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Harjinder

Why did Guru Gobind Singh have more than one wife?

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Guest BikramjitSingh

Polygamy is not necesserally the same thing as gender discrimination. In fact if you read anthropological writings on polygamy as practiced in different societies you see that it creates a space for women where men have little to say. This feminine sphere that men can't enter has always threatened the insecure white heterosexual male and his colonial insecure disciples. Victorian monogamy enabled men to actually control their household by just having one wife they could control more closely whereas polygamy would put him in a situation where his wives could unite to gain control over the household.

I am not saying polygamy or monogamy is better: it all depends on who practices it! :wink:

Change the record man. Is there anything in your view which is not the fault of the victorians

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Guest Javanmard

Change the record man. Is there anything in your view which is not the fault of the victorians

Tell them to change their record:

Anshu Malhotra.2001.Women and society in colonial Punjab

Gender, Caste, and Religious Identities: Restructuring Class in Colonial Punjab, Delhi:Oxford University Press.

and others:

http://www.strandbookstall.com/store/brows...t.php?cat_id=63

Curious how the "fellowship of the penis" allways feels suddenly bored when threatened by Foucauldian re-reading of history.

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Yes, Guru Hargobind Sahib and my beloved Guru Gobind Singh had three wives, and it was considered as nothing wrong keeping in mind the realities of those times. It is recorded in history, that after his second marriage, Guru Gobind Singh had decided not to marry again. When the third wife was offered to him in marriage, he accepted on the condition that he will not keep any type of physical relationship with her. When Mata Sahib (Kaur) Devan requested for a child, Guru Dasmesh put the Khalsa Panth in her lap. The Khalsa Panth, or rather every Sikh, accepts Guru Gobind Singh as his/her father and Mata Sahib Kaur as his/her mother.

Let me explain this further.

The first marriage took place with Mata Jeeto Ji, when Guru Sahib was just 11 years of age. After about seven years, at the insistence of his mother Mata Gujri, he accepted the offer of a second marriage. The offer came from Ram Saran Kumar, who offered his daughter Sundri in marriage to him.

The third offer came to him after a gap of 16 years, when he was aged 34. The father of (Mata) Sahib (Kaur) Devan brought her to Guru Darbar, to be accepted by Guru Dasmesh as his wife. When Guru Ji plainly declined the offer, her father told him that he had, since her childhood, decided to offer his daughter to Guru Sahib in marriage, and even she was thinking the same in her mind and the people in the neighbourhood were all treating her as ‘mother’. So no one else would accept her in marriage. Guru Ji reluctantly agreed with the condition that he would not keep any physical relations with her, but if she thought fit, she could live in the house. The girl and the father accepted the condition and the marriage was solemnized.

Guru Sahib had one son, the eldest Sahibzada (Prince) from his second wife Mata Sundri Ji, and three younger Sahibzadas from his first wife, Mata Jeeto Ji. Mata Sahib Devan bore no child, but Guru Sahib, as I’ve already mentiond, put the Khalsa Panth in her lap. Mata Jeeto Ji departed this mortal world during the lifetime of Dasmesh Pita, while Mata Sundri Ji. And Mata Sahib Devan, lived for about 40 years after the soul of Guru Sahib merged with the All Mighty, and directed the affairs of Khalsa Panth, while living in Delhi.

I would like just to tell you that, whereas they did a lot for the uplifting and emancipation of women they did not have multiple wives to show their male superiority over women.

Another view on this, given to me by another learned friend is that looking back on our ancient culture there are two types of sadhus: first one, who takes the vairagya path and does not marry, and the second one are those who marry but still remain away from the worldly affairs (I assume he meant the life of a householder). Our Gurus belonged to both these categories. Guru Nanak taught the people to follow the way of vairagya and grihasti. Now, from Guru Hargobind, a new phase was added to the Sikhism: soldier or khsatriya. As the khsatriyas were allowed in our ancient society to have multiple wives, the same “rules” applied to the sixth and tenth gurus. Our gurus, who remained pirs, only had one wife. The gurus, who were in the form of pir+mir, who was treated like a king, who planned for wars, kept arms and soliders, and in the domain kept multiple wives. But that does not mean that they were attached to maya. In this sense, they fulfilled their true kshatriya dharma. I believe that there was a definite meaning to our Gurus step, since all four sons of the tenth guru were martyred. Remember the Gurus were spiritual beings and not mere mortals like us, everything they did was Gods hukum (will). They acted as he told them to act. They spoke only what he told them to speak. They did this by command from the Akal.

