Friday, September 30, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Quotations from Adi Granth about women

1) In praise of women

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.
We grow up stronger and wiser having drunk milk from the breast of woman.
Why should we talk ill of her,
who gives birth to Kings?
The woman is born from woman;
there is none without her.
Only the One True Lord is without woman.
(Guru Nanak, Asa Di Var, pg 473)

2) Marriage is an equal partnership of love and sharing between husband and wife.

They are not husband and wife, who merely sit together.
Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one spirit in two bodies.
(Guru Amar Das, pg 788)

3) Women have an equal right to participate in the congregation.

Come my sisters and dear comrades!
Clasp me in thine embrace.
Meeting together, let us tell the tales of our Omnipotent Spouse (God).
In the True Lord are all merits, in us all demerits.
(Guru Nanak, pg 17)

4) God is the husband and we are all his brides.

The spouse is but One and all others are His brides.
The false bride assumes many religious garbs.
When the Lord stops her going into anther's home,
then she is summoned into the Lord's mansion without any let and hindrance.
She is adorned with the Name and is dear to her True Lord.
She alone is the true bride and the Lord lends her His support.


5) God is our mother as well as our father.

Thou O Lord, art my father and Thou my mother.
Thou art the Giver of peace
to my soul and very life.
(Guru Arjan, pg 1144)

6) The rape and brutalities committed against women by the Mughal invader Babar condemned.

Modesty and righteousness both have vanished
and falsehood moves about as the leader, O Lalo.
The function of the Qazis and the Brahmins is over
and the Satan now reads the marriage rites (rape).
The Muslim women read the Quran
and in suffering call upon God, O Lalo.
The Hindu women of high caste
and others of low caste, may also be put in the same account, O Lalo.
(Guru Nanak, pg 722)


7) The practice of women burning themselves on their husband's funeral pyre (sati) condemned.

They cannot be called satis, who burn themselves with their dead husbands.
They can only be called satis, if they bear the shock of separation.
they may also be known as satis, who live with character and contentment
and always show veneration to their husbands by remembering them.
(Guru Amar Das, pg 787)

8) The ritual of dowry so prevalent in many societies condemned.

Any other dowry, which the perverse place for show,
that is false pride and worthless gilding.
O' my Father! give me the Name of Lord God as a gift and dowry.
(Guru Ram Das, pg 79)

First Supreme Being Guru Nanak laid the foundation of Sikhism which believes in a casteless, egalitarian society which guarantees equal rights to Women. Each of the Supreme Being Gurus under authority of God gave women equal status. the gained social and religious freedom at a time when the existing religions and society considered women to be property. The false notion that they were inherently evil and unclean was removed. A woman was regarded as temptation-incarnate. The Gurus exposed the folly of such notions.

Sixth Supreme Being Guru HarGobind called women "the conscience of man". In religious gatherings, men and women sang and preached without any distinction. The wearing of purdah (women wearing veils to hide the face) was rejected as demeaning to women. Guru HarGobind refused to have dinner with any Queen who wore a veil.

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