Wednesday, March 30, 2011

God ...Tussi Great Ho!!!.....God You Are Great


I am a Sikh and for me ...... God is one...Ek Onkar



He is the Supreme Truth. He is the Creator.He is without fear and without hate.

The opening sequence in Guru Granth Sahib ….. The holy scripture of Sikhism tells us and about the description of God: 
He is immortal. He is neither born nor does He die.( Ajuni).
By Guru's grace shall we be able to see the path to Him?
Chant and Meditate on His Name (simran).
 He has been the Truth. He is the Truth now and He 
shall be the Truth forever…..



This supreme master loves everyone. In Sikhism, the unshakeable belief is that there is no one superior to Him… Him whom we call GOD…..’The Waheguru’. …He created all beings, animals, birds, creatures ….Moreover he created all kinds of humans… Black …White…Brown…Yellow.
It was Guru Nanak the founder of Sikh faith, who gave this clarity to the people who hitherto thought differently.


Surprised and perplexed, they asked questions on the veracity of his teachings.
Who told you this?
How did God come in existence?

Very gently and patiently Guru Nanak explained that God Himself gave him this information ….for that matter he continued to explain that  God has always been present from time immemorial…for that matter for God there is no perception of time…. No beginning  no end. This maybe a little difficult for us to understand … as humans we are used to the quantified unit of time ....This concept of time is very global.


By now the curiosity of the people was further piqued…. they were curious and asked Guru Nanak as to what God looked like?
That must have been a tough one…to describe the formless!!! However the great Guru preached that God is beyond gender and shape. "He has no form, no shape, no color; God is beyond these three qualities.” One understands Him, O Nanak, with whom God is pleased" (Guru Granth Sahib pg 283). God has no body, He is the greatest Spirit of all and our soul is a part of Him.’


Every religious conviction talks of the benevolence of the Supreme Power …here we come to one possible difference …. The main difference in Sikhism is at only one point…..The saviours who walked the Earth are in most faiths established as God …..Jesus…Buddha ….Ram
…..Krishna… The Sikh Gurus themselves said that they are not to be worshipped. They expressed very clearly not to worship anyone except God...And they were not God.
Guru Gobind Singh  even put it in harsh words and said, Those who call me God will fall into the pit of hell. Consider me as a humble servant of God and have no doubt about it.” He wanted to be very clear that He is not God and should not be worshipped. One should only worship the One Almighty Lord.

Simply put.. God is everywhere and no one can claim proprietary rights on him. He is our 
maker. And has abundance of love to share.


Then why do we come to blows?


The purpose of life is to purify yourself, meditate on God and eventually connect with the universal pool of Supreme Energy … God.

Could we consider that soul is a part of God, from which it has been separated and is in constant state of tension to become one with God. ..That is the salvation  we achieve ..... ‘Mukti’ from the cycle of birth and death.


Is it the purpose of this life is to become one with God, to merge in the One whom we originated from?


 Our Guru tells us, "This human body has been given to you. This is your chance to meet God. All other works are of no use. Join the holy congregation and meditate on the Name of God" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 12).

What does this separation do to our soul?


The learned say that our soul once it has been separated from God is in state of disturbed equilibrium filled of many impurities such as lust, anger, greed, attachment to materialistic things, and ego. We have to purify our soul so that we can merge with divine energy … God.


Hmmm!!! How do we do this? 


Try living an honest and humble lifestyle. Compassion and Love be the cornerstone and meditate…..Simran.


Gurbaani  says that, "Those who meditate single-mindedly on the Name of God, and contemplate the teachings of the Gurus ….. Their faces are forever radiant in the Kingdom of God" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 28).


 The ones who do not meditate on God keep going through the cycle of birth and death while the one who meditate on God and love Him become radiant in His Kingdom.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Kaurageous Kaurs !!!




Sikh women want equal rights….And rightly so.

But then, do they in reality have to ask for something that is theirs historically?


Purely reflecting on at the tenets of Sikhism …We as Sikhs ‘should’ be very proud of the unique stand our religion takes with regard to the equality between men and women, which has been evident since its origin….Here the operative word is ‘should’…We should  but we cannot be , for we far from follow the dictate of the Gurus.

