Women in Sikh Religion
Sikh religion took birth in the later part of fifteenth century in Panjab, a province located in the north western part of India. Guru Nanak, the founder of the religion, was a quiet and contemplative person right from his childhood. Small anecdotes pertaining to his childhood, which are a popular part of Panjabi folklore, relate a number of stories that are indicative of his temperament that was of a reflective and spiritually inclined nature. He would go out of his house and sit alone at some quiet place, thinking about the meaning of life and about the problems faced by humanity at large. The Guru gave deep thought to the social, political and religious institutions of the time and felt concerned about the deplorable condition of his countrymen. People were groaning under the religious tyranny of Islamic and Brahmanical order on one side and the atrocities of the Mughal rulers on the other. The mass of the population called Hindus were doubly enslaved; slaves of the political rulers and of the religious divisions caused by the four tier caste system, with Brahmins, the privileged ones at the top layer and the sudras and the women, at the lowest step of the pedestal, leading a life of utter degradation. The scenario was one of tyranny and bigotry; of chaos and confusion. The rulers of the time were devoid of all sense of justice. Social and political inequalities prevailing in the society were blatant.
Guru Nanak, a humanist to the core, was deeply pained to see the human rights of the common man being impinged upon. He was not a mere religious preacher who would be satisfied with formalistic religious conduct of the people. As a humanist, he wanted to restore health to the sick society of the time. M. A. Macauliffe records that when asked about the nature of the newborn, the family astrologer Hardyal remarked that the voice of Guru Nanak at the time of his birth was "as the laughing voice of a wise man when joining a social circle." He was the wise man to have joined a social circle, which he aimed at transforming, after he saw the miserable condition of the people.
The ordinary man was leading a life of degradation and the condition of women was still worse; utterly deplorable. Guru Nanak was fully aware that no community could be forward looking, if its people were not respectful to its womenfolk.
Shelley, the noted 19th century English poet, seems to be echoing Guru Nanak's point of view in the words: "Can Man be free if women are slaves?" Guru Nanak believed that apart from the ignorance of the masses, the other cause of India's thousands of years of slavery was the enslavement of its womankind. Devoid of any sense of self respect, it was next to impossible for Indian mothers to produce an offspring of self respecting citizens. Hence, the slavish attitude of its people. Devoid of all courage, they dared not resist even when their womenfolk were driven away and sold like cattle in the markets of the foreign lands to which the invaders belonged.
Guru Nanak felt like challenging this state of affairs. As a first step towards the fulfillment of his mission, he aroused the conscience of the people towards this injustice, by raising a powerful voice in favor of the mothers of mankind. He condemned the tradition that relegated women to a lower status. In those times of monarchy, the kings were considered God-incarnate, and like God, without any blemish. Guru Nanak reasoned as to how the mother of the blemishless king could be all filth:
Why call her inferior to man when all forms of greatness have their matrix in woman.1
And this was not an empty slogan. He and his successors took practical steps to ameliorate the condition of women. The love of one's family, which leaders of other religions derided as a negative quality that hindered the spiritual growth of man; was glorified, elevated and sanctified by Guru Nanak. His love for his elder sister, which has become legendry in Sikh chronicles, had sacred overtones. He advocated the primacy of family life and idealized the love of a wife for her husband by equating it with the love of the devotee for the Lord, thus elevating the status of women.
When confronted with the beautiful ladies in Assam, Guru Nanak refused to be tempted. Putting into practice the dictum: consider another's daughter like your own;2 he addressed them as his daughters, saying:
O Princess, my daughter, go away from this place! And embellish your days with the chanting of the True Name.3
The ladies, ashamed at their evil intentions, went back sanctified.
The Gurus ensured that the womenfolk of their families were given a place of respect that was due to them. During the period of his Guruship, Guru Angad Dev, the second Guru, paid special attention to the education of girl children. He would regularly take their classes after the morning congregational prayers. Nobody dared disturb him at that time. The girls had the same right to education as the boys had. History records that his daughter Amro learnt everything very fast and was quite proficient at whatever was taught to her. He gave his wife, Khivi, the charge of the community kitchen, who, in that capacity looked after not only her own small children, but the whole community, like a mother. She is the first Sikh woman to hold any public office.
Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, took many revolutionary steps to improve the lot of women. He preached against cruel customs like Sati: burning of the widow on the pyre of her dead husband. Child marriage was strictly prohibited and widow remarriage was made an accepted practice. Women were directed not to wear veils over their faces. Even a queen was not allowed to see him if she was behind a veil.
The third Guru sent many women as missionaries to distant lands. These women were given the position of preachers and religious leaders, a position hitherto unknown to have been given to women in the history of the world. All the administrative decisions were taken independently by these women, who were responsible for revenue collection too.
In the Sikh thought, women were considered equal partners in marriage. Husband and wife were two bodies but one soul:
They are not said to be husband and wife who merely sit together, they alone are called husband and wife who have two bodies but one soul.4
For Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru, woman was 'the conscience of man' and for Bhai Gurdas, the Sikh bard, she was 'a gateway to salvation.'5 A pious life of a householder, lived in the company of the wife and children, was considered the best course for a man on spiritual journey. 'Life of a householder is the best of all religions to be lived', says Bhai Gurdas.6
Propagation of these ideas by the Gurus, boosted the confidence of women right from the start of the Sikh movement, and with a regained confidence, they involved themselves wholeheartedly in the making of a new social order that the Gurus had aimed at creating. In the initial period of the Sikh movement, their activities largely remained confined to the social and religious sphere, where they had tremendous influence. By the time of the tenth Guru, they were confident enough to fight in the battlefield alongside men; to work as spies and to nurse the wounded in the battlefield and later during the time of Sikh confederacies, a good number of them proved to be good administrators and political advisors to the rulers too.
When Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru, went to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, the men, bullied by the opponents of the Guru, decided to stay away. The local women, guided by their inner voice, did what was required to be done at that time. Without being afraid, they came to pay obeisance at the feet of the Guru. The Guru blessed them saying, 'Women of Amritsar know how to love the will of God.'7
It was customary for the women of the Guru families to be educated and well versed in the knowledge of the scriptures. It was something radical at that time, as according to the prevailing practices, women were not allowed even to enter the premises of a place of worship. The fact that Bibi Amro, the daughter of the second Guru, was reciting a sabad (a poetic composition in Guru Granth Sahib) that was not a part of the prescribed daily minimum recital of Gurbani, proves that she had learnt a lot of verses by heart. It is recorded in Bansawalinama that Bibi Amro had learnt a lot of gurbani by rote, especially Jap Onkar and Siddh Gosht.8 Roop Kaur, the daughter of the seventh Guru, was the first woman to have put in black and white all that the Guru told the devotees. This has come down as a valuable source of history for the posterity. She collected thirty three sakhis (stories relating to the life histories of the Gurus) in the book form and thus became the first woman editor and historian.9
Women had started learning the art of weaponry and horse riding during the tenth Gurus time itself. Mai Bhago, the first woman to fight in the battlefield along with men, was adept in the use of weapons and was an effective leader to have led forty war veterans, who had deserted the Guru in a weak moment, back to the Guru. She could not possibly have learnt riding the horse and fighting along side men over night. A long period of training was behind her. And more importantly, hers is not a solitary example of Sikh women fighting in the battlefield. Sikh history is replete with countless examples of such women, some known and many unknown.
