst for such worldwide.

Not a solution but creation's way of getting back at such practices and imbalances.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Oct 13, 2011
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Another thing that always infuriates me is when a woman is referred to as having been "dishonored." SHE WAS RAPED. Please use the proper term.

I understand the concept of izzat and the burden of that being on the woman. Obviously that needs to be changed. Let's start with this simple change in terminology. The criminal who RAPED her is dishonored. She is guilty of nothing and her honor remains intact.

A small thing maybe, but a huge change in attitude.kaurhug
 

Naamsimiran

SPNer
Nov 21, 2011
24
66
Tejwant Singh Ji

thanks for your post. It was certainly a good reminder to remain critical. Glad I was reminded at the start of this journey. Sat Naam.

Also if I do put anything up here that people have a different view especially if it can be referenced to other more critical texts, please send me a polite message.

Thanks again Ji

Sarbjit
 

Naamsimiran

SPNer
Nov 21, 2011
24
66
Navdeep88 Ji

I found your post very interesting. I think there is a distinction to be made between Sikh philosophy and culture. I recall someone saying on SPN, that it is 'all culture' and someone else mentioned the 'ego'.

I went to a lecture at Manchester University South Asian culture. Some of the issues that was discussed was that, sons are favored over boys because:

  • in India they inherit the property and land. Although the state/government passed laws so women would get a share (which also varied religiously as Muslims in fact already had a system where monies were shared, built into their religion). However even those these laws were passed, they were rarely upheld by the people.

  • in India (and in the UK etc), the dowry system, puts a huge strain on family's finance, so girls are seen as a 'burden' from the start.

  • Also in India (a point not discussed in the lecture), especially as it has been invaded so man times, there is a in built fear of women being raped, as of course they were. This is linked to izzat. So again women are a burden. But not because families don't want girls and don't love their daughters, but the systems of dowry, inheritance and izzat, make it difficult for them to be the favored outcome. That fear of one's izzat stay, even when people moved to the UK or elsewhere.

  • The way power structures work, women hold power as they get older in India. So new daughter-in-laws, have very little power, however as they get older and then become Mother-in laws themselves, they exert that power and some abuse it. Which is not really a healthy system. This system again stuck and attitudes transferred here in the UK/elsewhere.

  • Indian/South Asian culture (not everywhere of course - point discussed in lecture), sons, especially when married according to tradition are suppose to support their parents and that relationship of mother/father and son, is suppose to be priority. This often means that the new wife is alienated.

  • A more critical look: also very unfortunately, linked to power and the inheritance and abuse. When arrange marriages happen, especially in the UK where, women come in from India, the daughter-in-law is further seen as the 'other' and in some families holds even less power. The persons that hold the power tend to abuse it, esp the mother-in-laws. Also the relationship between the husband and wife may not always be great because the husband is suppose to take the parents side.
Obviously we have in fact moved forward,

  • as some people don't accept dowries.
  • some don't abuse their power.
  • people are realizing, it is not the women's fault if she gets raped (Inderjeet Kaur mentioned this point).
  • the argument of inheritance, becomes undone, as it is normally the elder son who inherits so there is in fact tension between the sons.
  • some families share the wealth and treat daughters and sons equally.
  • the next generation hold different values and more equal attitudes.
  • men do take the side of their wives.
Yet abuse and favoritism and male biased does exist. So the above points can't be dismissed. Plus it is important to see the pressures men face,

  • due they want to be stuck in the middle between wife and parents, to name one.
  • If they don't agree with the male favoritism, how do they get alienated?
  • Are they viewed as being less of a man if they don't follow tradition?
Possible improvements?

  • Don't have a dowry and don't accept one. Unless the dowry supports the women and man. i.e. new clothes for the women etc, financial support for both of them, where the women also has a say in what happens with the money.
  • Don't abuse your power, treat people as equal and with love.
  • Share property/wealth/land equally.
  • Teach boys/men and girls/women to truly know and be able to find a good mate they want to marry and be open and honest about it. Allow for mistakes and support those where marriages don't work, instead of alienating them or cutting them out of the community.
  • If arrange marriages do take place, let the partners get to know each other.
  • Marriages based on guilt and fear, is possible not the greatest starting point.
  • Encourage husbands and wives to build their relationship without parental biased.
Apologies if I made and mistakes in the above and I hope I have not been too long winded or offended anyone.

Comments welcome.

Sat Naam.
 