Even though we have an over 500 years of headstart we must introspect and make every effort in real terms to pursue in practice the Guru’s teachings of equality. …not only concerning man and man but also negate the gender bias   between man and woman.

Most agricultural civilizations relegated the importance of women, thus plummeting their status and potential in society. Agricultural civilizations were characteristically patriarchal. What we mean by this is that the way of life was controlled by men .They made decisions on all political, economic, and cultural matters. A smaller unit of the society was an individual family which was again set up on a patriarchal basis, with the husband and father determining fundamental conditions and making the key decisions, and with it was the self-effacing total obedience to this male authority.

Now this was not all, as agricultural civilizations urbanized over time and became more prosperous and more elaborately organized, the status of women did not improve ….Far from it, it deteriorated further. Patriarchal family structure continued to rest in man’s control so did most or all property, starting with land itself; and therefore subordination to men, was the normal condition for the vast majority of women.

Centuries preceding Fifteenth century were not really mellow times for North India, women were chattels …womanhood was severely besmirched and oppressed by the dictum of society. Given no education or freedom to make decisions, their presence in religious, political, social, cultural, and economic affairs was virtually non-existent.
The caste ridden patriarchal Indian society treated a woman as a liability, her purpose in the social order was only to perpetuate the family lineage, do household work, and serve the male members. Female infanticide was common along with the horrific practice of sati…, the sacrifice of the widow on her husband’s funeral pyre; sometimes it was even forced on the ill fated woman.

For all intents and purposes this was the societal fabric at the time of Guru Nanak’s birth.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji condemned this man-made perception of discrimination of women, and protested against their long subjugation.

At a time when witch hunts were still common in the west and the slave trade was at its height in central Asia; Guru Nanak Dev Ji fought back against the mindsets that society had taken against women in India, and gave them equal status.


 In Guru Granth Sahib Ji, it states:
“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? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her.” (Guru Nanak Dev, Var Asa, Ang 473)


In the 17th century Guru Gobind Singh Ji continued the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, by bestowing the name Kaur ….meaning Princess upon all Sikh women. This he did, to give them a unique identity and to challenge long set traditions .
 The time was Baisakh of 1699, and the place was plains of Punjab… Sikh Women were given the last name 'Kaur' and and Men 'Singh'. The literal meaning of the word 'Kaur' is possibly…Prince not Princess.  It is a derivative of the Sanskrit word 'Kanwar' meaning Prince, whereas, 'Singh' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Simha' meaning lion. 
Do you know, interestingly in the past even male Sikhs have used ’Kaur’ in their name.

Guru Gobind Singh said,

"You are my beloved, my daughters. You must be respected. How can this world be without you?.
"You don’t have to take anybody else's name. You are an individual, you are the equivalent of a prince, and you keep Kaur as your given name.”

This was a tangible step towards human equality in an era when slavery was rampant in America and slave markets flourished. Guru Gobind Singh sought to end the citadel of caste system, social stratification and much of the apparatus of Hindu ritualism.
Goddess Kore 

Another interesting trivia is that there was a 4th Century Goddess called KORE or KAUR was depicted by the Upright Pentacle symbol ….five corner star. This was one of the most widely used religious symbols, used by by ancient Pagans, ancient Israelites, and Christians, magicians, Wiccans and others.  This symbol apparently originated as the symbol of this Goddess who was worshiped over an area which extends from present-day England to Egypt and beyond. Kore was also known as Car, Cara, Carnac, Ceres, Core, Kar, Karnak, Kaur, Kauri, Ker, Kerma, Kher, Kore, Q're, etc
Pentacle

While researching the origin of Kaur, we came across an interesting usage of Kaur as early as 1636 for both males and females, in Switzerland….though different spellings were used: 'Caur', 'Kaur', 'Kauwer' and 'Kauer' 
Birth and death records from the 1600's indicate: 
·             Anna Kauer , Female, 1636
Kaur is a common Estonian first name.
·       Kaur Alttoa, author of book "The Churches of Saaremaa" was associated with the "Viljandi Muuseum" excavations, Kindral Laidoneri plats 10, EE 71020 Viljandi, Estonia in 1971-72.
·       Best seller writer Kaur Kender, author of Yuppiejumal 