Gurbilas Patshahi Dasvin records that when Anandpur was under siege and supplies to the Sikhs had been blocked, it was the ladies who took the responsibility of supplying them water from the river Sutlej. Without bothering about the raining bullets, they would start before dawn to supply water to the Sikhs in the fort. It is recorded that the daughter of Bhai Bhagat Singh was killed during one such firing.10
"Hayat-i-Afghani, a history of Northwest Frontier, by an ancestor of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, records a story about a woman, who not only saved her honor from a Pathan, but also taught him a lesson of life. He found her walking alone in a deserted place and was tempted to lay hands on her. She knocked him down single-handedly, and seizing his sword, dismissed him contemptuously. He went away with bowed head, but soon came back and said: "Please give me back my sword or cut off my head with it. I can't face my people after surrendering my sword to a woman." She replied, "Yes, you may have your sword, if you promise that you will never again attempt to dishonor a woman." He gave the promise and learnt the lesson of his life."11 Another incident recorded by Principal Teja Singh goes like this:
The Sikh place of worship at Nanded was the victim of constant inroads of Mohammedans from Deccan and the Sikhs felt hopeless. They began to desert the place. The news reached Malwa in Punjab. About two hundred Sikh women volunteered themselves to go and protect it. They formed themselves into a battalion and marched to South on horseback. On reaching there, they engaged the enemy in a sharp skirmish lasting for many hours and drove out the Mohammedan usurpers. In this battle they captured a drum and a banner of the enemy, both of which are said to be still lying at Nanded.12
The underlying impulse of these women performing such daring deeds and their constructive role in the making of Sikh history lies in the Sikh thought which accords the highest status to womankind and does not debar them from any activity that falls within the human ambit. The Sikhs were given clear and strict instructions to treat women with utmost respect. Even the women from the enemy camp were to be treated with the same respect as was to be given to their own womenfolk.
Disrespect to women (rape) has been used as a weapon to subdue the enemy during the time of war since earliest times. Irrespective of nationality or geographical location, rape has flourished whenever there has been war. Even the wars fought in the name of religion were no exception. "Knights and pilgrims took time off for sexual assault as they marched towards Constantinople in the First Crusade."13 Rape was a weapon of terror during World War I and World War II. In 'War as I know it' General George S. Patton Jr. records: "I then told him that in spite of my most diligent efforts, there would unquestionably be some raping and that I should like to have the details as early as possible so that the offenders could be properly hanged."14 In modern times rape has been outlawed under international rule of law, yet it persists as a common act of terror during the war. No movement in favor of women has been able to curb this tendency in the male of the species.
Against this background all over the globe, Sikh history is a shining example where not only the women from the enemy camp were not treated with disrespect, the Sikhs had been mandated from the Guru to treat them with as much respect as they would give to their own womenfolk. The Guru had told the Sikhs that respect for women had to be integral to their values. He had planned to take the Panth (Sikh community) to the pinnacles of glory and for that it was important that they had a strong moral character. The community that does not respect women cannot achieve any degree of glory. Bhai Santokh Singh, the author of Sri Gurpartap Suraj Granth relates an incident when the Sikhs complained to the Guru that the Turks maltreated the Hindu women. The Guru replied that they may do whatever. The Sikhs must learn to respect all women. It was imperative for them to give utmost respect to women, as without their imbibing this quality, it was not possible for him to fulfill his mission of taking the Panth to its highest glory.15
There is no doubt that the respect for women is the true measure of a civil society. Only a people that treat its women well can achieve any degree of greatness. The Sikh Gurus were of the firm view that respect for women had to be intrinsic to their character. To ensure that the Sikhs had that strength of character, they made respect for women an integral part of value system of Sikh religion:
For the Guru's true Sikh, any young girl is like his own daughter, an elderly lady is like his own mother. And he remains loving and faithful to his own wife forever.16
Bhai Gurdas says:
I am a sacrifice to the person who does not have any attraction for another's woman.17
Two out of the fifty two edicts (Hukamnama) sent by Guru Gobind Singh to his Sikhs, put on record the Guru's instructions regarding the way women should be treated. Edict 15 says:
One should never cast an evil eye on another's wife.18
Edict 16 goes like this:
Never be discourteous to a lady.19
Bhai Nand Lal too corroborates the same idea when he says:
Guru Gobind Singh does not love a Sikh who takes food without remembering God; visits a prostitute or loves another's wife.20
Sri Guru Granth Sahib gives a stern warning against any extra marital relationship:
The blind man abandons the wife of his home and has an affair with another's woman.....The home of the sinner is on fire. It keeps burning, and the fire cannot be extinguished.21
