Jump to content

Caste and sexism in Gurbani ??


Recommended Posts

This is a genuine question, not slandering at bani or anything just curious as to why it has been worded so..

http://www.sikhitothemax.com/page.asp?ShabadID=259

in that shabad maharaj refers to evils as low caste women,

False-mindedness is the drummer-woman; cruelty is the butcheress; slander of others in one's heart is the cleaning-woman, and deceitful anger is the outcast-woman.

Why would he use woman? and not have cruelty as a butcher.. ?? and anger as the outcast man?

Also why isnt fasle mindedness a jatt woman? and cruelty a tarkhan woman?

I was just browsing when i came across this shabad, and I couldnt get my head around why that choice of words and names, the only answer I could come up with was to show how bad the evils are by relating them to the lower castes.. but that doesnt seem to fit with the whole sikhi is not castist or sexist..

would be intrested in other (most probably better) interpretations,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sat Sri Akal

Gurbani should not be interprated in the literal sense becasue its in more in a relational sense. The interpretation of this shabad by sikhitothemax.com, leaves a lot to be desired...

In this shabad, Guru Ji is pointing to a person (woman), at the wholesome futility of karam-kaands that have infested in the social behaviour. The following interpretation by Prof Sahib Singh Ji in Shri "Guru Granth Darpan" makes most sense to me and is more effective... Kindly bear with my limited transliteration skills... here we go...

Guru Ji say: (Panna 91 SGGS, Panna 393-94 of GuruGranthDarpan by Prof. Sahib Singh Ji (electronic form)

False-understanding is the drummer-woman (of a persons inner-self), cruelty is the butcher-woman (of a persons inner-self), slandering others is cleaning-woman (of a persons inner-self) and anger is sorcerer-woman (of a persons inner-self, which has looted the peacefilled behaviour of a person.)

If these four vices are filled in your heart then what is the use of drawing these ceremonial lines around your kitchen?

O Nanak ! those persons, who know the truth (about making the pure the kitchen) make truthful living/self-descipline their ceremonial lines, pray in the Name of the True Lord and treat this as their sacred bath and do not preach these false-teachings filled with falsehood to others, only such persons are treated as nobel persons in the presence of the Almighty.

Bhul Chuk Maaf

Chardi Kala

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a genuine question, not slandering at bani or anything just curious as to why it has been worded so..

http://www.sikhitothemax.com/page.asp?ShabadID=259

in that shabad maharaj refers to evils as low caste women,

False-mindedness is the drummer-woman; cruelty is the butcheress; slander of others in one's heart is the cleaning-woman, and deceitful anger is the outcast-woman.

Why would he use woman? and not have cruelty as a butcher.. ?? and anger as the outcast man?

Also why isnt fasle mindedness a jatt woman? and cruelty a tarkhan woman?

I was just browsing when i came across this shabad, and I couldnt get my head around why that choice of words and names, the only answer I could come up with was to show how bad the evils are by relating them to the lower castes.. but that doesnt seem to fit with the whole sikhi is not castist or sexist..

would be intrested in other (most probably better) interpretations,

Ok i personally think there is nothing wrong with the shabad since its not slandring women it may seem that way but its just the limitation of the language and also our understanding.

Let me explain "kubudhi (False-mindedness)" "kudaiya" "ninda or Nindiya" and "krodh" are all gender based words, in this case "Female".

Jutti,Soti,Motti,Roti,Khoti etc notice the "i" e Sound.

So i think the use of drummer-woman,butchressm,cleaning-woman,outcast-woman are justified.

Another thing to keep in mind is that how many butcheresses were in Guru NanakDev ji's time, did women work as Drummer woman or butchress or Cleaning woman etc. So i think its most likely Guru nanak dev ji is using these words cos of the form of words like "Kbudhi"

Eitehr that or i am totally off the mark , Soory :oops:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gurfateh to all.

Im glad I got some replies, I was afraid of people just slandering me for questioning bani. However the question as to why use the lower castes (according to the caste system) to compare the evils too has still not been tackled..

also in reply to amardeep singh, in Guru Nanaks times im sure there where drummer women, (women born in the caste of drummer people) and a butcheress (wife of a butcher), and so on.. as it is not on about their job but a literal translation of their caste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I think that the reason is Guru Maharaj held Women in higher esteem than men.

For e.g. as far as extra marital relations, the shabads which I have heard of relate and warn men not to even look at Women other than their wives.

Now it is not totally true that Women of thse times did not work. For e.g. even still in Punjab ..or in pakistani unjab.u wll find .......Dhobi and Dhoban....Darzi and Darzan etc.

Imagine the respect Guru Ji had for Women. This is further highlighted when the Gurus xpress their Love for God, through the example of

Husband - Lord and Wife - Soul......and through this Love The Soul can meet the Lord.

People before their times were highly critical of Women. Why the Hindus (Paon Ki Jooti.........etc), the Muslims (most of the people in hell are women) and Christians (cause of al evils that lead to the eatng of the famous 'apple' had all condemned them in different ways. Even thinking of the Women form as being able to love and reach God could come under severe criticism and would be totaly unacceptable to the true sexist.

Also I would just request you to provide me the Page Number on which this Shabad is given,so that the total shabad can be read and translated in its true context. I have understood it a bit from Prof Sahib Singh jis translation, but would like to explore it further before exlplaining it and discussing it with you.

Thanks dear and bring out all your shankas..we need to clear em up not keep em hidden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Guru Maharaj is not himself calling anyone high or low or being sexist.

He is using the prevailing viewpoint of the society of the time.

If you look carefully, you will realise that Guru Maharaj is saying, this in a way such as:

He is addressing the person, and telling him that since he 'the person' thinks the Butcher Women, Drummer Women etc. to be low, yet actually he should realise that it is the inner vices of the person that are low.

The whole translated shabd from www.srigranth.org is as follows:

"False-mindedness is the drummer-woman; cruelty is the butcheress; slander of others in one`s heart is the cleaning-woman, and deceitful anger is the outcast-woman."

Now read the next lines:

"What good are the ceremonial lines drawn around your kitchen, when these four are seated there with you? "

This implies that Guru ji is giving a teaching to someone, of a 'higher' caste, who holds the view that Butcher women, drummer women etc. are all bad.

So in effect using that persons own concept of what is low, high, good bad, Guru Maharj has reinforced the concept that the only thing that is bad or low is: 'False-understanding ' Cruelty etc. .

So there is absolutely no question of sexism.

I hope I was able to explain in words, what I have understood.

Sorry for the delay in writing back to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...