The Importance of Kaur
Have you ever thought why Guru Gobind Singh, gave the option of Kaur as a second name to Sikh women?
Why did he not acknowledge the status quo?
What was Guru Ji trying to achieve by calling the Sikh woman "A Princess"?
3 women by Amrit Shergill

To try to understand the possible reasons behind Guru Gobind Singh’s far reaching decision, we need to look at the situation at the time in different cultures. In Indian society, the brides first and last name was often changed after her marriage. This still happens today.
However, this tradition of name changing does not occur just in India. It is a phenomenon which occurs across the whole world today.
Unsurprisingly, the man's name never changes.

Adam's rib
Some cultures go as far as considering the woman to be more like property, with transferable rights …. oooops!! I cringe when girls are referred to as ‘paraya dhan’.  This was so even for the Hindu Law giver, Manu, who claimed that no woman should ever be independent. Christianity considered woman to be a product of man as Eve had come from "the rib" of Adam.
Guru Gobind Singh changed all this with the resurrection of the Khalsa. He gave women the opportunity to live life free, unchained from the shackles of a dogmatic society.
 It was ‘Hukam’ fro the ‘Param Purakh’ he said.  He readily accepted the difference between men and women but strongly asserted that this difference did not imply inequality.
In his code of belief though women and men were dissimilar and poles apart in psyche all the same the equality they share is paramount.

The importance of "Kaur" is truly inexpressible. It is something very unique in history ….Especially if you stop to ponder on the presence of Sikh Women in State Affairs .
 In annals of Indian history, you will notice only a few women have actively participated in government affairs…namely Razia Sultan and Jhansi ki Rani  But, strange enough Sikh history is replete with the remarkable role played by women of princely families… The Sikh Ranis .As and when an exigency come to pass, they creditably arose to the demand to participate in state affairs and towards the Sikh polity as rulers, or as regents, or simply as administrators and advisors .
 "The Sikh ladies ruled with vigour and diplomacy," says General Gordon.
  In the words of William Francklin, "Instances indeed, have not infrequently occurred, in which they (women) have actually taken up arms to defend their habitations, from the desultory attacks of the enemy, and throughout the contest, behaved themselves with an intrepidity of spirit, highly praiseworthy” 
To quote Griffin, the Sikh women "have on occasions shown themselves the equals of men in wisdom and administrative ability."
Usually the dowager queens in time of need filled the space to do commendable works. A passing reference of the role of some of them towards the end of the eighteenth century and in the first half of the nineteenth century may not be out of place here.
Rani Sada Kaur

Rani Sada Kaur, widow of Sardar Gurbakhsh Singh Kanaihya and mother-in-law of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was well versed in the affairs of the state and commanded her soldiers in the battle-field. She was a very shrewd lady with a thorough grasp of statecraft.
Mai Desan, the widow of Charhat Singh Sukarchakia, was a great administrator, an experienced and a wise diplomat.
Maharani Jindan Kaur


Maharani Jindan Kaur, Mahraja Ranjit Singh’s widow tried to bulwark the crumbling empire.
So now …coming back to my question on equal rights for women …. Why do women have to ask for something that is theirs historically?
 In the Sikh way of life, women have equal rights with men. There is absolutely no discrimination against women. They have equal rights to participate in social, political and religious activities.
Dear daughters of Punjab…..Equality as a right is yours given by our Guru …Take it !!! 

Sikh women have played a glorious part in the history and have a played a vital roles in shaping important events .The wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters of the Sikh Gurus  were instrumental in bringing about many of the time honored traditions. They never flinched from their duty….. One illustrious example is that of Mai Bhago… Mata Bhaag Kaur  who bravely fought war for Guru Gobind Singh, when some Sikh soldiers deserted him and returned home.
The Gurus use woman symbolically in the bani to represent the disciple. Bhai Gurdas, the scribe of G.G.S., says, "Of all the Vedas' knowledge and all other virtues, it is the woman who can best guide man to the gates of salvation."



 Generations of Sikh ladies till date have selflessly served the  humanity shoulder to shoulder with men. Some were unassuming and quietly supportive, others courageously outspoken and fierce in battle. When faced with adversity, Sikh women showed strength of character and deep commitment to the values which they helped to establish and instill in their faith and families.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sadly Weep our Daughters in the 'Land of Five Rivers'.


