In Praise of Women
“From the woman is our birth, in the woman’s womb are we shaped;
To the woman we are engaged, to the woman we are wedded;
The woman is our friend and from woman is the family;
Through the woman are the bonds of the world;
Why call woman evil who gives birth to the leaders of the World?
From the woman is the woman, without woman there is none”.
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
At the time when women were considered very low in society, the founder of Sikhism shocked the entire society by preaching that women were worthy of praise and equal to men.
Five hundred years later, the rest of mankind is only now waking up to this fundamental truth.
The Gurus actively encouraged the participation of women as equals in worship, in society, and on the battlefield.
They encouraged freedom of speech and women were allowed to participate in any and all religious activities including reading of the Guru Granth Sahib.
They are allowed to lead religious congregations, take part in the Akhand Path (the continuous recitation of the Holy Scriptures), perform Kirtan (congregational singing of hymns), work as a Granthi, and participate in religious, cultural, social, and secular activities.
In Sikhism, women are considered to have the same souls as men and an equal right to grow spiritually.
Sikh history has prominently recorded the role of women, portraying them as equal in service, devotion, sacrifice, and bravery, to men.
Examples of various women’s moral dignity, service, and self sacrifice are a source of inspiration to the Sikhs.
According to Sikhism, man and woman are two sides of the same coin of the human race, a system of interrelation and inter-dependence in which man takes birth from a woman, and woman is born of a man.
Also, according to Sikhism a man can never feel secure and complete during his life without a woman, and a man’s success depends upon the love and support of the woman who shares her life with him, and vice-versa.
Sikhs, therefore, have had an obligation to treat women as equals, and gender discrimination in Sikh society has not been allowed.
However, gender equality has been difficult to achieve.
This was shot nearby the Athsath Tirath, in front of the Golden Temple in Amritsar (Punjab).
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