What should I say to you, O fool? Don't look at the wives of others. Be a true husband.22
The Sikhs strictly followed these injunctions of the Guru. Sri Gurpratap Suraj Granth records in chapter fifteen how once during the war, the Sikhs happened to find a palanquin, which carried a rich Muslim woman sitting in it. The Sikhs handed over the palanquin to their leader. Nobody even thought of lifting the veil, nor did they try to find out who the lady was. The palanquin with the lady was brought to Anandpur and presented before the Guru. On being questioned, the leader replied that it was a Muslim lady. "Whose wife is she?" the Guru asked. The leader of the group replied that they did not know as nobody had tried to lift the veil of the palanquin, nor had anybody shared a word with her. Extremely glad on hearing this, the Guru appreciated them and advised them to consider all women as sisters and daughters, be it the time of war or otherwise. The Sikhs were instructed to send the girl to wherever she belonged to. The lady sitting in the palanquin was overwhelmed to hear this. Lifting the veil, she told that she was the daughter of Nawab Khijar Ali and the wife of Nawab Rahimpur. Feeling grateful, the lady prayed for glory of the Panth. Respect for women makes a community strong enables it takes a huge flight into glory. With the grace of the Guru, the wings of the Panth have become very strong.23
Kesar Singh Chhiber records an incident in Bansavalinama, wherein it is stated, how a Sikh, who was tempted to visit a prostitute, was saved from damnation when he was reminded by her of the Guru's injunction in this regard. After that, however hard she tried, the Sikh refused to fall into temptation.24
Qazi Nur Mohammad, who, out of intense hatred for Sikhs, generally uses very derogatory words for them in his book Jangmana, cannot but praise them for their strength of character, especially with regard to women:
Leaving aside their mode of fighting, here is another point in which they excel all other fighting people. In no case they would slay a coward, nor would they put an obstacle in the way of a fugitive. They do not plunder the wealth and ornaments of women, be she a well to do lady or a maid servant. There is no adultery among these dogs, nor are they given to thieving. Whether a woman is young or old they call her 'Burhi'. The word 'Mai' in Indian language means 'a lady elder'. There is no thief at all among these dogs, nor is there any housebreaker among these miscreants. They do not make friends with the adulterers and housebreakers."25
This could be made possible because the Gurus set a practical example by giving women the place in society that was rightfully due to them. Women were made equal partners with men in every respect. Sikh history stands witness to the fact. Sundari, the central character of Bhai Vir Singh's novel by the same title, represents countless other women who were equally bold when faced with a similar situation. She is a courageous and self confident woman. She moves independently in the forests where the Sikhs were living to save themselves from the unjust wrath of the rulers who were hounding them like wild animals. She is kind and self sacrificing, but knows how to save herself from the fierce attack of the enemy. She is adept in the use of weapons and is quite vocal about the place women should get in society. She appears to be a protagonist of women liberation, when she addresses her male companions, just before her death:
I entreat you to regard your women as equal partners and never ill-treat them. If you regard them as inferior to you, you will treat them with harshness and cruelty. If you look at other women with evil intentions your honor and glory will decline.26
Sikh classical literature too, speaks of equal and respectable status accorded to women in every sphere; religious as well as secular:
A Sikh who does not let his wife take Amrit, deserves religious punishment.27
Sarup Singh Kaushish relates an incident, where the Guru made it clear that daughters of the Sikhs must henceforth be administered Sikh baptism along with the sons. There should be no gender discrimination whatsoever:
Bhai Alam Singh asked the Guru that he had once said that Khalsa will henceforth baptize his sons and daughters. Bhai Alam Singh requested the Guru to tell him how it should be done. The Guru replied that a Sikh must take the child, whether son or daughter to the dharamsal for the purpose, when the child was ten days old……After the Amrit was ready, the baby boy or girl should be administered five drops of Amrit and the Sikh greeting be repeated five times. The mother of the baby should respond five times with the same greeting (Fateh).28
Taking the child, male as well as female, to the place of worship for the purpose of taking Amrit, speaks of equal status of women in Sikh religious tradition. The women in Indian society, who for centuries, had been denied even the right to enter the place of worship, were administered Amrit alongside men, and were also given the right to administer Amrit to others as members of the Panj Piara ( Five beloveds) team that had been authorized to administer Amrit.29
All these steps taken by the Sikh Gurus completely revolutionized the lives of women in the northern part of India. Fully confident of themselves, the Sikh women put their whole might in the making of a new history. Every brick laid bears the name of one or the other woman who contributed in a big way, in the events leading to the construction of the imposing structure called 'Sikhism'.
- ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਰਾਜਾਨ ॥Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 473.
2. Piara Singh Padam (ed.), Rehatname, pp.128-9.
3. ਗਾਛਹੁ ਪੁਤ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਜ ਕੁਆਰਿ॥ ਨਾਮ ਭਣਹੁ ਸਚੁ ਦੋਤੁ ਸਵਾਰਿ॥ Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1187.
4. ਧਨ ਪਿਰੁ ਏਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਬਹਨਿ ਇਕਠੇ ਹੋਇ॥ ਏਕ ਜੋਤਿ ਦੁਇ ਮੂਰਤੀ ਧਨ ਪਿਰੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਇ] Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 788.
5. ਅਰਧ ਸਰੀਰੀ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੀ॥ Bhai. Gurdas, Var 5, Pauri 16.
6. ਸਕਲ ਧਰਮ ਮੈ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਹੈ॥ Bhai Gurdas, Kabit 376.
7. ਮਾਈਆਂ ਰਬ ਰਜਾਈਆਂ॥ Teja Singh, Essays in Sikhism, p. 47.
8. 'ਬੀਬੀ ਅਮਰੋ''ਜਪੁ,ਓਅੰਕਾਰ, ਸਿਧ ਗੋਸਟਿ' ਕੰਠ ਸੀ ਕੀਤੀ।ਨਂੇਮ ਨਾਲਿ ਨਿਤ ਪੜ੍ਹਨ ਕਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤੀ। Kesar Singh Chhiber, Bansavalinama, Ch. 2, Stanza 33.
9. See Mohinder Kaur Gill, Gurmat te Nari, p. 107.
10. ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਕੀ ਨਾਰੀ। ਸੁਤਾ ਸੰਗ ਲੈ ਨੀਰ ਹਿਤਾਰੀ।ਮਗ ਮੋ ਜਾਤੀ ਜਲ ਕੇ ਕਾਜਾ।ਆਵਤ ਹੁਤੀ ਭਯੋ ਅਸਰਾਜਾ॥ਤੁਪਕ ਮੋਰਚੇ ਤੇ ਚਿਰਰਾਨੀ ।ਸੁਤਾ ਮਰੀ ਲਾਗੀ ਰਿਦ ਬਾਨੀ।ਥਾ ਤੇ ਰੁਦਨ ਘੋਰ ਤਿਨ ਕੀਨਾ।ਬੂਝਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਯਾ ਸੋਰਸ ਚੀਨਾ॥ Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi Dasvin, p. 181.
11. Teja Singh, Essays in Sikhism, p. 48.
12. Ibid., p. 48.
13. Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will—Men, Women and Rape, p. 31.
14. Ibid., p. 32.
15. ਪੁਨ ਸਿੰਘਨ ਬੂਝੈ ਗੁਨ ਖਾਨੀ। ਬਿੰਦ੍ਰ ਤੁਰਕ ਭੋਗੈਂ ਹਿੰਦਵਾਨੀ।ਸਿਖ ਬਦਲਾ ਲੇ ਭਲਾ ਜਨਾਏ। ਕਯੋਂ ਗੁਰ ਸ਼ਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਰਜ ਹਟਾਏ? ਸੁਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬੋਲੇ ਤਿਸ ਬੇਰੇ। ਹਮ ਲੇ ਜਾਨੋਂ ਪੰਥ ਉਚੇਰੇ। ਨਹੀਂ ਅਧੋਗਤ ਬਿਖੈ ਪੁਚਾਵੈਂ।ਯਾ ਤੇ ਕਲਮਲ ਕਰਨ ਹਟਾਵੈਂ। See Santokh Singh, Gurpartap Suraj Granth, Ch.6, Stanza 19.
