“From Woman, man is born
within Woman, man is conceived;
to Woman he is engaged and married;
Woman becomes his friend;
Through Woman, the future generations come.
When his Woman dies, he seeks another Woman;
To Woman he is bound, through her his socities are made.
So why call her bad? From her Kings are born.
From Woman, Woman is born;
without Women, there would be no one at all.”
In these lines, Guruji, has clearly outlined the importance and value of women and shown how significant a role they play in the continuity of the human race.
In Sikhism, men and women are equal. All human beings, regardless of gender, caste, race or birth are equal. And are judged by their deeds alone.
These lines may seem simple today, but they portrayed a very revolutionary and shocking idea in those times.
At the time of Guru Nanak, Indian women were severely degraded and oppressed by society. Guru Nanak condemned this man-made notion of the inferiority of women, and protested their long subjugation. Sikhism was the first religion to advocate equality of all, especially women. Guruji’s views are important in present times as well. Sometimes women still have to struggle for equality with men in this male dominated society. Sadly, we have forgotten the Guru’s teachings as prejudices and injustices based on gender linger on even today.
We must remember Guruji’s teachings in our everyday lives and give respect and honour to women. Women are the back-bone of society and as Guruji had said that without women there would be no one that is the human race would cease to exist.
It is the mindset of the people of the society that has to be changed. Men must respect women and women must not tolerate any injustice towards her. We must teach our sons from childhood (at home and at school) to honour and respect women. And our daughters to live their lives with pride and dignity and that they are not second to anyone (even if some narrow-minded people tell them so). They must demand equality and respect in all aspects; be it education, workplace or family.
Only then can a true change really come about in our society.