..For sadly weep our daughters in the 'Land of Five Rivers'.

The pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib are replete with many names for God, some are masculine in gender while others are feminine…But that, that remains a commonality is that all these names are used to describe God. A fair deduction drawn from this is that our Gurus did not consider God to be either male or female.

The Mool Mantra states that God is Ajuni (Unborn), in other words, God belongs to neither sex.

If this be the case, then why does our patriarchal society impose stern taboos only on the being of girl child?
Why do our girls get subjected to biases and remain illiterate and ill-treated?
For all its glory that we talk of, it is a horrendous practice in Punjab where by infants are murdered …All without a single exception are little baby girls put to death by their own parents or at the least by their mute consent.

This observable ritual of female infanticide is as old as the Sphinx in many cultures …the Arab and Asian countries, such as Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have remained till date male dominated in mind sets and place a much higher worth on the male gender of the species. A large number of infants are killed at birth immediately after it is revealed that they are not a male child.                                                                                                     

It is maybe a symptomatic manifestation of the evil dowry system…. If a son of one family is to get married to a daughter of another, the bride’s family is expected to give large sums of money and gifts to the groom’s family. So, what we make of this is quite simple….That having a daughter is a monetary burden on the family as a whole and it may bankrupt a poor folks which have more than one daughter. Dowry is legally not acceptable and banned, but then the ban is largely ignored and has become a social curse of mammoth proportions far more demanding than it was in yester years.

It is now up to you, young people to say ‘NO’ to Dowry…Take no dowry….give no Dowry.
Reject It.
This ‘Son Syndrome’ coupled with the financial burden of having a girl has perhaps egged on the practice of infanticide in regards to the female babies.
What have I done ?
It is quite possible that some of the hapless parents of baby girls are reluctantly driven towards infanticide for the fear of the financial demands that will be imposed on them. Next time we hear about this ghastly sin heaving our society. We should stop and take the 'Halo' off our head, for in some ways we are responsible for the rot that has set in. It is the entire fabric of society that is rotten,the  pitiful mother often has no say in this, she in all likelihood remains sidelined…. The decision to kill the little baby girl lies with the patriarch of the family…. But he does not dirty his hands himself. Midwives are there….Midwives are very common in rural India …she assists in childbirth, and if need be for a generous consideration may be coerced to put an end to life of the little baby girl soon after her birth.
Did you know that there are family secrets passed down generations, much like the recipes, for killing these infants? 
And you will shudder to think how? ….It is so horrific that it feels like it is the dark ages and not the 21st century.
Sometimes the infants are fed milk laced with sap of poisonous plants or pesticides. Others are given rice paddy with the husks still attached to swallow …This slits their tender throat. Other methods include feeding them salt to increase blood pressure.

I have heard of some very gruesome physical methods as well…like being stuffed in clay pots, holding the baby by the waist and shaking it - which snaps the spinal cord - or simply snapping their necks…..One of the popular serials currently being aired has tried to lay bare the ugliness and shows little girls drowned in large urns of milk and water.
The heartless remorseless perpetuators responsible perhaps settle the qualms that I’m sure they have, by thinking that these methods are all quick and painless, which they are not and little infants must suffer. Okay, they may be painless and simple for them to execute… But they are barbaric.
Can we allow this to happen?
Remember if we keep quiet, then we become partners in crime.

In China girls are abandoned in hospices, where they live in poor conditions and starved to death. These places have earned the nickname the "dying rooms" because they spend most of their lives chained to their bed and being fed meager amounts of food.
A woman in Islam is not usually allowed to choose who she is to marry. She lives her without a persona behind a niqab or a burqa. In many Muslim countries a woman cannot leave the house without a male relative's presence or permission. She is often beaten by her husband and could be divorced with simple ‘Talaq’. Women in Saudi Arabia emerge time and again as victims of discrimination and human rights violations because of the gender bias in law, social mores and traditions. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive or leave the country without approval from their husband or father.