16. ਪਰ ਬੇਟੀ ਕੋ ਬੇਟੀ ਜਾਨੈ। ਪਰ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਕੋ ਮਾਤ ਬਖਾਨੈ॥ਆਪਨਿ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਸੋਂ ਰਤਿ ਹੋਈ॥ ਰਹਤਵੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਹੈ ਸੋਈ॥ (ਰਹਿਤਨਾਮਾ ਭਾਈ ਦੇਸਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ) Piara Singh Padam (ed.), Rehatname, p. 128-29.
17. ਹਉ ਤਿਸੁ ਘੋਲਿ ਘੁਮਾਇਆ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਦੇ ਨੇੜਿ ਨ ਜਾਵੈ॥ Bhai Gurdas, Var. 12, Pauri 4.
18. ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਹੇਤ ਨ ਰਖੈ ਅਨੰਦ॥Simran Kaur, Prasidh Sikh Istarian, p.10.
19. ਇਸਤਰੀ ਦਾ ਮੂੰਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਫਿਟਕਾਰਨਾ॥ Ibid., p.10.
20. ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨ ਕਹੈ ਜੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ।ਵੇਸਵਾ ਦੁਆਰੇ ਸਿਖ ਜੋ ਜਾਵਹਿ।ਪਰ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਲਗਾਵਹਿ।ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਵਹੁ ਸਿਖ ਨ ਭਾਵਹਿ। Bhai Nand Lal, Tankhahnama, Piara Singh Padam (ed.), Rehatname, p. 58.
21. ਘਰ ਕੀ ਨਾਰਿ ਤਿਆਗੈ ਅੰਧਾ॥ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਸਿਉ ਘਾਲੈ ਧੰਧਾ॥……ਪਾਪੀ ਕਾ ਘਰੁ ਅਗਨੈ ਮਾਹਿ॥ ਜਲਤ ਰਹੈ ਮਿਟਵੈ ਕਬ ਨਾਹਿ॥ Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1164.
22. ਕਿਆ ਗਾਲਾਇਓ ਭੂਛ, ਪਰ ਵੇਲਿ ਨ ਜੋਹੇ ਕੰਤ ਤੂ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਫੁਲਾ ਸੰਦੀ ਵਾੜਿ, ਖਿੜਿਆ ਹਭੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਜਿਉ॥Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1095.
23. ਇਕ ਵਾਰੀ ਲੜਾਈ ਵਿਚ ਇਕ ਅਮੀਰ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਪਾਲਕੀ ਵਿਚ ਬੈਠੀ ਸਿੰਘਾਂ ਦੇ ਇਕ ਜਥੇ ਦੇ ਹੱਥ ਆ ਗਈ। ਸਿੰਘਾਂ ਨੇ ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਦੇ ਹਵਾਲੇ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਪਰ ਪਾਲਕੀ ਦਾ ਕਪੜਾ ਨਾ ਚੁਕਿਆ ਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਕੌਣ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਕਿਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਹੈ। ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਨੇ ਪਾਲਕੀ ਨੂੰ ਅਨੰਦਪੁਰ ਲੈ ਆਂਦਾ ਅਤੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਅਗੇ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ।ਜਦ ਪਾਲਕੀ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਪੁਜੀ ਤਾਂ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਂ ਪੁਛਿਆ, 'ਇਸ ਵਿਚ ਕੌਣ ਹੈ?' 