Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guru Nanak - Woman's place is next to God


Today we are celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day. Here is a rough translation of the beautiful sentiment laid out in Raag Asa (a song of hope) by my dear Guru Nanak. He says, that the rightful place of woman is only next to God; this he says with hope in Raag Asa.

Today, in a progressive government of the US, less than 1 out 5 legislators are women (CNN). Women perform 66% of the world's work, earn 10% of world's income and own 1% of the world's property (http://www.weareequals.org/). It shows how much we still have to learn from this sage who was so far ahead of his time in preaching gender equality in the 16th century, four hundred years before we even started celebrating International Women's Day. I hope for change too ... for my little 5 year old, and countless others who have the same father as me.

Woman

Within woman, man is conceived;
From woman, man is born;

To woman he is engaged, then married.
Woman remains his close friend
with her life's path is laid.

When his woman dies,
man seeks another woman;
he cannot do without her.

Weren't kings
born from her?
And other women too?

And Man calls her bad!
And He thinks her low!
Why I ask, why?

Without woman there'd be no one at all;
I say woman's place is next to God.

– Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa Mehal 1, Page 473

More from Guru Nanak: Rajai - In Grace