If this is not all…We now have ‘Honour killings’…...And these are not occurrences in the remote interiors of Bharat….But the killings are the urbanised feudal continuance of caste discrimination in towns and cities of modern India…To be real even Delhi.
Honour crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by brothers, uncles and in some cases a father is part of the plot against the young girl of the family, who is seen to have brought dishonour upon the ’Khandaan ki izzat’. This ill fated girl is targeted for a multiplicity of reasons, ….refusing to agree to an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or committing the sin of being in love…..Heavens help, for this  is adulterous in the eyes of the sanctimonious family. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonours" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.
Ahh!! How can we forget the trauma of child marriage….a detrimental time-honored practice that weds children.  Here, once again it is the girls, very young girls married to men who are usually much much older than their new bride. 
15 year old girl sold as bride of 70 year old man in Pakistan
Fortunately ‘Sati’  is one social evil that is  more or less an exception now….Sati is the Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre.
"Sati" means a virtuous woman. A woman who dies burning herself on her husband's funeral fire was considered most virtuous and worshipped as a Goddess, and temples were built in her memory.

Sati was supposed to be voluntary, but it is known that it has often been forced. Setting aside the issue of social pressures, many accounts exist of women being physically forced to their deaths. The practice of Sati was prohibited and widow-remarriage was encouraged….nevertheless it has remained a law on paper and very little can be seen in practice.








Guru Nanak challenged the idea of woman being inferior to man and unchained her from gender biases inflicted on her by the man centric society.
 In one of his hymns, he said:
From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman. That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful. O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord.  || 2 || (Page 473)

All the Guru’s gave woman a status equal to that of man. They regarded woman as man's companion in every walk of life. The Gurus thought this equality in time would be of mutual benefit.

The Guru’s said that a woman is the first teacher of man as his mother. Her role is to mould children and discipline them. She has to be educated so that her children may develop their potential to the fullest. She was allowed to join holy congregations, participate and conduct them…and was called 'the conscience of man'.

To the extent we saw that women soldiers fought side by side with male soldiers in some of the battles which Guru Gobind Singh fought.

That was then, it is times today that scare me, the devaluation of social fabric scares me….
I would like to ask these ‘honourable men’ of the patriarchal set up…..
 Are our daughters children of lesser God ?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

GOD….Are you a man or a woman?

....For sadly weep our daughters in the 'Land of Five Rivers'.




The pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib are replete with many names for God, some are masculine in gender while others are feminine…But that, that remains a commonality is that all these names are used to describe God. A fair deduction drawn from this is that our Gurus did not consider God to be either male or female.

The Mool Mantra states that God is Ajuni (Unborn), in other words, God belongs to neither sex.

If this be the case, then why does our patriarchal society impose stern taboos only on the being of girl child?
Why do our girls get subjected to biases and remain illiterate and ill-treated?
For all its glory that we talk of, it is a horrendous practice in Punjab where by infants are murdered …All without a single exception are little baby girls put to death by their own parents or at the least by their mute consent.

This observable ritual of female infanticide is as old as the Sphinx in many cultures …the Arab and Asian countries, such as Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have remained till date male dominated in mind sets and place a much higher worth on the male gender of the species. A large number of infants are killed at birth immediately after it is revealed that they are not a male child.                                                                                                     

It is maybe a symptomatic manifestation of the evil dowry system…. If a son of one family is to get married to a daughter of another, the bride’s family is expected to give large sums of money and gifts to the groom’s family. So, what we make of this is quite simple….That having a daughter is a monetary burden on the family as a whole and it may bankrupt a poor folks which have more than one daughter. Dowry is legally not acceptable and banned, but then the ban is largely ignored and has become a social curse of mammoth proportions far more demanding than it was in yester years.