'ਇਕ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ' ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਨੇ ਉਤੱਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ।'ਕਿਸ ਦੀ ਹੈ?' ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾਂ ਪੁਛਿਆ।ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਨਿਮਰਤਾ ਸਹਿਤ ਬੋਲਿਆ,'ਇਹ ਤਾਂ ਪਤਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਿਸ ਦੀ ਹੈ।ਕਿਉਂ ਕਿ ਨਾ ਤਾਂ ਅਸੀਂ ਪਾਲਕੀ ਦਾ ਕਪੜਾ ਚੁਕਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਨਾ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਕਿ ਕੌਣ ਹੈ, ਕੈਸੀ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਕਿਸੇ ਜ਼ਬਾਨ ਹੀ ਸਾਂਝੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੈ।'ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਨ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਬੋਲੇ, 'ਤੁਸਾਂ ਬਹੁਤ ਚੰਗਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ।ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਇਸ ਤਰਾਂ ਹੀ ਕਰਨਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ। ਕੋਈ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਭਾਵੇਂ ਰਾਹ ਜਾਂਦਿਆਂ ਜਾਂ ਲੜਾਈ ਵਿਚ ਮਿਲ ਜਾਵੇ ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਭੈਣ ਤੇ ਬੇਟੀ ਸਮਝੋ। ਹੁਣ ਇਸ ਦਾ ਘਰ ਘਾਟ ਪੁਛੋ ਤੇ ਵਾਪਸ ਭੇਜੋ।'ਇਹ ਗੱਲ ਸੁਣ ਕੇ ਉਸ ਪਰਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਬੈਠੀ ਦੇ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਨੇ ਉਛਾਲਾ ਖਾਧਾ, ਪਾਲਕੀ ਦਾ ਪਰਦਾ ਚੁੱਕ, ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਿਫਤ ਕੀਤੀ ਤੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ, "ਮੈਂ ਨਵਾਬ ਖਿਜਰ ਅਲੀ ਦੀ ਧੀ ਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਰਹੀਮਪੁਰੀਏ ਨਵਾਬ ਦੀ ਵਹੁਟੀ ਹਾਂ।" ਉਸ ਪੰਥ ਦੀ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ਲਈ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕੀਤੀ। ਇਸਤਰੀ ਜਾਤੀ ਦਾ ਸਨਮਾਨ ਚੰਗੇ ਇਖਲਾਕ ਨੂੰ ਜਨਮ ਦੇਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਚੰਗਾ ਇਖਲਾਕ ਕੌਮ ਦੀ ਉੱਚੀ ਉਡਾਰੀ ਲਈ ਖੰਭ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਂ ਦੀ ਬਖਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਸਦਕਾ ਇਹ ਖੰਭ ਬੜੇ ਮਜ਼ਬੂਤ ਹੋਏ ਹਨ। Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sikh Istri Visheshank, p. 55.