Think about all this with with great respect and don’t be too quick to judge. Every woman in the eyes of our Gurus were like Princesses to him, hence he gave us the surname “Kaur.” Women were and are the backbone of Sikh society and this is something that my Gurus always acknowledged regardless if they had more than one wife. Moreover, we as mortal beings and as humble Sikhs of our revered Gurus are not supposed to sit in judgment for their personal lives.

I hope I have made myself clear. Thanks

Welcome on board! Just to clarify on one point, Gur Har Rai also had multiple wives (in fact, 8 in total). Many perceive him to be more "Sant" than "Sipai", however the Kshatriya element was practised in its various forms by all Sodhi-lineage Gurus.

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Guest Javanmard

The number of wives is not a matter of belief : it's a fact!!! Anyone who says that Guru Gobind Singh did not have more than one wife is a pernitious liar as this is an established fact!!!

Mod Note: We request that shouting and other such behaviour is refrained from on this forum. Please point towards the necessary supporting evidence where possible.

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The number of wives is not a matter of belief : it's a fact!!! Anyone who says that Guru Gobind Singh did not have more than one wife is a pernitious liar as this is an established fact!!!

The number of wives is a matter of belief : it's not a fact!!! Anyone who says that Guru Gobind Singh did have more than one wife is a pernitious liar as this is an established fact!!!

All words, i can type in bigger and bolder letter, that does not make it a fact. if it is a fact, then why this dicussion of doubt. If it is a fact then it can be easily proven as you believe in it without doubt. so prove the fact ji.

Furthermore, please explain the meaning of a Wife?? Why marry more than once??

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Guest Javanmard

1. There are three different samadhs for the wives of Guru Gobind Singh. Unless that ONE wife of Guru Gobind SIngh died three times!

2. The Hukamnamas of Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Devan have different handwritings. Unless of course the One wife of Guru Gobind Singh had split personality problems

3. All the puratan historical granths state that he was married to three women. It is only recently that the politically correct Neo-Sikhs came up with this issue: this is revisionism/

4. pheen says: Why marry more than once?

Well, why not marry more than once. Polygamy was never a problem in India and became only an issue when the Bristish came to India with their Victorian repressive values.

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Guest Javanmard

When hundreds and thousands of Singhs were killed many Singhs had up to 10 wives!!! This is a known fact in oral tradition!!! How else would we have been able to repopulate the Panth?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with polygamy at all as long as the first wife agrees to it and that all wives are treated with respect and dignity. I know Singhs who are polygamous and their households are happy. The children get twice as much love because they have two or three mothers and the wives are best friends with each other! Economically the familly is better off because because there is more than two incomes coming into the household and this gives children better economic conditions in terms of educarion , health etc..I am not saying that all polygamous relationships are perfect but then again many "normal" and "respectable" "Gursikh" households aren't that happy either!

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lol

I'm going to print this off and give it to my mom so she can find me a couple (or 3 or 4 or 5...) wives!

Brrrrrruuuuuuuuaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

(Curling my moustache right now as you are reading this).

On a serious note though, I think the reader's level of abstraction will have the most impact on whether they can accept that many Sikhs of the Guru's had more than one wife. I personally see us as tiny little specs of nothingness all fighting about the correct way to love and worship the akaal. If (God willing) I had more than one wife then I don't think Akaal would think any less of me. Not that Akaal isn't bothered, but because in my heart I still have prem for God no matter what, and I try to live a truthful living as taught by my Guru's.

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

Veerji, honestly though is it practical these days?? You're so right..where I live (North America) there is a 50% Divorce rate, that's such a chilling figure :cry: More than the couple, I just feel so bad for the children, I grew up with many people from broken homes and life is just not that easy for them--it's a constant identity reassurance. Your point is also correct, I see so many couples at Gurdwara Sahib that radiate and live up to the honours of Gursikhi jeevan and marriage. At the same time, some couples can barely talk to each other, they are simply the parents of their children. I think we have a lot to learn from our parent's generation, some of them have such golden marriages...

