Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s views on womenPosted: January 29, 2011
At the time of the Gurus women were considered very low in society. Both Hindus and Muslims regarded women as inferior and a man’s property. Women were treated as mere property whose only value was as a servant or for entertainment generally.. They were considered seducers and distractions from man’s spiritual path. Budhism saw women as distractions to man’s spiritual path too…
Men were allowed polygamy but widows were not allowed to remarry but encouraged to burn themselves on their husbands funeral pyre (sati). Child marriage and female infanticide were prevalent and purdah (veils) were popular for women. Women were also not allowed to inherit any property. Many Hindu women were captured and sold as slaves in foreign Islamic countries.
In such a climate Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism shocked the entire society by preaching that women were worthy of praise and equal to men.LOL!! 🙂
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.
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.
– Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa Mehal 1, Page 473