24. ਇਕ ਸਿਖ ਆਹਾ ਮਸੰਦ ਧਨਵਾਨ।ਤਿਨ ਧਨ ਖਰਚ ਕੀਆ ਇਹ ਕਾਮ ਅਜਾਨ।੨੦੫॥ਧਨ ਖਰਚ ਦੂਰ ਤੇ ਗਨਕਾ ਮੰਗਵਾਈ।ਸੋ ਤਿਨ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਧਨ ਲੀਆ ਤਬ ਵੇਸਵਾ ਆਈ।ਜਬ ਰੈਨ ਕੇ ਦੋਨੋ ਭਏ ਇਕਤ।ਤਬ ਗਨਕਾ ਹਾਸੀ ਕਰ ਕਹਿਆ: "ਏਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਮਤਿ।"੨੦੬॥ ਤਾਤ ਕਾਲ ਸੁਨਿ ਸਿਖ ਬੇਸਵਾ ਤਜਿ ਦੀਨੀ।ਗਨਕਾ ਅਦਾਇ ਕਰਿ ਹਾਸੀ ਸੀ ਕੀਨੀ।ਪਰ ਸਿਖ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਸਾਚੀ ਗਹਿ ਲੀਨੀ।ਤਬ ਸਿਖ ਜਾਨਾ:ਜੋ ਸੰਗ ਇਸ ਦੇ ਮੇਰੀ ਸਿਖੀ ਜਾਨੀ।੨੦੭॥ਤਬ ਗਨਿਕਾ ਅਨੇਕ ਜਤਨ ਕਰਿ ਹਾਰੀ।ਜੈਸੇ ਕੋਈ ਵਿਹੁ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਨਿਕਾਰ ਡਾਰੀ।ਮਿਠਿਆਈ ਕਰਕੇ ਲਾਗੋ ਖਾਨ।ਕੋਈ ਕਹੈ: "ਇਸ ਮੈ ਬਿਖ ਪਈ ਹੈ ਜਾਨ।"੨੦੮॥ਤਬ ਵਹੁ ਅਨੇਕ ਜਤਨ ਕਰੇ, ਵਹੁ ਨਹੀਂ ਖਾਤਾ।ਤੈਸੇ ਸਿਖ ਨੇ ਜਾਤਾ:ਇਸ ਕਾ ਸੰਗ ਮੇਰੀ ਸਿਖੀ ਹੈ ਗਵਾਤਾ।ਤਿਨ ਸਿਖ ਸਿਖੀ ਰਖੀ ਵੇਸਵਾ ਤਜਿ ਦੀਨੀ।ਧਨ ਗਏ ਦੀ ਚਿੰਦਾ ਰੰਚ ਨ ਕੀਨੀ।੨੦੯॥ Kesar Singh Chhiber, Bansavlinama, Piara Singh Padam(ed.), p.143.
25. Ganda Singh (ed.), Jangnama Qazi Nur Mohammad, p. 57-58.
26. Bhai Vir Singh, Sundari, p. 114.
27. ਜੋ ਸਿੱਖ ਸਿੱਖਣੀ ਨੂੰ ਖੰਡੇ ਦੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਨਾ ਦੇਵੇ, ਸੋ ਤਨਖਾਹੀਆ। Bhai Chaupa Singh, Rehatnama, Piara Singh Padam (ed.), Rehatname, p. 105.
28. ਭਾਈ ਆਲਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾਂ ਬਚਨ ਕੀਆ, ਮਹਾਰਾਜ! ਤੁਸਾਂ ਏਕ ਦਿਨ ਕਹਾ ਥਾ ਕਿ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਆਗੇ ਸੇ ਅਪਨੇ ਬਚੇ ਬਚੀਆਂ ਕੋ ਖਾਂਡੇ ਕੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਦੀਆ ਕਰੇਗਾ। ਉਹ ਕੈਸੇ ਤੇ ਕਿਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਇਹ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਦਾ ਭਰਮ ਨਵਿਰਤ ਕਰੀਏ। ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਠੀਕ ਤੁਸਾਂ ਯਥਾਰਥ ਪੂਛਾ ਹੈ।ਆਲਮ ਸਿੰਘਾ ਜਬ ਸਿਖ ਕੇ ਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਮੇਂ ਬਚਾ ਬਚੀ ਦਸ ਦਿਹੁੰ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਜਾਇ ਤਾ ਸਿਖ ਧਰਮਸਾਲਾ ਮੇਂ ਜਾਇ।……ਉਪਰੰਤ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਾ ਸਿੱਖ ਤਿਆਰ ਹੋਈ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਕੇ ਪਾਂਚ ਤੁਬਕੇ ਬੱਚੇ ਬੱਚੀ ਕੇ ਮੁਖ ਮੇਂ ਪਾਇ ਪਾਂਚ ਵਾਰੀ ਮੁਖ ਥੀਂ ਫਤੇ ਗਜਾਇ।ਆਗੇ ਸੇ ਫਤੇ ਕਾ ਉੱਤਰ ਫਤੇ ਮੇਂ ਬੱਚੇ ਬੱਚੀ ਕੀ ਮਾਤਾ ਦੇਵੇ।Sarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, Piara Singh Padam (ed.), p. 127.
29. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sikh Rehat Maryada, p. 27.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2015, All