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Women in Sikhism


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Sat sri akal ji,

I got this on e-mail it's very nice!

1. What rights do I have as a Sikh woman?:)

A Sikh woman has equal rights to a Sikh man. Unlike Christianity, no post in Sikhism is reserved solely for men. Sikh baptism (Amrit ceremony) is open to both sexes. The Khalsa nation is made up equally of men and women. A Sikh woman has the right to become a Granthi, Ragi, one of the Panj Pyare (5 beloved), etc.

2. Is God considered a Male or Female? :)

The Guru Granth Sahib contains many Names for God, both masculine and feminine. These are all used to describe God. Ultimately, the Gurus do not consider God to be male or female. The Mul Mantra states that God is 'Ajuni' - Unborn. Thus stating that God belongs to neither sex.

3. What does the Guru Granth Sahib say about Women? :)

The Guru Granth Sahib is unique in religious history. It is the only religious text that was compiled and authenticated by the founders of its faith.

It consists of beautiful hymns which teach you about your spirituality and purpose in life. Guru Arjan states that the Guru Granth Sahib will give you 'Truth, Contentment and Contemplation'.

Concerning women, Guru Nanak has said,

'It is through woman that order is maintained. Then why call her inferior from whom all great ones are born.' Guru Granth Sahib, Pg. 473.

The Gurus went further. They used the Woman symbolically in the Bani to

represent the disciple.

4. What restrictions are there on what I can wear? :)

When Sikhs take Amrit they must all, regardless of sex, keep the same 5 k's. Guru Nanak has stated that one should only wear those clothes which do not distress the mind or the body.

'Friend, all other wear ruins bliss,That which to the limbs is torment, and with foul thinking fills the mind. Guru Granth Sahib, Pg. 16.

The Gurus had also made a firm stand against the wearing of the veil, which is popular amongst Muslims and Hindus. Even Christian nuns are made to cover themselves more than Christian priests. Guru Amar Das refused to allow a Hindustani Queen from entering the sangat until she had removed her veil. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the veil is compared to suppression.

'False modesty that suppressed is ended. Now with veil cast off am I started on the way of devotion.' Guru Granth Sahib, Pg. 931.

5. Can I read the Guru Granth Sahib? :)

Yes. The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib is open to all. Its available to read at many different internet sites. Guru Amar Das (3rd Guru was brought to the fold of Sikhi after hearing Bibi Amro reciting the Gurbani.

6. Can I be forced into an arranged Marriage? :)

Sikhs are forbidden from forcibly marrying off their children without their prior consent. Both Sons and Daughters are required to reach a mature age, both physically and mentally, before they marry. Thus, parents must ensure their children are allowed to grow and be educated to the fullest. Arranged marriages are the norm for Sikhs. Sikhs are forbidden from marrying outside their faith and are not allowed to keep sexual relationships outside of marriage. The Gurus considered marriage an equal partnership. Guru Amar Das has stated,

'They are not said to be Husband and Wife who merely sit together, Rather they alone are called Husband and Wife, who have one soul in two bodies.' Guru Granth Sahib, Pg. 788.

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