The Guru Granth Sahib is the holy text of Sikhs. Several of the shabad (hymns) from the Guru Granth Sahib address the role of women in Indian and Sikh society.
Shabads from the Guru Granth Sahib
From woman, man is born
In this Shabad, the Guru expresses the importance of a woman. It begins with the line "From a woman, a man is born" which removes a doubt from the minds of man that they are all a produce of a woman. This theme then continues with the Guru highlighting in a logical sequence the various stages of life where the importance woman is noted – "within woman, man is conceived" and then " he is engaged and married" to a woman who becomes his friend, partner and the source for future generations. So throughout man's life, he is dependent on woman and every critical stage. The Shabad continues, " When his woman dies, he seeks another woman" – so if his wife dies, he may seek another woman and bound to the female gender. In the final lines, the Guru asks: "So why call her bad?" – when even kings are born from a female mother as are other women themselves. The Guru then conclude that "without woman – there would be no one at all". So this leave no doubt in the faithful person's mind that the female gender is critical for the survival of the race and that there would be no one alive without women. The Guru in very simple terms has outlined the... Read More