It is now up to you, young people to say ‘NO’ to Dowry…Take no dowry….give no Dowry.
Reject It.
This ‘Son Syndrome’ coupled with the financial burden of having a girl has perhaps egged on the practice of infanticide in regards to the female babies.
What have I done ?
It is quite possible that some of the hapless parents of baby girls are reluctantly driven towards infanticide for the fear of the financial demands that will be imposed on them. Next time we hear about this ghastly sin heaving our society. We should stop and take the 'Halo' off our head, for in some ways we are responsible for the rot that has set in. It is the entire fabric of society that is rotten,the  pitiful mother often has no say in this, she in all likelihood remains sidelined…. The decision to kill the little baby girl lies with the patriarch of the family…. But he does not dirty his hands himself. Midwives are there….Midwives are very common in rural India …she assists in childbirth, and if need be for a generous consideration may be coerced to put an end to life of the little baby girl soon after her birth.
Did you know that there are family secrets passed down generations, much like the recipes, for killing these infants? 
And you will shudder to think how? ….It is so horrific that it feels like it is the dark ages and not the 21st century.
Sometimes the infants are fed milk laced with sap of poisonous plants or pesticides. Others are given rice paddy with the husks still attached to swallow …This slits their tender throat. Other methods include feeding them salt to increase blood pressure.

I have heard of some very gruesome physical methods as well…like being stuffed in clay pots, holding the baby by the waist and shaking it - which snaps the spinal cord - or simply snapping their necks…..One of the popular serials currently being aired has tried to lay bare the ugliness and shows little girls drowned in large urns of milk and water.
The heartless remorseless perpetuators responsible perhaps settle the qualms that I’m sure they have, by thinking that these methods are all quick and painless, which they are not and little infants must suffer. Okay, they may be painless and simple for them to execute… But they are barbaric.
Can we allow this to happen?
Remember if we keep quiet, then we become partners in crime.

In China girls are abandoned in hospices, where they live in poor conditions and starved to death. These places have earned the nickname the "dying rooms" because they spend most of their lives chained to their bed and being fed meager amounts of food.
A woman in Islam is not usually allowed to choose who she is to marry. She lives her without a persona behind a niqab or a burqa. In many Muslim countries a woman cannot leave the house without a male relative's presence or permission. She is often beaten by her husband and could be divorced with simple ‘Talaq’. Women in Saudi Arabia emerge time and again as victims of discrimination and human rights violations because of the gender bias in law, social mores and traditions. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive or leave the country without approval from their husband or father.

If this is not all…We now have ‘Honour killings’…...And these are not occurrences in the remote interiors of Bharat….But the killings are the urbanised feudal continuance of caste discrimination in towns and cities of modern India…To be real even Delhi.
Honour crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by brothers, uncles and in some cases a father is part of the plot against the young girl of the family, who is seen to have brought dishonour upon the ’Khandaan ki izzat’. This ill fated girl is targeted for a multiplicity of reasons, ….refusing to agree to an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or committing the sin of being in love…..Heavens help, for this  is adulterous in the eyes of the sanctimonious family. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonours" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.
Ahh!! How can we forget the trauma of child marriage….a detrimental time-honored practice that weds children.  Here, once again it is the girls, very young girls married to men who are usually much much older than their new bride. 
15 year old girl sold as bride of 70 year old man in Pakistan
Fortunately ‘Sati’  is one social evil that is  more or less an exception now….Sati is the Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre.
"Sati" means a virtuous woman. A woman who dies burning herself on her husband's funeral fire was considered most virtuous and worshipped as a Goddess, and temples were built in her memory.

Sati was supposed to be voluntary, but it is known that it has often been forced. Setting aside the issue of social pressures, many accounts exist of women being physically forced to their deaths. The practice of Sati was prohibited and widow-remarriage was encouraged….nevertheless it has remained a law on paper and very little can be seen in practice.








Guru Nanak challenged the idea of woman being inferior to man and unchained her from gender biases inflicted on her by the man centric society.
 In one of his hymns, he said:
From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman. That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful. O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord.  || 2 || (Page 473)

All the Guru’s gave woman a status equal to that of man. They regarded woman as man's companion in every walk of life. The Gurus thought this equality in time would be of mutual benefit.

The Guru’s said that a woman is the first teacher of man as his mother. Her role is to mould children and discipline them. She has to be educated so that her children may develop their potential to the fullest. She was allowed to join holy congregations, participate and conduct them…and was called 'the conscience of man'.

To the extent we saw that women soldiers fought side by side with male soldiers in some of the battles which Guru Gobind Singh fought.

That was then, it is times today that scare me, the devaluation of social fabric scares me….
I would like to ask these ‘honourable men’ of the patriarchal set up…..
 Are our daughters children of lesser God ?