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kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
4,502
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Little strong language in my post below, no swearing (no 4 letter words of course).

I believe the tables have already turned against the influencers of "Female Infanticide", idiots. Be these men or women, society pressure, cultural pressure, etc. We know there is no religious pressure. That is as gracefully as I can address such people.

There is coming a time where men will be giving out dowry (to marry good women). The ratio of females to males is looking terrible in terms of 1:1. Not to push dowry but the mediocre male guys with attitude will have difficulties finding good soul mates. There are Doctors, Lawyers and accomplished kids with attitude having such difficulties in Canada. It will get worst for such worldwide.

Not a solution but creation's way of getting back at such practices and imbalances.

Sat Sri Akal.
Ambarsaria ji

It is not only female foeticiders are going to suffer,it is the entire society and especially the poor one that will suffer the most.

1) With more men and less women crime against women will rise significantly
this will lead more women to be in home or be in protection of some powerful man.

2)Brawls over Girls will rise and people will kill,hurt others.

3)Prostitution will increase

4)Women trafficking from poor area's will become a norm.life in Naxal hit area's ,Bihar bengal assam etc is worse so many women will also prefer to go and marry men from Punjab ,haryana
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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animatedkhanda1

Ambarsaria ji

It is not only female foeticiders are going to suffer,it is the entire society and especially the poor one that will suffer the most.

1) With more men and less women crime against women will rise significantly
this will lead more women to be in home or be in protection of some powerful man.

2)Brawls over Girls will rise and people will kill,hurt others.

3)Prostitution will increase

4)Women trafficking from poor area's will become a norm.life in Naxal hit area's ,Bihar bengal assam etc is worse so many women will also prefer to go and marry men from Punjab ,haryana
My only disagreement with this is that it shouldn't be in the future tense. It belongs in the present progressive:

  1. "...is rising...is leading more women..."
  2. "...are rising...are killing, hurting..."
  3. ..."is increasing..."
  4. "...is becoming..."
We are now seeing the beginning of all these evils. I hope I do not see the day when Sikh women are expected to because Draupadi Kaurs, but I'm afraid that will happen. BTW, this tend is also evident among Western Sikhs of Punjabi ancestry. Expect it to become worse since female foeticide is not illegal, it's just another abortion.

I have time and again said that I believe this to be the greatest danger to Sikhi. Guru ji will give us strength to fight external enemies and win. Guru ji will thus save us from our enemies from outside; I do not know if he will save us from ourselves.

animatedkhanda1
 
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ravneet_sb

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Nov 5, 2010
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Sat Sri Akaal,

Respect/Power/Equality/ though have external perspective but men's and women's own internal perspective.

What if woman as wife says,

Next birth I will be man and you will be woman

Daughter/Sister say

If one is woman than only man can understand.

Understanding of true nature is required

Lets do some hard talk

Again

Woman has to create liking for there own self, its woman who seek man (boy) form,
rather than man compelling in most of the cases

They have to change the disliking what nature has given to them.

This statement of mine may be wrong for many kaurs,
but this is truth what we have in our society in our families.

Even formal education has no impact on thought process.

There is a short story,
please don't take it real, its story, framed by own self to convince my wife

Two woman pray to all mighty, to give them salvation

Sukhi of them unconditional desireless/ content and
Dukhi of them conditional to give salvation as man's dress,
Dukhi was totally desirous and discontent


In the next formation

Both of them reproduced,
children are re production of self man and woman.

We produce our own self.

Sukhi with a daughter,
naturally beautiful, sweet voiced, desire less, content.

She was in peace owing daughter and was liked by every one, her praise was
till king's palace. Though desire and content, Sukh's daughter got married with
prince.

Dukhi reproduced

Dukhi blessed with son, he was healthy, good looking, full of passion,
he was blessed with wife, full of desire, claiming, blaiming, expecting, not leaving
any peace to her son.

Dukhi was dukhi from her son's dukh and daughter in law.

Both went to all mighty's place.

Sukhi Thanked and
Dukhi Blamed why son is facing Dukh,

All is creation of self, form has no relevance.

Follow "GURU's BANI" create liking for self, outside blames will disappear.

Seek Truth and follow with discipline and routine to get salvation.

Creator has blessed each one of us, understand one's role,

Educate True Self for the cause of nature,
and
Create liking for self and bless to all others.
One can do for all who has come and will come.

Man are not so competent to understand, nature's process.


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
 

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