POSITION OF WOMEN IN SIKHISM

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1 KAAV INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS,HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES POSITION OF WOMEN IN SIKHISM JASPREET KAUR Assistant Professor Khalsa College for Women Civil Lines, Ludhiana In Indian history, medivial period is that period in which the society was categorized in different categories some of them were being honoured by the society and some were discriminated on the behalf of only that they have born in a lower caste. At that time when every human being was treated on the basis of the caste, how can a female human being (woman) get respectful position in the society. At the time women were also considered very low in the society. Higher and lower categories of the society regarded women as inferior and just a property of man. Man used women just for his personal profits. Women have no right to get educate at that come too. They were considered as a distraction from men's spiritual journey/path. That's why Sati Pratha (husband's funeral pyre), child marriage, purdah pratha ware popular in society. At that time when each and every circumstance were against the women, the Guru Nanak came forward for the upliftment of this neglected but most important section of the society. Guru Nanak regarded women as the creator of the society. Guru Nanak broke the all myths and restrictions those were being imposed on the women. Guru Nanak preached that women are the masterpiece of the creator and his message is equal to them also. Apart from Guru Nanak, the other nine Gurus also followed the same path and their teachings illustrate that in Sikh religion there is no 45

2 scope of discrimination on the behalf of sex, religion, colour, caste or creed. The eleventh enlighten soul of Sikh religion Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is also full of the examples and incident showing the full respect and devotion towards the women. In Vaar Aasa Guru Nanak wrote on full shabad in the praise of women. Guru Nanak wrote: We are born of women, we are conceived in the womb of women. We are engaged and married to women. We make friendship with women and the lineage continued because of women. When one women dies, we get married to another one, in fact we are bound with the world through women. Why should we take lil of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her. Only the supreme God is without woman. 1 Even in all his shabad's and preachings, he himself described as a women and God as her husband. All other Guru's des the same. In Raag Ramkali, Guru Nanak said: The spouse is one and all others are his brides. The false bride assumes many religious garbs. When the Lord stop her going into another's home then in she summoned into her Lord's mansion without any let and hindrance. She is adomed with the name and is dear to her true Lord. She alone is the true bride and the Lord lends her His support. 2 To give equal respect and ensuring equal status for women. The Guru's made no discrimination between the sexes in the matters of sangat, sewa, pangat and most importantly the process of initiation. Even the Khande-Baate Ke Pahul (The nectar which is made by the Mata Sundri and now by Panj Pyaras for the initiation) for the Panj yaras were made by Mata Sundri at the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Gurus assigned the women to the responsibility of supervising and serving the 46

3 community because they knows the inner strength and strong will power of woman. We can find several names in the history whom devoted their lives and comforts to fulfill Guru's orders like, Mai Bhago, Rani Sada Kaur, Rani Sahib Kaur, Mata Sundari, Maharani Jind Kaur, Mata Gujari and many more. Women in sikh religion is highly honoured. Guru Gobind singh had ordered his army to not to harm or insult any women,whether she belongs to sikh community or any else. Women who is considered very weak, both mentally and physically is named as singhni means a lioness by Sikh Gurus. It seems very much true when we go through in the History. When forty(40) disciples of Guru Gobind Singh ji decided to part away from the Guru Sahib and come back home, only the women or their wives are the first one who realized them about their committed sin. They offer bangals to them and decided to fight for the Guru and their beloved Sikhism. Such a human being or a women can not be inferior or weak at all. In the shabads (hymn) and spiritual poetry written by Bhai Gurdas, a poet of early Sikhism rejects the thought of women's distraction in spiritual journey. In fact Bhai Gurdas wrote: A woman is the favourite in her paternal home loved dearly by her father and mother. In the home of her in laws, she is the pillar of the family, the guarantee of its good fortune... sharing in spiritual wisdom and enlightenment and with his noble qualities endowed, a woman, the other half of man, escorts him to the door of liberation. 3 Bhai Gurdas focused on the point that not only woman is equal among God but she also manages and helps her spouse to get Moksha. Guru Arjun Dev Ji regarded God both as father as well as mother too. Guru Arjun Dev wrote: Thou O Lord art my father and thou my mother. Thou art the giver of peace to my soul and very life. 4 Guru Nanak and Guru Arjun Dev wrote a beautiful course named Baramaha in which they described the pain of the soul disguised as a woman. In Sikhism every 47

4 woman is regarded as a mother, sister or daughter according to their status. it is meant as a sin or crime if any Sikh insulted or harmed the women, both physically and mentally. The Sikhism and Guru's teaching were not true only in that period but also in today's modern era too. Nowadays female foeticide and dowry cases are seen and heard frequently. But Guru Ram Das at that period condemned this ritual and wrote: Any other dowry, which the perverse place for show, that is false pride and worthless gliding. O'my father! Give me the name of Lord God as a gift of dowry. 5 According to principle of Sikhism male and female have equal rights. None is superior in this creation. Only god is superior in this world and surprisingly he is not the part of this materialized world, although he himself creates all this. Sikhism believes in equality of all humanity. He himself resides in them. that s why in Guru Granth Sahib, it is written: In all beings is the lord Prevaise, the lord prevaids all forms male and female 6 Sikhism give liberty to the women. Women can do everything that she wishes to do, but according to Sikh Principles. Of course women can never be out of her decent boundary. Women have Equal right to get educate. According to sikh philosophy if a women at the home get education,the whole family will be educate automatically. The Third guru Guru Amardas ji sent fifty two missionaries all around the world and they all were the women.hence from the very beginning the process to uplift the social status of women has been started and it was only done by sikh gurus. Sikhism give equal rights to men and women. If a women can serve the family in her home then she can serve the nation too. Sikhism give equal opportunity to women in political aspects too. She can serve as granthi too. In other religions women can not perform ritual ceremonies at their religious places( no intention to hurt anybody s sentiments). It shows that Sikhism respect women and regard her worthy of praise and appreciation. The position of women in Sikhism is highly honoured. If each and 48

5 every single person draw attention towords the teaching of Sikh Gurus, then definitely the crime and offence against women will be stopped absolutely. References 1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Adi Granth, Vaar Aasa, Pg Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Adi Granth Vaar Aasa, Pg Baig, Tara Ali, India's Women Power, Delhi, Guru Arjun Dev Ji, Adi Granth, Raag Bhairo, Pg Guru Ram Das, Adi Granth, Raag Siri, Pg Adi Granth, Raag Siri, Pg

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