Personally, I could never accept my husband having another wife..plus what I am for him no one else could ever be :wink:

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When hundreds and thousands of Singhs were killed many Singhs had up to 10 wives!!! This is a known fact in oral tradition!!! How else would we have been able to repopulate the Panth?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with polygamy at all as long as the first wife agrees to it and that all wives are treated with respect and dignity. I know Singhs who are polygamous and their households are happy. The children get twice as much love because they have two or three mothers and the wives are best friends with each other Economically the familly is better off because because there is more than two incomes coming into the household and this gives children better economic conditions in terms of educarion , health etc..I am not saying that all polygamous relationships are perfect but then again many "normal" and "respectable" "Gursikh" households aren't that happy either!

I don't want to disbelieve you but i find it hard to believe that there are Singhs with more than one wife !. Are you referring to Nihangs? In which case how can they have two incomes when they have two wives? seriously your post doesn't seem correct :shock: :shock:

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

I think veerji is talking about when a large amount of Singhs would die, they needed more than one wife simply to keep the Sikh population up...

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Normal Singhs ??

dunno much about british law but it might be illegal

In history sikhs married more than one woman if

a) their wife died

B) their wife could not have children

care to give some references to sikhs in history who married to reasons other than that

btw no need to mention maharajas, they were hardly following the Khalsa rehat

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I knew someone who had more than one wife. He was always at Edward Street Gurdwara in West Bromwich, UK.

Also, some of my friends have also heard of this scenario in the UK.

The guy's daughter was in my class and her brother (by his other wife) was in the year above.

He was a normal Singh who was well respected by the sangat.

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Guest Sardar Moderator Singh

Mr Singh Jee, another example to add to your list would be

c) If the wife's husband dies, she would often be married to the deceased younger brother, who if already married, would end up with 2 wives...this I have seen practiced to this day amonst Punjabis all over...

Also, just to turn the tables, Polyandry was also common...typically amongst rural Jatts where a set of brothers would marry one wife...

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4. pheen says: Why marry more than once?

Well, why not marry more than once. Polygamy was never a problem in India and became only an issue when the Bristish came to India with their Victorian repressive values.

Mr. Lalleshvari, let me further explain my question.

What purpose does having more than one wife Serve to an individual who is still in the grips of Maya (ego) and to him who has broken any grips maya would have on him the ego-less??

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What purpose does having more than one wife Serve to an individual who is still in the grips of Maya (ego)

Polygamy maybe practised in an area where there is low male population.Or because a man may want more than one wife to have many children.It may well be a cultural tradition for a particular culture.

and to him who has broken any grips maya would have on him the ego-less??

:arrow: Leela."Khel khel, akhel kelan, ant ko phir ek" - Jaap Sahib

One who is free from the hooks of Maya, can play in Maya how ever they (Vahiguru) wishes.

Why do people want to not believe in historical facts about the Satguru??

Whats up with you people?You are like those God-damned "Christians" and "Muslims," wanting to ignore things which may seem out of the ordinary in this modern day.

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Guru ji didnt marry more than once. That is just history crapy and false writings. Neither did Guru ji hunt, ate meat or anything. If u dont beleive go ask the Real Gursikhs

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

Ask the real Gursikhs??

Veer, so there are FAKE Gursikhs?? :shock: I was always under the impression that a Gursikh IS a Gursikh..end of story.. :roll:

So can we not trust history anymore? Who are we to EVEN question what Guroo jee did??

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Guest

Its not about questioning though is it? I mean, we learn from the Guru's lives, their ways, lifestyle, Sakhis etc. No harm in asking and learning about our Guru's lives, I don't think the original question was asked in any offensive way, or the subsequent questions by other members. I don't know much about this subject, so forgive my ignorance, but when I asked another Sikh about this, he said it wasn't possible for Guru Ji to have had multiple wives, because Guru Gobind Singh Ji said the Khalsa is his Roop and so polygamy wasn't part of Sikhi, which meant he wouldn't have wanted his Sikhs to have more than one wife, I asked him how he knew this, he said in the Gurbani it refers to, when Bani talks of being faithful etc. to ONE wife. I dunno, interesting though, Muslims allow polygamy because it's a way of protecting women who are divorced and cannot remarry, so they are sheltered, also, they believe men naturally have polygamous natures, so rather than the man going out to prostitutes etc, at least his first wife will know where he is, avoiding sexual diseases etc, they also believe it solves the prostitution problem.

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Guest

What purpose does having more than one wife Serve to an individual who is still in the grips of Maya (ego) and to him who has broken any grips maya would have on him the ego-less??

Good question.

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